[SOLVED] How do you politely tell someone their translation is full of errors?

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<a href="/en/translator/ferrisaurus" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1477175">ferrisaurus</a>
Joined: 10.11.2020
Pending moderation

as in error-riddled to the point of comprehension being severely impeded. A2-level grammar.

On the one hand I know learning another language isn't easy and I have no particular desire to pull down someone's self-esteem on a public site. Usually when I comment, I try to give constructive feedback and point out only glaring errors or provide advice on what sounds more natural, but I can't correct or give feedback on this one without essentially redoing the whole translation myself. The translation is into my native language of a song that I like a lot and can understand in its original, so it's more than a little irritating. I could pour myself a drink, close the tab and get on with my life, but frankly, I don't think this user should be translating at this stage in their language learning and they should know that.

What have you done in situations like this? Made a comment? Sent a PM? Left a rating? Poured yourself a drink, closed the tab, and gotten on with your life?


To what song and translation are you making reference to?

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/torpedo23" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1207103">Torpedo23</a>
Joined: 10.05.2014

Hey there (:

If the user hasn't been around for a while, I'd do the following:
- write my own translation and publish it
- rate their translation
- comment under the translation to warn other users of its poor quality

If the user is still somewhat active on LT, I'd comment below their translation asking for them to correct it (and maybe rate their translation as well?). If this user published that translation a while back, then there's a chance they could correct it themselves (if their level has improved). Otherwise, you can simply tell them that you're willing to write another version yourself (if this user is not super confident in the language they translated to, they shouldn't object, hopefully, and they might even consider deleting their version once you post yours). Doing this might be easier (and less time-consuming!) than going line by line and correcting their work, since, at that point, it'd pretty much be your translation!

Hoping that helps,
- Torp


Yes what Torp said seems like the best course of action

<a href="/en/translator/tristana" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1270313">Tristana</a>
Joined: 18.12.2015

[@Wowiwowow], I don't think exposing another member was Ferrisaurus' intention.
[@Ferrisaurus], this is a common problem. I agree with Wowiwowow's last comment.
Torpedo23's advice is usually the advisable course of action.

Moderator poromboessara 👨🏻‍🏫
<a href="/en/translator/alma-barroca" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1110108">Alma Barroca</a>
Joined: 05.04.2012

Give a rating and say something like *Thanks for your work, but maybe you'd like to consider adding the following updates I suggest below: list of updates/suggestions*. You'll often see me popping up in a few translations ask people to be polite, just don't say something like *Horrible, lousy job* or *Full of mistakes, doesn't need a place here* and it's fine.

If author is no longer active you can add a new translation directly.

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/kevin-rainbow" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1454922">Kevin Rainbow</a>
Joined: 03.05.2020

Did the author request proofreading?


I don't think this user should be translating at this stage in their language learning and they should know that.

I doubt that would make much of a difference if the person is already very eager to translate. If people don't point out the errors in his/her translations, he/she will probably continue to make them.

On the other hand, if the person ignores corrections and advice and continues to make the same errors over and over again, that would be different and I think he/she should be taken to task specifically for that.

<a href="/en/translator/ferrisaurus" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1477175">ferrisaurus</a>
Joined: 10.11.2020

[@Wowiwowow] [@Torpedo23] [@Tristana]
[@Alma Barroca] [@Kevin Rainbow]
Thanks for your input. I'll do as Torpedo said.