Best way to communicate with agency
Thread poster: Laura Morwood
| | Heinrich Pesch
Local time: 19:54
Finnish to German
| Better look for agencies in your time zone || Jul 3, 2008 |
No use to stay up all night, probably you would have missed the assignments anyway.
On the one hand there is advantage working with people in very different time zones. Mostly jobs come up at the end of working day, when the endclient remembers, oh I need this translated for tomorrow!
Then the agency, for instance in North-America, can contact you in Europe, send the files and you find them in your mailbox when you wake up, translate them, send them back and the customer will get them when s/he arrives at the office. All fine.
But if you need feedback or need to discuss things with your agency, it doesn't work, because either of your will be sleeping. No problem with big projects, that run over days and weeks, though.
So I would suggest you build up a base of customers in your time-zone and only occasionally work with customers far away.
Agencies start to address this problem by working together globally. A few days ago I got a phone call when I was sitting watching evening tv-show. The person only asked for my email address. I didn't ask any details. When I went to bed no mail had arrived.
In the morning after breakfast I found his mails, it was a rush job, wanting me to translate 1500 words immediately. No details about his business. In fact he was still in the office when I responded, but then referred me to his partner in Belgium.
Well, it was 3 p.m. when I got the PO from there. I send him the translation at 9 p.m. and hoped for the best. It was after all a well-known agency, but without the Belgian partner I would not have got the PO in time.
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| Avoid an old agency that starts to act wierdly || Jul 3, 2008 |
I will tell about my experience.
An old agency which I have contects for over 4 years did not pay me recently by saying that my 2 latest translations were bad. I summarize its wierd behavior as follows:
1. It started to save budget irrationally e.g. never pay for 100% match + repetition in TMs: This can automatically create wrong translation due to different in contexts and the translator will not review (also prohibited to review).
2. It started to use CAT without sufficient knowledge e.g. use of MultiTerm for segments termbase, not word termbase.
3. It started to hire many new translators, requested for their test translations, and told me to review the tests.
4. It started to reply to my mails very slowly e.g. 2-3 days later.
5. It started to use a new project manager.
6. It cannot understand my target languages of translation.
7. It started to change from a friendly contact to an ill-comprehension contact.
This agency insisted not to pay me even after many of my explanations and lectures on how it was judging wrongly.
It is not logical: why it accepted many of my translations for many years without claims? I am professional enough to improve, not downgrade, subsequent translation quality.
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| Smaller agencies || Jul 3, 2008 |
I would recommend you to sign up with smaller agencies. Many large agencies make their translator "compete" for the jobs and that is just a number game.
I have a few smaller clients and when they send out job offers, they ask one translator and only if the first one can't do it, they then ask the next. That is a much nicer way of doing things, I believe.
In my experience the smaller agencies also pay better.
| The better they know you... || Jul 3, 2008 |
Laura Morwood wrote:
The agency in the USA sent me an email with job offer, to which I responded immediately through Outlook. Only to get an email back the next day which said the job had been assigned already!
When I got my translation diploma years ago, I got into my car and just visited a couple of agencies personally, handing out my CV. Many of them still belong to my client base. And when there is a more personal contact, the way of approaching you for a job will be a different one. They will know what to expect from you, exchange a personal word with you from time to time, and they will probably know by then that you had to be busy with your kids (for example) and could not respond within 1 minute. At least that is my experience.
I also started drawing some of my clients' attention to my availability calendar on ProZ.com, telling them "if you see green, consider it done". This also helped.
Maybe just start looking around for clients in your area or in your Dutch home town next time you are there.
And yes, Skype seems to be the choice in many agencies. If, however, you need or want to use other "buddy clients", you might want to look for a solution that combines multiple systems.
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