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How about a Blue Board containing feedback on translators?
Thread poster: Joeri Van Liefferinge

Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:16
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 16, 2002

I would like to know your opinion about the following question...

We have an Agency Blue Board on this site and that is great. But if translators can rate agencies, wouldn\'t it be fair to create a similar Blue Board where agencies can comment on their co-operation with translators (maybe limited to Proz members)?

I for one am, like many of us I suppose, a translator as well as an \"agency\": I work for agencies, but I also outsource translations. I think it is a great idea that the translators who have worked for me, can comment on how I treat them. When I work for an agency, I also check the Blue Board and am glad when I can find some information.

But when I am looking for translators, I have nothing to rely on. Is a certain translator good? Doe she or she respect deadlines? No way to find out... (Except contacting references who were carefully selected by the translator himself.) We just have to rely on cv\'s and what they tell us...

I am saying this because I have had bad experiences with translators who thought I wouldn\'t have their translations proofread an who simply sent me a machine translation, thinking they could make a quick buck (or euro). Therefore, I think it would be great for outsourcers to have a more objective source than the translator himself to rely on when looking for qualified translators.



There\'s also another reason for this: I would also like to rate certain translators, simply because I enjoy working with them and because they deliver great quality. There are a few freelance colleagues I regularly work with and I think this can be a nice way to say thanks to them in another way than just paying their invoices in time...



Looking forward to reading your comments on this...



Best wishes





Joeri


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:16
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
Good Idea Dec 16, 2002

I was just thinking about this yesterday! Sounds like a good idea!



What category would you fit in? (translator or agency?)

E


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:16
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Both Dec 16, 2002

As I said, I am an agency as well as a freelance translator, so I could get ratings as well...

I currently have a few ratings on the agency blue board, but there\'s no way I can rate the translators who gave me a rating.


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
English to German
+ ...
Rather not Dec 16, 2002

This idea would work out particularly nice as long as you would have to state only pleasant things about your colleagues. But couldn\'t this be equally likely to end up in peers publicly letting each other down in front of the whole community? I hope not and, personally wouldn\'t fear my peers\' comments and criticism. But you never know...



IMO, it is quite a different thing to rate an agency and to warn your colleagues -freelancers as yourself and, therefore, in an equal position - about certain agencies (or to recommend them) than to publicly comment on each others\' capability/incapability, whereby most of the 40-50,000 other community members did not have to deal with the person criticised and hardly ever will. In case we would not, as we do here, mainly communicate through the net (the site, the forums etc.), not knowing each other personally, but eye-to-eye: in case somebody disappointed you, would you immediately go out and tell this to everyone in the world, even to those who is not at all concerned?! I think not. But this is exactly what might be happening, I suppose. The web and the physical distance, the anonymity coming with it makes it much easier to make a rather careless statement or comment on somebody without obvious (legal or whatever) consequences for the author. I have myself been criticised several times for this during my proz career, especially in the beginning. This danger should be avoided on proz.



IMO, such things are too personal to be discussed in public, and criticism of this kind should be pointed out on a case-by-case basis between the two or more people concerned when forming a team for a certain project or outsourcing certain jobs.



Remember that an agency is more anonymous to you than is the peer who, probably, could have had a bad day one day but will be able to help you out here on proz the other day.



And, last not least, would you be keen on attending powwows etc. with others who, previously, bombed you publicly with harsh comments, maybe getting pretty personal? Not me, thanks!



Frankly, I am more reluctant than positive about this idea for the above reasons.



Steffen

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-16 16:34 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-16 16:47 ]


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Vicky Vandaele  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:16
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I agree Dec 16, 2002

I think this is an excellent idea. It is true that - as in any other business - there are translators who take their job very seriously, and others - well - don\'t. I think it\'s only fair to get a rating system for both parties in this relationship, so that a (close to) perfect cooperation can be the result.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
Rating Translators Dec 16, 2002

I think it is a bad idea and open to abuse.



When we rate agencies, we are basing ourselves on hard facts. Basically, did they pay on time and whether the conditions were fair.



You cannot rate a translator in the same way since they are not paying. You can only assess the quality of his or her work and this is subjective. The quality may be bad because the time given was too short or the translation agency decided to send 10,000 words instead of 5,000 at the very last minute. Alternatively, a translation agency may decide that the style of the translation is not what they want. This does not mean the translation is bad, just that the language choices are different. It is open to abuse too since an agency is better able to protect itself than a lone translator.



