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My first proper translation job - I made a total mess of it!
Thread poster: smol_ss

Transflux (X)
Local time: 12:01
French to English
+ ...
Move on Jul 7, 2003

I also made a complete mess of my first real job, because of a number of factors. Not least because three new agencies called up in one week and I just said yes to all of them and ran out of time. It was a classic mistake which was humiliating at the time. I accepted the fact that it wasn't up to scratch and apologised to them for any trouble caused. In short I admitted my mistake and learned from it.
Yes it hurts to fail but you can soon move on to better days.
I haven't made the s
... See more
I also made a complete mess of my first real job, because of a number of factors. Not least because three new agencies called up in one week and I just said yes to all of them and ran out of time. It was a classic mistake which was humiliating at the time. I accepted the fact that it wasn't up to scratch and apologised to them for any trouble caused. In short I admitted my mistake and learned from it.
Yes it hurts to fail but you can soon move on to better days.
I haven't made the same mistake again. I turn down any work that I have doubts about being able to translate professionally in the time allowed. I have never had any complaints since then. In fact I am swamped with work most of the time.
You have nothing to worry about. Just know your limits until you gain more experience.

Best of luck
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xxx xxx
Local time: 13:01
Why it is important to have a print-out (IMHO) Jul 8, 2003

Becky Spangle wrote:

It’s probably because I didn’t grow up using a PC like kids today do,
but I find I always have to do a final reading in hard copy before
turning in a project. No matter how many times I check and re-read
on the screen, when I think it is perfect, then print it out, I always
find a number of errors in mechanics or grammar.

Why is that???!!!!!!!!!!! Does anybody else find this to be the case?
I know a number of people who do all their work on PC; and am hoping
with time that I can, also. It would save time, printer ink, paper, etc.


This is absolutely my experience as well.
Today, computers make things much easier than they used to be (my manual typewriter may rest in peace!) but I still find it extremely usefull having a print-out of my translation in order to check it. I find changing the manner in which one's text is displayed changes how you look on your text. At the end of my translation, generally I feel what I would call "textblind" and rereading the text on the same computer in the same surroundings as those which were present when I did the translation would only assure the text is grammatically correct and fluent. (Spell-checking is already done during input). But already when I switch from my PC to the notebook the text seems to be a different one. This is much more true when I print it out, but even then I find that it makes a difference whether I read it at my desk, or on a couch in the living room... Having checked my translation in as many surroundings and displays as possible gives me the assurance that I have not overlooked anything.

If the original text comes on hard-copy or is not machine readable, I also find it easier to check my translation by producing a printout and put it next to the original.

Regards,

Diane


 

Karine Piera  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:01
English to French
+ ...
The same for me, even worse Jul 9, 2003

Unfortunately for me (and for you), I was in exactly the same situation on last week, even worse, since I was 4 hours late....Imagine the agency, and their client. And yes, it was my first translation as well, and yes, I had the feeling to have blown it up... But I did sent my invoice, with a discount of course, and the company agreed to pay me. As far as I am concerned, and it seems to be the case for you as well, time was my main problem, since I don't really know how to evaluate the time for ... See more
Unfortunately for me (and for you), I was in exactly the same situation on last week, even worse, since I was 4 hours late....Imagine the agency, and their client. And yes, it was my first translation as well, and yes, I had the feeling to have blown it up... But I did sent my invoice, with a discount of course, and the company agreed to pay me. As far as I am concerned, and it seems to be the case for you as well, time was my main problem, since I don't really know how to evaluate the time for the proper translation or the double check.
Go ahead, don't pull you down!!
Best wishes
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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:31
English to Tamil
+ ...
In memoriam
Nor did I grow up with a computer Jul 10, 2003

At the outset let me give one information. When I bought the computer for the first time in Feb 2002, I had been in the translation field for more than 23 years and I was 56 years old. In fact I was resisting the purchase of a computer as I felt that an old man like me will be hard put to learn a new skill. But then I was overtaken by events and the computer was there on my table with a challenge. After 16 months I feel invigorated and I am now 57 years young. The fortunate thing in my case was ... See more
At the outset let me give one information. When I bought the computer for the first time in Feb 2002, I had been in the translation field for more than 23 years and I was 56 years old. In fact I was resisting the purchase of a computer as I felt that an old man like me will be hard put to learn a new skill. But then I was overtaken by events and the computer was there on my table with a challenge. After 16 months I feel invigorated and I am now 57 years young. The fortunate thing in my case was that I had the valuable help from 2 brothers (in their early twenties) who patiently explained to me the intricacies of the computer. In fact they were doing my typing and after I suggested to them that the translation could be retyped on the saved as copy of the original (this strategem I saw people using in an agency, for whom I used to work earlier), they expanded on the tip and taught me the dos and donts. I have never looked back afterwards. Initially I bought a printer but on seeing that it was of no use, I got rid of it.
I see here that many of the Proz.com members are much younger to me and I thank them with all my heart for making my life exciting thanks to the fora and the Kudoz questions.



