Matter of professionalism/confidentiality : agency wants samples of past work from applicants
Thread poster: Alexander Chisholm

Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Italian to English
+ ...
Feb 6, 2003

I refer to a posting which appeared today:-

http://www.proz.com/job?id=31589



This is a posting in which a translation agency is looking for a team of medical/pharma translators in various language pairs, so that they can present a team of translators and look for patent and other translation jobs from pharma companies - fair enough there!



They are looking for translators in the various language pairs who have four years plus experinec in the sector(s) of interest - again fair enough!



They want applicants to include, along with their CV and supporting material (again fair enough) 2 folders of translated material - definitely not fair enough, and in my view TOTALLY STUPID request.



I have a Ph.D. in genetics and 10+ years medical/biotechnology research experience and quite a large amount of experience in translating and producing industrial patents and similar documents such as state of the art reports etc. (well over a thousand and still counting) and in every case, confidentiality is a MAJOR ISSUE. Even in cases where confidentially is not spelled out, it is still largely implied. No clients i have aver had are going to be happy at my passing on material that I have worked on after receiving from them, and frankly, it is my opinion at least, that an agency making this request must either by very naive or just plain stupid. In any way it seems clear they do not understand the workings of the sector.



Any comments?



Is it worthwhile replying to the advert with an offer?



_________________



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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:04
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You are right Feb 6, 2003

It may be acceptable to offer as samples of your work translations that belong to the public domain (such as Websites, advertising or published books or journals), but certainly not if they might be confidential.





[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-06 13:50]


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 15:04
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
What I do.... Feb 6, 2003

When I\'m asked for references I provide material for which I have already asked my client\'s permission to use the respective translation as a reference/sample.



HTH



Alison


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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree about material in the public domain... Feb 6, 2003

if it is already published, or if it of a nature where is is already divulged then fair enough.



The problem that I have is that I work on a lot of patent applications and quite often the legal documentation surrounding their contestations etc. It is often quite some time before they are made public.



I have occasionally asked clients if I could cite some of their material and in general they are not happy, and often there is a risk that you may compromise the trust the client has in you.


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Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:04
Italian to English
+ ...
Looking at the ad, they're not asking for that much... Feb 6, 2003

They\'re asking for not more than 2 pages of samples. I didn\'t see anything in the ad requesting it be a single translation. I understood it to be two pages total of different translation samples - not very hard to come up with if you have the requested 4 years of translation experience, and as was previously mentioned, you can always get the nod from your clients on which parts of which translation you may use as samples.





Quote:


They want applicants to include, along with their CV and supporting material (again fair enough) 2 folders of translated material - definitely not fair enough, and in my view TOTALLY STUPID request.





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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes but the most relevant material... Feb 6, 2003

that I could send them would still be confidential. I could send them pages of other work, but that is not in the field that they say they want to target. I do have a lot of experience in exactly the field they are lookig for, but very little of it can be released without first contacting the client, and that is not always an easy thing to do.

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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:04
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
My opinion Feb 6, 2003

I don\'t think we are dealing with an agency here, just with an Italian translator who recently received a master in medical and pharmaceutical translations from a private institution (CTI) and is probably trying to build her own team (see her under construction Web site).



[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-06 15:52]


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 21:04
English
+ ...
Don't supply confidential material: OOOBviously. Feb 6, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-06 15:26, achisholm wrote:

the most relevant material that I could send them would still be confidential.





Yikes why would you even dream of shooting yourself and your EXISTING client in the foot with the same bullet???



Why do you want to lose sleep wondering if the agency isn\'t fishing for marketable information? Or if s/he\'s even got a password under whichever version of Windows it was where all ya hadda do was hit ESC to log on? Or some other ProZ site visitor doesn\'t start wondering if, hmm, wouldn\'t that be a nice PC to hack into. Or if the agency isn\'t naively going to submit these samples to the client so the latter can vet quality for him/herself. And if they glean a tidbit or two, why should they deprive themselves of the freebie?







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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:04
English to French
Communicate Feb 7, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-06 15:26, achisholm wrote:

that I could send them would still be confidential. I could send them pages of other work, but that is not in the field that they say they want to target. I do have a lot of experience in exactly the field they are lookig for, but very little of it can be released without first contacting the client, and that is not always an easy thing to do.



Explain your prospect the situation, and ask him to contact a couple of your previous clients.



There is NO way you can disclose confidential materials.



However, since you are over 10 years in the profession, you could probably contact an old client for permission to release two pages of an old translation of yours, replacing any name or number in it by \"XXX\".



In all cases, your previous client will feel assured you respect confidentiality (if you didn\'t, you wouldn\'t ask his permission, would you?), and with a little chance, it will get you a new client.



Beside, I am sure this is not the first time you come accross a request for samples, and a couple samples ready to send come in handy from time to time.



The only other possibility I see is to offer to do a small test.



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Matter of professionalism/confidentiality : agency wants samples of past work from applicants

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