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Cooperation with other freelancers - how to make sure you receive what you\'ve ordered
Thread poster: Sonja Tomaskovic
Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:31
English to German
+ ...
Oct 29, 2002

Hi there,



just lately I received a high-volume translation job, and I decided to split the job in two and give one part to a fellow freelancer and translate the other part myself.



I specified the subject, the deadline, the amount of words and the pricing before in my first mail and the translator accepted the job.



Quite greenly I believed everything was alright until the translator delivered the job. The translation was of very bad quality.

More precisely, the translator was obviously completely UNfamiliar with the subject. Above all that, the person did not have a basic knowledge of English. I received such sentences like \"Test of being hanger\" (i.e. \"Hunger test\") or broncal (instead of bronchial) etc.



I had to proofread the whole translation, additionally to translating the part I had left for myself.



Now I was wondering whether it makes any sense to let the person sign an agreement beforehand.



If so, does anyone know if an agreement template or so exists?



I tried to set up one myself, but I am very unsure whether it is realistic or not.



I\'d appreciate any help.



Regards,



Sonja

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-10-29 13:00 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-10-29 13:10 ]


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Dinorah Maria Tijerino-Acosta
Local time: 20:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Business is Business Oct 29, 2002

And I would say that it would be a good idea to make the person sign an agreement before hand. Of course in this case, is already too late. But for future jobs, an agreement is not a bad idea. That way you cover yourself and avoid doing extra work, furthermore you have everything in writing in case of any misunderstanding. I don\'t have any agreement template, but I\'m sure other prozians will and might help you. Also I\'m pretty sure you know what you want and what to expect from the other translator and you\'ll be able to put it on writing. Good luck!

Saludos,

Dinorah


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:31
English to German
+ ...
Agreements only work unless you need them... Oct 29, 2002

Hi Sonja,

I\'m afraid you won\'t solve this issue by having someone sign an agreement - I guess this person would have signed anything to get that job...



I closely cooperate with 15-20 colleagues, and the only agreement we have is a declaration of confidentiality - the moment I would have to enforce any provision is already too late. The only way to make sure you get the required quality is to start by outsourcing smaller, less time-critical jobs before joining forces for a \"big one\".



I realise this doesn\'t help you much... vis-à-vis the translator concerned, you should clearly identify the deficiencies, and try to negotiate a price reduction.


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 09:31
English
+ ...
Have your subcontractor do a test Oct 29, 2002

Next time, send the candidate about 200 words of text and await the result. As for agreements, they work well if both parties are acting in good faith and they cover enough potential problems. But if one person is acting in bad faith, the best contract doesn\'t help.

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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:31
Latvian to English
+ ...
Agree before you start...... Oct 29, 2002

Hello Sonja



Undoubtedly you have learned a lot from this unfortunate incident - and I sympathise! Unless you are entirely familiar with the other person\'s level of skill, you will always be taking some sort of risk. However I believe that a written agreement, stipulating financial penalities for poor work, CAN act as an incentive. Please contact me via e-mail, if you would like me to send you a copy of the agreement that I use.



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nettranslatorde
Member
Russian to German
+ ...
Agreements are a good idea, but it would be better to work with translators one knows Oct 29, 2002

Hallo Sonja,



Ich hatte dieses Problem auch vor einigen Monaten, als ich wegen eines anderen Auftrags eine Übersetzung weitergeben musste. Das Problem ist, dass man nie sicher ist, ob man wirklich Qualität erhält, wenn man den beauftragten Übersetzer nicht kennt. Da hilft auch kein agreement.

In meinem Fall war die Übersetzung so schlecht, dass ich sie überhaupt nicht verwerten konnte.

Ich denke, es ist gut, was viele Agenturen machen: erst einmal kleinere Aufträge an potentielle Mitarbeiter vergeben und dann sehen, wie die Leute arbeiten. Da ist der Verlust nicht vorprogrammiert, und notfalls kann man sich auf wirklich gute Kollegen verlassen.



