Fiverr Community Forum

Issue with a buyer

Hi Fiverr fellows!

I’d like to know what’s your view about an issue. I’m a translator (English to Spanish), and right now I’m translating a client’s website. His native language is German and he (or someone hired by him) translated his site to English. I’m doing the Spanish version using the English one as source text.

The thing is that a couple of articles have the worst English I’ve ever seen. Out of curiosity I pasted the German version on Google Translate and, bingo!, the English article is a goggle translation of the German one :frowning: .

So… what would you do in my position? Should I tell my buyer? Maybe he did it himself, and he already knows and it’s ok with it. Or maybe he hired someone, and been cheated…

What would you guys do? Do I tell him?


You are amazing for fixing the project.

I definitely recommend to tell your customer. It is understandable you feel awkward to tell.

When I encounter such cases, I politely recommend my customer to start with a clean slate if the translation is obviously wrong even at first glance.

Fixing any translated text once it was done by any programs is like trying to recover shattered meanings, and it is much more time consuming than translating the original.

I would also tell him the English version is not flawless and you have trouble working with it. I would however not mention that you check it on Google translate!!

I think you should let him know in a nice way. I think if he did it himself he would probably told you in advance, because it would definitely affect your work.

I think you should absolutely tell the buyer. In a professional way of course, ask them if they were aware this was a straight google translation. And then let them know that since you will essentially need to re-write some of the articles you would need to charge a bit more.

Reply to @annai80: Why wouldn’t you suggest that seller mentions it was checked on google? I would think it’s important that this buyer know that they need to do a bit more research when hiring someone for tranlation as well as checking it somehow to make sure they are not getting swindled.

p.s. - the other thing though to mention when you politely tell this guy it’s from Google translation, is to maybe ask if they are aware that Google translation is not that accurate?

It’s quite possible that non-native English speaking individuals would not have any concept that a Google translation is no good. I mean it’s Google, they are kid of the world in many ways, so I can maybe see how someone might think hey this is a free translation tool, I’ll just use that.

Reply to @belengarcia: Ok, fair enough I can understand that. I was just coming at it from the perspective that in a bad translation, the ideas can get lost in that bad translation too.

But glad you worked it out with the buyer and that it is not the whole project.

I will definitely tell him. It hasn’t been a big problem for me, with some patience and a little bit of imagination, I think that my translation has come out well, but I’ll revise it if he decides to redo the English text. I hope he does, because right now it seems as if Yoda wrote it; every sentence has the words in the wrong order.

Many thanks to all of you. You’ve been of great help. :slight_smile:

Reply to @belengarcia: So you are just going ahead and translating the poor English? I would tell him first before you actually spend any time to do it. Because if not, then you are just giving him a new website with sub par work in general.

Reply to @sincere18: Because as she said maybe the buyer used google translate himself. Besides, when she mentions google translate I don’t think it makes a good impression to the buyer, since he is most likely going to think that she is using it too.

Reply to @sincere18: Yes, I like the way you wrote it ;). If you tell him this is they way to go.

Reply to @sincere18: translating poor English is more difficult than translating good English, that’s for sure. But it doesn’t mean that the result will be bad.

When you translate something you don’t really translate words, you translate ideas. You have to reflect the tone and the message, it’s not a word by word thing.

If this article written in poor English were an isolated one, I wouldn’t have been able to translate it. But it’s a long project, and other articles are well written. I already know what the tone should be, and it’s more of a descriptive type of text than literary one, so my translation is fine. I just needed some additional time to do it.

Anyhow, I’ll review it later if the buyer decides to redo the English translation.

belengarcia said: translating poor English is more difficult than translating good English, that's for sure.

I understand and it's important to communicate this issue to the Buyer. If it's going to take more time on your end translating, I think it's fair to ask for them to purchase a Gig extra if you have that focuses on fixing this issue specifically. If you don't have a Gig extra for issues like these, I would highly recommend you include one as a part of your Gig.

Another idea is to be sure clarify in your Gig details the provided material needs be translated needs to be provided in perfect English. Otherwise, you run the risk of this happening again (and often).