Contract clause
Thread poster: Louise Souter
Louise Souter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 11, 2010

I have been offered a contract as a freelance translator which contains the following clause:

"Translations that are assessed as being of poor quality and that need a thorough proofreading will not be paid."

My question is, what is to stop the agency from claiming my translation is of poor quality, refusing to pay me and then using my work anyway?


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Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:45
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Common sense, hopefully Feb 11, 2010

I'm not defending this contract clause, but just as freelancers like regular clients, agencies also like to rely on regular translators. They can only refuse to pay once, then they will have to look for another translator, which takes time and effort. So as long as they are an established agency, and you can be sure of the quality you provide, the risk should be low. If your first project is large, you might want to ask them to evaluate a small part of your work right at the beginning, to be on the safe side.

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Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:45
Member
Portuguese to English
It's a tightrope Feb 11, 2010

I've never experienced this situation as such, but I know it's an increasingly present "get-out" clause.

I had a job turned down without payment for "poor general quality" once, and after some digging, found that my judge wasn't even a native speaker of the target language.

I got to see the re-translation that he had done by another translator (also non-native), and spent 15 minutes laughing uncontrollably and 15 correcting his basic errors.

Basically, unless you insist on knowing that a qualified, native-standard user of the language will be assessing/proof-reading your work, you're at their mercy and thus in the firing line.

The suggestion of having a small section assessed is a good one.

Good luck!


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Louise Souter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not well established Feb 11, 2010

They are a new agency, which is part of the reason I'm worried.


Adam Łobatiuk wrote:
So as long as they are an established agency, and you can be sure of the quality you provide, the risk should be low.


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