It will always be a problem to find a \'new\' translator in the sense that you will only have the information they supplied available. There are, however, three options to make a better decision:

1.

A test translation

2.

Small paid job to test the waters

2.

Use a translator linked to one of the translators’ institutes (i.e. ITI)



I am, like Joeri, a translator and an agency at different times and I prefer the 2nd method.



All translation work I subcontract is also proof-read before delivery (including my own work). I think that this is the added value of using a translation agency. They should do something for their commission after all.



I think that it is great when I use a new translator and find that he or she provides great work. And yes, I’ve had the opposite experience too and would like to shout in frustration. It is, however, better to send the translator back their work with the corrections and explain that you will not be using his or her services in the future.



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Domenica Grangiotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
English to Italian
+ ...
Ratings do not necessarily mean 'criticism' Dec 16, 2002

I believe it is only fair for agencies to have a way to rate translators.

I am \"only\" a translator, not an agency, and I would like to see rates published for assignments completed.

Standards for rating might be set, i.e. on time delivery, accuracy, etc...

Abuses? this must be the most commonly used term in all the forums. We use it for practically everything, from Kudoz points to rates in job postings...



Can we discuss the issue further, please? This is really important.



Have a nice evening.


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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:16
Member
French to English
Mailing list for this purpose Dec 16, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-12-16 15:52, King Darling wrote:

I would like to know your opinion about the following question...

We have an Agency Blue Board on this site and that is great. But if translators can rate agencies, wouldn\'t it be fair to create a similar Blue Board where agencies can comment on their co-operation with translators (maybe limited to Proz members)?

I for one am, like many of us I suppose, a translator as well as an \"agency\": I work for agencies, but I also outsource translations. I think it is a great idea that the translators who have worked for me, can comment on how I treat them. When I work for an agency, I also check the Blue Board and am glad when I can find some information.

But when I am looking for translators, I have nothing to rely on. Is a certain translator good? Doe she or she respect deadlines? No way to find out... (Except contacting references who were carefully selected by the translator himself.) We just have to rely on cv\'s and what they tell us...

I am saying this because I have had bad experiences with translators who thought I wouldn\'t have their translations proofread an who simply sent me a machine translation, thinking they could make a quick buck (or euro). Therefore, I think it would be great for outsourcers to have a more objective source than the translator himself to rely on when looking for qualified translators.



There\'s also another reason for this: I would also like to rate certain translators, simply because I enjoy working with them and because they deliver great quality. There are a few freelance colleagues I regularly work with and I think this can be a nice way to say thanks to them in another way than just paying their invoices in time...



Looking forward to reading your comments on this...



Best wishes





Joeri





A mailing list was set up exactly for this purpose. The list is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skills_rate/



I also sub-contract a lot of work and have had very mixed experiences. It would be wonderful to have a source of reliable information on the actual work provided by translators.



Regards,

Karin Adamczyk

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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
English to German
+ ...
Exactly! Dec 16, 2002

[quote]

On 2002-12-16 16:40, 1964 wrote:



\"Also one should pay attention to difference:

In blue Board you rate \"payment practices\" not directly personality of any individual(At least one should not).

However any rating on translators, since they are human beings, is directly related to personality.\"



This is what I try to say:



\"IMO, such things are too personal to be discussed in public, and criticism of this kind should be pointed out on a case-by-case basis between the two or more people concerned when forming a team for a certain project or outsourcing certain jobs.



Remember that an agency is more anonymous to you than is the peer who, probably, could have had a bad day one day but will be able to help you out here on proz the other day.\"





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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:16
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A few reactions Dec 16, 2002

I think most of what you say goes for the existing Blue Board as well, Steffen. As an agency owner, you can give other agencies a bad rating if you really want...



IMHO, a freelance translator is no less a company than a translation agency. You have to make a distinction between the person (the translator as a human being) and the \"business partner\" (the translator as a company from which you may request impeccable quality). An agency that fails to pay a translator in due time because of a human error (which can happen to anyone!) would get a bad rating from that translator... And I\'m really sorry, but I don\'t know any clients that would accept \"oh, I was having a bad day\" as an excuse for a poor translation...



Nonetheless, I perfectly understand that this blue board could get more personal than teh one for agency ratings. Maybe Proz could limit the access to agencies placing an offer, which would then get access to the rating of only those translators who placed a bid (e.g. automatic link in their bid, like the link to the blue board when rated agencies place an offer). That would not make it too public...



