Friday, May 23, 2014

That urgent short proofreading assignment ...

Yesterday evening I was contacted by an agency if I could take over a proofreading assignment for a banking app from Italian to German. I felt something strange in the air and offered a fairly high price knowing that very likely it would take ages to find out what was used there and how. Lately you get Excel-files for apps that use mainly single words without real connection, because you understand from the graphics and the context what needs doing. I got an answer with loads of questions like "how good do you know banking software" - well, actually I translated a UI some time ago and I am using such services in German, so normally there shouldn't be too much of a problem, provided the source is good enough and I have at least screenshots to understand what was used where. They told me also their budget was "x", so I proposed to meet somewhere in the middle. The file arrived approx half an hour ago. Excel ... sic - no layout at all ... no way to understand what was used where and in many cases more than one option for a translation. So I started, did some work and sent it back underlining the difficulties the translator had and that I am having as well. Some translations were clearly wrong, but still one could have asked for additional information. There are two things I am wondering about now:
1) An agency that accepts to translate apps should know that layout for mobile phone apps is VERY relevant, since it can deeply change the meaning of a single word. Why didn't they ask for additional material immediately=
2) The translator was facing the same I faced: why didn't he/she ask for further materials before actually translating? I mean he/she did the best possible in these circumstances, but ... first do a whole lot of work and translate and write comments?
Hmmmm ... let's see what comes out ...

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