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Hi all, 

This a topic that I have been thinking about getting started for awhile. There are a couple of situations that we see from time to time (a job violates the Gengo Policy, we need more context, a customer ordered a job twice, etc.) and rather than everyone having to compose a unique message each time to inform the customer, it might be nice to have a sort of repository that we could all draw on to send these sort of messages consistently. Business Japanese is tricky (I'm certainly no expert!) and it would be all too easy for a small error to make a customer lose confidence in Gengo's quality or come across as rude. For example, in the former category, there is an identical comment that I see pasted a lot that says something like "翻訳に必要な文脈が必要とされており" which seems redundant. In the latter category, there was a recent comment that said something like "同じ記事を2回も翻訳したいですか?"

I'll get the ball rolling with a general question. What does everyone use as a salutation for comments? The situation on Gengo is unusual because we never know whom we are writing to. I see お客様へ used a lot on Gengo, but I have not ever seen this in Japanese business writing in my other work (the exception being things like "お客様へのお知らせ"). The ”へ” in particular seems too informal for me, but I do not know if this is the case. If I knew the customer's name, I would never write 佐藤様へ, just 佐藤様 to start off a letter or e-mail.

I skip over the "お客様" entirely and use "お世話になっております。" , or "いつも大変お世話になっております。" for repeat customers. Does anyone have any input on whether this is appropriate for the situation?

11件のコメント

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    Evan

    Hello,

    I think what you are proposing could be really helpful! A standardized set of responses for common correspondences that have all been looked over by someone with a good feel for appropriate business language would be amazing. Either that or a new style guide that outlines the type of language Gengo would prefer we use would be helpful as well. Obviously we can't have a set of responses that cover every type of issue we encounter, and we also don't want our communication to become standardized to the point that it comes off as robotic. But, a general outline could go a long way in terms of productivity. If a new system or style guide is too costly and/or time consuming, maybe at the very least we can all start listing our favorite set phrases and salutations, as well as the situation that warrants them, and try to come to a general consensus of which sound the best. Then we can reference this thread or make a Google doc or something so that we can copy/paste from it as needed.

    Evan

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    Minora

    This would be immensely helpful. I've sometimes adapted my comments from those I've seen left by other translators. I tend to start with ご利用いただきありがとうございます... I figure even if it sounds a bit off, the client ultimately wants good quality translation in the target language, not necessarily perfect fluency in the source language. But better comment quality = better satisfaction, so that's a good idea!
    Especially since I think most Japanese clients aren't fussed if you follow a standard format.

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    Tindy

    Oh, goodness do I ever want this! I've been living in Japan for a few years so I'm used to hearing business Japanese, but as I've never formally studied it I never know what exactly I should say!  I used to start with こんばんは、今度の翻訳です。but then I realised... that's weird.  So I stopped that, and now I say お客様、○○○.   In my most recent translation it's a recent customer, so I started out with お久しぶりです。このたびありがとうございます, which I'm pretty sure is at least 50% not correct.  I generally just try to compensate for my failings with a lot of いただけないでしょうか and よろしくお願いいたします's everywhere.

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    Megan Waters

    Hi guys,

    Another translator mentioned this to me recently and think it is a really good idea. We could add this to the existing style guide or make a special shorter one for this content. If you could come up with the situations/Japanese phrases that you think you would need in these situations, I could ask the ST to write the phrases or check the ones you have so we can create some guidelines. Just let me know what you need and I can help!

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    ikoeriha

    日本語を使用する依頼主にコメントを書く場合、私は次の2つのパターンで対応することが多いような気がします。


    1.お気に入り翻訳者として、何度も発注されている場合:「いつもお世話になっております。(本題に入る)以上、ご回答のほどよろしくお願いいたします(または、以上、念のためご報告いたします)。 」

     

    2.それ以外の場合:「この度はご依頼いただきありがとうございます。(本題に入る)以上、ご回答のほどよろしくお願いいたします(または、以上、念のためご報告いたします)。 」

    Gengoのようなプラットフォームで丁寧すぎると違和感があると思います。なので挨拶や謙譲表現は最小限にして、できるだけ明瞭かつ簡潔な文章でコメントを書くようにしています。

     

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    Heidi

    @megan this is an old thread but I'd like to make a request for a standard explanation for content that is inappropriate for the level it is placed in. There is currently a huge PP presentation set at standard level, but the content is clearly business/pro level. I wanted to flag the job but it seems we have to put in an explanation and I wanted to be clear without being rude. It would be nice to have a standardized version as from what I've seen, flagging issues generally are due to content being places in the wrong category.

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    Heidi

    @megan this is an old thread but I'd like to make a request for a standard explanation for content that is inappropriate for the level it is placed in. There is currently a huge PP presentation set at standard level, but the content is clearly business/pro level. I wanted to flag the job but it seems we have to put in an explanation and I wanted to be clear without being rude. It would be nice to have a standardized version as from what I've seen, flagging issues generally are due to content being placed in the wrong category.

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    Megan Waters

    @Heidi: Do you mean like a standard message you can give to customers explaining why the content is not suitable for that level? Like a kind of template you can use?

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    Heidi

    Yes, Megan, that is just what I mean. I actually saw one today written by another another translator which was perfect and I have filed it away for future reference.  I am not sure if I can copy and post it here without permission from the translator, but it's still up on the dashboard 12 hours after the job has been flagged...

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    Megan Waters

    Hey Heidi, that's a good idea. If you (and maybe other translators, if they are interested) want to submit some ideas here then we can make some sort of resource we can put on the website and you can use. Or I can ask the senior translators to put something together.

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    b.benjaminson

    The repository will not work for individual questions and comments about the translation content, other than for standard greetings.

    I would like to see Gengo change its policy to officially permit native English translators to write to the customers in English.

    This is because, as a J to E translator, I have (sort-of) solved this problem for years by writing to all customers, including Japanese-speaking customers, in English. I think that this may be breaking some rule ("write comments in Japanese") but writing proper business English seems less risky than writing lousy business Japanese. 

    This has been a success as far as customer communication, because most customers have no trouble reading English. They can be encouraged to write back in Japanese, and then you have an efficient communication loop.

    I strongly agree with having a repository for standard types of concerns such as the content is too technical and the job falls outside of Gengo scope.

    But as far as I know, and based on my experience 5 years ago when Gengo was first formulating its policies,  commenting on the content/rate mismatch is inappropriate. if a customer wants to pay the minimum, they are completely free to pay only the Standard rate for even complex jobs. I wish this could change but it probably won't because there would be too much work involved in reviewing each job. Therefore, I don't know why there would need to be a standard comment that tells customers that the content should be assigned at a higher rate.

     

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