Poll: Do you find style guides provided by clients disagreeable?
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
צוות האתר
Sep 21, 2018

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you find style guides provided by clients disagreeable?".

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Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 23:25
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
No Sep 21, 2018

I translate a lot for the European Institutions and “The Interinstitutional Style Guide” contains all the rules and conventions which must be used and it’s extremely useful and beneficial.

http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-000500.htm

I worked for a while for a Portuguese media group and their style guide was also very good.


Connected Tr (X)
 

IanDhu  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 00:25
חבר (2005)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
Not just irksome, but at times misguided Sep 21, 2018

Some clients impose renderings that are unidiomatic, or plain wrong. One major French public corporation complained of my standard English renderings. It belaboured me line by line with the plaintive comment, "Why using...?", a raw rendering of "Pourquoi utiliser...?". Clients are entitled to service and quality, but they should also be aware of the need for guidance on occasions.

neilmac
Angus Stewart
María Paula Gorgone
Mike Sadler
Mario Freitas
Ashlie
Maria da Glória
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
דנמרק
Local time: 00:25
חבר (2003)
מדנית לאנגלית
+ ...
A couple of pages are fine Sep 21, 2018

I have my 'default settings', and so do others, both colleagues and clients.

I check clients' websites whenever I can, and I have even translated graphics style guides which include useful comments and preferences about text.

I have also looked at complaints which agencies have received, complaining about translators who have not followed the client's style. Here it is definitely up to the client to let agencies know their preferences. Unless American English was specif
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I have my 'default settings', and so do others, both colleagues and clients.

I check clients' websites whenever I can, and I have even translated graphics style guides which include useful comments and preferences about text.

I have also looked at complaints which agencies have received, complaining about translators who have not followed the client's style. Here it is definitely up to the client to let agencies know their preferences. Unless American English was specified, it is NOT an error to write organisation etc. etc. with an 's' and write colour, behaviour etc. with 'u'.
There are different conventions for using single and double quotation marks … and so on.
Punctuation differs from one language to another - I sometimes remove handfuls of semicolons when proofreading academic English written by Norwegians.

It is far more disagreeable to deal with complaints when the client is not satisfied. Most of the style guides I have received have been short and sensible, and often the same as my default choices. Where they are different, I bear them in mind as I translate for that client, and check afterwards - it's not a problem.

What is ridiculous is when a client sends 20 pages of style manual and will only pay for 15 minutes of QA, whatever that is... I turn down the job straight away!
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neilmac
R-i-c-h-a-r-d
Giulia Campos de Lima
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 00:25
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Other Sep 21, 2018

I rarely get style guides from my clients. I vaguely recall having had, if not an actual guide per se, instructions to use one term or another, but as I say, it rarely happens. I'd say about 90% of the time my clients trust me to be the arbiter of style and lexis in the texts I translate.

 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 18:25
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Agree with Christine Sep 21, 2018

A page or two is fine. But providing 10, 15, 20 pages, expecting the translator to quickly assimilate that information without offering extra compensation for the time involvied in doing so, and then reprimanding them when they run afoul of the guidelines is unwarranted.

[Edited at 2018-09-21 13:04 GMT]


Mike Sadler
R-i-c-h-a-r-d
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Giulia Campos de Lima
 

Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
קנדה
Local time: 18:25
חבר (2017)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
+ ...
No Sep 21, 2018

Usually one or two pages. That's okay.

 

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 20:25
חבר (2006)
מפורטוגזית לאנגלית
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Sep 21, 2018

What niggles me the most is receiving a tiny job of about 200 words and then having to read through War And Peace beforehand. It's quite comical sometimes and can be extremely time-wasting.

Mario Freitas
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 21:25
חבר (2014)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Sometimes, because they extrapolate style Sep 21, 2018

It happens many times, mostly because they set rules that have nothing to do with style. It's the client's right to determine the style they expect in the delivered documents. But when they "invent" rules and terms that are not applicable, it's disagreeable many times.
However, I no longer discuss these things with the client or intermediate (agency). I realized they place these rules bur hardly ever check them. If I don't agree with something, I'll simply not do it. I have delivered count
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It happens many times, mostly because they set rules that have nothing to do with style. It's the client's right to determine the style they expect in the delivered documents. But when they "invent" rules and terms that are not applicable, it's disagreeable many times.
However, I no longer discuss these things with the client or intermediate (agency). I realized they place these rules bur hardly ever check them. If I don't agree with something, I'll simply not do it. I have delivered countless jobs ignoring some of these 'rules' and I can count on my fingers how many of them generated any comment or request to fix.
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Fiona Gilbert Riley  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 00:25
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Disagreeable is not necessarily the word... Sep 21, 2018

Irritating at times maybe, time consuming yes. My "default" stems from writing my PhD when we had to follow the MHRA style guide. But that was more a question of punctuation in the bibliography, and I thank my lucky stars I wasn't citing information retrieved from the internet then.

But overall, unless the style guide is unreasonable, I think they are a "good thing".


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 15:25
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Annoying only if they deviate too far from the norm Sep 25, 2018

Most style issues for US English have long been settled by the Chicago Manual of Style. Other manuals that differ from CMOS are at least internally consistent. Some journals have unusual styles, but again, internally consistentl I have a collection of over 40 style manuals and once wrote a 200-page manual for an international organization based on CMOS with deviations based on reasons given by the committee that reviewed my draft.

If I do get annoyed, it's usually because the author
... See more
Most style issues for US English have long been settled by the Chicago Manual of Style. Other manuals that differ from CMOS are at least internally consistent. Some journals have unusual styles, but again, internally consistentl I have a collection of over 40 style manuals and once wrote a 200-page manual for an international organization based on CMOS with deviations based on reasons given by the committee that reviewed my draft.

If I do get annoyed, it's usually because the author made up some ideas from scratch that run counter to the generally accepted principles.
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Poll: Do you find style guides provided by clients disagreeable?

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