Translation missing from good section of letter!

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Solved
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members. The community moderator provided the following reason for archiving: case resolved

How excited I was to receive a new letter today from one of my precious children! Several years ago, I self-taught myself some basic Spanish using various resources, including the Rosetta Stone language program I invested in. Just for fun, I read the original version of my child's letter which he wrote in his very own handwriting. While I cannot read every word, I can get a very good idea of what my child is telling me about, and which questions he is answering from my previous letters. Again, how exciting to read those precious words straight from my child!!

Then, on to the English translation to fill in the details that I was not able to understand in my child's original Spanish (hey, I only had time to study the basics of Spanish). I'm soaking in every word, then after I reach the end of the letter, I realized that a considerable chunk of the letter was omitted in the English translation. Just to verify, I typed a few phrases into an online translator, and it most definitely confirmed that a whole section of the letter was omitted in the translation.

Now, I know that that staff who answers this forum is very efficient and diligent in dealing with problems like this, and I will eventually get the rest of the translation.

But, in addition, could you update sponsors on just how the translation process works now with the new system? When I began sponsoring, I was under the impression that Compassion hired people in the child's country to translate letters by hand. I am not sure, but I think with the new system that letters were supposed to be translated automatically by computer. Either way, it GREATLY concerns me that a whole chunk of my child's letter did not reach me. I don't see how a machine could do that. Was someone just careless? Did someone determine that it was not important for me to know that part? What? And that brings up another concern, how often are parts of the letters that I take time to write just omitted in the translation that is sent to my children?

I love my sponsored children dearly. I was under the impression that the relationship part of sponsorship is very important. I KNOW it is important to many, many sponsors. I would like to believe it is important to the sponsored children. It is very concerning to me that a whole chunk of the letter was omitted in the translation.

Photo of Beth

Beth

  • 276 Posts
  • 133 Reply Likes
  • frustrated and concerned

Posted 2 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Sandy Montoya

Sandy Montoya

  • 32 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
Good questions - and something I've also noticed & wondered about. It always seemed the translation portion is much, much shorter than the written letter - but I wouldn't know if something was missing since I can't read the original language, especially when letters come from Thailand or Ethiopia. And I've always assumed my entire letters were translated that I write to my children. Hadn't thought about missing translations on that end. I'm curious as to the response to your questions too. 
Photo of Shannon Massey

Shannon Massey, Employee

  • 1745 Posts
  • 301 Reply Likes
Hi Sandy, are there any specific letters that you would like me to send back in to be re translated? I would be happy to do so, if you have the dates and child numbers from any letters that you have noticed missing translation. 
Photo of Shannon Massey

Shannon Massey, Employee

  • 1745 Posts
  • 301 Reply Likes
Good morning Beth and Sandy,
 
First off, I do apologize that it seems both of you have received a letter, or maybe multiple letters that were not fully translated. I know this issue is very frustrating and discouraging. I want to ensure you both that this is not a typical thing that happens, and it is not something that is Compassion has decided to do, nor do we feel this is okay. 

As you know, we have been going through lots of changes to our online system, including our letter portal, and our translation process. Compassion had created a whole brand new computer based system to assist with translating the letters. However, when we began to use this system, we figured out that it could not process the amount of letters that needed to be translated in a day. This was unfortunately a huge setback in our plans and because of this we had to go back to having each letter manually translated. This means that at this time, each letter is translated in person. With that said, these translators are absolutely incredible at what they do; and they do so because they know the value of these letters. Please trust me when I say that each letter is specially cared for, but when translating numerous letters, there is always a chance to have human error. I do sincerely apologize for this. We are still working on creating a new system that will help with translation. Because of the value that we know letters hold, this system is being careful constructed from scratch to ensure that we can get these letters translated fully without errors. Again, I am very sorry for the frustration on this, I am sure that once our new system is in place, we will see a huge improvement overall, and we just thank you for your patience during this transition!  
Photo of Beth

Beth

  • 276 Posts
  • 133 Reply Likes
Ok, BUT... I still need to have ALL of the letter I just received from Manuel translated. Have you implemented that process?
Photo of Shannon Massey

Shannon Massey, Employee

  • 1745 Posts
  • 301 Reply Likes
Hi Beth! I see this letter from April 4th in the system. I have sent this back in to be manually translated again. I do apologize for the inconvenience! I know this is very frustrating when things like this happen. Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding during this time! We will get this letter to you with full translation as quickly as possible! 
Photo of Beth

Beth

  • 276 Posts
  • 133 Reply Likes
Thank you Shannon.
Photo of Beth

Beth

  • 276 Posts
  • 133 Reply Likes

I know that a new translation has been requested. I just want to add that I sat down to write a response letter to my child. I invested some time, carefully responding to things my child (supposedly) wrote about and answering questions that he asked. During that process, some things just didn't seem right, so I looked again at the original Spanish letter in my child's handwriting, studying it closer. It appears to me that not only was a section of the letter omitted in the translation, but that much of the stuff in the English translation was not even written by my child in his letter. I honestly have to discard the letter I had started composing in response to my child's letter, as I feel a bit foolish responding to things that I don't think he wrote. One cannot build relationships this way; just as I started getting the feeling that something was just not right, I have to wonder what the children think about crazy sponsors who come up with things that don't make sense regarding the ongoing conversation. (For example, if I write about how he likes to jump rope but he really likes to play soccer.)

