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The ethics of posting references...
Thread poster: Lingua.Franca

Lingua.Franca  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:50
German to English
+ ...
Jan 29, 2009

Hi All!

I often translate documents for rather high-profile and well-known clients, unfortunately, however, only through agencies so far.

I would like to include these high-profile clients on my CV and on my website, but I am uncertain whether this would break some kind of ethical/legal code.

For example, I would prefer to post XYZ Investment Bank on my CV, rather than XYZ translation agency.

Is it allowed/fair to include the name of the company on my list of references?

Thank you for your input and advice!

Regards,

Tamas


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't suggest it Jan 29, 2009

I don't recommend listing the names of specific agencies. It is perfectly fine to list the kind(s) of documents you have translated. On my CV, I noted what kinds of documents I translated and stated that I have worked with direct clients and agencies.

Your post reminds me of a thread I started in this same forum a few months ago. You might learn more from reading it. It's called "Listing client information on your CV--how specific are you?." (The title is something like that....I don't recall the exact wording.)

[Edited at 2009-01-29 17:37 GMT]


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lisa23
Germany
Local time: 14:50
English to German
+ ...
No no no Jan 29, 2009

IMO - not without obtaining consent of these end clients/companies

oh that would be nice - I would have a huge list of "big" companies


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:50
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not so much ethics ... Jan 29, 2009

... as protecting yourself against trawling outsourcers, who can then drop the XYZ Investment Bank a line to offer them a rate perhaps a little cheaper than the rate they feel the bank might have been paying your agency customer. Then they e-mail you to offer you jobs at a fraction of that rate. It's like stock market speculation, buy cheap and sell dear, but with translations.

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Quattro
United States
Local time: 06:50
I'd check with the translation agency... Jan 29, 2009

...that gave you work from XYZ Investment Bank before posting the end-client's name anywhere. Also review your contract with the agency if you have one. There could be a clause that prevents you from making names of end-clients public.

I have asked a few of my clients (translation agencies) if I could post their name on my website and they said it was fine as long as I didn't mention the end-client. And also they really appreciated the fact that I consulted them first. It never hurts to ask!


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Fernando Guimaraes  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:50
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Do they know you ? Jan 29, 2009

Quote
For example, I would prefer to post XYZ Investment Bank on my CV, rather than XYZ translation agency.

unquote


If you put in you C.V. something like: "i work for XYZ Investment Bank" and this is not true, because you worked for XYZ translation agency,. what would a potential client think when he checks your references ??


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 08:50
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Don't do it Jan 29, 2009

If you have signed an NDA that says you can't, there's no dilemma, you just can't. If there's no clause or NDA, there's an ethical dilemma, I wouldn't recommend you publish names at all, let alone on your website, but you could ask your client if you could mention the kind of company or even the actual names. That wouldn't be a reference exactly because it's not like the 'include 3 references' reference.

But there's also a problem of keeping your clients to yourself like Mervyn said. When I first started as a translator, I managed to get a high profile client and I thought it would be great to include it in my CV. And when another translator contacted my through Proz for a collaboration, I sent her my CV with the name of the company, not the actual name of the person. This translator got my client's information (they have all their contact information listed on their website) and offered him a much lower rate. My client told me right away but mysteriously enough, they stopped sending work a couple of months later.

I do wonder how specific you can be about non-direct clients. For instance, if you translate for the Coca-Cola Corporation though an agency. Should you mention them at all and how? I guess it would be alright to include under your Experience: 'translated several manuals of soft-drink labeling machines' or 'translated franchise documents for a large soft-drink company'. But would it be ethical to include 'Large soft-drink company' under Clients in your CV or in your website? An agency allowed me to do this but told me to add "through an agency" and not to list them under clients but under experience.

Sara, can you post the link of that thread, I'd like to read it. Thanks.

