Mobile menu

Would you conclude business with them?
Thread poster: xxx xxx
xxx xxx
Local time: 12:51
Sep 11, 2003

Dear all,

this evening I have been contacted by a French translation agency asking me whether I would be available for a technical translation job of about 30 pages. This is the second time they try to order a translation from me. The first time, I was on holiday, so I declined the job. At the time I also made clear that I was rather into legal and economic texts and not technical issues and that after my holidays, I would be happy to hear from them again regarding my specialist subjects.

Concerning this second job offer, as I am aware of the fact that any technical translation I can do will suffer from a lack of experience in this field, I pointed out a second time that this was not my specialist area but that I thought I could do the necessary research when translating. But in order to be sure I would not work for several days and be told afterwards that, in spite of all my efforts, my translation was not good enough and that I would not be paid the agreed amount, I proposed to do a part of the translation (about 5 pages), which they would have to revise and approve before I would go on with the whole project, so that, if the quality of my work was not OK, they would only have to pay the first part.

Having replied this, I had a look at the Blue Board (I know I should have done this first) and had to learn that this agency has very low ratings (in fact, several of you had to threaten them with or actually had to undertake legal action against them in order to get the agreed payments).

How would you have handled the case so far? And what would you advise me to do when and if they contact me again tomorrow?

Thank you in advance for your opinion!

Diane


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:51
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Do you like to take risks? Sep 11, 2003

Some people do.

I consider that I already take risks without knowing about them before, so when I've been warned, I try not to take them.
If I were you I'd write immediately to them telling them exactly what made you change your mind (their ratings in the BB), and to forget about your proposal.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't do it Sep 11, 2003

Have you thought that perhaps they are contacting you, even when it's not your specialty, because they're avoided by those translators who are experts in technical subjects?

Perhaps they hope you don't know about them and their payment practices.

Anyway, be very careful.

Regards

Edwal


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Take a "protective" rate.. Sep 11, 2003

..to compensate the trouble and risk you are going to take.
If they won't accept it, you will have successfully avoided the trouble.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:51
English to German
+ ...
I would refrain from accepting Sep 11, 2003

Assuming that the BB entry is really bad, the only way you could possibly accept work is with prepayment. But even if they accepted that (which I wouldn't expect to happen...), the circumstances indicate trouble, which is why I would decline.

Good luck!
Best, Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:51
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
advance payment Sep 11, 2003

I guess this agency does not care much about the quality of the translation, so they will gladly accept anybody as technical translator who does not know about their paying practices.
Let them pay up front, but they won't like the idea.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 11:51
German to Polish
+ ...
or play stupid Sep 12, 2003

tell them you don't feel you can handle the task, but you know a very good technical translator, who is a true expert in the field and could be available, say, in 4 days' time, but charges extra for especially complicated technical texts. And simply see what happens. this usually works, you shouldn't hear from them again, and will be able to keep your peace and quiet.
i agree with those here, who mentioned that the agency must be in trouble and, therefore, would accept ANY worker (yes! worker) they could lay their hands on.
Be tough! You may loose a client but preserve your good mood. Honestly.
Best of luck, Agnieszka


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:51
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
That's what the BB is for Sep 12, 2003

One bad rating for an agency may be an accident, but several, and with legal actions mentioned, oh-ho! I'd say it does not look good.

If I were in your shoes, I'd follow the course of action suggested by Claudia: refuse the job and tell them exactly why. You cannot be forced to risk your precious time and work with people who don't have a good rep. Besides, I think Edwal may be right: their technical translators may have been scared away already.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxx xxx
Local time: 12:51
TOPIC STARTER
I declined! Sep 12, 2003

Dear all,

Thank you for backing me up. Before your comments, I was planning a strength consuming negotiation procedure, telling the agency I would require to be paid beforehand, which would delay my taking up the job altogether and also delay my going on after the finition of the first part... And, of course, I would not have given in concerning my rates. I would not have thought, though, to tell the agency straight away what was the main problem out of fear of being rude.

But when almost all of you said I should not accept the job and I read Claudias advice I decided well, why not tell them what is deterring me rather than follow evasive strategies like asking impossible rates or following the above strategie which most probably also would result in them not accepting. After all, it is not my fault they are in trouble and it safes me time and nerves.

I could also see the point in not waiting till they contact me again (after all, maybe they would already have been deterred by my initial proposal, let alone my rates I would have asked). This way, they almost do not loose any time required for looking for somebody else who might be willing to do their job (the poor one! - Considering this, I maybe should have adopted evasive and time consuming methods before declining the job altogether so that they would be in yet a bigger trouble finding another translator to exploit in order to meet their customers deadline. That would maybe have spared one of our collegues).

Anyway, I think that being rude in this case can be considered to be politeness or good business practice!

To cut a long story short, I wrote them immediately I had found out about their payment practices and that I would not be taking the risk. I really think this new "customer" would not have been worth all the trouble and I would rather have no job, which at least enables me to give more attention to my children, than one that is not paid or requires too much unpaid extra work in order to get paid!

Well, concerning your reactions to my posting, I must say I was quite surprised that, even though you unanimously advised me to be careful and, better, decline the job, the strategies to follow were quite different. So, if you have yet another idea, please share it with me and us, your experience might be of help when we are confronted with the next dubious job offer.

Thanks again for lightening my conscience

Diane

[Edited at 2003-09-12 06:50]

[Edited at 2003-09-12 10:10]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:51
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hi Diane Sep 12, 2003

Good choice. I read your post some time back and tried to imagine why such an agency would have low BB ratings -- that, on the translators' side. But I can also imagine how clients might rate them if "miscasting" were a habitual practice!



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
English to German
working outwith your field of expertise Sep 12, 2003

Hi Diane,

By the time I picked up your posting you'd already received lots of good advice and you'd already declined the job.

However, I noticed in your initial post that you were really torn as to wether or not you should accept a translation outwith your field of expertise. So you might be interested in my new post called "What do you do when you're offered work in an area outside your speciality" in this forum.

sparkie

[Edited at 2003-09-12 11:14]

[Edited at 2003-09-12 11:15]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:21
English to Tamil
+ ...
Tangential remark, sorry Sep 13, 2003

The question "Would you conclude business with them?" rang a bell in my mind. For the life of me I couldn't pinpoint the source of that ringing bell. I slept over the problem, giving the usual order to my subconcious in a loud voice: "Sub-concious, please find it". Apparently it was on a full run. Today morning, somebody in my house was mentioning the erratic water supply and at this instance the sub-concious delivered the link in the following steps: water>Watergate>Nixon>presidential campaign. Now the link is as follows: A frowning Nixon is shown with a caption under his image asking voters:"Would you buy a second hand car from him?"

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxx xxx
Local time: 12:51
TOPIC STARTER
:-) Sep 14, 2003

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

The question "Would you conclude business with them?" rang a bell in my mind. For the life of me I couldn't pinpoint the source of that ringing bell. I slept over the problem, giving the usual order to my subconcious in a loud voice: "Sub-concious, please find it". Apparently it was on a full run. Today morning, somebody in my house was mentioning the erratic water supply and at this instance the sub-concious delivered the link in the following steps: water>Watergate>Nixon>presidential campaign. Now the link is as follows: A frowning Nixon is shown with a caption under his image asking voters:"Would you buy a second hand car from him?"


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:21
English to Tamil
+ ...
Would you or would you not, Diane? Sep 14, 2003

I am intrigued by your entry, which seems to be devoid of any views on your part.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Would you conclude business with them?

Advanced search


Translation news





CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs