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was it a job order or just a request?
Thread poster: Seamus Moran

Seamus Moran  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:19
German to English
+ ...
May 3, 2008

Hi i have been in contact with a company who have sent me a large file asking me how much i can do by Monday and telling me to use a particular website for terminology. I've already done some work for this agency (last week). Basically, i replied saying that i could do pages 15-30 for example but haven't heard back from them. This was around 8ish in the evening. Now i'm wondering whether i should go ahead with the work. I waited to hear back from them and then had to leave the house as i had an appointment. This report has to be ready for Monday and i don't know what to do. Did they assign it to some other translators but then why would they have told me to use the website as a guideline? They don't issue POs just the file name will do they say. Communication is poor, in general. The other day i replied to a request to do work. I didn't reply straight away and then i never heard back. And then yesterday they asked whether i was available and how much could i do, then they sent the file and asked how much of it could i do, to use the website. I replied and then never heard back. So if i don't do it i'll get major grief from them on Monday and if i do, i may have just wasted my time on work that wasn't really assigned?

Has anybody been in this situation before? Can anyone give advice?

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Shirley Lao  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:19
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Don't proceed with any work without prior confirmation May 3, 2008

You may send them an E-mail requesting them to confirm the order and informing them that you will not proceed with the translation without their prior confirmation.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:19
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Good advice! May 3, 2008

If it's that urgent, they will have to act urgently.

Also, legally:
Their offer (for you to get the job) has not been accepted by you, who have made a counter offer. The ball is now in their court.
They must tell you if they accept your counter offer before an agreement can be said to have been reached.
Wait for (or try to stimulate) their reaction before proceeding.



[Edited at 2008-05-03 09:26]

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biankonera  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:19
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
dont proceed May 3, 2008

Ive been in similar situations a few times and Ive noticed that some agencies tend to think that they dont have to confirm anything if you've said you can do the job. However I strongly agree with colleagues who say dont proceed with this job. It is indeed their turn to coonfirm if you should do the job and they cant seriously expect you to have mind-reading abilities and know what they want if they keep mum.;)

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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ask for a work order May 3, 2008

It is often, that one is requested to give a quote.

And often enought too, never hears again about the assignment, or about the agency.

By asking for a work order, you cover your back, and you have an absolute confirmation.

Otherwise, they may waffle on... and there is you, waiting to know if you must translate or not.

All the best,


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KathyT  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:19
Japanese to English
I would send them another email... May 3, 2008

I would send another email politely saying that you are still waiting to hear from them as you haven't heard anything back since offering to take pages xx to xx of the doc.
Let them know that you are unable to proceed without receiving an official go ahead.
(Hello! It is the weekend, after all, and who wants to waste time working on a job that may have been allocated to someone else anyway!)
If it's as urgent as they say, you would think that at the very least, they would be checking their emails (even if they're not in the office on the weekend).

That way, you cover all your bases, imho, because you've let them know that you're waiting for them to confirm it with you.
It's no one's fault but their own if they turn up at the office on Monday morning with no translation in sight! Professional agencies should not need this kind of client education!

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Seamus Moran  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:19
German to English
+ ...
They replied May 3, 2008

Thanks so much everyone. It is great to know there is support times of confusion. They replied to me later today saying they were travelling and did not have Internet access. A bit unprofessional, to say the least. Anyway i´m off for a cycle. The worry is over. Thanks for your lovely, helpful replies. Enjoy the weekend (if you are not working)!

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