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Non-disclosure agreement (Germany)/dissertation
Thread poster: Frank Gersemsky
Frank Gersemsky
German to English
Mar 17, 2005

Hello forum,

a potential client is asking for a quote, but is worried about letting me see the source text (without which of course I can't provide the quote).

The text is a dissertation and he doesn't want his findings to be publicized before the text is actually published.

Does anyone have a model non-disclosure agreement in German that I could use in this situation?

Thank you in advance!


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 00:43
French to Dutch
+ ...
No Mar 18, 2005

This situation is impossible to handle, non disclosure agreement or not. If he thinks he can't trust you, he will not trust your agreement either. And how can you say that you can translate the text without having seen it? The only thing you can do is ask him for one or two paragraphs + the total number of words in Word, and than make an estimation. Then it's up to you to decide if you will take the risk (that is, you will have to decide if you can trust him).
When I worked in an agency, we sometimes had people passing by with this kind of document. They showed us a page, we made a rough estimation (300 pages of 500 words x XX = XX) and it was always too much. These people often think that you can translate 10000 words an hour.
Just say him that you cannot make a written quote, which is a contract, on something that you haven't seen.

[Edited at 2005-03-18 10:25]


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Frank Gersemsky
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
I have seen four pages Mar 18, 2005

Well, he did provide 4 pages (of 300) but this is hardly enough for me to give a reliable quote. And in order for me to see the whole thing he would rather have me sign a non-disclosure agreement. I can see his point in a way, so I have no problem signing one. The only problem is that I don't have a sample agreement in German.

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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:43
German to English
+ ...
Charge according to source Mar 18, 2005

I don't really see the problem. Do you REALLY have to see the document to quote a price? I don't.

If you have varying prices according to the difficulty of the text, then you can usually be certain that a dissertation will be relatively difficult and include subject specific terms.

I would suggest charging for standard lines (=50-55 characters) in the source text. That way your client can count up the characters with the word processor and see how much it is going to cost.

As far as confidentiality is concerned, I would also not go to the bother of drafting some non-disclosure agreement, but rather explain to the client that you understand the concern for confidentiality, but that translators generally are obliged to maintain the privacy of the documents they translate. A written agreement is not at all necessary - it is enough that the client expressed concern; if you were to divulge the information, you would most likely become liable for the resulting damages (actually, the client should probably go get some counselling for paranoia).


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:43
German to English
+ ...
Non-disclosure / Geheimhaltungsvereinbarung Mar 18, 2005

If you have no problem with a non-disclosure agreement, then you'll find plenty of samples (="Muster") with Google. To be completely sure, you should consult an attorney.

For samples of "Geheimhaltungsvereinbarungen" see: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-29,GGLD:de&q=geheimhaltungsvereinbarung

For samples of "Verschwiegenheitsvereinbarungen" see: http://www.google.com/search?hl=de&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-29,GGLD:de&q=verschwiegenheitsvereinbarung&spell=1


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:43
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
If you can't find one, make one up Mar 18, 2005

Dear Frank,

I can understand your dilemma. If a client gives you a few pages, these could be from the introduction, which is usually relatively simple, and you have no idea how much difficult terminology or complicated tables or figures will come up later on.

On the other hand, a dissertation is worthless if anyone else publishes similar results first, so I also understand the client's concern.

I would say, if you can't find a ready made agreement, make one up that you and your client can agree with and have it signed in the presence of witnesses.


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Frank Gersemsky
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Here's what I'll do... Mar 19, 2005

Hello all,

thanks for your responses (I had to smile about the paranoia comment and helpful links. I have decided to use one of the samples and consult my attorney in addition. I suppose that even if such an agreement is not legally necessary, it may make the client feel better... and I can always use it for similar cases in the future. So there!


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