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Test dilemma
Thread poster: Jennifer Forbes

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
In memoriam
I turned them down Nov 2, 2011

Thanks again, everyone, for your interesting replies.
I decided I wasn't that keen on the (potential/possible) job anyway, and didn't fancy getting embroiled in some kind of (possibly unenforceable) contract, so I replied to them that the test would probably take some hours and that I'd do it if they paid me my hourly rate. They declined ...
... minutes later a different PM at the same agency sent me an urgent job and agreed to pay me extra. Ee, lads and lasses, there's nowt so odd a
... See more
Thanks again, everyone, for your interesting replies.
I decided I wasn't that keen on the (potential/possible) job anyway, and didn't fancy getting embroiled in some kind of (possibly unenforceable) contract, so I replied to them that the test would probably take some hours and that I'd do it if they paid me my hourly rate. They declined ...
... minutes later a different PM at the same agency sent me an urgent job and agreed to pay me extra. Ee, lads and lasses, there's nowt so odd as folk.
Best wishes,
Jenny
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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:16
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Request payment now and offer to discount it later Nov 2, 2011

Jenny,
If the work is really several hours, you should tell them that you want to be paid fully for this work at your usual rates. If they win the contract, and subsequently send you the work, you would be glad to deduct the amount from the invoices related to that job. (Either at once, or in installments, depending on the amount.)

This prevents you from wasting your time, and they will get their money back.
If they are not willing to put up this initial investment, or b
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Jenny,
If the work is really several hours, you should tell them that you want to be paid fully for this work at your usual rates. If they win the contract, and subsequently send you the work, you would be glad to deduct the amount from the invoices related to that job. (Either at once, or in installments, depending on the amount.)

This prevents you from wasting your time, and they will get their money back.
If they are not willing to put up this initial investment, or bear the risk of losing that money, then forget about them. (They should have a margin that covers such things.)

Katalin

[Edit] I have not seen your last note when I wrote this.

[Edited at 2011-11-02 16:25 GMT]
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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:16
French to English
+ ...
Call their bluff Nov 2, 2011

Hi Jenny,

I can see now that you've turned it down, which is what I'd have done too. I had a similar situation last week from a US agency wanting me to do 500 words of an unpaid test translation. As I'm snowed under at the moment anyway, I declined and said that I didn't generally do unpaid translation tests and that my qualified membership of the ITI should be sufficient guarantee of the quality of my work. Sure enough, they backed down and agreed to waive the test, but I still end
... See more
Hi Jenny,

I can see now that you've turned it down, which is what I'd have done too. I had a similar situation last week from a US agency wanting me to do 500 words of an unpaid test translation. As I'm snowed under at the moment anyway, I declined and said that I didn't generally do unpaid translation tests and that my qualified membership of the ITI should be sufficient guarantee of the quality of my work. Sure enough, they backed down and agreed to waive the test, but I still ended up turning down the work as it really wasn't my field.

I've also been asked recently by an agency I do work for on an occasional basis to apply for an EU tender they're submitting, which requires me to work out how many standard pages I've translated over the course of my career. The very thought makes me dizzy - I've been translating for 27 years, some full-time in house (which is easy to work out as they suggest an equivalent number of pages for full-time work in-house), but then many part-time as I had my children, gradually increasing to full-time over the past few years. It would take me hours and hours to work out and I just couldn't face doing it - so I've declined that opportunity too. Surely by imposing such strict requirements the EU is discriminating against experienced translators, as the project management software which is available today (TO3000, etc.) to help keep the necessary records just wasn't around in the 1980's. It took me long enough to work out the number of words I'd done over the previous 5 years when I applied for my qualified ITI membership!

Claire
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XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:16
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Glad I'm not the only one Nov 3, 2011

Claire, it was a relief to read your comment. I have exactly the same problem when agencies contact me to fill in forms for tenders. I'm very happy to help where I can and if they win the tender then hopefully that'll be good news for me but I don't know where to begin when asked how many words I have translated over the past 18 years (some of it part-time, some full-time). Should I start keeping a record of this? I'm interested to know how many translators out there do this. Will even post a ne... See more
Claire, it was a relief to read your comment. I have exactly the same problem when agencies contact me to fill in forms for tenders. I'm very happy to help where I can and if they win the tender then hopefully that'll be good news for me but I don't know where to begin when asked how many words I have translated over the past 18 years (some of it part-time, some full-time). Should I start keeping a record of this? I'm interested to know how many translators out there do this. Will even post a new topic and try and find out.Collapse


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:16
Romanian to English
+ ...
About agency bidders Nov 3, 2011

Claire Cox wrote:

I've also been asked recently by an agency I do work for on an occasional basis to apply for an EU tender they're submitting, which requires me to work out how many standard pages I've translated over the course of my career.


What upsets me most in such tenders is that the bidders (i.e. agencies) do not pay the costs involved in preparing their bids. In the hundreds of pages of tender documents I translated over the years, NOT ONE of my direct clients asked for unpaid favors, promising that I would be their first option if they win the tender or in any other tender. Moreover, those calls for tenders specifically stated that all costs involved in preparing the bids must be paid by the bidder and cannot be included in their bid budget. So clearly, the principle in a normal market situation is that the bidder pays the preparation expenses even if they do not win.
Why should translation bids be any different? They are businesses, they make profit, it's normal for them to have occasional costs that do not generate any return and to cover them from THEIR profit, not mine.

Not sure about this international organization Jenny wrote about, but in EU tenders they couldn't make such a promise without actually including her on the list of subcontractors that cannot be changed without the Commission's prior approval. I wouldn't be surprised if similar requirements were stipulated in this tender too...


 
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