Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Agencies on translators... your turn to spill the beans!
Thread poster: Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Mar 28, 2002

I would like to put forward a suggestion: to open a new site area called \"Agencies on translators\". A sort of \"Deep\" blue rating board for translators....

We can criticize agencies, but what about them? I think it would only be fair...



Let\'s spill the beans!



Giovanni


Direct link
 

gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:56
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
I don't agree Mar 28, 2002

Giovanni,

I don\'t really understand what you are aiming at, but I think that we don\'t need such a function on this site, and for a number of reasons:



1. The translators are often the weakest link of the chain. The agencies receive our work and we must wait (and hope) to be paid.



2. We need to be warned by fellow translators if there are \'suspicious\' or downright dishonest operators on the market. It is a fact that many translators are cheated by agencies whilst not many translators can do any real damage to the agencies.



3. The agencies have more time and many other ways to check, prob and test our services before using us. They have our qualifications, they can ask for references, they ask for test translations and keep track of our performance for every job. They also have in-house staff, project managers and proof-readers to check on us.

They don\'t need a \'reverse blue boad\' on translators.



I may be missing your point, please explain and expand a bit more your idea. Also, it could be useful to hear on this matter the opinion of some agencies.



Gianfranco







[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-01 07:21 ]


Direct link
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 00:56
German to English
+ ...
A wonderful idea Mar 28, 2002

This has recently been suggested on the TCR list (or some other Yahoo list): to create a separate list for agencies where they can rate their translators.



Hey, it\'s only fair: we have various lists for rating and berating agencies (TCR, ProZ Blue Board, ...), so agencies should have something similar.



And let\'s face it: just as there are many bad apples among agencies, there are even more bad apples among translators, and agencies should also have a site/forum/list where they can warn each other of \"snake-oil translators\".



(Where DO you come up with all those pictures? )


Direct link
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
I wish I was Bill Gates... (well, maybe not!) Mar 28, 2002

Gianfranco,



my proposal is somewhat provocative, because we always hear the translator\'s side of the story and not the agency\'s. I have heard horrific stories from agency owners and PMs about unprofessional and rude translators, delivering jobs many days late and not even apologizing. I don\'t agree about translators being the weakest link of the chain. We have more power than anybody. We can refuse jobs and agencies need us to survive. Agencies are accepted on Proz and they pay the fee, if they wish. We ask about agencies\' payment practices, but what about agencies asking about translators\' professionalism? We can be great with words, but sometimes we may lack organization, management skills and interpersonal skills.



Giovanni


Direct link
 
bochkor
Local time: 00:56
English to German
+ ...
Power position is the most decisive argument (for not having one) Mar 28, 2002

I\'m surprised how blind people can be to the most important facts that stare them in the eyes: it\'s your power position on the market ONLY what counts.



So if you accepted the fact that we translators are the weakest link in this market relationship, then just draw your conclusion, for God\'s sake and let\'s be clear about it who in reality need protection, we or the agencies?



The numbers should help you decide what is fair. Just answer me without beating around the bush: who makes more money, the agencies or the translators? Who has ever problems paying their rent, the agencies or the translators? Just compare yearly income to yearly income, it\'s that simple and nothing else should cloud your vision!



Just because it would be nicey-nicey to see 2 blue boards and shout fairness and democracy, the weaker link fact would NOT be taken into consideration.



So I totally agree with Gianfranco not to have any blue board for agencies for all of his reasons! I don\'t mean to be harsh, but sometimes you gotta be shaken up to see the reality. I just can\'t stand, if people don\'t know where their real interests are and speak on behalf of the more powerful, richer entities whom I really don\'t feel sorry for, having had my own big share of non-payments by many of them. Spreading such ideas (please, protect the rich!) is harmful to us translators in my opinion.



If they don\'t have certain selection criterias (common sense) to minimize the chance of getting a totally bad translator, then they hired an incapable project manager, but is it YOUR problem? However, if the translator is not a total jerk and fraud, just maybe not a 100% satisfying, then they can always give us feedback and a professional translator will never refuse to correct his work upon request. But if correction by the same translator is not enough, they have the option to get a second opinion from a second translator (a proofreader) and this has become a common mark/practice of professional agencies to routinely pay for a proofreader, too. Again, if some agency or client is cheap and doesn\'t want to pay for a proofreader, at that very moment they decided to take a risk and I can only ask you the same: but is it YOUR problem?



So please, please, please, wake up and help us make this a website \"by translators for translators\", as originally was intended! And this is not flaming, just shaking up, I\'m not your enemy. I hope this is clear.



There is a German saying: Exaggerations make the example clear. - Übertreibungen machen die Sache anschaulich. So only to clarify the situation I might have used strong words.


Direct link
 

lcmolinari  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
Yikes! that could be so dangerous Mar 28, 2002

As others have said, we all make mistakes. Imagine that you made a silly mistake on a job for whatever reason. The agency then posts your name and the error on the blue board you suggest for every other agency/company to see. You can kiss goodbye ever getting a job through Proz and worse.



This would be very dangerous for us indeed...
[addsig]


Direct link
 
FrancescoP  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:56
English to Italian
+ ...
I understand your head is on fire but... Mar 28, 2002

I have always been against black lists, even those on agencies...



Sorry Giovanni, don\'t reckon on my support on this...



Have you ever heard about mobbing?



FP



P.S.: László! Your name makes me think about one of the heroes of my youth: Victor László. Do you remember Casablanca!?

