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Rude? What else are we expected to accept from agencies?
Thread poster: Siegfried Armbruster

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:01
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Sep 23, 2010

Since I am not native English, I sometimes miss certain nuances, and I just want to understand something. I did receive the following email:

To: proz-lists@proz.com
From: **fo@***ua-p***.com
Subject: EnGerman Translator Needed
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 10:54:34 +0000

Hi,

We're looking for 2 translators for our on-going project (1 year)
in general/economic field. Interested candidates, please provide
your:
1. CV
2. Rate per source word in USD
3. 3-5 different sample translations in banking/finance/economic
field (English paragraph followed by German translation) from any
of your past clients.

Incomplete application without sending the 3 information will be
deleted without notice. Thanks.


Personally, I consider this type of email quite offensive. It violated 3 of my personal rules:

a) it did not address me with my name
b) the agency did not check that I am not working in the fields they require
c) it did not contain any information of the person contacting me

Therefore I answered:

Hi,

why don't you just read my profile. There you will find that I am not
working in the fields you require.

Please dont contact me again.


I got the following response:

Don't you know that the email is automatically sent to German translators.
And yes certainly, we won't work with rude translators!


What is your opinion? Was my answer rude? How would you have reacted to such an email from an agency?

"Edited to correct spelling error"

[Edited at 2010-09-23 08:24 GMT]


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Carrie Comer  Identity Verified
Guatemala
Local time: 10:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
If agencies don't want translators sending mass emails... Sep 23, 2010

I don't get it. Agencies don't like mass emails from translators. So why should translators be expected to dig through emails like that from agencies?

If I had been sent that email, I probably would have just deleted it and moved on. But I understand your response to them, and I personally find it to be justified. I don't think your response was "rude," per se, but it certainly wasn't the type of groveling that many agencies are perhaps used to from translators willing to bend over backwards to be hired.

Just my two cents.

Carrie


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xxxXX789  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
You know what's rude? Sep 23, 2010

This is rude:

Incomplete application without sending the 3 information will be deleted without notice. Thanks.

The warmth and love radiating from this agency is almost unbearable. This alone would be enough reason for me to never apply. There are far better ways to phrase this.

Not that I need to apply to agencies anyway these days.

[Edited at 2010-09-23 06:33 GMT]


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
The email is informative Sep 23, 2010

This email actually tells you all you need to know about the agency and the type of relationship it expects to develop with translators.

Grammar and spelling errors can be overlooked but the tone is unforgivable.

I also find it impossible to respond to emails that are unsigned.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
This kind of thing is common these days Sep 23, 2010

To me, this kind of a job ad is only a piece of junk to me, which I would never bother to answer.

And it has come to my attention that these kind of emails without addressing anybody and not having the sender's name is getting quite common these days not only in mass mailing, but job inquiries addressed directly to me.

The inquiry would start by 'Hello' or 'Hi' and would go on like this:

I have a 2000 words document to be translated. Please reply if you are interested.

(No name)

As you can see, the sample message is worse than what Siegfried received. The author is not a registered member or not logged in when sending this email, no details of which field the translation is in, no name of the sender nor the agency s/he works for (if there is one).

If what Siegfried received is rude, what could you call the above kind of message??


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:01
Italian to English
Such as... Sep 23, 2010

Loek van Kooten wrote:

This is rude:

Incomplete application without sending the 3 information will be deleted without notice. Thanks.

There are far better ways to phrase this.



In grammatically defensible English, for example


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
IMHO Sep 23, 2010

Saying that you were rude clearly shows that they were rude. The very minimum they should answer if they respect translators is that they apologise for any discomfort or time loss caused.

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Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:01
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
why bother? Sep 23, 2010

They were extremely rude. You were not nice, they were asking for it.

But, why bother to aswer? Why take the time? Why do you get annoyed with this?

To become a client of mine, one must be polite, address me by the name, show respect for my work, etc. That's the minimum.

