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I get "New comment" email notifications from time to time about some semiold translation getting a new comment, and it is this translator with a copypasted speech prompting the client about marking them as a preferred translator on jobs I edited.

 

To what extent is this ethical or allowed? Of course, I have no right to tell other people what to comment on their jobs, but in this case, it kind of irks me since these are jobs I edited (at times fixing glaring mistakes) and therefore these are also my work, for what this person is not only taking sole credit from but also asking to receive benefits.

 

What do you think? What would you do?

4 comments

  • 1
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    gunnarbu

    Hello Gabriel. Intersting - first of all I think we should leave it up to the customers and Gengo to dermine who should become preferred translators. We have no business as translators to 'sell ourselves in' as preferred translators to the custiomers.  As to how two-pass jobs work, I am under the impression that translator no. 1 cannot see the final result after translator no. 2 has edited the job. If this is correct (Lara Fernandez confirmed that to me some time ago), then it should not be possible for translator no. 1 to comment on the edited job from translator no. 2. Therfore it is trange that you get comments from translator no. 1 on the same job after you, as translator no. 2 have edited it ...

    Gunnar

  • 1
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    Gabriel

    Thanks for your answer, Gunnar, and yeah, I couldn't agree more with you on your first point. In my humble opinion, I think that one's job should speak for itself and that asking the client for preferred translator status borders on poor taste (that on cases where it is your job only, in a case like this I think it crosses that line).

     

    Your second point is quite interesting, as this could just be an honest mistake if this person can't see that the job underwent a second pass, specially since they seem to post this comment I'm talking about quite a few days after the fact (last instance of this, according to the job's history on the comments, 5 days after the job was approved).

     

    I assumed you could at least see if a second translator accepted and resubmitted the job on its history. I would check this myself on jobs where I did the first pass, but I can't remember which ones could be of that kind nor know it at glance on my completed jobs list...

     

    In any case, this still bothers me, as it would still be unfair to me if the client actually accepts that suggestion. Most probably, the client wouldn't check the translator's # to see which one of them made that comment (Why would they? I wouldn't do it myself) or not even think about it.

     

    Best regards.

  • 3
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    Chris

    I wouldn't do that and agree that it feels a bit …iffy. That being said, there are two sides to this:

    If the customer gets prompted to choose a preferred translator on an edit job, it will be only the second translator that's suggested (although it's been a while since I checked that, haven't heard anything to the contrary either, though). So unless the customer goes out of their way to find out the ID of the first translator for some reason and understands the system well, the proofreader gets selected. So if that's still the case, I can definitely understand the motivation to tip that balance a bit, especially since it's arguably the first translator who does the brunt of the work most of the time. But like you mentioned, they perhaps simply post that message to all newly approved jobs and I don't think you can see that it was picked up by a different translator in the comment history.

    Either way, there's definitely a problem with the edit process from my point of view, although I can't offer a good solution. 

    The main problem is that the second translator becomes the full "owner" of the collection in question, but the payment doesn't seem adequate for that. As a result, I hardly ever do edit jobs and my perspective is mostly that of an "editee" and so I mostly see the work I invest. I'm sure there are editors that invest a lot of work as well, though, or even save a translation.

    Unfortunately, I can't help myself and regularly check what happened to a collection that went into editing. Many times, there is no change, every now and then a genuine mistake is fixed. At times, I even learn something new when the second translator found a better phrasing for something. All too often, though, I see nonsensical edits or even newly introduced errors, probably linked to the low payment. This will sound overly dramatic, but I've had collections absolutely ruined by editors (and in such cases I'd recommend to contact support). To think that some of those might have been chosen as preferred translators thanks to their handiwork, simply because the customer didn't know any better, adds insult to injury. But again, I don't see a good solution. In my opinion, the best would be to get rid of edit jobs altogether, but they generate additional revenue.

    I'd love to see edit jobs either paid much better or reduced to purely checking for typos and grammar mistakes and leave the responsibility for everything else to the first translator, but I realize that wouldn't work either.

    Sorry for going off at a tangent.

     

    @gunnarbu

    You can see the changes at least for collections with TM, possibly in other cases, too. While the first translator can't read any new comments after they submit the collection, they can still write new comments.

  • 0
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    Gabriel

    I didn't know some of the stuff you pointed out, Chris. Thanks for your insight!

     

    Best regards.

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