Claudia

[Edited at 2009-01-29 23:06 GMT]


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Couldn't due to technical error... Jan 30, 2009

Claudia;

I started to look through this forum, but I couldn't go to page 2. There was a technical error.

Time to contact a moderator.

I will link to it when it is technologically possible.

--Sara

Claudia Alvis wrote:

If you have signed an NDA that says you can't, there's no dilemma, you just can't. If there's no clause or NDA, there's an ethical dilemma, I wouldn't recommend you publish names at all, let alone on your website, but you could ask your client if you could mention the kind of company or even the actual names. That wouldn't be a reference exactly because it's not like the 'include 3 references' reference.

But there's also a problem of keeping your clients to yourself like Mervyn said. When I first started as a translator, I managed to get a high profile client and I thought it would be great to include it in my CV. And when another translator contacted my through Proz for a collaboration, I sent her my CV with the name of the company, not the actual name of the person. This translator got my client's information (they have all their contact information listed on their website) and offered him a much lower rate. My client told me right away but mysteriously enough, they stopped sending work a couple of months later.

I do wonder how specific you can be about non-direct clients. For instance, if you translate for the Coca-Cola Corporation though an agency. Should you mention them at all and how? I guess it would be alright to include under your Experience: 'translated several manuals of soft-drink labeling machines' or 'translated franchise documents for a large soft-drink company'. But would it be ethical to include 'Large soft-drink company' under Clients in your CV or in your website? An agency allowed me to do this but told me to add "through an agency" and not to list them under clients but under experience.

Sara, can you post the link of that thread, I'd like to read it. Thanks.

Claudia

[Edited at 2009-01-29 23:06 GMT]


[Edited at 2009-01-30 00:44 GMT]


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
A link to that thread Jan 30, 2009

I found the link a different way. It was actually in the "Getting Established" forum. Ooops!

Here is the link:


http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/116201-listing_client_experience_on_your_cv_how_specific_are_you.html


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 08:50
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Thanks! Jan 30, 2009

Sara Senft wrote:

I found the link a different way. It was actually in the "Getting Established" forum. Ooops!

Here is the link:


http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/116201-listing_client_experience_on_your_cv_how_specific_are_you.html



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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:50
Spanish to English
Posting references Jan 30, 2009

I wouldn't call agencies references as such, but sometimes it is worth saying that you have worked with certain (un-named) agencies for several years. I have worked as a freelance for a large medical scientific publishing company for several years and asked for permission to use their name, which they gave me, but not to specify which articles I had translated.

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Lingua.Franca  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:50
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to All! Feb 6, 2009

Thank you for your suggestions!!!!
Tamas


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A different approach Feb 6, 2009

One of my key specialties is the localization of training programs. I do it mostly for the developers' regional distributors, but sometimes a company (viz. end-user) buys a program - often customized - for worldwide usage, undertaking any translation work needed. There are more complex setups, maybe involving local consultants for implementation, but let's not consifder these implications.

As I say on me web site - the specific page is http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/jh/local/en_clients.htm - it doesn't matter so much for my qualifications who is the end-user, but what kind of translation/localization work I did. Some other company may buy an ACTE (invented name - American Company that Trains Everybody - not ACME, the one that Makes Everything) package and want it localized for Brazil by someone who has experience with their wares. Incidentally, in all these cases, there was no NDA as we know it, just an implicit agreement that I should not make the contents available to anyone unless so requested in writing.

Now I wonder whether it would be ethically acceptable to publicly say that I contributed - directly or indirectly - in the translation of material from specific companies and list them.

For instance, I translated and subtitled a DVD for Megacorp (invented name). It was a presentation by some renowned business guru whose visit they sponsored. However I was hired by the video producer they hired to shoot the whole presentation. Megacorp has never heard of me.

So my question is whether it would be ethically justifiable to mention that I have contributed, directly or indirectly in the translation of Megacorp material? Of course, I won't mention what exactly it was, nor which division/location of Megacorp it came from. What do you think?


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