A Thread for Translators

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Shawn » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:58 pm

>Foof<
Time to blow the dust off this thread with an honest translation question. Corporate bullshitPR materials love to refer to the company as:
商社機能とメーカ機能という2つ機能を有する企業

This usually comes out as: "a company possessing both trading and manufacturing functions." Do we really use "functions" in this way? :huh: Is this how we refer to a company that is engaged in both trading and manufacturing?

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by MacGyver » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:05 pm

Shawn wrote:Corporate bullshitPR materials
You got it right the first time. I hate this BS corporate speak both in J and E...
Shawn wrote:This usually comes out as: "a company possessing both trading and manufacturing functions." Do we really use "functions" in this way? :huh: Is this how we refer to a company that is engaged in both trading and manufacturing?
No and I agree I also dislike the use of 機能 in this way, although I'm not gonna tell Japanese people how to use their language (I've had it enough from them in the past trying to tell me how to use E!). I'd just ignore it and translate the sentence as if the word 機能 wasn't even there. How flowery you want to make it in E depends on how closely you want to preserve the BS corporate speak... :wink:
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:04 pm

Shawn wrote:>Foof<
Time to blow the dust off this thread
And remind me to send an email to that group! :clap:
Done.
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:08 pm

Actually no, email bounced.
Apparently I have to join the group or something?
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:26 am

SamhainP8 wrote:Actually no, email bounced.
Apparently I have to join the group or something?
It's a Google Group, so you need to join first. If you don't want to sign up, you can use theform at Honyaku Home and your job request will be forwarded to the list.

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:37 pm

Thanks Shawn that went through no problems. :thumbsup:
I’ll butt out of your discussion now!
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Mogura » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:07 pm

A friend of mine works as a translator-editor at a Japanese electronics company here in Japan. His division is largely responsible for translating (J to E) and proofreading software manuals, etc. The way they have the workflow set up is like this: Japanese (with limited English skills) translate the document from J to E, and native English staff (with advanced Japanese skills) "check" the documents for correctness, coherence, etc. Of course, what is handed off to the native English staff is an incomprehensible mess of shit. Oftentimes, they have to go back to the original Japanese document and retranslate everything (sometimes the original Japanese is an incomprehensible mess, as it's written by Japanese engineers with poor Japanese writing skills).

It has been suggested time and time again that the native English staff perform the translation work in addition to editing, but as the "translator" and "editor" roles are on different tiers (translator being higher than editor), the company does not want to "promote" the native English staff. So, that's how it goes.

But wait. His company, wanting to save money, has recently begun outsourcing the translation and editing components to a company in India. In other words, Indians are translating the documents from Japanese to English, as well as doing the proofreading checks. My friend's job is to "proofread" that which has already been proofread. He sent me a couple of samples of their work. I shit you not, it looks like it was run through Google translate or something like that. A fucking incomprehensible mess. Anyway, his company, rolling in its newfound wealth (of savings) has no intention of abandoning this model.

If Japanese companies really are outsourcing their translation projects to India, then this can't bode well for professional translators in Japan, especially if low cost takes precedence over the quality of product. Are any of you guys in translation seeing similar trends in your companies?
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by allblacks » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:12 pm

This happened to me once when I was asked to proofread someones translation. The guy was in Egypt or something and made the request on a translation site. He had semi decent feedback so i took it on. Went through about 4 pages of it and told him to take it back to the translator and do it again. This guy then told me to fix the translation. We had a huge fight about this. He insisted proofreading included fixing the translation. Long story short I got him banned from the site.

Totally put me off translation and proofreading etc.

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Mogura » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:18 pm

allblacks wrote:This happened to me once when I was asked to proofread someones translation. The guy was in Egypt or something and made the request on a translation site. He had semi decent feedback so i took it on. Went through about 4 pages of it and told him to take it back to the translator and do it again. This guy then told me to fix the translation. We had a huge fight about this. He insisted proofreading included fixing the translation. Long story short I got him banned from the site.

