ย 
Search
  • Laura Vuillemin

Translators and Disputable Feedback


I recently came across a LinkedIn post saying that clients were ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด right, and that review feedback should not be questioned. I donโ€™t agree.


๐Ÿ”ฅ


When you are a translator, the people who will review your deliveries are not necessarily linguists. They may sometimes not even be native speakers. "๐˜ž๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ," is something Iโ€™ve already read, as unbelievable as it seems.


As a result, you can end up having to face the following situations:


โ†ช๏ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐˜†๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ป-๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€

Sadly, this often happens when changes have already been made and the content published, so sending feedback just for information, assuming that reviewers know whatโ€™s best at all times, is not necessarily an optimum alternative!


โ†ช๏ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น๐—น ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€

Someone probably checked your delivery in a rush, making changes that now impair on the overall quality (e.g., inserting a nominal sentence in a list otherwise only made of verbal sentences, thus creating a big, inelegant stylistic inconsistency).


โ†ช๏ธ ๐—•๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ป-๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น

I had to deal with a reviewer who was literally saying that an official grammar rule from the Acadรฉmie Franรงaise was wrong. They insisted I used ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ-๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ when ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช-๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ was the right term (๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ is feminine but this doesnโ€™t mean ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช should be too here).


๐Ÿ”ธ


Iโ€™ve experienced all this numerous times since I started off in 2011. Being a translator is wonderful and fascinating, but we donโ€™t have to accept everything.


๐Ÿ”ธ


Translators are language experts. They know what to do with the target language. Thatโ€™s why, in French, I wonโ€™t notably do the following:


๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—บ ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป, because repetitions feel unnatural in this language. Instead, I will use synonyms. Nothing more awkward (and annoying) that reading ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ or ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ten times within two paragraphs.


๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป ๐—จ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—˜๐—ป๐—ด๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต ๐˜€๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ. French tends to be more formal, and readers donโ€™t really like it when you are being too friendly with them.


๐Ÿ”ธ


Donโ€™t get me wrong. I value feedback and I accept it when it comes from ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต. However, I canโ€™t nod in agreement when I am asked to implement errors.


As (conscious) professionals, it is our responsibility to let our clients know when their reviewers made mistakes that will damage their image (after these reviewers have damaged our own work ๐Ÿ™„).

Recent Posts

See All
  • LinkedIn
ย