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Off topic: An agency without an appropriate process - Agency or Middleman?
Thread poster: VIBOL KEO

VIBOL KEO  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:29
English to Khmer (Central)
Jan 6, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Happy New Year 2009!

I hope every body is doing as well as usual and/or making more progresses starting this new year.

Well, I am returning to the forum again due to a problem with an agency.

The problem is that I did a 36-page project (Khmer to English Translation) for an agency. During the translation process or step I had found it seemed to be repeated but just moved ahead since I thought it should not be my case. However, I sorted its specific headings in order inserting TOC so s/he would be able to find it easily. Regarding its quality I had done it with another step proofreading/reviewing then delivered it to that agency or client.

The client returned it to me later complaining about the quality. Looking through the returned file I found nothing regarding his/her comments or any suggestions using track charge feature of MS Word so I would be able to review or consider "Accept" or "Reject" accordingly that I asked him/her to pinpoint technically where changes should be considered as well. Rather than doing so and asking me for any possible discounts, if really repeatedly, s/he further complained why I did the repeated pages and ordered me to delete and send the translated file to be edited. Consequently, I rejected and insisted to get his/her comments on the translated file rather than going further, in which it should be considered as second step including deletion. With his/her temper s/he said that s/he would look for another translator and send the translated file to many sources. Hearing so I could only say that it is your decision or choice and you may go ahead with what you would like to do since I think it is not an appropriate process and I would also consider posting such an issue for translator forum. I have heard nothing since then and I do not hope I would get a payment from such a client and found later that his/her poor BB score with many entries regarding the money matter.

However, considering an appropriate translation process do you think such a client is an agency rep (project manager) or middleman?

It would be much appreciated if you could share comments regarding such an issue that its reasons should be found out as well for our lessons learned.

Thanks and Kind regards,

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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:29
German to English
+ ...
Does not compute... Jan 6, 2009

I have read your post several times now and am not sure I understand exactly what went on. It seems that you completed a translation for a client, who was dissatisfied with your work. This client was most likely an agency, as it seems you were given a portion of a larger project.

(An agency is, by the way and as an answer to your actual question, de facto a middleman since they procure the work to be done from "direct" customers and pass it on to translators, who actually do the work.)

I obviously cannot say anything about the quality of your translation, since I could not assess it even if I had it on hand. But a couple of things you mentioned do stand out:

1. Why would you "insert" a table of contents into a translation of a document that apparently did not originally have one? I see no reason to add things to a translation, except perhaps the (very) rare "translator's note".

2. I am not sure what you mean by "it seemed to be repeated", but if I am unsure about what I am supposed to be translating, I contact my client--be it a direct customer or an agency--and clear it up, thus avoiding subsequent problems.

3. If my client were to complain about the quality of my translation and had sent it back without specifying where corrections are to be made, I would go back over my translation in detail and rectify any problems found. If I were unable to find any errors (quite inconceivable, to be honest), I would send it back stating as much.

4. If all else failed, and if I were still sure that I had upheld my part of the bargain, I would insist on payment and assess the feasibility of enforcing payment... or write it off as a "learning experience".

I hope that you are able to work things out.

[Edited at 2009-01-06 11:49 GMT]

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VIBOL KEO  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:29
English to Khmer (Central)
Ok, Thanks... Feb 1, 2009

Hi Derek,

Sorry I come back late to the forum... Thank you very much for your comments, kind advice, and time...

Let it further develop with such a way... I will come back again regarding such an issue, if necessary or there would be any other alternatives to sort it out as well...

Green and Green Weekend!

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