WHY would a translator add things that the child did not write? And omit much of what my child did write? About the only part of the letter that does appear to resemble what my child wrote is the part about what was purchased with the gift money. THIS REALLY CONCERNS ME.

I will say that in my child's version of the letter he is responding to questions that I asked in past letters, so he must have received at least some of what I actually wrote.

(Edited)
Photo of Susan

Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

  • 7368 Posts
  • 1564 Reply Likes
Beth, I am so sorry for this error and for the incredible concern it sounds like this has caused. I also want to sincerely apologize that you are having to hold off on sending a letter until this error of ours is fixed. One thing that I have seen fairly often when dealing with situations like this is a translator translating several letters at once and accidentally attaches the wrong translation to the wrong child's letter. That could be what is going on here. Often translators have a stack of letters that they have to return within a week or two fully translated so needless to say we keep them quite busy. I have never seen a translator add things to the letter. Usually, there is a more innocent mistake involved like accidentally getting children confused or letters confused. Either way it is an error that needs to be fixed and we relish the chance to make it right. I look forward to being able to share with you what we found out about what was going on here. Thanks again for letting us know about this issue and for your patience as we correct it.
(Edited)
Photo of Beth

Beth

  • 276 Posts
  • 133 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled A matter of trust, not a translation error.

Previously I posted about a section of my child's letter that was not translated. That does not appear to be the case. Unfortunately, it appears that 2/3 of the translation is not even what my child wrote in his letter.

Beyond the greeting sentence, the first 1/3 of the translation does not appear to be a translation of what my child wrote. The next 1/3 of the translation tells how my child's family used the gift money. I can assume this is correct, as it seems to match the photos. (My child wrote about the gifts in the last 1/4 of his letter, so the first 3/4 of his letter seems to be ignored.) After telling me what was purchased with the money, my child briefly closed his letter. Yet the last 1/3 of the translation continues on with questions, prayer requests, and statements that do not exist in the handwritten part of my child's letter which I received.

So, 3/4 of what my child wrote was not translated, and the first and last third of the translation which I was given was not even from my child's letter. What happened here?

Once again, I find myself deeply concerned about Compassion as an organization, yet torn because of the commitment I have made to my children.
Photo of Susan

Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

  • 7368 Posts
  • 1564 Reply Likes
Beth, as I said on your other post, I am so so sorry for the errorin this translation. Please see my above post and one possibility for what might have happened here. It really sounds to me like the translator was confusing different child letters and they were possibly even translating several at once and it was regrettably leading to errors. A few weeks ago, Shannon sent an inquiry to our field office to investigate this and ask our field office to re-translate this letter. If there has been some other error here, our field office will correct it. Again, I sincerely apologize for this error and the level of concern that it has caused for you. We take integrity very seriously here at Compassion and look forward to correcting this for you. Thank you for your patience. 

Also, I am wondering if there is anything else that has caused you to be so deeply concerned about Compassion. Your last sentence makes me think that maybe there is more going on here, and if so I look forward to working to earn back your trust in regards that concern as well.
Photo of Beth

Beth

  • 276 Posts
  • 133 Reply Likes

Susan, Today I received an email from "CIC Queue" regarding the re-translation. First, it thanked me for my sponsorship to Manuel from Columbia. Manuel is not from Columbia. In fact, none of my children are. It is these types of errors that make me wonder sometimes...

The email also stated that I would soon be able to view the translation on my account. I already received an email (the normal kind when you get a new letter from your child) and printed the new translation 5 days ago. So, I do have the new translation - Thank you!

Photo of Christina

Christina, Employee

  • 1218 Posts
  • 276 Reply Likes
Beth, please accept our sincere apologies for our mistake with addressing Manuel's country as Columbia instead of Guatemala. I cannot express how sorry I am for the doubts you have about Compassion due the mistakes and system issues we have been facing. Please know that we working diligently to resolve issues as they arise and provide additional training to those in need of it. We genuinely look forward to earning your trust and proving our hearts for serving our sponsors and children with excellence. I am so glad that you do now have the new translation for Manuel's sweet letter to you :). Have a blessed day!
Photo of Jean Baptiste Ndahimana

Jean Baptiste Ndahimana

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
  1. Hello brethren ! It is good to subscribe to this platform and hear important tips and issues discussed  regarding translation. I am from Rwanda.I have been a Compassion International sponsored child from 1999-2017 and in programs like CDSP and LDP. I now serve as a translator translating letters from our local language "Kinyarwanda" to English. I therefore know more about translation and feel like I have what to share with you for the perfection of the translation work. Be blessed !!

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.