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question of bidding process and necessity for insurance
Thread poster: Eva Gross
Eva Gross  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
German to English
+ ...
Jul 3, 2007

I was wondering how exactly the bidding for the translation works.
If I win a bid, and if I am then sent the text and determine that I cannot do it, can I send it back or am I now forced to translate it?
Do I need liability insurance, etc?

Please let me know.

Thanks!

Eva Gross


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Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:59
Danish to English
+ ...
Not eBay Jul 3, 2007

This isn't eBay. Of course you don't HAVE to translate anything

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Eva Gross  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
insurance? Jul 3, 2007

Thanks for your reply! Do you know whether translators are required to have liability insurance, and whether most do?

Thanks again!

Tina Colquhoun wrote:


This isn't eBay. Of course you don't HAVE to translate anything


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Insurance Jul 4, 2007

Required by who?

The need for liability insurance has been discussed often here, but I have yet to hear of any verified instance of a translator ever being subjected to such a claim.

Absent such evidence, I would say that it is a total non-issue.

Personally I am not aware of any translators that have such insurance, or even if such an animal is offered or in what countries.


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:59
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Be honest Jul 4, 2007

Eva Gross wrote:

I was wondering how exactly the bidding for the translation works.
If I win a bid, and if I am then sent the text and determine that I cannot do it, can I send it back or am I now forced to translate it?
Do I need liability insurance, etc?

Eva Gross


There may be rules involved in the PROZ marketplace that apply to this, and I recommend you look at the "site rules" to become familiar with them. But before it becomes a "dispute" that needs to be "resolved" through "dispute resolution" channels, I would recommend you take some preliminary action.

When you win a bid and get the work, the outsourcer has every reason to believe you'll do it. The reasons you "cannot do it" should be explained as soon as possible. (Example: You told me that this was a letter from your distant cousin, whom you finally tracked down. Based on this description, I expected a lot of family news. However, your distant cousin is providing all the technical details on how to run a nuclear reactor. That's not a field I know much about. I recommend you send it to someone who does know about that subject.") Such things happen. After all, your client may be unable to read the source text (which is why he/she is hiring a translator).

Many outsourcers, myself included, will take this in stride. After all, they don't particularly want uncomprehended German translated into incomprehensible English (or whatever the language pair is). Machine translation programs will do that for less than most humans. However, the client is under no obligation to release you from the contract you entered into, in which case you do your best and put some caveats in the cover message.

Naturally, if you do this without a lot of notice or do it for reasons under your control (e.g., I didn't plan for so much work.), you do a lot of damage to your professional reputation. If I send you a job with two weeks to do it and get a call the day before it's due telling me you're not going to do it, I'm likely to be annoyed. That puts me behind schedule and/or requires me to find someone to do it very quickly. I'd be unlikely to choose you for the next job (and you do want repeat business, right?) I'm not speaking for all outsourcers, but many of them think along similar lines.

As concerns liability insurance, there have been several threads about the subject. I recommend you read them to help you decide whether you want it.


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Gabrielle Bannard  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:59
French to English
Insurance does (did?) exist Jul 4, 2007

You can get insurance in Canada (at least you could 5 years ago) from a company in Ontario (name escapes me)...it's called "Errors and Omissions Insurance".

You would need it if you were concerned about liability issues that could drag you into court (e.g. if you translated a legal, medical or technical document and your translation caused harm somehow). I had it for a while but until I do work that has the potential for huge liability issues, I'm not worrying about it.

I guess it's a matter of choice.


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:59
French to English
+ ...
really? Jul 4, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

Personally I am not aware of any translators that have such insurance, or even if such an animal is offered or in what countries.


I do - and I know a number of translators who do. Among other options in France, the SFT offers its members a group policy with Gras Savoye.

Patricia


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:59
German to English
+ ...
question of bidding process and necessity for insurance Jul 4, 2007

Eva Gross wrote:

If I win a bid, and if I am then sent the text and determine that I cannot do it, can I send it back or am I now forced to translate it?


I think that the consensus is that you don't bid, but quote. I don't really see how you can quote without knowing whether you can even do the job.

Do I need liability insurance, etc?


My professional association recommends it. If you don't know whether you need it, you probably do.

HTH,
Marc


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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 00:59
English to Norwegian
+ ...
quoting Jul 4, 2007

Hi

I think Paul's anwer is very good.
The information given in the job postings are sometimes not very informative. When I put in a quote for a job, I state my interest in the project, my fields of expertise and my rates, and always add that I want to see the text before committing myself to the actual job.
It might turn out that it is beyond my capabilites, and then of course it would be better for all involved that the job is given to someone who will do a good job on it.


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Akoma
English to Russian
+ ...
I never hesitate to turn down a job Jul 4, 2007

that comes with terms attached that have not been discussed or about which I have not been previously informed.
For instance, an agency calls me with a job offer, the price sounds reasonable, I say "OK, go ahead, send me the text." When I receive the text, I see that is has a very complex formatting, so the work, in my view, must be either better paid or the formatting should be handled by someone else, not me. I usually tell this to the client, and if (s)he still wants me to do the job on previous terms, I decline.
Another similar situation is when I receive, for instance, an abusive contract with the job already discussed. I decline either, explaining my reasons.
No qualms about it, never feel I behave unprofessionally.


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Eva Gross  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
contract? Jul 4, 2007

Paul,

thanks very much for your very helpful reply. There is just one part that I find a bit disturbing: You said "However, the client is under no obligation to release you from the contract you entered into". So you are in effect telling me that bidding IS binding then, right? That I am legally obligated to complete a translation I bid on, although, as you explain, most outsourcers are reasonable when there is good reason and adequate notice why a translator is not able to do it?

