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Thread poster: Claudia Krysztofiak

Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:36
English to German
+ ...
May 14, 2007

for the head won't listen -
The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life" is the title of a book of Lynn Truss.

Is it only me, or are there more people who still believe that trying to be friendly and polite to business partners is a good idea (at least up to a certain extent) ?

I found this in today's job offers on Proz.com:
"...
Interested translator please send following details asap for this project.

(1) Complete CV
(2) Rates including CAT tool discount rates.
(3) Your messenger ids
(4) Your complete contact details - Address, phone amd mobile numbers.

Please mention your native language and rates in subject line of mail.

If you don't follow this rule we assume that you don't have a systemtic approach to work and will be rejected without any further discussion. ..."

Whatever tic a systemtic might be, I'd rather not work together with people, who make such assumptions.

There are people who write stuff like:
"Please follow these rules to make sure we can take your offer into consideration. Due to the great number of applications we unfortunately cannot look into yours if the required information is not included."

or something more "mother-tonguely" along these lines.

But then, a look at their website makes me feel their English is still improvable, so maybe they were just looking for words...

Have fun and don't let others bully you around.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:36
Member (2004)
English to Italian
rudeness... May 14, 2007

once I received a job offer from another site which ended like this:

Natives non-Swiss/Italians, or not living in Switzerland, HAVE NO CHANCE FOR THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT.

Note the shouting... terrible. I complained to the site.

Giovanni

[Edited at 2007-05-14 15:18]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:36
Dutch to English
+ ...
On the topic of assumptions ... May 14, 2007

Whilst I agree their posting could obviously have been drafted more politely, is it likewise not making an assumption to think they are rude just because they don't have a perfect command of niceties in English?

Whoever wrote this obviously is not an English native, so perhaps one can overlook the minor spelling errors and rather blunt approach.

At least they are clear about what they want, which is a whole lot better than the agencies posting the 10,000 word jobs without the slightest indication of what the job entails.

Of course, don't let yourself be bullied around, but don't be too quick to jump to conclusions either.

What they are requesting to determine if someone works systematically is nothing out of the ordinary - perhaps they've just had their fair share of translators that have a happy-go-lucky approach.


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:36
German to English
+ ...
Non-natives and directness May 14, 2007

Claudia, I do understand where you're coming from, but I'd just like to mention the following:

1) I had a look at the ad you mentioned and as far as I can tell the person writing it is not a native speaker of English. I don't think it's realistic to expect someone like this to master the finer points of register. I think we have to cut such people a certain amount of slack.

2) To be honest, I appreciate the straightforwardness. In fact, I pretty much find it refreshing. Having posted a job at proz.com, I can tell you that the signal to noise is unfortunately very low. I don't think what they're requesting is outrageous at all. After all, this was a specific job of 100K words. Job quoting is a mutual selection process, and after fulfilling their requirements, it's time for them to jump through *my* hoops: payment amount, payment deadline, complete contact information, official P.O., etc.



[Edited at 2007-05-14 16:41]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:36
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Their web sites often carry the same tone May 14, 2007

A couple of things I've seen in translation agencies' web sites:

If you charge close to or higher than 5¢/word, don't bother to apply. Whatever is your language pair and specialized subject, I've got plenty of highly skilled translators who can do the job for less.

I refrained from writing these people that they could save some extra money in web design and hosting by simply doing without the whole translator application page.

You MUST provide three references from clients you have worked for recently, including contact name, full address, telephone, and e-mail address. Your application will be automatically deleted unless you do so.

I complied with such requests a couple of times, and in a matter of minutes (yes, my clients forwarded me their messages) - so it's automatic, not human - those three references received e-mails saying something to the effect that "whatever it is, we can do it better, faster, and cheaper than this jerk"!

Most of these online translator application forms are set up in a way to render the "Submit" button inactive until these fields have been filled in, and the e-mail field has an "@" in it.

So, in addition to zilch @ zilch.com there, depending on the space available, I write variations of:
"I strongly enforce a policy of not disclosing my clients' contact information, to safeguard them from spam and job peddling. All exceptions made so far have proved me right in doing so. In many cases this violates the NDA I signed with them, which should be similar to yours. After all, you wouldn't like that either."

Fortunately, I don't know if this works. I wouldn't like to work for my long-standing direct clients through these agencies for a fraction of what they used to pay me. This seems to be their objective.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 07:36
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I sympathize... May 14, 2007

it looks a lot like Sin City.

So what... It is our destiny / job / responsibility to set down / enforce a different kind of rules. Its usually called (r)evolution.

[Edited at 2007-05-14 18:29]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:36
Italian to English
If you don't like the look of it, bin it May 14, 2007

Hi Claudia,

Today, I got yet another "we are expanding our translator database" circular email from an agency through ProZ.com. I checked the Blue Board and this particular outfit has excellent references but I still binned the message.

The reason is simple.

Clearly, the agency was not interested in the specialisations for which I feel justified in charging a premium and for which my customers feel it is worth paying a bit more. Conversely, I am not interested in general work from agencies, who have usually already established a rate that will not accommodate my admittedly ambitious tariffs. I prefer to work with clients who find that my translations add value to their texts, and in turn charge their own customers for my input.

As for the way in which the message you received was formulated, Michele makes a good point: what's important in business correspondence is the meaning, not the form.