Totally put me off translation and proofreading etc.
Yeah. Similar to my friend's experience. They want to call you a "proofreader" and pay proofreader rates (which are cheaper), but the job oftentimes requires retranslating, which requires a higher level of skill and expertise (and which should be duly compensated)...
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Wage Slave » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:37 pm

I've had people put an academic text through Google translate or something and then deliver it to me saying it just needs proofreading. Of course it needs rewriting at a minimum and re translating great chunks of it.
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:25 pm

I only do a small amount of freelance work at the minute and my main job isn't translating (hasn't been for about 6.5 yrs now) but I plan to quit my job in a few yrs and get into freelancing full-time. Through my minimal freelance work and interest into getting into f/t freelance work in the future, I try to keep abreast of what is happening in the industry. The information I get from my sources (online and mates in translating both in-house and freelance) is that in some cases the rates have gone down and in other cases not so much. Really depends on the category of work I think.

Honestly, I'd like to think that there is still plenty of work out there and certainly my mates in freelance aren't starving although they do have waves of work. But I think this is more to do with translation in general rather than the economy cause my in-house mates, and same when I was in-house, have quiet periods and busy periods.

While I agree that there seems to be a trend of getting the best bang for your buck in the industry (of course this wouldn't be limited to translation) like any industry where quality is in the end more important than price many companies often dump the cheap Indian/Chinese etc translation companies and go back to native English speakers once they figure out the work is rubbish and they start getting complaints from their customers. Case in point, 10 years ago I worked at Canon for a year on a project to re-write their manuals for their multi-function machines cause they started getting orders, big orders, from Fortune 500 companies and were being told their manuals, amongst other things, were useless cause no one could understand them. So they had to re-write/re-design all their manuals as well as start using translators and translating companies that could give them the quality they needed. Not sure how much the project cost but it would have been in the millions of US dollars.

I think (hopefully not wishful thinking) that as long as you have knowledge of the area you translate and not just "good at Japanese" that you'll always get work. And most success translators generally work in-house to get those skills if they don't already have them. For example, I know a guy who started work in a law firm (as a translator) and got a law degree and opened his own translation company specialising in law. Another mate is in-house at a financial institution and plans to go freelance in a few years. And yet another worked at a patent office and is now working freelance doing mostly patent work (and on more than 6 figures US dollars a year on average although when he works, he works his ass off).
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Translators'/interpreters' seminar & schmooze-fest

Unread post by BergKatse » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:06 pm

Apparently there's a translators' and interpreters' seminar and networking party in Nagoya in a few weeks. Details here. Looks like a pretty good program.

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Translation Company - A Scam?

Unread post by Mogura » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:22 pm

I recently applied for a gig to do some translation/editing work on the side. The company responded, sending me several pages of documents to be translated/proofread as a "test". These documents suspiciously seemed to be client documents--as in this particular translation company may have been running a scam to get the documents translated/edited for free. Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid, and this is how things work, or perhaps the translation field is rife with scammers just like Eikaiwa. Can anyone with more experience regarding this comment? As for this particular company, I sent them a thanks, but no thanks reply...
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oDesk and other job websites

Unread post by Inakanosensei » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:19 pm

Has anybody heard of or know anything about a website called oDesk? You can search for freelance translating and proofreading jobs on it. I wonder if anybody has had any experieince or luck with sites like this.

Edit:

With just a quick websearch for Japanese tranlating companies, I came across a company called Aoki International. Some of the kuchi komi comments I found don't sound too good.

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by inflames » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:55 am

I'm wary of any of those online marketplace type websites just they're clearly putting the emphasis on cost and not on quality (if the people on the other end are even capable of evaluating quality). The fact that someone has a budget of $140 to translate a patent is a clear sign to stay away.

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Re: Translation Company - A Scam?

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:12 pm

Mogura wrote:I recently applied for a gig to do some translation/editing work on the side. The company responded, sending me several pages of documents to be translated/proofread as a "test".
If I was quite confident it was a scam I would do the same thing you did. Personally unless there are some very exceptional circumstances that call for it, I would never do more than one page as a free test. If a company asked me to do more, I'd either let them know that I would only do one page of said test or give them the option of viewing some of my previous work. If they demanded I do more than a page or no job, then thanks but no thanks. And that would confirm my suspicions in my mind. But if they were cool with one page I'd do it. If it is really a scam and they think they can get a trans job done one page at a time with a new translator each time, well, good luck to them! And I only lose a small amount of time. Presumably most of a translators time, except perhaps when you are just starting out/getting established, is spent translating and very little time is taken by doing tests.
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Re: Translation Company - A Scam?

