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Thread poster: Hellen Varela-Fdez.

Hellen Varela-Fdez.  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 03:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 28, 2006

I have worked with a colleague who is a great person, but the interesting thing is that he never shares any information about the name of the client WE are working for, the name of the company or any other “administrative” detail. My colleague doesn’t have an agency; he works alone, or gets help from freelancers when he needs them. We have done more than ten jobs, lets say.

Is it normal that only the person contacted by the client gets this information? Is it normal that your name will not be known by the client or written in the credits? Do we need to make written agreements for this kind of jobs, I mean with people or colleagues, or even “friends”? What is your experience about this? Do you have any problem when working with “friends”? Do you share this "administrative" information with your partners in a translation project?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cada quien... Mar 29, 2006

Each to his own. I have never run into such situations when I work on projects with colleagues. We don't steal clients from one another, and in many cases they will simply give me the client when they can't handle the job, or I will give the client to them. Other times we set a price and a "commission" on work picked up by colleagues that they pass on to me, but they deal with the client, pay me and keep their commission.

As long as you are sharing fairly in the profits there is no problem I can see. Maybe your colleague feels uneasy because you're so good, you might take all the clients for yourself!

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Ricki Farn
Local time: 11:25
Member (2005)
English to German
Client's issue? Mar 29, 2006

Maybe the client explicity prohibits your colleague from "passing on" jobs (nondisclosure agreement; translator must have passed a translation test, & cie), and your colleague wants to minimize the risk of being caught. It can feel pretty queasy being on either side of such a deal - sailing under another person's flag or letting another sail under yours. (This said, I suspect that I have seen more translations sailing under someone else's colors than most people would believe in their wildest dreams, but of course this is never explicitly confirmed.)

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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:25
A question of perspective Mar 29, 2006

Hi Hellen,

If the client is your colleague's, I am afraid you cannot say WE are working for the client. I would say you are working for your colleague (who, in this case, has become your client).

To me, his privacy practice seems normal and right. Why he/she does it might be out of professional zeal or insecurity, but it really does not matter, I think, as long as you have information on your colleague (your client) so you can trace him/her, and collect your money on time.

I have clients who give me a lot of details on their clients because they believe the more I know about their business, the better I will understand it, and the better my translations for them will be. In other cases, even if my client does not tell me who his client is, it's easy to deduct the identity from the materiales received. Yet, in other cases, I receive a document without letterhead, and little else information. In all cases, I am comfortable, as long as I have complete information about the person/agency who is sending me the work, as those are the only ones I really want to deal with.

As for the translator's name appearing in the documetns translated, most of the time this does not happen and, once paid, the translation becomes the property of the client who ordered it unless, of course, you sign a copyright agreement, which would be the subject of a totally different thread.

As for working with friends (or relatives, for that matter), I am always a little skeptical, since sometimes the line between professional practice and friendship becomes a little blurred. For instance, some friends might think that just because they are your friends your 30 days payment rule does not apply to them, see? For this reason, I think I avoid working with friends. However, this does not mean I do not have a friendly relationship with my clients!

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Hellen Varela-Fdez.  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 03:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Really good to read this! Mar 29, 2006

Thank you Henry, Ricky and Maria!

Rosa María is right, my colleague is actually my client, however, sometimes I get confused when he says: “hey, don’t you think “we” need to have a website?”, “our client says this or that”.

Anyway, thanks for your comments! It was really good to read them!

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