I would, however, like to add that we are all professionals and that we should all be professional enough to limit our ratings to professional comments. (I know there always will be rotten apples, but...)



About what Tayfun says:

Quote:
What if a translator is really not good and you incure losses?

That is your problem, you should be careful in choosing your translators as to expertise,fields...




That is exactly the problem, Tayfun! As an agency, you have to rely on what the translator tells you, there\'s no way you can check, unless he gives you some references, which - of course - he carefully selected himself. If we follow your logic, the agency blueboard does not have a reason of existence either.



And finally, Marijke (\"Use a translator linked to one of the translators’ institutes\"): that is no guarantee for quality. For most institutes, you just need a certain degree (which is no guarantee for quality) and pay your membership fee...



Anyway, I see this is becoming an interesting discussion. Looking forward to more reactions!



Joeri


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 02:16
English
+ ...
Marijke, Dec 16, 2002

Anything that encourages two-way dialogue is a good thing offhand. You cite a valid number of objective criteria that adversely the quality of our output. Could we accept the principle of agencies rating us but make them fill in lots of little boxes with all the criteria you point out very rightly?

Arthur


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:16
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
For Karin Dec 16, 2002

Thanks for the link, Karin, but how can I become a member of that group? I only see the message \"Sorry, this group is available to members ONLY. - You are not allowed to access this group.\"



Thanks





Joeri


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xxxjmf  Identity Verified
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree with Marijke Dec 16, 2002

In addition to a test translation and a small paid job, if translators provide 3 or 4 professional refereces an agency may be more willing to be truthful as to the strengths and weaknesses of a given translator if they are contacted privately by another outsourcer.



I do think it\'s an interesting concept, but as Marijke noted, could lead to abuse if the format were the same as the agency blue board.



Quote:


On 2002-12-16 16:27, Marijke wrote:

I think it is a bad idea and open to abuse.



When we rate agencies, we are basing ourselves on hard facts. Basically, did they pay on time and whether the conditions were fair.



You cannot rate a translator in the same way since they are not paying. You can only assess the quality of his or her work and this is subjective. The quality may be bad because the time given was too short or the translation agency decided to send 10,000 words instead of 5,000 at the very last minute. Alternatively, a translation agency may decide that the style of the translation is not what they want. This does not mean the translation is bad, just that the language choices are different. It is open to abuse too since an agency is better able to protect itself than a lone translator.



It will always be a problem to find a \'new\' translator in the sense that you will only have the information they supplied available. There are, however, three options to make a better decision:

1.

A test translation

2.

Small paid job to test the waters

2.

Use a translator linked to one of the translators’ institutes (i.e. ITI)



I am, like Joeri, a translator and an agency at different times and I prefer the 2nd method.



All translation work I subcontract is also proof-read before delivery (including my own work). I think that this is the added value of using a translation agency. They should do something for their commission after all.



I think that it is great when I use a new translator and find that he or she provides great work. And yes, I’ve had the opposite experience too and would like to shout in frustration. It is, however, better to send the translator back their work with the corrections and explain that you will not be using his or her services in the future.





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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:16
Member
French to English
To join Dec 16, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-12-16 17:04, King Darling wrote:

Thanks for the link, Karin, but how can I become a member of that group? I only see the message \"Sorry, this group is available to members ONLY. - You are not allowed to access this group.\"



Thanks





Joeri





Hello Joeri,



To prevent abuse, only invited members can join and all messages are moderated.



To be considered, please send a message to karin.adamczyk@macroconsulting.com with your full name, title, company name and address, and your reason for joining.



Regards,

Karin Adamczyk

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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:16
Member
French to English
Info on professionals from other professionals Dec 16, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-12-16 17:08, 1964 wrote:

Quote:


On 2002-12-16 16:40, kadamczyk wrote:





A mailing list was set up exactly for this purpose. The list is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skills_rate/



Karin Adamczyk



Who is the Founder?

When started?

I could not acess to this list, \"not allowed\"

and also I would like to know if there is any rating about me ?

I think all of us will be interested in the same way.

In blue board, they give a chance to agency to reply.? Do they give a chance to reply?

Tayfun Torunoglu









Translators need to see themselves as business people. This new list is intended as a place where businesses can obtain professional references about other businesses. There is no reason for requesting or providing personal information. Professional conduct results in good references in my opinion.



Regards,

Karin

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