I wouldn't bother on this one. Move on and have a great day!

Happy translating!

Ligia


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Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 17:01
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
Their fault Sep 23, 2010

You did the right thing, it's better to avoid those people like the plague. Even if the offer was serious they would have made you miserable be it in the work they send you or the payment delays.

Those are probably amateurs trying to start up the so called lucrative "translation agency" a friend of theirs made...

Unfortunately, some people don't understand that translation is an expert's field and that there is a minimum to have if you want to get into it...


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:01
French to English
Seconded Sep 23, 2010

Ligia Dias Costa wrote:

They were extremely rude. You were not nice, they were asking for it.
But, why bother to aswer? Why take the time? Why do you get annoyed with this?


Yup, exactly. They were fairly curt, but that is hardly unusual. Some agencies behave like this because they feel they have the power in the relationship, or potential relationship. At the pile-high-sell-cheap end, there appears to be an excess of supply over demand, and agencies react accordingly.

I'm going to go against the grain of this thread so far and say I actually think Siegfried's email is marginally ruder than the agency's email. But like Ligia, I'm at a loss to understand why he felt the need to send it in the first place....


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 23:01
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Keep the traditional traces Sep 23, 2010

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

To me, this kind of a job ad is only a piece of junk to me, which I would never bother to answer.

And it has come to my attention that these kind of emails without addressing anybody and not having the sender's name is getting quite common these days not only in mass mailing, but job inquiries addressed directly to me.

As you can see, the sample message is worse than what Siegfried received. The author is not a registered member or not logged in when sending this email, no details of which field the translation is in, no name of the sender nor the agency s/he works for (if there is one).

Absolutely. E-mail contacts today are quite rude. I studied in my primary school how to write a polite letter. But Internet made everything automatic and inhumanly. We had better keep the traditional traces. Or we will be deteriorated very quickly in our profession.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Dhiraj Khati  Identity Verified
Nepal
Local time: 21:46
Member (2009)
English to Nepali
+ ...
I usually don't reply to "Hi" salutation Sep 23, 2010

Nowadays I usually don't bother to reply to mails having only "hi" salutation. Usually these are mass emails send to many translators. So, I don't bother myself replying these mails.

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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:01
Romanian to English
+ ...
I understand your indignation Sep 23, 2010

I received the "pearl" of such emails a few days ago, with absolutely nothing in the message body, but only "I have 4 certificates to translate" in the subject line. I didn't even bother asking: ok, what languages? (of the 6 combinations I work in)

Of course, there are good agencies that treat their vendors with respect and kindness.

Annamaria


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Indeed! Sep 23, 2010

Annamaria Amik wrote:
Of course, there are good agencies that treat their vendors with respect and kindness.

I am lucky to have very sensible and respectful agency customers. I really must doubt they would ever follow this mass-email approach. And when they send a global email to all translators, they apologise in the first line of the email!


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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:01
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
well.. Sep 23, 2010

While their reply certainly was out of line, the original posting isn't that rude. It is a mass e-mail which you can see right from the e-mail header, so, how can you expect them to have read your profile?

Apparently, they selected something like "translation, German, native speaker" or whatever the available criteria are here, and then their e-mail was automatically delivered to all Proz members who meet these criteria. They didn't send this e-mail to you in particular; they probably didn't even know you were amongst the recipients until you replied.

The job posting also contained most necessary information to help you decide whether or not you'd meet their criteria. Since you're not working in the requested fields, all you have to do is delete the e-mail and/or unsubscribe from Proz mass mailings.

Now, aside from that, the phrase at the end with the comment on incomplete applications - that's rude, yeah, but also a nice way to know right from the start that you won't be valued much there.

So, long story short: before you send an inappropriate reply, always check the e-mail header. If it's a mass mail and you don't like it, simply delete it. If it's a mail only sent to you that violates your 3 rules - go ahead and spank them!


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