Trendspotting - Conflict of interests (round table at the Porto conference)
Thread poster: Attila Piróth

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:21
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Jul 8, 2013


This document aims to investigate some cases of conflicting interests between freelance translators and middlemen, and demonstrate that such conflicts may become irreconcilable. As a prime example, the Framework Agreement between the UK Ministry of Justice and Applied Language Solutions is discussed in detail. Further thought is devoted to terms and conditions and technology. Finally, a number of suggested discussion points are listed.

The examples presented below served as the backbone of the "Trendspotting round table" of the 2013 ProZ conference in Porto, Portugal. Many thanks to Marta Stelmaszak for her outstanding participation in the round table, as well as to the many other colleagues who made the discussion lively beyond expectation.

You can read the complete article here:


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:21
English to Polish
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Well... Jul 8, 2013

Well, Attila, if you forgive the word play, hit them with the whole power of your name and make yourself feared in the decades to come!

As a fellow 'enthusiast' of Zombie Studies, I'm certainly wishing you success in your pursuits.

You are right that the ALS is somehow representative.

Basically, what eludes goverments, possibly because of failing to appreciate how smart, educated and hard-working translators need to be, and because they like their stupid EU-style procurement stuff, is that they're essentially creating a monopoly by outsourcing a whole branch of services/procurement to a single entity. That is basically tantamount to outsourcing translator supervision, except to public powers of the sovereign are actually outsourced, only economic pressure.

Instead, a self-government should be made and used.

The conflict between translators and middlemen involves the fact that middlemen sell, not create. Therefore, they can live on a high turnover and low unit price, including even low markup, as long as the markup isn't lower than the costs.

By contrast, translators create, they invest their own time. They can't make it cheaper just because more is ordered.

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Shelagh Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:21
Member (2007)
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Wow! Jul 17, 2013

Powerful, informative words, Attila. Thanks very much! I've bookmarked it and will no doubt quote from it on here from time to time.

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Trendspotting - Conflict of interests (round table at the Porto conference)

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