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Should translators be paid for their jobs?
Thread poster: mirta

mirta  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 20:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 18, 2004

Hello everybody:

I don't want to spoil your weekend but what do you think about this:
Is it right to contract a translator / interpreter and not paying him for his job? Well, according to a judge in Leeds, UK, it's just fine...
Please take a look at this article written by Josephine Bacon under the title "Crisis in the translation industry".

http://www.translationservicesusa.com/articles/crisis.shtml

Mirta De Seta
English Spanish translator
Buenos Aires - Argentina
54 11 4 245 7087
http://www.advance.com.ar/usuarios/traducciones/index.html


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some reservations Apr 18, 2004

mirta wrote:
http://www.translationservicesusa.com/articles/crisis.shtml[/quote]

No case numbers are mentioned in this article. No names of companies or persons are mentioned. Do we even know this really happened?

The article is manipulative. It contains deliberate logic errors which appear to be aimed at deceiving the audience into a predetermined conclusion.

There are, however, some lessons to be learnt. It is stupid stupid stupid to wait until the client owes you GBP 30 000 before making enquiries about non-payment.

The article makes three points about why Britain is untrustworthy in terms of business clout, but those points are debatable. For example, forcing companies to register a business name and wait more than one day before starting to trade won't guarantee that the company will pay when going into liquidation.

I think the main lesson is not to trust a new client on the basis of protection offered by law, but on the basis of a trust relationship build from slowly growing the amount of work you do for them or from trusted references. The law often "protects" customers and subcontractors, even in non-British countries, but smart crooks always get away with it. The solution is not to deal with crooks. It sounds silly, but it's actually quite simple: if something seems to good to be true, it usually is.

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Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
quite right Samuel Apr 18, 2004

Hi,

I quite agree with Samuel. We shouldn't base our business in law and law practice only. We all have to follow the rules but the truth is that in the country I am currently living in law and courts are very slow running things so the best procedure is to avoid bad clients or "suspicious" deals instead of leaving our safety and well being to courts:-)

Also, no matter what law we have criminals, bad payers and similar people will always escape justice if they have enough money to pay for the best lawyers in town and those (when good professionals) can convince almost every court:-)

Mónica


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
This has been discussed before. Apr 18, 2004

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/new&ViewTopic&post=129985#129985
Please refer to the following thread, when exactly the same points were made.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:14
English to Tamil
+ ...
Do the lawyers get paid? Apr 19, 2004

And how stupid will the lawyers appear, if they are cheated in turn? For one, I will not have any sympathy for the lawyers.
But I guess such lawyers always get advance payment even for appearing in the court.
I am reminded of a business letter to be translated from French into English. I had a cursory look at it and demanded money beforehand. The client said he will pay afterwards but I was adamant and got my payment. The letter was from a French man who was complaining that the merchandise he paid for in advance had been replaced by a shoddy one while dispatching it. Do you think I would trust such a client?
The client read the translation and went away without comment.
Regards,
N.Raghavan
mmachado wrote:
Also, no matter what law we have criminals, bad payers and similar people will always escape justice if they have enough money to pay for the best lawyers in town and those (when good professionals) can convince almost every court:-)
Mónica


[Edited at 2004-04-19 14:56]


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general
Ukraine
Local time: 01:44
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
agree Apr 19, 2004

Translator (interpretor) is a professional, strenuos job. it should have some consideration as well. it makes the world closer and more comprehensive

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:44
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Something wrong with the site? Apr 19, 2004

mirta wrote:

Hello everybody:

I don't want to spoil your weekend but what do you think about this:
Is it right to contract a translator / interpreter and not paying him for his job? Well, according to a judge in Leeds, UK, it's just fine...
Please take a look at this article written by Josephine Bacon under the title "Crisis in the translation industry".

http://www.translationservicesusa.com/articles/crisis.shtml

Mirta De Seta
English Spanish translator
Buenos Aires - Argentina
54 11 4 245 7087
http://www.advance.com.ar/usuarios/traducciones/index.html[/quote]

When I posted a link to this page a few weeks ago, people reacted the same way. I wonder why.
Of course it is stupid to wait till the dept is thousends of pounds or euro, but does that mean, stupid people should not be protected by the law?
I'm shure no scandinavian or German judge would rule against the victim as indicated in the text of Bacon. If it is true that British courts rule in favor of the party with the most expensive lawer then Strasbourg should step in, as the UK is a member of the EC.

But is the site translationserviceusa trustworthy? At least it looks so. Why are many posters so hostile about it?

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Why hostile, and comments Apr 19, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
I'm shure no scandinavian or German judge would rule against the victim as indicated in the text of Bacon. ... Why are many posters so hostile about it?


Perhaps if the text was written clearly and soberly, the hostility might have been less. But the article is written with a sales pitch and deliberate logic manipulation that makes your skin creep.

Don't be so sure that a Swedish or German jugdge wouldn't have made the same ruling. One should not be too worried about *one* case (in which there are many factors involved which were not mentioned in the article). Worry if you see a trend.

The first paragraph speaks about the court case, but mentions very little. You'd expect to read about the court case in the second or third paragraphs, but no. The second paragraph is fluff. The third paragraph is irrelevant (it simply says that two translators created a blacklist, but there's no link between the black-list and the topic of the court case). Paragraphs 4 to 8 deal with speculation about reasonf for the size of the black-list (but again does not really relate to the court case). Obviously the author of this article wants his readers to think that (a) the court case and the black-list is related, and (b) that the three issues metioned in paragraphs 5-7 are directly related to the court case. Paragraph 9 and 10 speaks about low rates and test translations. Only in paragraph 11 does the court case reappear. Paragraph 14 states "draw your own conclusions" but in such a manipulative reporting environment there is hardly doubt about which conclusion the author hopes the reader will reach. The attempted manipulation isn't even very clever.

So... low marks for reporting skills, and low marks also for attempting to play the audience.


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