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Poll: How long was the longest translation agency application form you have come across?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:17
SITE STAFF
Apr 4, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How long was the longest translation agency application form you have come across?".

This poll was originally submitted by Paulo César Mendes MD, CT

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 19:17
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
15-20 pages Apr 4, 2008

One time I translated a minimum fee job for a translation agency with a good reputation. After having delivered the job, I was asked to send by SNAIL MAIL the relevant paperwork to proceed with the payment. It was something about 15-20 pages I had to fill out and take to my local post office. I decided that I would lose more time and money if I did so than if I invested that time in working, for which I decided not to claim the payment. The client, by the way, never insisted in paying me.

What I learned: Normally, minimum fee jobs for new clients are not recommendable.

Regards,

Elías


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wingho  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:17
Chinese to English
7 page form Apr 4, 2008

Our agency use to have a 7 page form, with many redundant fields, encompassing both local and abroad translators and interpreters. Needless to say, some of the more qualified candidates we tried to recruit gave up on us in frustration, which necesitated a streamlining, which we have now cut down to a very slim 1 page

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:17
Russian to English
+ ...
Sign of a good agency Apr 4, 2008

A really good agency would not force the translator to fill out an application form until (s)he is about to receive the first payment from that agency, and even then limit it to one easy-to-fill page. Anything more than that, and the agency in question is guaranteed to have a steady influx of fresh graduates and hardly any highly qualified specialists.

[Edited at 2008-04-04 20:56]


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 22:17
English to Spanish
4-7 pages Apr 4, 2008

Seeing that it also forced me (or tried to) to add references and contacts with their e-mail addresses, I didn't bother to fill it.

I could've probably written "noneofyourbusiness [at] gmail.com / confidential [at] gmail.com" or something along those lines, but I would've wasted too much time.


Greetings


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:17
English to French
+ ...
4 to 7 pages Apr 5, 2008

It was the second and last application I ever filled out (or tried to: I stopped right in the middle and told them I was not willing to give three clients' names and adresses). I am much better off with people who come to me because another client recommended me to them.

I am amazed some applications are 15 to 20 pages, but as Elías says, it must be to put a translator off, as it takes more time to try to fill it out and get paid than to do another job for someone else.

Good evening,

Anne


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:17
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
When I see a long application, I run the other way! Apr 5, 2008

Whenever possible, I prefer to work directly for clients rather than go through agencies. I knock on doors and send out resumes to organiztions that farm out translations. So far, I've been blessed with some good clients who have referred me to others. So I can afford to draw the line - and I do - when it comes to filling out those complicated forms.

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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Never filled out a form in 20 years Apr 5, 2008

Oh, the humanity! A good agency should be able to decide whether they want you based on a short sample translation, with a list of your specialties. There's far too much work out there as it is.

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:17
English to Polish
+ ...
About 10 Apr 5, 2008

Most of pages weren't even relevant to me, as the agency was based in US and wanted all things regarding US tax and such. I filled it, but never bothered to go to post office and send it by snail mail (their requirement). I just wanted to be added to their database, so it was not worth all that paperwork, since I wouldn't know I would have anything from it.

Ironically 6 months later I applied for a job posted by them, got it, did it, got paid and no additional paperwork was necessary

Anni


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Dipl.-Kfm. Bernhard Aicher MBA  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:17
Member
English to German
+ ...
Don't fill in any forms before the first order has been placed! Apr 5, 2008

Anton Konashenok wrote:

A really good agency would not force the translator to fill out an application form until (s)he is about to receive the first payment from that agency, and even then limit it to one easy-to-fill page. Anything more than that, and the agency in question is guaranteed to have a steady influx of fresh graduates and hardly any highly qualified specialists.

[Edited at 2008-04-04 20:56]


I am absolutely with you Anton!

I can only recommend to not fill in any forms before an agency is about to place the first order and furthermore I strongly recommend to not perform any unpaid sample translations - this is at least in 90 % of the cases a waste of time, even if you deliver a perfect sample translation.

Good translations agencies will not ask you to fill in forms for projects that could be placed somewhere along the way and they will pay for translation samples.

I think that it will be more efficient to use the time saved by not filling in the forms and by not performing unpaid tests for establishing contacts with respectable agencies.


