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What does available to translate 24/24 mean?
Thread poster: Sarah McDowell

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:28
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
Feb 3, 2014

I asked a company to remove me from their list of translators (for the 2nd time already).

In reply they sent the following message:

"Let me know why you don't want to work with us.
Is it because we are sending our offers to more translators?
If you are available to translate 24/24 we can send them all to you."

Does anybody know what this means - is this a new type of software?


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:28
Member
Italian to English
Typo Feb 3, 2014

Looks like a typo for 24/7 to me; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week...

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 14:28
English to Croatian
+ ...
The meaning Feb 3, 2014

To me, it means you made the right decision when you asked them to remove you from their list. I also had to do the same with several companies and some of them still send promotional emails to me.

[Edited at 2014-02-03 21:47 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
French Canadian? Feb 3, 2014

The French write 24/24 and say "24 sur 24" i.e. "24 hours out of 24", instead of 24/7.

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Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:28
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No Feb 3, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:

The French write 24/24 and say "24 sur 24" i.e. "24 hours out of 24", instead of 24/7.


Hi Sheila,

No, they're not even in Canada. They're in Europe.


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24/24 kind of means 24/7 Feb 4, 2014

Like Sheila said, some people use 24/24 the same way that others use 24/7.
To me, "available to translate 24/24" means available to translate all day along. They are trying to say that they get more work than one translator can handle in a full day (24 hours), so they have to keep other translators on their list, as well, in case if you were not satisfied with the amount of work you have been getting from them.


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:28
German to English
+ ...
Similar situation Feb 4, 2014

Not that I was told if I didn't need to sleep I could get all the translation jobs, but having to tell a Russian agency to stop sending me their frequent and lengthy newsletters, which were written in Russian and completely useless to me, besides cluttering up an already busy inbox. It was really annoying that they were not capable of complying with a simple, straightforward request until I finally resorted to sending a very sharply worded e-mail.

It's really none of their business why you want to stop working with them, especially after a rather silly response. In cases like that, only a reply in kind might work, or using "your unprofessional behavior" might do the trick.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Actually... Feb 4, 2014

Woodstock wrote:
It's really none of their business why you want to stop working with them...


Actually, it is vital for their business to determine why quality translators are dropping off their books.

... especially after a rather silly response.


I fail to see how a silly response would cause the company's need for information to vanish.

In cases like that, only a reply in kind might work, or using "your unprofessional behavior" might do the trick.


I disagree. If you want to stem the flow of communication from them, while maintaining the higher moral ground, you'd have to give them an answer that does not invite them to reply by asking you to explain further and in more detail.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It's their homework! Feb 4, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Woodstock wrote:
It's really none of their business why you want to stop working with them...


Actually, it is vital for their business to determine why quality translators are dropping off their books.


Of course, Samuel, however it's up to them - as professional translation outsourcers - to find that out by a more encompassng survey than merely asking one prospective dropout.

Imagine you are a translation agency I work for, and got a message like this:
I don't want to be on your translators list any more because:
a) Your rates are too low;
b) Your payment terms are too long;
c) You always pay late;
d) Your instructions are never clear; lots of rework for free;
e) Your PMs are non-responsive when I have questions;
f) You take for granted that I am always fully available, no matter what;
g) Your firm specializes in weekend work; it never has anything to be done Mon. thru Fri.;
h) Your deadlines assume that I use machine translation alone;
i) Your proofreaders advertise their wares by despising my quality work and spoiling it;
j) Your end-clients never fail to demand post-delivery 'extras' at no charge;
k) Your NDA imposes a 50% discount on quality issues, even if unevidenced;
l) You contact me with jobs only once or twice a year, and demand top priority.


Who says I'm right on any of these counts?

These are items each and every translation agency should check and re-check continuously to stay in business.

They ask one "quitting" translator about it, because they are afraid to ask all of the others, as it could open their eyes to these issues.

IMHO this is what causes some raving 5s interspersed with almost X-rated commented 1s on the very same Blue Board record. Some translators (or "tranzlaters"?) are so desperate, that they tend to see any rogue client as mannah from heaven.

Therefore an effective answer here could be "Please delete me from your translators database, because we are obviously catering to strikingly different markets." Though cryptic, such a statement can't - or shouldn't - be challenged.

