Hello everybody, I'm having a problem with so-called second passes and I'm wondering if anybody had similar experiences. I don't very often have a look at how my jobs get edited at stage 2, but sometimes I do - out of curiosity and also because I'm hoping to learn. Sometimes I actually do learn something, but very often something else happens: I see that someone changed my initial translation so that there are now mistakes in it. I mean, real mistakes, sometimes spelling, sometimes meaning. Must have been 3 or 4 times, maybe more often, and I didn't have the time to compare a lot in the short time I've been working for Gengo.
I know everybody makes mistakes, we are all human. But just changing something for the sake of changing and then not even being clever or thorough enough to change properly so the customer gets a good translation. That really bothers me! And sometimes I take great care to find the right expression (because I really love translating) just to find the job unexpectedly going to second pass ... Also, I'm getting confused - was it possible that I made this mistake (I don't copy and save my workbench translations)? But then I would expect a proofreader to spot such a mistake and correct it.
It seems to me that this is a relatively new editing system, but frankly not a very good one. I don't really mind having someone look at my jobs and changing something if justified. On the contrary. But I'm afraid in reality customers are paying more to get an extra-good translation only to get a final translation that has more mistakes in it than the initial translation would have had. The upside: When I myself am editing jobs I take extra care not to mess up a good translation and I never change anything that I think is ok, except when I'm really convinced to have a better-working expression at hand.
I agree that it's a less than ideal system, but as it brings in additional money, it's probably here to stay.
One additional problem I have with it is that it cuts the relationship with the customer short. You can go the extra mile for a particular customer, but if they want to pick a preferred translator, the proofreader is selected by default and the original translator not even an option. At least that's how it was a while ago and I didn't test it again. Of course there's also the possibility that the first translator did a bad job and the proofreader had to invest a considerable amount of work to improve the translation.
Then the reward for proofreading is quite low. Not exactly an incentive to do a thorough job or even necessary research.
On the other hand the proofreader takes complete responsibility for and ownership of the translation. While it can be terribly annoying to have something changed for no apparent reason or even made worse, especially if you take pride in your work, it's best to acknowledge that this translation is no longer yours. Also while it does happen, it doesn't happen too often, at least in my experience.
If a serious mistake is introduced, I'd report it to support, though.
Personally I've found that proofreading isn't worth my time as it will be reviewed the same way as a regular job for a considerably lower reward. So it's mostly a big stick and a tiny carrot. Like mentioned above, it does offer the slim chance to "steal" a place as a preferred translator (to put it cynically) if you are ok with that and want to see it as a plus.
Lastly there is the chance of the customer not answering questions in time, so all of that is left for the proofreader to sort out, for the same small reward. Sometimes this can impact turnaround times drastically if no one is willing to pick up a collection like that.
If I read through the translation and find no mistakes, I might accept an edit job if it's still available by then, but that's about it. I suggest that many act similarly and while edit jobs can only be picked up by Pro translators, they are probably not picked up by more experienced Pro translators too often.
How can you see the edited version?
If I recall correctly, that's only possible for collections with TM, perhaps only until completion.
Doker, You can see it as long as it is in your second pass file.
I see only my version.
Good point Chris. Probably edit jobs are picked up by overly eager new Pros who do however not have the patience to read a second time what they themselves have changed. And you are right, some edit jobs are more complicated than doing your own translation, but for far less money. I still take such jobs most of the time just to gain experience with Gengo translations.
Then nothing has been changed by the editor, doker. I guess.
Doker, I had another look. You cannot see the history of the editing process the way you can see what took place before (like earlier rejections by other translators, which you can see). But the changes are there. I reported a false "correction" and I can now see it has been recorrected.
I don't really look at that stuff very often, as I don't have a lot of time to do that, but still a high percentage of corrections have had new mistakes so far. I guess I should just stop caring so much ...
I guess there is a demand as it gives customers an additional sense of security, plus it brings in a bit of extra money. But in the long run, most customers seem to opt against it anyway.
If you notice regular smaller mistakes, it might also make sense to note them down (job ID and mistake) and report them as a bundle, in case there is a particular bad apple or simply to make a point.
Good idea Chris, thank you!
Yeah, this feature is such an annoyance and unnecessary time sink, especially if you're the first translator. I usually write some comment or question for each job, because customers almost never bother to give enough context to exclude the possibility of multiple meanings (e.g., short English phrases that could be read either as button labels or as imperative sentences, which require very different grammatical constructions in German). Or because there are issues of me trying to understand a very badly written English source text (almost always the case with Asian customers). But I don't wait for an answer anymore, because in my experience customers almost never manage to answer within the time allotment, and with the tiny earnings per job, I can't afford to sit on it for an hour and block my access to other jobs. So I normally post-edit my translation later, if and when the customer answers. But with these second pass jobs, my contact with the customer is suddenly cut off without any warning. And then I have to spend even more time to write another comment explaining this to the customer, and that they'll have to hope that the second translator is willing to invest the time to discuss things (unlikely due to the even tinier pay), and that my comment may not apply to the second translation that they'll get to see anyway. I don't even know whether the customer will see this message that I sent after the job was picked up by the second translator - I certainly have never received a message back from the customer once a job went into second pass mode, so I assume that only the second translator gets the customer messages displayed from that point onward.
At the very least, Gengo should mark jobs which have a second pass scheduled, so the first translator can avoid wasting all this extra time on futile communication attempts!
And, yeah, after reading the result of second passes of my translation texts a few times (almost always no change or a change for the worse), I have had to learn to stop being perfectionist about this. If the job goes into a second pass, I have to tell myself it's not my responsibility anymore, wash my hands off it and move on. If the result is worse than what I wrote originally, it's Gengo's fault for implementing the feature badly. (I.e., paying so little for the second pass that no-one with any professional-level skill will bother with the editing jobs.)