Unread post by Mogura » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:57 pm

MacGyver wrote:If I was quite confident it was a scam I would do the same thing you did. Personally unless there are some very exceptional circumstances that call for it, I would never do more than one page as a free test. If a company asked me to do more, I'd either let them know that I would only do one page of said test or give them the option of viewing some of my previous work. If they demanded I do more than a page or no job, then thanks but no thanks. And that would confirm my suspicions in my mind. But if they were cool with one page I'd do it. If it is really a scam and they think they can get a trans job done one page at a time with a new translator each time, well, good luck to them! And I only lose a small amount of time. Presumably most of a translators time, except perhaps when you are just starting out/getting established, is spent translating and very little time is taken by doing tests.
That's pretty much how it played out. I told them due to time constraints, as well as concerns regarding being taken for a ride (politely worded, of course) that I could only do one page. One company was cool with it, but the one I that I suspected of being a scam job did not take it well, giving me an ultimatum (do the whole "test" or else no job). I told them thanks, but no thanks...
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by angryboy » Thu May 24, 2012 9:44 am

Can anyone enlighten me on the meaning or in this case the nuance of 軌跡 (きせき)
The dictionary defines it as (1) tire track; (2) traces of a person or thing; path one has taken; (3) {math} locus;
But in the context the teacher was asking me sounding like minutes of a meeting or some kind of record or summary
of a meeting or the like.
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by BergKatse » Thu May 24, 2012 12:53 pm

Was this a verbal thing or is there some text you can provide for more context?

軌跡 does indeed refer to tracks and traces.
There's a homonym for kiseki -- 奇跡 ("miracle") -- no?
Meeting minutes are 議事録.
Hmmmmm. 議席 perhaps?

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by angryboy » Fri May 25, 2012 9:24 am

It was just a verbal thing.Definitely not not miracle.
I`ll try to ask her again but both of us only being part timers we run into
each other about once a month if that.
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Shawn » Sat May 26, 2012 7:50 am

angryboy wrote:It was just a verbal thing.Definitely not not miracle.
I`ll try to ask her again but both of us only being part timers we run into
each other about once a month if that.
Context would help. Without it, you'll just have people making guesses based on what they looked up in their dictionaries. Can you give us a transcript of the conversation? :luck:

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by steki47 » Sat May 26, 2012 8:36 am

Wage Slave wrote:I've had people put an academic text through Google translate or something and then deliver it to me saying it just needs proofreading. Of course it needs rewriting at a minimum and re translating great chunks of it.
Back at Nova, I had beginner students use four tickets for a private lesson and made a request that the teacher proofread their speech. It was usually some Babel atrocity that was gibberish both to me and the student. Wasted 40 minutes and did not get much done. The students always seemed frustrated by the teachers' "failure". Can't polish a turd...

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Raelene » Sun May 27, 2012 1:15 pm

Does this say what I think it says, that cancer and heart disease rates have increased in Fukushima?
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17135518/nakate.pdf
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:30 pm

Just a simple gripe that I really need to get off my chest and this thread is probably the best place for it, considering what it's about.

So I did this translation that I got through an acquaintance (friend of a friend although I have met him a couple of times). He got a really big job (we're talking hundreds of pages) with a short deadline so he farmed what he couldn't do out to others. In the section I did, there were a bunch of place names for a country I know little about and to make matters worse, the Japanese/katakana is based on the non-English names of these places. Having quite a bit of experience at searching for shit I'm clueless about I've gotten quite good at it but no amount of googling has helped me with some of the names; as I say I know little about this area of the world and I didn't get hits for the Japanese names so basically I tried searching romanized versions of the names, then looking at maps, all sorts of things and still nothing for some of these names. As it is way faster for the client to tell me the names (they usually know the answer to these sorts of questions) and the deadline was rapidly approaching, I sent my translated doc to the guy who gave me the work and basically said "respectfully request you ask the client. Usually would do it myself but on this occasion obviously I can't so....happy to plug in the responses myself (don't expect you to do it) so please let me know."

