Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Crazy Translation Contract - I'm Just a Translator, Please Abuse Me
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:18
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 25, 2009

A translation agency in the U.S. just sent me a "translator's agreement" for me to sign.

I suppose they do have people working for them, but why in the world would any sane person ever sign this? Why would I want to work with them under all of these conditions when I can just get my own clients? Shouldn't they be making it easier to work with them rather than harder?

All I can say is there must be a lot of spineless, desperate translators out there, if they think for one second that we would sign something like this:


“..Payment in full to the Translator will be made 90 days from the receipt of invoice…”

Sorry, I have bills to pay and I cannot wait three months to get paid. Thirty days is the maximum I will wait and we really should get paid upon submission of the job like every other service provider.

“...XXXX will pay the Translator the sum agreed upon payment by the Client for services rendered to date...”

Um, wrong. I do not have to wait for you to get paid. My contract is with you and not with your client (see your non-competition clause). What if the client does not pay you because YOU made a mistake or delivered late through no fault of my own?

“...The Translator will translate a specified amount of the Material as a sample for examination by the Client who has requested the translation...”

Not.

“...XXXX will request that the Translator extracts and translates a glossary of terms relevant to the Material and supply status reports on the translation at specified intervals. The translated glossary will be passed to the Client for examination and approval. Upon approval by the Client, XXXX will give the Translator permission to proceed with translation of the remainder of the Material...”

Read: lots of extra work for you and if the client “disapproves”, you do not get paid. Sorry, electric company, can't pay you this month, the client disapproved...

“…The Translator indemnifies and holds XXXXX harmless from any losses or liabilities incurred by XXXX and any legal costs and other expenses incurred by XXXX in connection with any demand, complaint, action, arbitration or other proceeding (including mediation, compromise, out-of-court settlement or appeal) arising directly or indirectly from:
(a) the Translator's performance of Services for XXXXX under this Agreement; or
(b) the performance of Services by the Translator's employees, sub-contractors and agents...”

So, I work for you instead of a direct client (for which I would be paid immediately) and I still have to assume all legal liability and I won’t get paid if I make a mistake. I’ll pass…

“...XXXX has the right to bring a complaint in connection with the work carried out by the Translator to the Translator within 8 weeks of the date of delivery of the translation.”

Remember that translation you did back in 1998, well the client….”

"...If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute by agreement, the dispute may be referred to the American Translators Association (ATA) within two months from the date on which the original complaint was made. The parties agree that any decision made in relation to a dispute referred to the ATA is final and binding on both parties..."

No comment.

"...XXXX may amend these Terms and Conditions from time to time to reflect our current business practices and the most current version will be linked to a url included at the bottom of each purchase order. And that the terms and conditions applicable to each individual purchase order shall be those as specified at said url...

You mean they could get worse. Sorry, you forgot to check the link on the P.O., we've changed our payment policy to 300 days and we now pay invoices exclusively in wampum..

Then there is a whole bunch of other garbage about payment for “fuzzy” matches which just says to me – we want all this and we want it cheap too!


[Edited at 2009-06-25 14:32 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:18
English to Japanese
+ ...
Seems to me like Jun 25, 2009

One of those brokers again who doesn't want to take a single responsibility and doesn't realize the basic principles of running a business.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:18
English to German
+ ...
Honestly... Jun 25, 2009

Why are you wasting your time?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:18
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why am I wasting my time? Jun 25, 2009

Because if I were just starting out in the business (especially someone excited about getting their first few jobs), I may not know that these are not standard business practices. Also, it is a lesson for people to always read the contracts they are asked to sign. This one is 8 pages long and these "clauses" could have been overlooked.

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

Why are you wasting your time?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:18
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Thank you sir, may I have another! Jun 25, 2009

Did this one have a corporal punishment clause, too?

No pity. Anyone stupid enough to sign a contract like that deserves the abuse. Those who lack basic common sense or fail to acquire the necessary skills to survive are not our wards. They are easy prey for jackals, but then jackals play an important role in the ecosystem by weeding out the unfit and cleaning up carcassesicon_smile.gif


Direct link Reply with quote
 

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Is it true? Jun 25, 2009

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

"...If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute by agreement, the dispute may be referred to the American Translators Association (ATA) within two months from the date on which the original complaint was made. The parties agree that any decision made in relation to a dispute referred to the ATA is final and binding on both parties..."

No comment.


Hi Jeff,
Is it a real translation agreement or simply a joke? I'm serious, I do not understand...

Beside the fact that the whole excerpt is a load of nonsenses, the section about ATA is not "quite" accurate, as far as I know.

From the ATA website:
ATA recognizes that, even with due diligence, commercial disputes between members will sometimes arise. It is the policy of ATA not to undertake to resolve or publicize such disputes for the following reasons:

1. Publicizing alleged cases of non-payment by members would not only require ATA to review such cases and make a finding of improper action, which is not feasible for lack of expertise and resources, but could also open ATA up to potentially expensive and damaging litigation if such cases were publicized on incorrect or insufficient grounds of evidence.

2.The Board of Directors is obligated to allocate ATA resources in a way that maximizes the return to members on the investment they make in joining. Pursuing a policy of intervention in commercial disputes would require us to set aside financial resources to cover the potential legal costs, and to curtail other programs of established benefit to members.

