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Is it ok to send your documents to several agencies who are bidding for the same EU tender?
Thread poster: Elvira Stoianov

Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 16:18
German to Romanian
+ ...
Feb 2, 2005

Hi,

It seems that there is a large EU tender going on, as I have been contacted by at least 5 agencies for the same job and I have seen a few others post the job on ProZ or other similar sites.
Now a couple of them wanted me to send a test translation and I have seen it is the same text.
Now I am wondering if it is ok to send my documents to several agencies and if I should inform them that I have also been contacted by other agencies.
After all, they probably know they compete with other agencies and basically, if I want to work on that project, I have to be in the team of the agency that wins the bid (which means the result does not depend on me, but on the respective agencies' ability to set up their teams and organize the whole thing).

So how would you deal with that?
Thanks.


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:18
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Same problem here Feb 2, 2005

Hi Elvira,

I had the same problem, probably even the same tender. In the end I decided there is nothing wrong with beeing a popular choice and I honestly cannot see why it should be bad or unprofessional. I have not betrayed anybody's trust or disclosed sensitive information and the project has not been awarded yet. I just widen my choices of getting the job.
I have mentioned that I participate with other agencies to each agency and so far only one never came back to me.
The subject of the tender is fairly specific and the fact that so many agencies keep contacting us about the same project means there are not so many translators around meeting their criteria. And I am quite sure we are not the only ones contacted by several agencies for the same project.

Cheers,
Burrell


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annaba
Local time: 16:18
English to Italian
+ ...
Just do it! Feb 2, 2005

Hi Elvira!
Well, I would definitvely send my translations to all agencies requiring it.
You are just doing your job.
And: I do not think that agencies know each other so good, that they will interchange their opinions and experiences - everybody is playing his own game.

I wish you lots of luck
Anna


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 16:18
French to Dutch
+ ...
You're free Feb 2, 2005

You are completely free to bid for the agency you like. But be careful, those agencies are competitors, so don't say to agency B that you did the same for agency A. You have no problem, but the agencies have. They had, some years ago, to prove that they had the translators to do the jobs (I don't know if they have now the right to look for other ones), and they bidded for the lowest price...

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Jörgen Slet  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 17:18
English to Estonian
+ ...
If it is not OK, it will be spelled out generally Feb 2, 2005

If it is not OK, it will be spelled out generally.
It will definitely be written down in the conditions section of the call for tender, you can have a look at that. Some calls require unique translators, some don't. I've participated in both kinds (lots of paperwork and no real jobs resulting from them so far though).


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Common business practice Feb 2, 2005

It's like buying pizza in a Berlin supermarket:

You can choose between 12 sorts from 4 vendors,
and 3 of those vendors let their pizzas be produced
in the same manufactory. The difference is only in the
package picture and the price, not in the content...
(I worked in that pizza manufactury.)



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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
done twice, paid twice Feb 2, 2005

I did a short job for one agency, unaware that it was for that tender, then was asked to do the same for another agency.

I did it (meaning I got out the previous trans and reviewed it), sent it back but told them that I had already done it for pay.

They were fine about it, seemed to appreciate my honesty, and said they'll pay me, no problem.

I think one should get paid for it, but it seems right to mention that it was done before by you, although there's no need to mention the number of times.

PS: I wouldn't disclose names though:-)

[Edited at 2005-02-02 16:33]


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 17:18
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Sure, send it to everyone Feb 2, 2005

Elvira Stoianov wrote:
It seems that there is a large EU tender going on, as I have been contacted by at least 5 agencies for the same job and I have seen a few others post the job on ProZ or other similar sites. Now a couple of them wanted me to send a test translation and I have seen it is the same text.
Now I am wondering if it is ok to send my documents to several agencies and if I should inform them that I have also been contacted by other agencies.


I see no problem in sending the same test to them all. In fact, they get their job assignments, and you get yours. These two are different things, so why not, even if the test is paid? They are dealing with the end client, not _you_.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:48
English to Tamil
+ ...
I see one small problem here, a little out of the way but real all the same Feb 4, 2005

Let's say agency A and agency B bid for the same tender. Each one of them comes to you for the same test translation, which has most probably been handed over by the end client.

