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Translating bad contents

A little frustrated about an order I’d delivered to the buyer 2 days ago. It was a translation of 14000 words… in 24 hours (buyer insisted on urgency… and I was handsomely compensated, not complaining here!).

In the discussion before the order, I understood the context of the materials and what the buyer needs. He ordered and sent me the contents… the source is written in a way that more than half of it makes not much logic.

To cut the story short, I finished the translation. It is accurate to the source material and makes more sense than its original counterpart.
I proofread (and minor edit) his original files to him, pointing out several errors and illogical sentences… hoping that he will understand.

Technically the translation is excellent, but I translated bad quality content, which is probably not good enough to serve its purpose… for commercial use, and I am wondering whether the buyer will give me a 1* review and insist it’s my fault.

I wonder if I should talk to the customer service first. :-/ In case I do get a bad review. I am probably at fault for not canceling the order… I didn’t think of it, because the portion I read briefly is the other half that does make sense.


Don’t do that. You would likely get a warning for feedback solicitation.

It’s purely Buyer’s decision to leave feedback or not. Why do you think Buyer would leave 1*?


I would say it was a translation done by some sort of app. I refuse to proofread those.


This is why I differ. I did some of the most complex proofreading tasks for tech companies who developed app description. It was a success.

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The translation is good. The contents are just as good as it can be, I gave it an honest read… I wouldn’t like it if I am a good Chinese reader. He can dismiss it as bad writing (which is different from translating).

If I don’t know it is translation work. I will think that it is written by a child… which is why I think I might get badly reviewed.

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It is an American company, I think the original file is rightly in English (and not translated).

I wouldn’t know about this (translation app). I think some of it is written by an individual with not-so-fluent English, mixed with others that are professionally written.

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Typically it is google translate. I have proofread legal contracts and the like. My buyers have always been happy. But when any buyer sends me a document that has been put through Google Translate, much of it does not make sense.

For instance, in the freelancing world, we talk about gigs. Google translates calls them orchestras! And so it goes through the whole document. Words are misused, and the proofreader is left to figure out what is being said. The time these types of documents take to proofread is not worth my time.


Mine has professionally written content, “enriched” by a non-native writer… not google translate. I’m sure it will catch you off guard too.

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