3.If ATA were to adjudicate commercial disputes involving claims of non-performance on the part of translation companies, fairness would dictate that it also adjudicate disputes involving claims of non-performance by individual translators and interpreters. To do so, ATA would have to determine whether a translator’s or interpreter’s work for pay meets professional standards, a function ATA is not prepared to undertake


I wholeheartedly agree with Kevin:

Kevin Lossner wrote:
No pity. Anyone stupid enough to sign a contract like that deserves the abuse.

...periodicon_smile.gif

Have a nice day

[Edited at 2009-06-25 15:18 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:18
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
As much as it frightens me to say, Jun 25, 2009

...this contract is 100% real. For the sake of brevity, I left out a lot of the other strange clauses.

Are they naive and think this is normal or are their actions deliberate?


[/quote]texjax DDS PhD wrote:


Is it a real translation agreement or simply a joke? I'm serious, I do not understand...


[/quote]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:18
English to German
+ ...
Modern slavery Jun 25, 2009

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Are they naive and think this is normal or are their actions deliberate?


In January 1865, the US Congress passed the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery and, 11 months later, it was ratified by the states.

Unfortunately, there is no source telling us that slavery was abolished in the translation industryicon_wink.gif


Direct link Reply with quote
 

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Wow! Jun 25, 2009

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

...this contract is 100% real. For the sake of brevity, I left out a lot of the other strange clauses.

Are they naive and think this is normal or are their actions deliberate?


Naive? No, no, I rule that out.
At this point, Jeff, my online diagnosis is either sunstroke (the layman would say "overexposure to direct sun on the head") or some kind of delusional disorder.icon_wink.gif

Ciao!

[Edited at 2009-06-25 15:40 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:18
French to German
+ ...
Gimme a break! Jun 25, 2009

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
"...If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute by agreement, the dispute may be referred to the American Translators Association (ATA) within two months from the date on which the original complaint was made. The parties agree that any decision made in relation to a dispute referred to the ATA is final and binding on both parties..."

No comment.



My comment:
The agency should be aware that many points of this agreement do not comply with the ATA code of conduct. It can be therefore inferred that the agency is not a corporate member of the ATA and has absolutely no right to refer any dispute to it. Should the agency nevertherless and actually be a corporate member of the ATA, it should submit this agreement for compliance check to the relevant authorities and accept that said authorities declare that this agreement has to be amended in a way it fully complies with the ATA code of conduct.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:18
German to English
+ ...
First-born child too? Jun 25, 2009

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
...this contract is 100% real. For the sake of brevity, I left out a lot of the other strange clauses.

Like the part about sacrificing your first-born child?icon_wink.gif


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:18
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
BlueBoard Success Story Jun 25, 2009

Stupid me. I should have more faith. Since I had absolutely no intention of working for them and since they claimed that I was the one who had initially contacted them, I did not check their BlueBoard entry. Their score is 1.7 out of 14 (all 1s and 2s). According to the comments, they do not even adhere to their own 90-day payment policy and take six months to two years to pay, if they pay at all.

I also did a corporate directory search on the ATA website. Surprise - they are not a member. Should I inform the ATA about this or would it be a waste of time?



[Edited at 2009-06-25 16:16 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:18
French to English
Clarification Jun 25, 2009

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
I also did a corporate directory search on the ATA website. Surprise - they are not a member. Should I inform the ATA about this or would it be a waste of time?

Don't see why not. They certanly seem to want to give the impression they belong, even if they are careful not to say so outright.

“...XXXX will pay the Translator the sum agreed upon payment by the Client for services rendered to date...”

Might be interesting to muse upon the meaning of "upon" here.
I like to think it means like it does here, say: "upon pricking her finger, the princess fell asleep for a hundred years". In other words, one event triggers the other and there is little or no delay between them. I bet that ain't what they mean.

With forum posts of this nature, I can usually see the other (agency) side, rather than automatically turning purple in outrage at what are often not unreasonable terms. However, disregarding your confusion as to the nature of B2B transactions versus those that we conduct as consumers, I agree entirely with you on this one.
Altho as Kevin so benevolently pointed out, more fool anyone who signs it.

[Edited at 2009-06-25 16:37 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't.... Jun 25, 2009

...waste your time with that. Just tell them that those are conditions you cannot sign and whether they would be willing to receive your proposal. If they do, simply edit the contract to your liking. If they don't accept it, simply thank them for your time and let them go. You will never be sorry!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:18
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Agree and disagree Jun 25, 2009

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
“…The Translator indemnifies and holds XXXXX harmless from any losses or liabilities

Totally agree wih you. If I am asked to sign a contract, I search for the word "harmless". If found, I refuse to sign.

“...XXXX will request that the Translator extracts and translates a glossary of terms

Disagree. This strikes me as a very sensible suggestion, though not on the terms being offered. One of the most satisfactory jobs I ever did involved preparing a glossary in advance. The customer agreed to pay for my travel and accommodation +3 days at the customer site to prepare a detailed glossary with a member of staff there. The result was a quicker, cheaper and better translation.
Just a small amendment to the wording, stipulating that you should be paid for all glossary work, could make this an attractive option.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
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 »

Crazy Translation Contract - I'm Just a Translator, Please Abuse Me

Advanced search







WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



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