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The role of an agency
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:24
Flemish to English
+ ...
Sep 8, 2006

What according to you is the role of a translation agency and what specifies a translation agency?

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Trevor Butcher
Local time: 04:24
Anything and Everything and Nothing Sep 8, 2006

Well, an agency just does a specific task or range of tasks for you. It could be one person who does everything or an organization subcontracting out the work. I suppose we tend to imply that they will subcontract out.


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:24
Italian to Danish
+ ...
I wish most agencies knew that! ;-) Sep 8, 2006

From an agency I expect that

- They have/find the clients

- They finance the job (none of this "I pay you when my client pays me")

- They issue a P.O. with ALL details of the agency and the specific job, including wordcount and payment terms

- They check the originals before sending them to me for translation to ensure that everything is OK (not filled with old tags from previous translations, in the right language)

- They provide me with additional material if available (links, photos, same text in other languages, if possible, TMs, glossaries)

- They are available at any (day)time during the job for inquiries

- They respect payment deadlines as I respect my delivery deadlines

That's about it, I guess

[Edited at 2006-09-08 09:28]

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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with Dinny + my two cents Sep 8, 2006

I would say that, from a freelance translator point of view, what Dinny wrote are the characteristics of a professional, well-organized agency.

Again, from a freelancer point of view, I would add:

- The agency proofreads the translator's job (or have it proofread).

- The agency is able to take care of the layout/formatting if needed.

- The agency confirms receipt of the translation and the invoice.

- The agency provides the translator feedback about his/her job.


[Edited at 2006-09-08 12:15]

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Sophia Hundt  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:24
Russian to English
+ ...
None Sep 8, 2006

I avoid working with agencies (but that's my personal bias), working only with one (they are German, and work like a clock, and only because they offer me jobs now and then). Otherwise I work with a publishing, which is my major direct client, and then just various direct clients. I simply find that the type of work coming through agencies is of no interest to me, but that's just, once again, my personal bias. (No offense to the agencies represented here!)

As far as proofreading, that's a very good point - I already have that benefit, since my husband proofreads and edits all of my work being a native speaker of my only target language.

[Edited at 2006-09-08 22:58]

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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:24
English to Indonesian
+ ...
A translation agency Sep 10, 2006

is a language broker, and a freelance translator is the real language service provider.

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:24
English to Turkish
Let me focus on my own work Sep 11, 2006

I mean, this is the role of the agency - at least in the best of the worlds So, I wouldn't have to deal with things that normally fall outside the work definition of a translator: negotiating and marketing, client education, DTP... you name it.

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