The relationship between client and translator needs to be one of absolute trust. It’s therefore important that the translators offer a revision with their translation. The client usually trusts the translator with a piece of text in a language they understand, only to get it back as something they can’t read. This piece of text can be an important document or copy that will drive a business forward. Sometimes it can even be a whole book.
What Is a Revision?
A revision is a chance for the client to assess if the translation is in accordance with their needs and expectations. In translation there is plenty of room for different interpretations. It’s easy for a translator to slightly mistake the tone or the overall meaning of a sentence. This can lead to a frustrated and unhappy client who is not happy with the translation because they feel it doesn’t represent the original text accurately.
Moreover, changes in sentence structure can lead to tone shifts which the client may disagree with.
Therefore, translators should give their clients a chance to evaluate the translation and tell them if there are any issues. Revisions give translators and clients a chance to work through issues and formulate a final translation.
Issues Arising From Translation Revisions
When clients aren’t fluent in the target language, it will prove difficult for them to revise a translation since they can’t understand it. Ideally, the translation should be revised by another qualified translator, who can bring up genuine issues. However, this will incur in more costs for the client, who will have to pay another translator for a revision.
If the issues brought up for the client aren’t fully justified in the translator’s opinion, it can prove difficult to find a consensus, leading to arguing and delayed payment.
Dishonest clients may take advantage of revision services to justify not paying translators for their work but keeping the translation afterwards.
Translators need to specify what their services entail including any revisions. At times, clients think translations include services like text formatting or transcriation. These services should only be done if previously agreed or added-on afterwards, not in a revision.
On the surface, it may seem like offering a revision is a sign of insecurity. A revision means the translation will be verified by another professional. On the contrary, revisions show that the translator is serious about their work and value client satisfaction.