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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 20:17
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
proz.com data files?? Apr 5, 2008

Jim Tucker wrote:

A good agency should be able to decide whether they want you based on a short sample translation, with a list of your specialties.


Agree completely. Also, if they want the data of a translator in a form, they should fill it out themselves, using e.g. the data available on the translator's CV/invoice/web site, etc.

Whenever an agency or client requests a form filled in, I refuse to do it. It takes too much time to fill in forms.

Some time ago, I suggested to the proz.com team that they make available a function on each translator's profile page that would enable visitors (e.g. agencies) to click on a link to download the translator's data (i.e. as available in proz.com's database) directly in a formatted text file format. (This would be an easy function to develop.) This could in turn promote a development where agencies use a short script for automatically adding translators' data to their databases directly from such data files without bothering the translators. (Again, such scripts would be very easy to develop. A simple PHP opensource script could be made public and then adapted by each agency's database/web administrator to fit the particularities of their respective system.)

The data file could be formated in a very simple way, e.g. with column 1 containing the name or title of the data (e.g. "NAME_FIRST") then a tab character to separate the column from the next, and finally a column with the relevant data (e.g. "Thomas" in my case). Each data line would be separated from the next by a newline character.

Thomas

[Edited at 2008-04-06 23:02]


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Dipl.-Kfm. Bernhard Aicher MBA  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:17
Member
English to German
+ ...
Standard information in formatted text file format - good idea! Apr 6, 2008

Thomas Johansson wrote:

Some time ago, I suggested to the proz.com team that they make available a function on each translator's profile page that would enable e.g. visiting agencies to download the translator's data (i.e. as available in proz.com's database) directly in a formatted text file format (easy function to develop). This could in turn promote a development where agencies develop short scripts to add translators' data to their databases automatically without bothering the translators.

The data file could be formated in a very simple way, e.g. with column 1 containing the name or title of the the data, e.g. "NAME_FIRST", then a tab character to separate the column from the next, and finally a column with the relevant data, e.g. "Thomas" in my case. Each data line separated by a newline character.

Thomas

[Edited at 2008-04-05 23:22]

[Edited at 2008-04-05 23:24]


Excellent idea, Thomas!

For this purpose the proz.com team could survey a number of agencies to find out which information they want to have about their translators.

Such data files could considerably reduce the administration work for both, agencies and freelancers.


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
Running the other way Apr 6, 2008

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

Whenever possible, I prefer to work directly for clients rather than go through agencies. I knock on doors and send out resumes to organiztions that farm out translations. So far, I've been blessed with some good clients who have referred me to others. So I can afford to draw the line - and I do - when it comes to filling out those complicated forms.


Absolutely Muriel - I doubt that many busy and productive translators would ever fill in a long form from an agency. In my experience, clients pay more, give longer deadlines, and are easier to work with.


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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 20:17
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
other possible benefits of data files Apr 6, 2008

Dipl.-Kfm. Bernhard Aicher MBA wrote:

For this purpose the proz.com team could survey a number of agencies to find out which information they want to have about their translators.

Such data files could considerably reduce the administration work for both, agencies and freelancers.


Looking back at my original suggestion to proz.com, I find that I listed the following potential benefits of such data files. Quoting:

1. as a basis for creating/updating one´s own CV
2. as an up-to-date substitute for one´s CV, when the current one is not up-to-date
3. as a basis for a translator´s personal web site (if used together with a suitable interface and functions for retrieving the data from the sheet and outputting it as HTML)
4. as a basis for translation agencies to quickly compare different translators´ profiles, using the data sheets as a standardized format
5. as a source file that translation agencies could use to quickly load a translator´s profile and data into their own database, instead of always requesting translators to do this manually, which is a very time-consuming and boring task.


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With Anton ...... I will not fill these stuff any more. Apr 6, 2008

Good agencies I have dealt with just ask quote from me for the job already at hand ........ No"pPotential job", no "expanding our database", no such conditional proposistions.
Majority of my current good agency clients came to me straight from already available jobs.
All I need to do is, instead of giving away my personal information, to prove myself is a competent translator.

One more note.
I've never heard from any of those to whom I filled out these forms.

Buyer beware!!!!


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