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Check, check and double check
Thread poster: Channa Montijn

Channa Montijn  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:09
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Feb 24, 2006

Lately I received a couple of requests from agencies not via Proz but through other translation sites ... “we are interested in working with you bla bla etc”. The test translation is usually about 500 words (however, some really expect you to translate 1200 words for free… totally different subject though -:)).
I checked all of them and the BB rating was really bad (ranging from 1 to 3).
I deleted those requests immediately...
Am I paranoia in saying that agencies with poor rating on the BB try to work around it by using other sites? Do you just delete those messages or do you refer to the BB for instance?


[Edited at 2006-02-24 16:58]


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:09
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
About BB and test translation Feb 24, 2006

Dear Channa,
If a new agency contacts me, then I always check with the Blue Board. It always works fine with me. If I see a great rating there, I accept working for them and I have never been disappointed.

However, if an agency asks me to do a 500 word test, I do not even bother to check with the Blue Board. It is totally out of question!

Good luck,
Monika


Channa Montijn wrote:

Lately I received a couple of requests from agencies not via Proz but through other translation sites ... “we are interested in working with you bla bla etc”. The test translation is usually about 500 words (however, some really expect you to translate 1200 words for free… totally different subject though -:)).
I checked all of them and the BB rating was really bad (ranging from 1 to 3).
I deleted those requests immediately...
Am I paranoia in saying that agencies with poor rating on the BB try to work around it by using other sites? Do you just delete those messages or do you refer to the BB for instance?


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:09
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Nothing wrong with being a businessman Feb 25, 2006

If these agencies have poor ratings on the BB, naturally they wouldn't try to contact you through ProZ. There's nothing wrong with checking on the BB, looking at their Dun and Bradstreet rating, checking with the Chamber of Commerce, or looking at any other sources to determine whether other people consider them reliable/capable of paying, etc. Suppliers of widgets do it often.

That said, there's nothing wrong with quoting them a higher than usual rate and seeing whether they're still interested. Suppliers of other goods and services have different rates for different customers.


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DBG  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:09
Member (2002)
French to English
Check, check and double/triple check Feb 25, 2006

Hello Channa,
Whether I receive direct requests (or think of sending a bid to an outsourcer I don't know), I also check first with the BB. Some of the direct requests are so obviously questionable though, that I just delete.
As an added precaution, I also like to do a search on the TCR (Translator Client Review) list , and of course visit the company's website. I've only just realized, after a few years, that one can view rating comments at Translators Café as a non-paying member.

I'm sure no matter how many precautions we take, any of us can be "burned" at some point, but so far I've been very fortunate. I haven't had a single client whom I wouldn't be delighted to work for again.
Re tests, I agree that 500 words is out of the question!There has been a lot of discussion on this topic, so I'd better not go on (and on)about it here.
All the best,
Diantha


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annakh
United States
Local time: 12:09
Member (2005)
English to Armenian
+ ...
better safe than sorry Mar 7, 2006

Yes, i always check on BB, google, company's websites for whoever may contact me.
If needed, I may also ask some fellow translators who left their reviews on BB or Translator's Cafe for more specific info on the agency that they worked with and which may contact me for a different language pair.
Everybody is always very helpful. Thanks.

And of course 500 words for a test... are you kidding?!
If they find 5 people and each is given 500 words for test, there they will have their 5-page document ready for FREE:)

i've read of such case , but not with translations. Women were called for an interview for a position of a secretary and requested to type on a computer 3 pages during the interview. They held the interviews for 2-3 days and had their 40-50-page file typed for free...

so everytime i come accross someone requesting so many words to be translated , i always remember about this case!:)


[Edited at 2006-03-07 01:40]

[Edited at 2006-03-07 01:40]


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
500-word translation tests Mar 20, 2006

I can't see anything wrong with them. They give the agency a better idea of your style, accuracy, ability to work to deadlines (all the usual criteria). However I also don't see anything wrong with an agency PAYING for this more privileged assessment of a translator. It is a business risk that they have to take and pay for. I always ask for payment on longer tests.

Don't forget that the majority of other translation websites also have feedback facilities.

Checking the website of an agency I don't find particularly helpful. I recently took on work from a UK-based agency who had a supremely professional website spouting all sorts about business ethics, providing a top class product, they had a hugely impressive client list etc etc etc. They were extremely convincing (they obviously had put a lot of cash into making the website, and probably do most of what they say, when it suits them). I had no hesitations and went ahead with the work. Later, out of curiosity and, lets face it, stupidity for not doing it before, I checked the BB, only to find that they are notoriously bad / slow payers... Fingers crossed for my money (not quite due yet so lets wait and see - hence I'm not naming them)... They may have a professional image for their customers, but that doesn't always mean much for the foot soldiers.


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
An afterthought Mar 20, 2006

I don't know, but sometimes in this online-based business you simply just have to take a couple of risks.

I wonder whether it is actually possible to off-set unpaid-for translations, whether in the form of tests or straight translations bidded for and won, against tax? Maybe worth checking that with your accountants. (As I don't have one, maybe someone would let me know if it is possible).


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