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Advice to Project Managers - THANK YOU!!!!!
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 07:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Mar 17, 2002

Thank you to all the colleagues who offered input in trying to improve the interaction with Project Managers, for the sake of better quality of end product, efficiency and speedy communication.



I just want to say that I have been tasked with a report in this regard, and I would very much appreciate to receive any other comment and suggestion you may have in the future.



Actually I think the topic could become a small sub-forum of its own, considering the role Project managers play in the life of freelance and in-house translators.





paola l m







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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 13:28
Dutch to English
+ ...
Half an hour Mar 17, 2002

P.M.s are always in a hurry: They come with an offer for which they want to find a freelancer a.s.a.p. Usually, you have to decide at their first words (the order for is already in the fax-machine).



When I have a P.M. on the phone, I always ask half an hour to think about whether I will accept an offer or not.

The reason being that if you get half an hour to decide, you can work out a balanced price-level, (so that you do not end up with rock-bottom rates) and evaluate whether you will translate a project yes or no.



For the P.M. nor for the end-customer, this half an hour will not make any difference whatsoever.







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Maya Jurt  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:28
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Input please - some agencies care for us! Mar 17, 2002

Dear Paola, I have not followed this thread but I think the question the owner of an start-up agency put to me asks for more than just my opinion. This person is a very nice human being and tries to make things work for everyone, the agency and the translators.

He is debating with his colleagues if incentives for translators would make sense.

He wrote:



\"We have some ideas about how to improve the traditional translator-agency relations but am not sure if they will be viewed as just gimmicks. Such as a \'translator of the month\' scheme and a compensation scheme for little work.\"



I told him that personally, I felt that such incentives would work with sales people and office staff, but translators, being very lonely workers in search of human contact, would appreciate good feedback, availability and once in a while an email to tell them they are appreciated. And payments in time.



The payment: I did some work for him and if he pays me with a bank transfer, the charges will be horrendous. Same for me if I get a check. For the time being, I agreed payment through Paypal, but I cannot transfer the money to Switzerland. So I told him about the agreement I have with the only agency I work for: They keep they money and pay every quarter, or after the amoount exceeds 1000 Euro or Dollars. I am happy with this agreement because I trust them.



Would you agree on such an arrangement?



I would be grateful for your input.

Thanks to everyone

Maya

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-17 20:38 ]


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:28
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Mar 18, 2002

Maya,

I agree on both points you raise.

First, the importance of human contact and recognition. I think you are right when you say that a \"translator of the month\" scheme is too sales oriented for the translators community. Since we work on our own and from our homes most of the time, we lack what office staff takes for granted, the moments of chit-chat, complicity, competition etc that usually take place by the coffee machine, or at lunch, or when dropping by somebody\'s desk. They may seem of no great importance, and sometimes a nuisance, but in fact they usually provide a good dose of human contact and recognition, and you miss them only when you don\'t have them any more. I\'ve been working a lot with one agency in particular, and thanks to the frequent contacts with their PMs and translators I now feel like part of their team, and that\'s very important (especially when ploughing through thousands of words with tight deadlines... at least I know the hard work I put in gets appreciated and recognised, and just taken for granted!)

Another agency recently invited its translators to a meeting at their headquarters. Unfortunately I could not attend, but I think that was a great initiative, to be imitated by other agencies.



Something that is not common but would be appreciated by many translators is a simple \"translated by: xxx\" credit line... At least in sw localization, that used to be done many years ago, and was dropped once localisation started to get outsourced (too many names to include - pm\'s, dtp, testing, translators, reviewers? unwillingness to say who the actual translators are? who knows...).

Or receiving a copy of the product they contributed to: that also used to happen many years ago, but was somehow dropped along the line...



About payment: I also wait until I have a sizeable sum to invoice (usually once a month, but I have also waited 3 months once), so as to limit my bank charges. I let the agency know so that they also know when to expect my invoice, and it\'s always worked out fine.



bfn,

Roberta


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Maya Jurt  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:28
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Good point! Mar 18, 2002

That\'s great Roberta. Thanks for the suggestion. I think this would be suitable when you have a large project, like the annual report I just did and the environmental report I am doing now. But who dares to ask?



Anyone else with an opinion?

I would be grateful.


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 07:28
German to English
+ ...
Recognition is always a good thing Mar 18, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-03-17 20:37, mayagyan wrote:

Dear Paola, I have not followed this thread but I think the question the owner of an start-up agency put to me asks for more than just my opinion. This person is a very nice human being and tries to make things work for everyone, the agency and the translators.

He is debating with his colleagues if incentives for translators would make sense.

He wrote:



\"We have some ideas about how to improve the traditional translator-agency relations but am not sure if they will be viewed as just gimmicks. Such as a \'translator of the month\' scheme and a compensation scheme for little work.\"



I told him that personally, I felt that such incentives would work with sales people and office staff, but translators, being very lonely workers in search of human contact, would appreciate good feedback, availability and once in a while an email to tell them they are appreciated. And payments in time.



The payment: I did some work for him and if he pays me with a bank transfer, the charges will be horrendous. Same for me if I get a check. For the time being, I agreed payment through Paypal, but I cannot transfer the money to Switzerland. So I told him about the agreement I have with the only agency I work for: They keep they money and pay every quarter, or after the amoount exceeds 1000 Euro or Dollars. I am happy with this agreement because I trust them.



Would you agree on such an arrangement?



I would be grateful for your input.

Thanks to everyone

Maya





Yes, incentives and recognition are valid tools - even in our line of work .



I also translated an annual report (or, rather, 3 of them) recently, and it is nice to see your name appear in the same box with all those other accounting and corporate big shots .



Too many PMs, sadly, take us for granted and even fail to acknowledge receipt of the translations we send them. Sure, the important thing is to get paid on time, but a bit of \"lubrication\" won\'t hurt either.

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