Becky Spangle wrote:

It’s probably because I didn’t grow up using a PC like kids today do,
but I find I always have to do a final reading in hard copy before
turning in a project. No matter how many times I check and re-read
on the screen, when I think it is perfect, then print it out, I always
find a number of errors in mechanics or grammar.

Why is that???!!!!!!!!!!! Does anybody else find this to be the case?
I know a number of people who do all their work on PC; and am hoping
with time that I can, also. It would save time, printer ink, paper, etc.
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Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:01
English to Portuguese
+ ...
All comments are great Jul 10, 2003

Hello,

Well, the best thing is that you recognized your own problems. And didn't you say this was your first job as a translator? Well, did you want to be perfect in your first assignment? Gosh... that a tremendous pressure. We are on the business for a few years and didn't get perfection yet:-) Take it easy. Learn from your mistakes and you will improve your knowledge. You are on the right track, believe me.

All the best
Mónica


 

Aleksandra Mandrapa  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:01
English to Bosnian
+ ...
Oh, yes. Jul 11, 2003

I am the same way. I guess it's is something about the vision, I don't know. But only when I print it out, I am able to see everything clearly. Mostly they are just switched letters. Somehow it is hard to notice them on the screen. And even though they are not serious mistakes, a few of those can make translation look really bad.

And also, I totally agree - you should have had more time probably, and you were under a lot of stress, it was your first job. You are going to be fine, do
... See more
I am the same way. I guess it's is something about the vision, I don't know. But only when I print it out, I am able to see everything clearly. Mostly they are just switched letters. Somehow it is hard to notice them on the screen. And even though they are not serious mistakes, a few of those can make translation look really bad.

And also, I totally agree - you should have had more time probably, and you were under a lot of stress, it was your first job. You are going to be fine, don't worry. Good luck!

[... No matter how many times I check and re-read
on the screen, when I think it is perfect, then print it out, I always
find a number of errors in mechanics or grammar.

Why is that???!!!!!!!!!!! Does anybody else find this to be the case?
I know a number of people who do all their work on PC; and am hoping
with time that I can, also. It would save time, printer ink, paper, etc.
[/quote]
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Pat Jenner
Local time: 11:01
German to English
+ ...
seems the most professional approach Jul 20, 2003

I agree, on the face of it this seems the most professional approach. You are recognising your shortcomings, but as a novice there may be things you weren't aware of. Was the deadline ridiculously short (you will soon get a feel of how much volume you can handle per day), or were you misled as to the nature of the text? It's amazing how many 'general letters, not technical at all' turn out to be highly complicated. Just put it down to experience, you've learned a lot for future reference.
... See more
I agree, on the face of it this seems the most professional approach. You are recognising your shortcomings, but as a novice there may be things you weren't aware of. Was the deadline ridiculously short (you will soon get a feel of how much volume you can handle per day), or were you misled as to the nature of the text? It's amazing how many 'general letters, not technical at all' turn out to be highly complicated. Just put it down to experience, you've learned a lot for future reference.

Becky Spangle wrote:

A good businessperson is not perfect, but does compensate when services offered have been deficient. Of course they should pay you, without a doubt (They did receive service), don't sell yourself short, and don't grovel!

However, if you offer a discount, you will feel like you have done what you could to remedy the situation in a professional way, and thus will feel better; and you will be perceived as fair in the way you conduct business (in which case, although improbable, they might even give you another opportunity). Explain to them how you would avoid such problems in the future (and offer another small discount for the next project, in the event they might be willing to try you out again).

At any rate, you will retain your pride this way. Something similar has happened to me (and was a valuable lesson for me, too), and this is exactly how I handled it. Without a doubt, time management was the real issue here, and is something that every translator has to learn.

And, there are many other jobs and clients out there.

Cheers,
Becky
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