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Grading your competitors' samples?
Thread poster: sokolniki

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 31, 2007

Oh, those creative and inventive agencies, looking for more freebees from those filthy rich translators..

I was recently not very busy and made a sample translation for an agency - which I stopped doing a while ago.

Guess what happened next and you'd better sit down: they sent me a thank you message with the info that my sample has been sent to the client for evaluation, and A REQUEST TO GRADE SEVEN ATTACHED SAMPLES EVIDENTLY FROM OTHER TRANSLATORS WHICH APPLIED FOR THIS JOB!
They also added a sweet explanation saying that since I am already familiar with the text, it will take just a few minutes. I refused to do it.

How cheap can these people go? Where is their professional ethics?

Did anybody have a similar thing happen to you?

Thanks. Ranting and Raving topic subject is definitely a must here.


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Daniel Šebesta  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:21
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
Same here Oct 31, 2007

I think I know which agency you're referring to. I also did a test for them and received a similar request, with the very same explanation. In return, I explained to them that I am not in a position to evaluate my competitors' work. Because I was interested in the job, I didn't say directly that I find such practice unethical. However, it is indeed an alarming case!

Daniel


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:51
English to Tamil
+ ...
It happened to me as well Oct 31, 2007

There was this publisher who wanted to get translated, the horoscope booklets dealing with the 12 Zodiac signs such as Aries, Pisces etc. He called me for a discussion. The moment I arrived, he placed an Aries booklet and asked me to start translating it into French immediately in his presence. He explained that he wanted to test my French command.

I immediately started speaking to him in French. He sheepishly agreed that he does not know French but he would get my translation assessed by his expert. I flatly refused to do so. Instead, I told him that the rate has to be agreed upon before deciding whether it was worthwhile to continue the discussion. Reluctantly he named a word rate, which was way below the prevailing market rate. I just politely wished him a good day and started to take my leave. At that time he requested me to evaluate some translations done by my fellow translators. So, this was the expert he was referring to! I just laughed at his face and went away.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Rui de Carvalho  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:21
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Would we stick to deontology... Oct 31, 2007

I'm not surprised when a lot of (pseudo) translators agree to revise, or the so-called proofreading, the work of other peers. And normally try to show off with changes that turn the texts into something nobody would understand. Some time ago, I was approach by an agency whose owner was very proud of a system he had invented involving the revision of each translation by four different people in a row. "What do you think of our system?" he asked. We are indeed surrounded of stupid people, but a lot of us are equally stupid.

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The Misha
Local time: 17:21
Russian to English
+ ...
Happened to me too - once Oct 31, 2007

About 6 months ago, it happened to me too, with an agency located in Israel. The story was just like the one you described. I was trying to get back into the business after a long break back then, and felt fairly desperate, to be honest, so I actually did go for it. Never heard from these nice folks ever again. To be sure, the qulity of the translations I reviewed was fairly poor.

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Daniel Šebesta  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:21
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
We all must be talking about the same company Oct 31, 2007

The Misha wrote:

About 6 months ago, it happened to me too, with an agency located in Israel. The story was just like the one you described.


Misha,

We all must be talking about the same company.

Daniel


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Prokop Vantuch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:21
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
Post in BlueBoard Oct 31, 2007

Hello guys,

I haven't experienced your situation but you might want to post a note in the BlueBoard section and grade the agency appropriately.

Not that the agency should necessarily get the lowest grade from you (except for this situation, the cooperation with them might be ok), but it might warn other colleagues about this practice and maybe prevent the agency from doing it (or at least make the agency representatives think about it).

Prokop
----------------
www.joey.cz


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Maria Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same experience Oct 31, 2007

The Misha wrote:

About 6 months ago, it happened to me too, with an agency located in Israel. The story was just like the one you described. I was trying to get back into the business after a long break back then, and felt fairly desperate, to be honest, so I actually did go for it. Never heard from these nice folks ever again. To be sure, the qulity of the translations I reviewed was fairly poor.




Exactly the same thing, but few days ago...

The thing is I checked their BB before quoting, and I found it reliable enough...


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Correct Oct 31, 2007

Yes, the agency is from Israel. And yes, their BB which I also always check before quoting, was quite good. Live and learn..