If the agency argued, "But we cater to ALL markets!", they'll be nonplussed to hear from the translator that "The market I serve would never seek a firm like yours." Hence they prefer to avoid such embarrassment altogether


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Fulltime translator Feb 4, 2014

Maybe I am missing something here in the whole discussion, but I thought the original question was: "what means 24/24?"

I read 24/24 (or 24/7 for that matter) as: "Are you a fulltime or a parttime translator". Nobody works 24 hours a day.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:28
Russian to English
+ ...
It was pure irony. Feb 4, 2014

They meant that they were sorry that you got upset and wanted your name removed allegedly because the company had been sending work to other translators as well, but since the reality is that they sometimes need quick translations at different times of the day, they could not send you all, unless you confirmed that you were available 24 hours a day. It was not a serious question--whether you were or not. It was just ironic.

They should have said 24/7, but this is what they meant--all the time.

[Edited at 2014-02-04 12:17 GMT]


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 14:28
French to Dutch
+ ...
No, not ironic Feb 4, 2014

For someone in France it just means that you are asked to be available 24 hrs per day. Or that you can be called 24 hrs per day.
As for some stores, which remain open all the time, or some services which are available also at night.

For the whole week, they would say: 24/24 et 7/7 (vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre et sept jours sur sept).

"Garage XXX / Dépannage et remorquage de véhicules 24h/24 7j/7. "


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
If I was... Feb 4, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Imagine you are a translation agency I work for, and got a message like this... who says I'm right on any of these counts?


The fact that you can't rely on the comment of a single person to discover the cause of a problem does not mean the comments of indivudually single persons are worthless.

If I was an agency (as you put it) and you as translator wanted to leave my books, then I would want to know why. But the fact that I want to know why does not mean that I consider you to be an expert on why translators leave my books nor does it mean that I believe that the reason you're leaving is the same reason that anyone else might be leaving.

They ask one "quitting" translator about it, because they are afraid to ask all of the others, as it could open their eyes to these issues.


For all we know they may have a policy to ask that question (it would be a good policy).

Or: it could be that no translator had ever left them (with such official finality). Or, it could be that they had thought that they had a very good relationship with the translator and are now surprised at her leaving. If a friend breaks off a friendship, wouldn't you also ask "why"?

Therefore an effective answer here could be "Please delete me from your translators database, because we are obviously catering to strikingly different markets." [and] "The market I serve would never seek a firm like yours."


If I was an agency (as you put it) and you as translator wrote that, then I would feel hurt and highly insulted, and I would tell everyone how you mistreated me. Is that what you would want?

I just don't see why it is necessary for freelancers to burn bridges with such aggression.

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
Maybe I am missing something here in the whole discussion, but I thought the original question was: "what means 24/24?"


Yes, that was the original question, and it was answered by more than one person, and after that, threads get ugly.


[Edited at 2014-02-04 13:29 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Clarification Feb 4, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Therefore an effective answer here could be "Please delete me from your translators database, because we are obviously catering to strikingly different markets."


If I was an agency (as you put it) and you as translator wrote that, then I would feel hurt and highly insulted, and I would tell everyone how you mistreated me. Is that what you would want?

I just don't see why it is necessary for freelancers to burn bridges with such aggression.


I have used the "catering to different markets" expression when an outsourcer - after having been very politely advised on my rates, terms, and resources (e.g. WordFast) - obstreperously insists that I must accept their low rates, long payment terms, and buy Trados immediately.

Some customers feel sure that granting a translator the privilege of a job - no matter what - entitles them to relentless gratitude forever.

I prefer clients who think they are merely contracting a service from me, and then I strive to make them feel privileged, by providing them the best customer service experience I can.


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 15:28
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Rudeness Feb 4, 2014

I've never come across the phrase 24/24 either, but my guess is it means "at all hours and on short notice." The company's response is quite unprofessional. First, they jump into conclusions regarding your reasons to leave them, and then they hint you should be available at all hours in order to be entitled to personalized job emails as opposed to mass emails. That's how I understood it, anyway.
Just shows you made the right decision. If they really wanted to know your reasons, a polite question would probably have worked better.

[Edited at 2014-02-04 16:57 GMT]


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