You send the same translation to both of them and they submit the same to the end client. In the general run of things, it should not be a problem as each agency is supposed to proofread your translation and there is bound to be some differences in the final versions of your translation. If by chance they do no proofreading and submit the translation in the raw state, then the reviewer at the end client's office will have a feeling of deja vu. This will reflect on the concerned agency's credentials as it is evident that none of them has done its homework of proofreading.

But in an imperfect world like the present one, this too might come to haunt you a little, as the concerned agencies after being told off by the end client, will try to blame you for their fiasco.

Hence my sugestion would be to slightly alter the translation in style for each client. Use some synonymes, passive/active voice construction, use of similar idioms etc. This is only to avoid the action of the Fetridge's law, which states: "If anything can go wrong, it will".

And there is absolutely no need to tell the agencies what you are doing.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Sell it like a pizza Feb 4, 2005

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:
...If by chance they do no proofreading and submit the translation in the raw state, then the reviewer at the end client's office will have a feeling of deja vu. This will reflect on the concerned agency's credentials as it is evident that none of them has done its homework of proofreading.

But in an imperfect world like the present one, this too might come to haunt you a little, as the concerned agencies after being told off by the end client, will try to blame you for their fiasco.

Hence my sugestion would be to slightly alter the translation in style for each client. Use some synonymes, passive/active voice construction, use of similar idioms etc...

If the agencies won't do any proofreading for their quote, they probably won't do it for the main translation either. Then the end client will be able to find some mistakes which could have been avoided, and this may "haunt" you as the translator, too.

So it will probably be to the benefit of the translator if the end client chooses the agency who does its "homework".

On the other hand it is a good idea to vary styles (as in my pizzy example) to increase the probability that there will be a version meeting the (visual) taste of the client, and vary prices to make sure that you will be represented in any relevant price category.
When they cannot really assess quality before buying, most people buy either in the second highest category, or in the second lowest one, and you don't want to miss any of these clients as long as you make profit.
So I would make a quick translation for a low rate and then spend some more time for it and offer this variant at a higher rate.


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Beatrice Einsiedler  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:18
English to French
+ ...
Question? Feb 8, 2005

hello everyone!

Is it possible to know which EU tender you are talking about?
What are the languages concerned?
I guess it is more for the new members'languages than for French for example.
Anyway, where did you get the details of the winning agencies?

Thanks for your help.

Béatrice


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Selçuk Budak  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:18
English to Turkish
+ ...
I did it, and got nothing! Feb 9, 2005

To answer the original question: Yes, it is possible and legitimate to submit CVs, etc. to several agencies at once bidding for the same tender provided that they are aware of it.

Last year, a couple of agencies bidding for a certain EU tender asked me to supply them with my CV, certificates, etc., to which I complied.

Eventually, one of them awarded with the tender, and the winning agency assigned the job to other freelancers. Reason: They found my rates somehow higher than, as they claimed, they could afford! As far as my language pair concerned, they participated in the tender with my CV, my certificates of experience, my references. Therefore, I should have made a contribution to the tender process. For nothing!

The lesson I learnt: Do not supply your valuable documents to bidding agencies without a prior agreement guaranteeing you a minimum amount of assignment should they are awarded with the tender. Personally, I will stick to this rule.

SB.


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Rossitsa Iordanova
Belgium
Local time: 16:18
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
YES ! Feb 9, 2005

Selçuk Budak wrote:

As far as my language pair concerned, they participated in the tender with my CV, my certificates of experience, my references. Therefore, I should have made a contribution to the tender process. For nothing!

The lesson I learnt: Do not supply your valuable documents to bidding agencies without a prior agreement guaranteeing you a minimum amount of assignment should they are awarded with the tender. Personally, I will stick to this rule.

SB.


ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

It happened to me as well, and ... to tell you the truth I was very much disappointed !
I've learned my lesson - better participate in the tender directly!


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Linn Arvidsson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:18
English to Swedish
+ ...
Absolutely! Feb 9, 2005

Elvira Stoianov wrote:

Now I am wondering if it is ok to send my documents to several agencies and if I should inform them that I have also been contacted by other agencies.


There is nothing wrong in being a popular translator. Hopefully that means you are a making a good job. I see no reason why you should tell the agencies you have submitted test-translations to other agencies. After all, no other business tell the company they are negotiating with that they also have an offer for a job from a competitor.

[Edited at 2005-02-10 12:54]


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