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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:21
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Blue Board entries: limited to outsourcers for whom paid work has been performed Oct 31, 2007

Please note that unless you have actually worked for an outsourcer--as opposed to doing a sample translation or rendering other preliminary services--you cannot enter an LWA (Likelihood to Work Again) for that outsourcer. Of course, if the outsourcer in question offered payment in exchange for grading those samples, and you did the work and delivered it, an appropriate LWA should, indeed, be entered. But it doesn't sound like that was the case here.

Yolanda Broad
ProZ.com Jobs and Blue Board Moderator


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Prokop Vantuch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:21
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
Important note, indeed Oct 31, 2007

Yolanda Broad wrote:

Please note that unless you have actually worked for an outsourcer--as opposed to doing a sample translation or rendering other preliminary services--you cannot enter an LWA (Likelihood to Work Again) for that outsourcer.


Thanks a lot, Yolanda, for your note! It hasn't come to my mind at all.

Anyway, I'm just interested - what if no one (from my colleagues above) has worked for this agency and thus an LWA cannot be entered. Hence the agency's LWA remains very good. Is there any way how one might warn other colleagues about similar outsourcer's practice, other than by posting in a forum (where, obviously, the outsourcer's name must not be posted)?

Prokop
----------------
www.joey.cz


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:21
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Posting about a modus operandi in forums is ample warning Nov 1, 2007

No need to mention names - what we all need to know is how some outsourcers operate. And threads such as this one certainly help make all of us aware! In fact, a warning in the Blue Board would only tell us about one "clever" outsourcer, instead of making us wise to a particular kind of practice. So thank you, sokolniki (sorry, I don't know your name), for starting this thread!

Yolanda Broad

Prokop Vantuch wrote:

Anyway, I'm just interested - what if no one (from my colleagues above) has worked for this agency and thus an LWA cannot be entered. Hence the agency's LWA remains very good. Is there any way how one might warn other colleagues about similar outsourcer's practice, other than by posting in a forum (where, obviously, the outsourcer's name must not be posted)?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What if they had offered to pay for reviewing? Nov 1, 2007

sokolniki wrote:
...and A REQUEST TO GRADE SEVEN ATTACHED SAMPLES EVIDENTLY FROM OTHER TRANSLATORS WHICH APPLIED FOR THIS JOB!


I don't have any objection to this modus operandi, but I would also have refused, for the simple reason that reviewing other translators' texts doesn't qualify as "test" any longer, and must be paid for.

If the agency had been upfront with me and told me that the test would have two components, namely translating a text and reviewing one existing translation of the same or another text, then of course I would be happy to do it for free because I know it is part of a test and it doesn't smell.

But yes, asking to grade SEVEN tests from other translators as part of the "test" is a bit steep. Still, what if they had offered to pay (at an industry rate) for the reviews? Would you have done it?


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Only if invited as reviewer or editor Nov 1, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

sokolniki wrote:
...and A REQUEST TO GRADE SEVEN ATTACHED SAMPLES EVIDENTLY FROM OTHER TRANSLATORS WHICH APPLIED FOR THIS JOB!


I don't have any objection to this modus operandi, but I would also have refused, for the simple reason that reviewing other translators' texts doesn't qualify as "test" any longer, and must be paid for.

If the agency had been upfront with me and told me that the test would have two components, namely translating a text and reviewing one existing translation of the same or another text, then of course I would be happy to do it for free because I know it is part of a test and it doesn't smell.

But yes, asking to grade SEVEN tests from other translators as part of the "test" is a bit steep. Still, what if they had offered to pay (at an industry rate) for the reviews? Would you have done it?


I do a lot of proofreading and editing and would take it as editing or reviewing at my regular rates. And only provided I did not do the translation.


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 00:21
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
that's really funny Nov 4, 2007

Rui de Carvalho wrote:

... I was approach by an agency whose owner was very proud of a system he had invented involving the revision of each translation by four different people in a row. "What do you think of our system?" he asked.


Haha I am laughing aloud - 4 people in a row Well, I think the owner should be proud of it. Just one thing - I think an agency should be proud of the quality of the work they provide to their clients. Well, it seems a QA system and quality as such does not make a difference for some...


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