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Late or no delivery
Thread poster: Ziad Marzouka

Ziad Marzouka  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
Dec 10, 2006

Good morning!

Lately, I have been thinking of opening my own translation agency, and I was just wondering, if a translator delivers his/her work late or doesn't deliver at all, how does the agency act towards the client? what do they do? and what are the solutions to get out of this awkward situation?

I would like to hear answers from people who have been in this situation before.

Thanks!


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Jessica Van Humbeeck  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
been there! Dec 10, 2006

Dear Ziadm,

I have my own little agency now, and up to now, I have been taking responsibility for my translators being late or not delivering at all. I try to do most of the thing myself and when some of my translators do something like that, I won't work with them ever again, unless they had a very good reason.

Hope this helps you out a bit.

Best regards,
Jessica Van Humbeeck

BE.Translations


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 06:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
Nothing Dec 10, 2006

Thats one of the risks encountered when running your own business.

Precautionary actions:

- Always save your back by daily delivery of translator's output (this is not amicable by most translators including me.

- Leave an appropriate period to recover any damages...etc.
- When applicable and practical sign an agreement with freelancers.
- Offer cash incentives for early delivery (in utopia!). If not applicable you can offer solid relationships with a specific translator(s) (for example, offering him/her to be one of your main service vendors).

Wanna more? sure there is more in the box if you google this search syntax:
filetype:ppt translation project management

Note; You can replace "ppt" with "doc or pdf...etc".

Best wishes

Ahmad Wadan

English-Arabic Financial Translator
http://wadan.arablish.com


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:01
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I can make one suggestion Dec 10, 2006

I am not an agency, but can quote one instance of what happened. Quite recently, an agency phoned me up on a Friday afternoon and enquired whether I would be able to do a translation by the following Tuesday. I said I could. They did say they would send me the order by e-mail. However, it never arrived, and I thought no more about it, assuming that they had meanwhile found someone else whom they for some reason preferred. In my experience, orders do not always follow telephone enquiries.

Well, the lady at the agency suddenly phoned me again on the Tuesday afternoon, asking where the translation was. I said, "What translation?". She said, "I sent you the order last Friday afternoon." Well, no order had ever arrived here, and I told her so. She said, "Oh dear, what shall I say to the client?"

Anyway, she phoned me again shortly afterwards and asked how soon I could do it. I agreed to do it for the next day. She passed on this information to the client concerned, the client agreed that the next day would be fine, and I delivered it the next day, slightly earlier than the agreed time, and everyone was happy.

I would think that the situation may sometimes be resolved like this if the translation is of a length that it can be done by the following day. However, if it is one that would take at least several days, I assume the situation could be more awkward.

Astrid


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Julian Wood  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:01
Czech to English
+ ...
What if agency is unreasonable? Dec 11, 2006

Hello
I found this thread interesting, but wonder what a translator does if the agency is unreasonable, asking for a translation with a tight deadline, and the text ends up being a lot more complicated than expected? Surely there are smoetimes not enough hours in the day (or night) to finish a translation?
And what if something suddenly comes up in one's life which one must attend to?!
Thanks


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
Nobody puts a gun to your head... Dec 11, 2006

Julian Wood wrote:

Hello
I found this thread interesting, but wonder what a translator does if the agency is unreasonable, asking for a translation with a tight deadline, and the text ends up being a lot more complicated than expected? Surely there are smoetimes not enough hours in the day (or night) to finish a translation?
And what if something suddenly comes up in one's life which one must attend to?!
Thanks


1. Never accept a job without seeing and properly perusing the text.

2. After looking carefully at the text, don't be pushed into accepting a deadline that you fear is not attainable. If the deadline is inflexible, simply don't accept the job. Offer your best deadline and if that's not good enough, so be it.

3. Except in really serious cases (e.g. a death in the family, tornado ripping off the side of your house), deadlines, once accepted, are sacrosanct

It's not the agency being unreasonable if the deadline isn't met, it's the translator being unprofessional (exceptional circumstances excluded) for not taking the aforementioned steps and not having the strength of character to say no to ridiculous deadlines.

I simply can't understand people who accept jobs blindly (sure there will be exceptions once you've built up a relationship with a client and they tell you, for example, a 15 page summons is being prepared and have you on standby, but it's something you know from experience how long it is likely to take) and/or let themselves be bullied and then whinge afterwards.

Sure some translations may be more challenging than we initially expect, but you have to build time for this eventuality into your deadline.

Nobody puts a gun to your head.

YOU decide whether to accept the deadline. Once you've accepted it, it's your problem.


[Edited at 2006-12-11 09:00]


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:01
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Complete agreement Dec 11, 2006

I couldn't agree more with the above post by Lawyer-Linguist.

Nobody forces you to accept any job and an agreed-upon deadline is written in stone.


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Jessica Van Humbeeck  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
I also agree Dec 12, 2006

I also agree with the two messages above. Once you accept a deadline (of course after having seen the text AND the difficulty of the text), it's your problem.

Of course the agency has to be reasonable, though it remains the translator himself who is responsible for accepting a (too) tight deadline.


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 05:01
French to Dutch
+ ...
I also agree Dec 13, 2006

And this is one of the reasons why I don't subcontract anymore - or only from time to time. I don't want to spend my nights in repairing, completing, adapting text boxes, verifying mistakes, spelling errors and terminology.

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Karin Usher
Local time: 04:01
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Just plan ahead! Jan 4, 2007

I normally give a delivery date to the client of at least two days after the deadline given to the translator - so if the translator delays one or two days, the agency is still on time for delivery to the client.

If the translator ends up delaying more than that (this has never happened to me, I must say) I think the best way forward is to keep the client informed. Communication can resolve most issues.


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