Ich würde dem beauftragten Übersetzer zumindest die (möglichst per Korrekturfunktion) korrigierte Datei zuschicken und ihn fragen, wieviel er denn in diesem Fall noch dafür erwartet. Auch ohne agreement. Der Rest wird sich fügen.



Viel Erfolg,

Kerstin


[addsig]


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:31
Dutch to English
+ ...
Cooperating with other freelancers Oct 29, 2002

I agree with Ralf. Next time try a small job and see what the quality is like. It is also worth your while to invest in doing that now before you get a large job. You will then be prepared when the large jobs arrive. Apart from the fact that in this case the quality was poor, there are also other issues. Is your style similar to the other translators? Is your choice of terminology the same? When I collaborate with other translators, we usually \'appoint\' one person who will manage the whole job and will ensure the translation is consistent. We also usually do it in Trados which makes \'correcting\' easier. The person in charge of managing the project is also in charge of checking terminology. This works fairly well.

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Daniel Meier  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:31
English to German
+ ...
Send your proofread version Oct 29, 2002

In this situation I recommend you send the translator your proofread version (maybe you also have a version, where the changes are highlighted, this can be very efficient) not yet asking him for a lower price. (Legally he was entitled to correct the errors by himself, although in your case this might sound a little ridiculous.) Just ask him for a statement, maybe you can also explain, that you had to meet the deadline and so made the necessary changes by yourself.

In most cases the translator will be ashamed and will make you a proposition to lower the price by himself.

If not, please post again.


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:31
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I see your point Oct 29, 2002

... but it is definitely too much work for me to start sending out test translations or so.



I am usually doing smaller jobs, 3-10 page documents with tight deadlines. This is what pays my bills.



Asking someone to do this as a first step towards cooperation means that I am risking both - not to earn any money and to lose a client.



You are right: finding out if someone is trustworthy and a professional takes more than just an agreement.



I am just really frustrated with this last experience. I had to spend so much time on proofreading, I could have done all the translation myself. Instead of that I just have to pay this person, who is - of course - unreachable for me right now. No negotiation for a discount or compensation. ;(



Regards,



Sonja ;(


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:31
English to German
+ ...
If you cannot negotiate, establish your position... Oct 30, 2002

Quote:


Asking someone to do this as a first step towards cooperation means that I am risking both - not to earn any money and to lose a client.



But if you take an honest look at this situation, the risks you have taken there are pretty much the same - right?

Developing a network of trustworthy cooperators is an investment.



Quote:


Instead of that I just have to pay this person, who is - of course - unreachable for me right now. No negotiation for a discount or compensation. ;(



Now that is what I consider unacceptable - in that case, why don\'t you take a fair deduction for your additional time spent (in doing so, you should be prepared to account for this...)? In that case, I would expect some sort of communication pretty soon...

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Patricia Posadas  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:31
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Daily delivery Oct 31, 2002

Hello,



I suggest you ask for a daily delivery of work so that you can \'see\' what the other person is doing, at least the first 2 or 3 days. If the quality is bad you are intiem to find someone else.



BUT



Bad quality is not the only risk ...



Imagine that person has a hardware or software problem the day before the deadline and has not been cautious enough to make safe copies of his/her work ...



Imagine that person tells you only the eve of the deadline that he/she won\'t be able to do it on time ...



Imagine that person is suddenly taken to hospital or has a serious personal problem whatsoever...



I ask for a weekly delivery, even from a friend. It\'s safer for everybody.



HTH





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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 08:31
Partial member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Asian cooperation Nov 3, 2002

It can be strange but collaborative work among people of similar culture is successful. I work for a EU agency in a country that cheating is konwn, and I failed. For Asian translators, they are most reliable in Asian style except some bad situation countries (Sorry, I will note give the country name).


[addsig]


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