It goes without saying that I would reject out of hand any client who makes "assumptions" of the kind you report. Luckily for your friends, they have plenty of suppliers to choose from

Cheers,

Giles


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xxxSpring City  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:36
Chinese to English
+ ...
Proz.com should take the issue up with the company May 15, 2007

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:

I found this in today's job offers on Proz.com:
"...
Interested translator please send following details asap for this project.

(1) Complete CV
(2) Rates including CAT tool discount rates.
(3) Your messenger ids
(4) Your complete contact details - Address, phone amd mobile numbers.

Please mention your native language and rates in subject line of mail.

If you don't follow this rule we assume that you don't have a systemtic approach to work and will be rejected without any further discussion. ..."



"Rejected without further discussion" is simply as rude as can be. Why do they feel they can make assumptions about someone on the basis of not following that rule? Rates should NOT be mentioned in the subject line of an email. That is simply for their convenience so they don't have to read the email, but why should all the key information go in the subject line? Also, point (2) CAT tool discount rates. Why ask this? The answer should always be 0%. Any translation software is purely for the convenience of the translator. At least that is how it SHOULD be, and if all translators insisted on that, it would be a good thing. Messenger ID? Why should everyone be on Yahoo messenger?

To be quite honest, people who have gone to the bother of learning a foreign language deserve respect. You are quite right, Claudia.


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xxxSpring City  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:36
Chinese to English
+ ...
Er... isn't politeness universal? May 15, 2007

Michele Johnson wrote:

Claudia, I do understand where you're coming from, but I'd just like to mention the following:

1) I had a look at the ad you mentioned and as far as I can tell the person writing it is not a native speaker of English. I don't think it's realistic to expect someone like this to master the finer points of register. I think we have to cut such people a certain amount of slack.



[Edited at 2007-05-14 16:41]


Personally, I think basic respect for others and politeness is a universal value. I don't "make allowances" for rudeness, whoever the person is, whatever the culture or whatever the level of English. I don't think anyone could possibly think the post Claudia referred was not rude, however poor his English level.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:36
Member (2004)
English to Italian
don't agree May 15, 2007

Giles Watson wrote:

what's important in business correspondence is the meaning, not the form.


Giles



they are both important. Would you like to deal in business with a client who is constantly rude to you? I doubt it. Politeness is the basis of every fruitful business transaction. If you can't write in English properly, get your job posts checked by an English native who knows about the form and the register.

Giovanni


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:36
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Shoot yourself in the foot May 15, 2007

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:

(2) Rates including CAT tool discount rates.


I know it's done, but I didn't really buy a CAT for this reason

Don't they know the fierce competition out there to get us?


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:36
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That is a funny idea ... May 15, 2007

Michele Johnson wrote:

1) I had a look at the ad you mentioned and as far as I can tell the person writing it is not a native speaker of English. I don't think it's realistic to expect someone like this to master the finer points of register. I think we have to cut such people a certain amount of slack.


So "someone like this" - not a native speaker of English - cannot be expected to be polite, though maybe not in a very fluent manner. I am no native speaker, too. Hope I did not offend anyone here ...


2) To be honest, I appreciate the straightforwardness. In fact, I pretty much find it refreshing. Having posted a job at proz.com, I can tell you that the signal to noise is unfortunately very low. I don't think what they're requesting is outrageous at all. After all, this was a specific job of 100K words. Job quoting is a mutual selection process, and after fulfilling their requirements, it's time for them to jump through *my* hoops: payment amount, payment deadline, complete contact information, official P.O., etc.


Michele, you are right. It is not what they are requesting. It is the way they are requesting it.

So everybody here, who thinks the tone is neglectible in business, send a new client you wish to work for the following (after you have done your part of providing every information they needed):
"Please send the following details asap for this project:

(1) complete contact information
(2) payment amount
(3) payment deadline
(4) official P.O.

Please mention the project name and and payment amount in the subject line of your mail.

If you don't follow this rule I assume that you don't have a systematic approach to work and will be rejected without any further discussion. ..."

Let's see how many clients you'll get ...


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:36
Italian to English
Selling and communicating May 15, 2007

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

they are both important. Would you like to deal in business with a client who is constantly rude to you? I doubt it. Politeness is the basis of every fruitful business transaction.



Hi Giovanni,

I couldn't agree more.

Obviously if the other party wants to do business with me, he, she or it will stand a better chance if the message is politely formulated in whatever language has been selected for the communication. But if I'm interested in a deal, I'm always prepared to shut an eye to awkwardness of expression, particularly in routine correspondence from non-native users.



If you can't write in English properly, get your job posts checked by an English native who knows about the form and the register.



I'll certainly bear that in mind

Cheers,

Giles


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Can Altinbay  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:36
Japanese to English
+ ...
Especially in this business May 15, 2007

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Giles Watson wrote:

what's important in business correspondence is the meaning, not the form.


Giles



they are both important. Would you like to deal in business with a client who is constantly rude to you? I doubt it. Politeness is the basis of every fruitful business transaction. If you can't write in English properly, get your job posts checked by an English native who knows about the form and the register.

Giovanni


...especially when you are in the translation business.

And isn't it interesting that the agency wants "systematic" (systemic? -) ) people, but won't be professional itself.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:36
Member (2004)
English to Italian
ok... May 16, 2007

Giles Watson wrote:


I'll certainly bear that in mind

Cheers,

Giles


I know you will... and obviously it wasn't directed to you... but I know that you know...

G


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