Am I responsible?



This summer I started to translate between english and hungarian. So…there is a lady who ordered from me multiple times, and in every order I had to translate 3 products from english into hungarian (in total 12 products, 4 orders). The products varied, there were potency increasing products, fat burning creams, breast enlargement products, anti-fungus creams and medicament against parasites as well (and others too). All these products seemed like a scamm to me, so when I delivered the order, I told her that,“I do not take responsibility for the text, use it on your own responsibility, risk.” The files she sends me are written mostly with BAD english, so it’s kinda’ hard to understand at a few points what she is trying to say.
So what my question is: Even if I tell her, that I do not take responsibility for the text, and she publishes it, someone buys a product, for example a customer of her uses one of these medicaments and might get ill and sue & prosecute her for false advertisment or I don’t know, the customer might have misunderstood something because of the incomprehensible way the information about the product was written that I translated. Can I get in trouble for this?


As you have clearly mentioned that you are not responsible for the consequences so I believe there will be no problem. Also, you just did the translation. You neither created the product nor sell it. That’s why, you are on safe side. :slight_smile:


Are you more worried about getting in trouble than about the possibility that someone gets hurt?


Since I’m not a doctor, I can’t be sure if it is a scamm or not, but it just seems like that to me. And I’m worried about the fact that it’s hard to understand what the lady is trying to say at some places, so I might ‘mis-translate’ something and get in trouble.


When I’m not sure that I can do the job properly because I don’t understand what the client is saying, and/or when their business is something illegal or unethical (like suspicious products), I don’t do it.

I’m not sure whether you’d be legally responsible for incorrect translation (there’s no contract, after all) or for someone getting ill because of a bad product (probably not). I don’t know what the law says about it (the law in your country, the law in her country, the international law…).

EDIT: If you’re asking whether she can come back later and accuse you of a bad translation, yes, that’s possible.


At the first translation, I saw the files, read them and ask her to send me them again but with a better grammar, so I can understand it properly. There was no anwser, however I still translated it as I could. I should’ve cancelled the order, but I didn’t want to get negative reputation on Fiverr. Even if she comes back later and accuses me of a bad translation, I hope nothing serious will happen, like a lawsuit.

EDIT: Today she made another order (3 products again), should I cancel it?


It’s up to you.


If you cannot complete a good translation because the source language is unclear then you should not do it.
Consider asking the client to get a proofreader to go through it or offer to proofread it yourself. If you do it yourself then send the proofread document to the buyer for approval before translating it.
This means that the buyer is responsible for the document and you can then translate it properly.

As to legal liability, I don’t think you would be facing any from this - the buyer is ultimately responsible for what they sell.


Thank you for the anwser!

I definitely don’t want to get in trouble or somebody to get ill because of misunderstanding something or because the product is a scamm. I did ask her to send me the text proofread but no anwser. I do offer in my $30 package proofreading, and I did try to proofread it for the most part, but where it’s incomprehensible, I just can’t do anything.
I even asked the lady if the product she wants me to translate is legit or a scamm, but obviously she didn’t anwser (even if it was, probably she wouldn’t tell me).


Forget whether it is a scam or not, as there is no way you can really know.
This is the 4th order you have had from them, you need to really get some communication with them as it will just continue to happen if you don’t. You may have to request a cancellation with the reason “Text is incomprehensible” and suggest a proofread/rewrite of the text. For all you know, they dont know how bad the English is either! The buyer in question is from Russia and may have got someone to translate Russian to English for them or thinks they are better at English than they really are. Both of these things happen frequently in translation on Fiverr.


Communication is definitely something that I miss a lot with the lady. Any question that I ask her, she doesn’t anwser even though she is online, but as soon as I deliver the order, a few hours pass and she gives me 5 stars for communication as well… I wrote an email to the Fiverr support about this, and I’m waiting for their anwser.