As far as ProZ's position, I received this reply from a support ticket "If you are referring to ProZ.com´s position, we just offer the service that allow translators to indicate what they would accept the job for; however, I would imagine that the outsourcer and the service provider would initiate something more formal after connecting".

In addition, all other reply posts to my question indicate that bidding is not binding.

So perhaps I misunderstood that part of your answer cited above, would you mind clarifying?

Thanks so much!

Eva



Paul Merriam wrote:

Eva Gross wrote:

I was wondering how exactly the bidding for the translation works.
If I win a bid, and if I am then sent the text and determine that I cannot do it, can I send it back or am I now forced to translate it?
Do I need liability insurance, etc?

Eva Gross


There may be rules involved in the PROZ marketplace that apply to this, and I recommend you look at the "site rules" to become familiar with them. But before it becomes a "dispute" that needs to be "resolved" through "dispute resolution" channels, I would recommend you take some preliminary action.

When you win a bid and get the work, the outsourcer has every reason to believe you'll do it. The reasons you "cannot do it" should be explained as soon as possible. (Example: You told me that this was a letter from your distant cousin, whom you finally tracked down. Based on this description, I expected a lot of family news. However, your distant cousin is providing all the technical details on how to run a nuclear reactor. That's not a field I know much about. I recommend you send it to someone who does know about that subject.") Such things happen. After all, your client may be unable to read the source text (which is why he/she is hiring a translator).

Many outsourcers, myself included, will take this in stride. After all, they don't particularly want uncomprehended German translated into incomprehensible English (or whatever the language pair is). Machine translation programs will do that for less than most humans. However, the client is under no obligation to release you from the contract you entered into, in which case you do your best and put some caveats in the cover message.

Naturally, if you do this without a lot of notice or do it for reasons under your control (e.g., I didn't plan for so much work.), you do a lot of damage to your professional reputation. If I send you a job with two weeks to do it and get a call the day before it's due telling me you're not going to do it, I'm likely to be annoyed. That puts me behind schedule and/or requires me to find someone to do it very quickly. I'd be unlikely to choose you for the next job (and you do want repeat business, right?) I'm not speaking for all outsourcers, but many of them think along similar lines.

As concerns liability insurance, there have been several threads about the subject. I recommend you read them to help you decide whether you want it.


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Eva Gross  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Location of Site rules? Jul 4, 2007

Paul,

you recommended I look at the site rules to become familiar with them - where exactly may I be able to find those? I asked the support staff and all I got was a link to the Site Glossary http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/591/.

Please let me know, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!

Eva


Paul Merriam wrote:

Eva Gross wrote:

I was wondering how exactly the bidding for the translation works.
If I win a bid, and if I am then sent the text and determine that I cannot do it, can I send it back or am I now forced to translate it?
Do I need liability insurance, etc?

Eva Gross


There may be rules involved in the PROZ marketplace that apply to this, and I recommend you look at the "site rules" to become familiar with them. But before it becomes a "dispute" that needs to be "resolved" through "dispute resolution" channels, I would recommend you take some preliminary action.

When you win a bid and get the work, the outsourcer has every reason to believe you'll do it. The reasons you "cannot do it" should be explained as soon as possible. (Example: You told me that this was a letter from your distant cousin, whom you finally tracked down. Based on this description, I expected a lot of family news. However, your distant cousin is providing all the technical details on how to run a nuclear reactor. That's not a field I know much about. I recommend you send it to someone who does know about that subject.") Such things happen. After all, your client may be unable to read the source text (which is why he/she is hiring a translator).

Many outsourcers, myself included, will take this in stride. After all, they don't particularly want uncomprehended German translated into incomprehensible English (or whatever the language pair is). Machine translation programs will do that for less than most humans. However, the client is under no obligation to release you from the contract you entered into, in which case you do your best and put some caveats in the cover message.

Naturally, if you do this without a lot of notice or do it for reasons under your control (e.g., I didn't plan for so much work.), you do a lot of damage to your professional reputation. If I send you a job with two weeks to do it and get a call the day before it's due telling me you're not going to do it, I'm likely to be annoyed. That puts me behind schedule and/or requires me to find someone to do it very quickly. I'd be unlikely to choose you for the next job (and you do want repeat business, right?) I'm not speaking for all outsourcers, but many of them think along similar lines.

As concerns liability insurance, there have been several threads about the subject. I recommend you read them to help you decide whether you want it.


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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 00:59
English to Norwegian
+ ...
site rules Jul 5, 2007

can be found here:
http://www.proz.com/rules

It certainly does not say that by expressing interest in a job, you have automatically entered into a contract of doing the job no matter what.
But just to make sure, I always(as I said) ask to see the text in question before committing myself. I don't want to be forced to do a job beyond my capabilities.


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Eva Gross  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Hilde! Jul 5, 2007

Hilde Granlund wrote:

can be found here:
http://www.proz.com/rules

It certainly does not say that by expressing interest in a job, you have automatically entered into a contract of doing the job no matter what.
But just to make sure, I always(as I said) ask to see the text in question before committing myself. I don't want to be forced to do a job beyond my capabilities.


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
English to Russian
+ ...
don't be afraid to quote on subs Jul 7, 2007

put some sub every time you quote or counter. Not that difficult to put an extra line in your quote with something like, "subject to additional confirmation that job is accepted upon receipt of the text to be translated."

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