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-28 17:57 ]


Direct link
 
bochkor
Local time: 00:56
English to German
+ ...
Mar 28, 2002

Quote:


P.S.: László! Your name makes me think about one of the heroes of my youth: Victor László. Do you remember Casablanca!?





I know it\'s a movie, but I haven\'t seen it. Should I? Well, László is a Hungarian male first name, as I\'m Hungarian, but in Victor\'s case it seems to be his last name. I guess he must be the director or producer of Casablanca.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-28 18:41 ]

Direct link
 

Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 01:56
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The kindness of agencies Mar 28, 2002

I am surprised at the trust some of you people have regarding the equanimity of agencies. Not all agencies distinguish themselves for their professionalism and good conduct. Certain agencies have not hesitated to cast aspersions on the quality of the work of a translator in order to avoid paying him/her. Others have questioned the translator\'s abilities simply because they don\'t have proper quality control systems in place. And nevertheless you are ready to give to such people the power to blacklist us for ever and ever. Curious, to say the least.



Regarding Victor Lazlo, he is the one that sings the \"Marseillaise\" in order to drown out the voices of a group of German soldiers who are singing Nazi songs in \"Casablanca.\"


Direct link
 
Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Answer to Giovanni Mar 28, 2002

I\'m afraid you\'re comparing apples and oranges.



Reporting actual facts about the payment practices of agencies is one thing. Allowing subjective and biased opinions based on who-knows-what is a totally different matter.



Just out of curiosity:



Does it give you good results to portray yourself as \"slow and expensive\"?

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-28 23:17 ]


Direct link
 
John Kinory
Local time: 05:56
English to Hebrew
+ ...
What an utterly bizarre idea Mar 29, 2002

This is a site for translators. If agencies want to circulate among themselves a list of translators, that\'s for them to do.

Where DO you get these ideas from ...
[addsig]


Direct link
 

Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
German to English
+ ...
A quite sensitive topic, indeed... Mar 29, 2002

The result in advance: Thumbs down - I would not second such a move.



My company is not an agency. I do consulting and do freelance translations as my \"bread and butter business\", to safely cover the overhead, as receipts from consulting are quite volatile. But sometimes I give jobs outside.



Recently I had a translation job that I was not able to handle alone, due to time constraints, and asked some PROZ colleagues to help me. I sent out some tests (to be paid for of course), and received answers of cooperation offers. Most of the people I worked with were very nice and supportive with this awful job, and delivered good results, but some took the test, agreed to do more and actually did not send back the work. Not only that, they did not even INFORM me that they would not do it. This is the least one could expect.



Being in panic during all this time myself, I did not recognize the problem and was at the end 5000 items short, which I had to do in a \"night shift\". Quite some experience to look at this business from the other side of the fence.



Of course it was my fault not to regularly check, still I think such unprofessional behavior is not acceptable.



On the other hand it is very difficult to judge the QUALITY of a translation. I have to do this from time to time for a client, who has offices abroad and wants to know the quality of his translators. It is difficult, because a lot is not right or wrong, but is still in a margin of being acceptable - a gray zone. A lot is a matter of taste and preferences.



As a \"judge\" you have to look at a job with highest concentration and precision, but this is not a \"real life situation\". We all know that sometimes we have to do jobs under extreme pressure. I can remember a job that had to be ready for a service engineer, who had to reach a certain plane to Germany. The client asked me to translate 60,000 (!) words in 3 days. Absolute nonsense, nobody can do that. But they needed the manual, and so I agreed to take half of it (I work with a Dictaphone and my wife, who is a very fast typist). Still we worked 3 days and two nights without sleep. Terrible situation - and I am sure, if I would have the chance to look at the translation today, I would be ashamed about the quality. It is not written on it, under which circumstances it was done.



It is easy to judge an agency. They pay or they don\'t, they do their administrative work well, or don\'t. They are friendly or not. Also they have now the possibility to justify their behavior in a breif reply.



But the quality of one single translation as parameter for judging the quality of a translator - no, thank you.





Direct link
 
Yubing YANG
English to Chinese
+ ...
I don't agree Mar 29, 2002

I agree with points made by Gianfranco Manca



What a good agency needs is a good project manager, who better controls quality.


Direct link
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
apples and oranges... Mar 29, 2002

not sure about the difference. There are rotten oranges and rotten apples. If you have nothing to fear, you should welcome my suggestion. What are you afraid of? Good, professional agencies are able to judge the output and performance of a translator and I never found myself in a dodgy situation with an agency. I think agencies have the right to know who\'s a good translator and who\'s a bad translator. It\'s as simple as that. There are agencies who pay and pay promptly. I have selected a good number of them and I never had any problems with payment. Being professional also means being able to manage your activity in a proficient manner. I have nothing to fear from agencies and neither should you! Agencies can be biased and translators can be biased. On TCR we only hear the translator\'s side of the story, but we know nothing about what really went on between the translator and the agency. Many translators don\'t realize how bad they are and complain when the agency sends back their appalling work. Bad agencies should be put out of work, but think also about all the abismal translators who give our profession a bad name!

BTW, what\'s wrong with being slow and expensive? Translating fast and cheaply is a far worse crime, especially if you lack any sense of humor.



Giovanni





Direct link
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:56
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
"It's only fair" Mar 29, 2002

I personally do not like blacklisting much, but I agree with Werner. If you are willing to rate others, others should be able to rate you. I agree that translation quality is somewhat subjective, but translators could be rated using the same objective criteria used on lists for agencies: do they turn in the work on time, follow the client\'s and agency\'s instructions, call when there is a problem, etc.

Direct link
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Agencies on translators... your turn to spill the beans!

Advanced search






Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs