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Excerpts from delivered and paid translations as sample translations. How to proceed?
Thread poster: Leonardo Parachú

Leonardo Parachú  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 22, 2004

Hello, everyone. I´ve been working for about a year now for an agency, which in turn gets jobs from other agencies around the world, which in fact are the people making BIG money out of my work, and my peer´s.

Some weeks ago and out of mere innocence, I included some excerpts from already delivered and paid translations I had done in the PORTFOLIO section on my Proz.com profile. Not more than two days after that, I was told of a confidentialty agreement between my agency and its "suppliers" which forbidded any disclosure of translation material by any means.

I immediately deleted my sample translations from my PORTFOLIO since I obviously don´t want any legal problems...

The question is: I don´t think that I was using the material for personal profit, or that I was disclosing any business secret, I was just trying to show my expertise out of earnestly gained experience. I haven´t still talked to my boss about this and I would very much appreciate any hint as to how to approach this issue, I mean, has any of you ever been in a similar situation? How did you approach the issue, legally?

It wouldn´t be so hard to find some other sample texts to translate and include in my PORTFOLIO but, since nothing is better than the actual thing, I certainly prefer showing actual translations done by me under working pressures (i.e. time constraints, lexical and grammatical preferences, etc.)

Think that should be all.
Thanks in advance,
Leonardo.

[Edited at 2004-02-22 22:00]

[Edited at 2004-02-22 22:02]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:36
English to German
+ ...
Depends on the agreement... Feb 22, 2004

Hi Leonardo,
Your question is impossible to answer without knowing the contents of the confidentiality agreement you signed. (Before you go and post excerpts here, note that the very contents of it might be confidential, too.)

Quite a lot of the work we deliver is confidential, as a result of which I cannot show it to other clients, or use it for advertising. Once again, even the fact that we work for certain clients is shielded by a confidentiality agreement. All the clients I'm showing as references on my website have given their prior consent in writing.

This is standard procedure, as far as I can see...

Best regards, Ralf


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Leonardo Parachú  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Ralf... Feb 22, 2004

... for your prompt reply. I personally signed no agreement whatsoever, but my boss did and I was unaware of this until I mentioned my posting of the material here to him. I suppose now I should ask my boss to ask the end-agency to ask the final client if this or that particular stretch of text could be displayed as sample translation.

Being a translator can get so much more bureaucratic than I would have imagined: think twice before acting.

Thanks again, Ralph. I will act according to your suggestions.

Best regards,
Leonardo Parachú.


[Edited at 2004-02-22 22:20]

[Edited at 2004-02-22 22:22]


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Aquila Aurata
Local time: 05:36
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Ever tried translating a website? Feb 23, 2004

It is clearly a public document and shows off your work better than anything else. If your agency doesn't do websites, get the work from someone else.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:36
Dutch to English
+ ...
Examples Feb 23, 2004

Hi Leonardo,

Perhaps you can ask your "boss" which translation jobs you have done for him that you could use? If you have a good relationship with him, then I am sure he wouldn't have a problem reviewing the work you have done for him and letting you know what you can use. I would also ask to see the confidentiality agreement that has been signed since, clearly, it is also affecting your business practices. How can you keep to an agreement when you are not aware there is one?


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Leonardo Parachú  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Feb 23, 2004

It´s been educational, indeed. Yes Peter, some of my jobs included translation of Web sites, or part of them. Trouble is I know not of any way to stamp my "translator´s signature" on them, and it shouldn´t be the case either. Up to now, all I have been allowed to do is to briefly state the jobs I´ve done in my CV, with the corresponding references (my "boss" and a fellow translator who is coaching me in a way). Perhaps I´m being too pushy myself, too eager to stand out and not cherishing this great opportunity of doing what I like and what I have studied since I was 5 for a living.

Marijke, I will also consider your suggestion. I´ve never been too much of a "legal boy" and I tend to elude every normative aspects in life. Too bad I won´t become very professional if I keep that attitude, at least as far as jobs are concerned.

Thank you again.
Best regards,
Leonardo.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:06
English to Tamil
+ ...
How about citing a genuine sample job done for an agency free of cost? Feb 23, 2004

Look at this scenario. A prospective client gives you a small job for sample translation and it is free of cost. In that case it should be possible to show this sample to other clients too, as the copyright of the translation seems to rest with the translator. But if in the bargain the sample contains confidential information and the prospective client had surreptiously got it done free of cost in the guise of a sample and no longer gives any signs of life, I feel that it is just too bad and the translator will still be within his rights. A sort of poetic justice, don't you think so?
Regards,
N.Raghavan


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