Recently, we have been asked to edit a translation, which had been completed by another translator, but rejected by the customer due to poor quality. This situation is quite typical, and I will take this opportunity to explain our policy for such cases.
An agency we work with assigned a customer’s order to one of their vendors. When the translation was completed, the customer didn’t accept it because of insufficient quality. The agency forwarded this claim to the vendor, but they rejected it, insisting that the translation was of high quality. Faced with the rejections from both parties, the agency had to use us to obtain a more objective, independent third-party opinion. They asked us to take a quick look at a piece of translation and provide a report of any findings. Our check proved the customer’s claims to be correct: the translation included obvious errors of several types and was not exactly perfect in terms of style. Based on this report, the agency asked us to edit the translation, but we refused. Then, they requested to retranslate the text completely.
So, what is our approach to this type of situations?
Firstly, we almost never accept any translations rejected by a customer for editing due to the reasons below:
- For editing, we accept professionally translated texts that, as we assume, do not contain any errors. If the translation includes obvious errors, this means that the translator failed to do their job well. So, it is not editing we speak about here, but rather specifically hunting down and correcting multiple errors. Obviously, it is the original translator’s job to correct those errors, naturally free of charge.
- This type of editing requires as much effort as a translation from scratch. In terms of mental effort, hunting down the errors is even more exhausting than a translation from scratch due to higher responsibility.
- There is an increased risk of another argument, now between the initial vendor and us. The agency usually sends the edited translation to the initial vendor and, based on the corrected errors, either requests a significant discount off the original price, or refuses to pay at all. This can result in an argument similar to the one between the vendor and the customer: the vendor will claim that the editor is wrong or biased.
Secondly, we consider translation from scratch very carefully. Since the customer didn’t like the previous translation, they might have high expectations. This increases the risk that the customer will reject our translation in the same way, as with the original translator’s job. Therefore, we will need to put more effort into it and will be willing to increase the price in a prorated manner to cover the additional costs. Also, where the customer’s claims to the initial vendor are preferential, we tend to completely refuse the retranslation job, since such claims mean that the customer has specific translation requirements. And there is basically no way for you to meet those requirements without knowing them.
To make sure the translation you purchased is flawless, contact us for Russian translation editing.