I know this new error type has been around for a while, but I've just returned to Gengo after months of frustrated absence, and I looked but could not find this issue raised by someone else here in the forum.


My question is this: In my experience, the glossary that customers give Gengo to display besides the workbench can only ever be used as a rough guideline and the glossary mismatch errors that the system marks automatically have to be ignored in most cases. The reason is that the glossary translations are often terms that only work in a very specific context and the text you're currently translating uses the same English word in another, more general context. And even if the suggested translation word is correct in meaning for the given context, the grammatical structure of the word registered in the glossary almost never fits into the sentence and even such minor modifications are marked as errors. And sometimes the glossary translation is simply misspelled or a bad word choice for what the customer actually wants. (I.e., they picked it out of a dictionary without consulting a native speaker or they got it from a previous translator who wasn't given enough context to chose the right translation term and guessed wrongly.)

Now, previously I would just write a more fitting translation if the glossary term isn't working in the context of the given text, and point out the error to the customer if the problem was more than a grammatical adjustment. (I've never seen the customer actually bothering to fix the glossary, though, since this problem usually occurs with customer service emails for larger companies, where the translation texts get accepted automatically and probably no-one ever even reads the translator comments.)


However, with this new GoCheck error type, and the fact that you elsewhere write that the reviewers have no influence on the resulting score, I worry that every mismatch between the glossary and the translation text will automatically be marked as a "compliance error" by the system, even if sticking to the glossary term would make no grammatical sense. And I worry that the reviewer could not even tell the system not to count this as an error if they agree that the translator had to change the translation term.


Is this how this works out in the end? Because if that's the case, I'm never accepting translation jobs with in-system customer glossaries again.



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    Based on my experience so far:

    If there is an obvious spelling or grammar error in the glossary and you do not correct it, you will likely get an error mark for repeating it in the translation rather than correcting it.

    I think some confusion might be arising from the fact that the translation needs to sound natural, and also abide by the customer's instructions, with both acting as guidelines for how you are marked.

    The question of whether or not you should listen to the client even if what they are telling you results in unnatural sounding results arises, as the guidelines for sounding "native" and the guidelines from the client are in conflict. This is a matter of which rules take precedent.

    I believe that, as clients are asking for a translation from someone aside from themselves, they are, to a certain degree, deferring to us, even if they have a glossary. And as they are not using machine translation, it is safe to assume they are looking for something that sounds natural.

    It then follows that natural sounding results (or standard rules/Gengo's rules for grammar and spelling) should take precedent. The only exception, in my opinion, is if the client specifically states that are looking for something that doesn't sound natural (i.e., they are not offering an incorrect glossary entry, but rather outright stating that the language used is to be incorrect).

    Disagreement might arise between the translator and the reviewer regarding what sounds natural regarding word choice, but I think this can be dealt with if you leave a comment to the client stating your choice and the reasoning.


    I'm almost certain that basic grammatical rules would take precedent over glossary entries. I don't think I've had the experience of having errors marked for adapting customer directions to fit better grammatically...Might be cause for a re-review.

    Edited by collinmradford
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    If I'm not totally mistaken, differences vs the glossary will not trigger automatic point deductions simply because of the grammatical adaptations that need to be made, so it wouldn't make any sense if the platform did that. It has to be the GoCheck reviewer who decides whether you were right in what you did, and you may or may not agree with his or her opinion... I have no personal experience with this though.

    In any case, glossaries and how to apply them are a very interesting topic. Two situations come to mind:

    (1) There is that client who requests short translations on a more or less regular basis, providing a very extensive glossary in Excel. Almost every sentence contains various glossary terms, so you have to look up pretty much every word manually, which artificially increases the workload and reduces the hourly pay. But the real problem isn't even that. It is that about half of the glossary terms are totally ungrammatical even in their original list form. Some of them look like "stemmed" versions, i.e. the words have their grammatical endings removed, rendering some of them almost incomprehensible. Others contain typos - but in any case, it is up to you how you make them fit into the translation. The translation is also done in Excel, therefore I ended up posting a single block of comments that was longer than the text itself, but got no reply. I have decided not to accept these tasks anymore, because they are really difficult and time-consuming to do, but treated as if they were "cheap stuff" (Standard rate). At the same time, they make you feel like you were doing a bad job, because different translators will use this kind of glossary in different ways, inevitably leading to inconsistencies.

    (2) In at least one other case where a client provided a glossary outside of the platform, I used a different term and explained it in a comment - because the glossary entry was quite obviously based on one of those contextual misunderstandings that you mentioned, Antje. The client then insisted on the  wrong term, preferring a clearly wrong but consistent translation... While in a way this was fun because it was just one word, what would happen if a text was full of this, like in case 1? (Writing comments takes time, but we are still paid the same rate per word...)


    Edited by Rup75
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