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EU tenders
Thread poster: Olly Pekelharing

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:30
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Jul 31, 2012

I just received one of these bulk emails calling for translators for EU tenders (potential jobs). What I was wondering, is how do you go about demonstrating that you have "... translation experience (that can be proved) of around 4000 pages (half of them should be in the European affairs field or public administration matters)."? Are you supposed to be able to send all 4000 pages to the agency concerned (after having purged them of all confidential information)? Do you get your current clients to back your claim for so many pages each? How do other translators go about this?

 

Ine Ramaekers  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 20:30
English to Dutch
+ ...
Same problem... Jul 31, 2012

I have the exact same problem. I've just got a reference letter from one of the agencies I work for now, stating that I've translated over 4000 pages for them (With my degree, I only need 3000 to fit the profile). But now that might not even do, because they put "mostly on European affairs" (although it was at least 99,9% EU), and at least half of the 3000 pages have to be on EU-affairs. Luckily I have worked enough for just one client, so I don't have to go about asking all my clients for reference letters.

Since I translate mostly for the EU, this is relatively easy to demonstrate in a reference letter, but sometimes I get asked what my precise experience is translating texts concerning fisheries, for example. For me, that is near impossible to figure out, I would have to open every single file I've ever translated and figure out which ones were on fisheries. If anyone has a good solution for this problem, please let me know too.


 

Annelise Brincker  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:30
English to Danish
+ ...
Have received same request Jul 31, 2012

Hi

I have received the same request a couple of times, also today. I usually reply that I cannot possibly measure number of pages as the jobs I do typically are measured differently - I do most work in subtitling - but that I have so and so many years of experience and the number of jobs I have done (approx.)


 

christela (X)
No solution Jul 31, 2012

Olly Pekelharing wrote:

I just received one of these bulk emails calling for translators for EU tenders (potential jobs). What I was wondering, is how do you go about demonstrating that you have "... translation experience (that can be proved) of around 4000 pages (half of them should be in the European affairs field or public administration matters)."? Are you supposed to be able to send all 4000 pages to the agency concerned (after having purged them of all confidential information)? Do you get your current clients to back your claim for so many pages each? How do other translators go about this?


They ask for copies of your invoices, with all confidential information whitened out, but in which the character of the texts is clearly indicated.

Please note that the only people who are qualified to do this already have lots of work, either because they are EU subcontractors themselves either via an agency (and under a confidentiality agreement). So they are trying to find 'new' people who have all the necessary experience, which is something impossible to do.icon_smile.gif

It's what we call in French 'quadrature du cercle'.


 

Teresa Gutiérrez  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
I would send them references Jul 31, 2012

Hello Olly,

I think I was going through the same job offer you mention and asked myself the very same question.
I guess I would collect references with statements from previous contractors about previous work.
I don't think it's a good idea to directly provide the documents you produced, either partial or complete.

It's just an opinion but I hope this helps.


 

Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:30
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Disregard Jul 31, 2012

I usually disregard such EU tender requests. I am bound by confidentiality agreements entered into with my clients, which make it impossible for me to provide the proof required for such tenders.

 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:30
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
Not intending to quote now Jul 31, 2012

Thanks for your answers. Just a remark that I'm not actually intending to reply to this client. Just wondering how one went about it in case I decide to do so in the future.

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:30
Member
English to French
A recent thread about the state of affairs on the EU tender front Jul 31, 2012

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/227032-is_the_eu_pressing_rates_too.html

Philippe


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same thing Jul 31, 2012

Steffen Walter wrote:
I usually disregard such EU tender requests. I am bound by confidentiality agreements entered into with my clients, which make it impossible for me to provide the proof required for such tenders.

Exactly. Same thing here.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:30
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Dear Madam/Sir Jul 31, 2012

Olly Pekelharing wrote:

I just received one of these bulk emails calling for translators for EU tenders (potential jobs).


So did I, and since it was addressed to Dear Madam/Sir, they clearly hadn't singled me out because they were interested in me as a person (and the quality translations I produce) but only as a holder of the right certificates and references.

I made the mistake of following through one such request a few years ago. Never again.


 

Maria Dimitrova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 21:30
Member (2011)
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
Reference letters will do Jul 31, 2012

I usually provide reference letters from agencies I have worked for. I have collected a bunch of reference letters and use them for such tenders.

Regarding the issue with keeping track on the volume of work you have done in a specific field - I record in an excel file the subject matter of most jobs I have done. I just write the date, number of words/pages, subject field, language pair and client. In this way I can cite the approximate number of pages I have translated in a given field and request a reference letter from the customer, if I need one. Takes me no more than a minute per day. Unfortunately, I only started doing this 8 months ago, wish I had done it from the very start.


 

Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:30
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Disenchantment Jul 31, 2012

There have been too many of these unsolicited requests recently and I've started deleting them as soon as they arrive, because in 2 years they have never led to any work, but they require all sorts of paper and proof and fuss. I will only jump through these hoops for an agency that I know and respect already.

The EU tender, if awarded, will never pay my normal rate (see the thread on EU rate squeezing). I suspect that a lot of agencies are drumming up respectable translators to put in their bid and then use cut-rate translators if they get the contract (which of course is a violation of the contract).


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:30
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Exactly Jul 31, 2012

Mark Hamlen wrote:

There have been too many of these unsolicited requests recently and I've started deleting them as soon as they arrive, because in 2 years they have never led to any work, but they require all sorts of paper and proof and fuss. I will only jump through these hoops for an agency that I know and respect already.

The EU tender, if awarded, will never pay my normal rate (see the thread on EU rate squeezing). I suspect that a lot of agencies are drumming up respectable translators to put in their bid and then use cut-rate translators if they get the contract (which of course is a violation of the contract).


This matter has been discussed already about 8 years ago, and I tried then to get some improvements on the way via my MEP, but it looks like all is the same still. I never bother to apply to these tenders.


 

christela (X)
And... Jul 31, 2012

Mark Hamlen wrote:
then use cut-rate translators if they get the contract

How about their own employees?icon_frown.gif


 

Laura Harrison  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
French to English
+ ...
Spooky coincidence Aug 1, 2012

Having just read this post an email pops up requesting the exact same information!

On the basis of your comments I am not going to reply.

The email refers to "your profile I have just seen on different websites", but if that were the case they would see that I do not yet have sufficient experience as a full time translator to consider applying.


 
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