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Poll: Do you generally read a potential job before accepting it?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:22
SITE STAFF
Apr 17, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you generally read a potential job before accepting it?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mary Worby

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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andres-larsen
Venezuela
Local time: 10:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
I leaf or glance through it before deciding on accepting it Apr 17, 2009

Before deciding on accepting a job, I leaf or glance through it, depending on how long or short it is

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:22
Member (2008)
English to Italian
quickly Apr 17, 2009

I just read the most important parts, just to confirm the deadline required.

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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 11:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely! Apr 17, 2009

Not "every word of it," but at least a thorough readability check is a must.

OCR errors can turn a document into a headache, so I always make sure I will be getting legible material.

Happy translating, guys!


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 15:22
English to French
+ ...
Depends on the customer Apr 17, 2009

The PMs of the agencies I work with know me well enough (including my calendar) to figure out whether there is a chance I may accept the job. I check the real length more than the contents there.
With direct cstomers, I check more closely - had some strange experiences: for instance a job in Spanish turned out to be 3 pages in Spanish and the 43 others in Catalan ;-(


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 11:22
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Check yes, read no Apr 17, 2009

Essentially, I need to know if I am qualified to translate the document and that the document itself is in order as stated by others in this discussion. This helps me to catch things like documents in languages other than Spanish such as Portuguese, Catalan and even Romanian! There are sometimes parts that are already translated into English that I may need to ask about.

As for reading the entire document first, I don't see the point. What if it is 100 pages long? Is the client going to wait until I have read it all? They are usually expecting a quick response. Also, this would take away from translating or free time.

In any event, some documents like divorce decrees are essentially the same with a few changes to each individual instance.


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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 19:52
Member
German to English
Agree - check yes, read - well... no! (is it my language?) Apr 17, 2009

Reed D. James wrote:

Essentially, I need to know if I am qualified to translate the document and that the document itself is in order as stated by others in this discussion. This helps me to catch things like documents in languages other than Spanish such as Portuguese, Catalan and even Romanian! There are sometimes parts that are already translated into English that I may need to ask about.

As for reading the entire document first, I don't see the point. What if it is 100 pages long? Is the client going to wait until I have read it all? They are usually expecting a quick response. Also, this would take away from translating or free time.

In any event, some documents like divorce decrees are essentially the same with a few changes to each individual instance.


Its perhaps not feasible to attempt to read an entire doc befoe accepting it for translation - as Reed James points out, it may be hundred(s) of pages long!
It's important however to kow if one is capable of translating the material.
More importantly - and this happens to me about once a month - one gets a doc in a language which one can't handle.
Earlier I used to turn such jobs away, but now, thanks to Proz, I am trying to get to know some colleagues working in other language pairs - so that I can at least provide the potential customer with a couple of doors to knock at.
Enjoy your weekend, folks!
Venkatesh


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:22
Italian to English
How can you not? Apr 17, 2009

I do very little work for agencies but I always want to see the text before I quote on the job. This is especially important for repeat customers, whose TM may contain text I have already translated (I apply a "no change, no charge" Trados discount for my regulars).

Recently, I have been offered two novels, neither of which I accepted in the end but which I might well have taken on if I had thought that my translation would have added significant value to the English version.

So why on earth would you not examine a job before you decide how much to charge?

Giles


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Alice Bootman  Identity Verified
Bolivia
Local time: 10:22
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Always check thoroughly Apr 17, 2009

I always check thoroughly before accepting a job. I once learned my lesson by accepting a legal contract (my field), but without reading the last several pages. Turns out the first half was legalese and the second half was super technical legalese - it was a construction contract. Luckily a bilingual relative who is a civil engineer was in town. He really saved the day by helping me with tough terms! Now I always check very thoroughly.

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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
it depends Apr 17, 2009

mostly I just take a look to get the overall impression but if I feel it may turn out to be knotty and confusing then I do a close-up

So why on earth would you not examine a job before you decide how much to charge?

Usually a skimming is enough to decide and all nuances are solved during the progress.
If I'm not sure then I just revoke such offers, but if I feel confident then I take it.

So why waste your time on scrutiny when you could have spent this time and efforts on the job?

[Редактировалось 2009-04-17 20:57 GMT]


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 14:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Normally check it Apr 17, 2009

I say normally because there are certain clients who send very similar jobs for years, so sometimes I already know what it is even before opening it.
But from a general point of view, I open the file to check the main subject and to assure it's readable and I also see if it has special formatting that could be more time consuming and therefore affect the deadline.


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 06:22
English to Russian
+ ...
Quoting without reading? Apr 17, 2009

Giles Watson wrote:
...why on earth would you not examine a job before you decide how much to charge?

Giles


My thoughts exactly. I was actually thinking about asking this very question on the forums, as the majority of jobs posted on this site ask you to do precisely this: to quote without really knowing what the job is about. How could you do it?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Apr 17, 2009

Often clients just send me stuff and I just do it. They might tell me very briefly what it is and that is enough. What I get is varied, but it is largely predictable so there is no issue. Practically all my work comes from the same two countries and goes to the same two.

The size of the job and my current work load will dictate delivery, so I do have to at least see it before committing.


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Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:22
English to French
+ ...
Checking is a must but reading thoroughly ... Apr 17, 2009

Reading thoroughly is sometimes not feasible as pointed out. But going through paragraphs, knowing what I am looking for, is necessary to quote. Especially when client says: 'very small, very easy, you should be able to do it in a half hour, etc ...'

As for a book, I would never read it through first thoroughly, at least in the case of a novel, because ...
I would be bored translating it! You know, it's like you know the end and loose motivation.

I also find the surprise of the first reading makes for inspired first thoughts.
A proofreading after dust settles seems much more important to me and much harder to schedule within our often tight deadlines, alas!

O


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 16:22
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Similar experience as Alice Apr 18, 2009

I once got with a highly technical "Appendix". The first three pages was a standard contract, but the last two were lists of costumes to be delivered with the opera. I learned a lot about 18th century women's clothing! I now check all appendixes in contracts.

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