Just a quick side bar on this guy's personality. As I say, he's a friend of a friend so I don't know him very well, but my friend tells me he is your stereotypical know-all yank. Even though he is still young (late 20s/early 30s) he has everything figured out, especially when it comes to translation and his job choice (freelance translator). Which is fine but he needs to realize that how he does things isn't the only way and in fact may not be the right way.

So he replies and says, "What I usually do is look up names and provide a name and leave a note if I'm not sure." I didn't provide any names for names that I'm not sure of but I did leave a note (obviously). But still, how am I supposed to leave a name if I don't know what it is???? Just guessing is bloody stupid if you ask me and completely pointless. I've never dealt with an agency or client that has ever recommended this approach. The rule in my experience is always, "if in doubt, ask." Farken dickhead. Fark him. I'll put a note with a random guess as he says then. He's returning it to the client under his name so fark it. :FU:
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by MacGyver » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:09 pm

I did a translation over the weekend that was a first for me: reverse translation. I've done more than a few translation checks, that is comparing the source text (Japanese) with the translated text (English) but I've never been asked to translate a document that has been translated in Japanese to check whether it is accurate or not. Anyway, so I thought the Japanese was a bit unnatural so I asked the wife to take a look and she agreed. I sent on my translation with comments in the file about strange use or outright misuse of words (for example, the translator used 会見 in the context of "meeting") and mentioned in my email to the agency that I thought the Japanese was unnatural and I had shown the doc to my (native Japanese speaking) wife and she had also agreed. A day or two later the agency came back to me and included a comment she had received from the translator. And I quote, "Actually the pointed-out wording issues were not serious. Japanese is tribal language and how a person perceives it is dependent on subjective judgment." :bs: :rotfl:
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by InTheColdLightOfDay » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:15 pm

"Japanese is tribal language and how a person perceives it is dependent on subjective judgment."
So does that mean that I speak perfect Japanese now? Sweet.
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:53 pm

If it's a tribal language then how the hell does one say ooga booga?

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:11 am

MacGyver wrote: I sent on my translation with comments in the file about strange use or outright misuse of words (for example, the translator used 会見 in the context of "meeting") and mentioned in my email to the agency that I thought the Japanese was unnatural and I had shown the doc to my (native Japanese speaking) wife and she had also agreed. A day or two later the agency came back to me and included a comment she had received from the translator. And I quote, "Actually the pointed-out wording issues were not serious. Japanese is tribal language and how a person perceives it is dependent on subjective judgment." :bs: :rotfl:
Wow, that's some substantial bullshit right there. (I'd pay good money to see a band by that name, too.) What's worse it looks like the translator is guilty of "Translating with a Dictionary." If your second language is Japanese, just say no to translating into it. :eyes:

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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:25 pm

Shawn wrote:What's worse it looks like the translator is guilty of "Translating with a Dictionary." If your second language is Japanese, just say no to translating into it. :eyes:
Yeah our guess is that the translator is either not a NJS or translates very literally as it was obvious that the English said say something like "In summary" and the translator has translated that as is even though that is not how Japanese people would say it. Even the translator's reply in English sounds like he/she is not a NES. I wonder if it could have been say a Chinese person?!?!? Wouldn't surprise me cause the doc I received back from the agency with corrections in the J it was clear he/she had made mistakes and not understood the English. Oh, speaking of which, he/she wrote something like "スカイフォールにならず" as a title and from the context of the doc, I assume the original E was something like "The sky didn't fall down." I pointed that out to the agency and the Japanese came back corrected. :lol:
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Re: A Thread for Translators

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:07 pm

MacGyver wrote:Yeah our guess is that the translator is either not a NJS or translates very literally as it was obvious that the English said say something like "In summary" and the translator has translated that as is even though that is not how Japanese people would say it. Even the translator's reply in English sounds like he/she is not a NES. I wonder if it could have been say a Chinese person?!?!? Wouldn't surprise me cause the doc I received back from the agency with corrections in the J it was clear he/she had made mistakes and not understood the English. Oh, speaking of which, he/she wrote something like "スカイフォールにならず" as a title and from the context of the doc, I assume the original E was something like "The sky didn't fall down." I pointed that out to the agency and the Japanese came back corrected. :lol:
:drunk: Oh brother. Chinese? Hell, they were probably using Google Translate. You have to wonder about some agencies. They can be as dodgy as an eikaiwa. :willnilly:

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