Someone asked me to check a translation
Thread poster: David C P Lo

David C P Lo  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:59
Member (2015)
Chinese to English
+ ...
May 29, 2015

I got an email asking me to check a translation of something like a document title. "Please let me know if this translation is good if not kindly provide me with the right one." That's what she says before she includes the source and the translation of the document title.

She's not a client of mine. She introduces herself. Her name, her company, her email all seemed genuine (I checked both in ProZ and using Google,) but if so, why would she ask a translator unknown to her for this, and without payment?

Does anyone have any idea what I should do? Do I need to report this to ProZ?


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:59
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Tell her your minimum fee May 29, 2015

This is true for any job inquiry: tell her how much she should pay for the work (if it is a mini-job, you should charge your minimum fee). If you cannot check her background and/or payment practices, then ask for pre-payment.

 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Check the email? May 29, 2015

One of the first things that I do is to check the source of the email. You can find the sender's IP address in the source information. There are a few guides on YouTube that make it really easy ^_^

When in doubt, ask for payment in advance.


 

David C P Lo  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:59
Member (2015)
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No payment mentioned May 29, 2015

Thanks for the replies.

The strange thing is: the "job" is not to translate or edit/proofread the document, but only to check the title.

And no payment is mentioned.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:59
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Clarification May 29, 2015

davidtrlns wrote:

The strange thing is: the "job" is not to translate or edit/proofread the document, but only to check the title.


Yes, the job is to review and if necessary, edit the text.
It is a job, not a "job".
In fact, if it is something like a tagline, a catchphrase, then it is more like a copywriting or transcreation job, which is paid at a much higher rate then translation or editing.

And no payment is mentioned.

That is why YOU should state the amount you want to receive for doing this job.
You are the service provider, you should state the terms of your service.
The reason she did not ask how much you would charge for this is either because she expects you to state your price anyway, or because she wants to get this for free.
Either way, you should state the price, so even if she thought she could ask you for a "favor", she would realize that this is not the way business works. "Favors" are never asked, let alone expected (!), only offered, in exceptional cases, and only to long-term, reliable and fair business partners.

Back to your question as to what you should do, if you are interested in this business relationship, then state your price (as said before), otherwise you can simply ignore. (It is perfectly possible that she sent the same message to a hundred other translators.)

[Edited at 2015-05-29 02:59 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Decide if you want to work for free (this time) May 29, 2015

davidtrlns wrote:
She's not a client of mine. She introduces herself. Her name, her company, her email all seemed genuine (I checked both in ProZ and using Google,) but if so, why would she ask a translator unknown to her for this, and without payment?


She wants a second opinion. And she wants it for free. It is up you to to decide if you want to work for free, this time. If it's just a title, and if it's no more than 10 minutes' work, when I'd suggest you do it. You might be saving this client from a terrible situation, and she'll hopefully remember it the next time she has a paid job to dish out.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not the OP's client May 29, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:
davidtrlns wrote:
She's not a client of mine.

If it's just a title, and if it's no more than 10 minutes' work, when I'd suggest you do it. You might be saving this client from a terrible situation

I really don't see that we can be expected to perform charitable acts of mercy for every Tom, Dick or Harry who cares to contact us. What's to say that this person will ever become anyone's translation client?

If it was a regular client with a good payment history etc, then that would be different.


 

Irene McClure
Local time: 20:59
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Job posting on Proz May 29, 2015

Is this by any chance the same as the job posting which has appeared on Proz in the past few hours?

http://www.proz.com/translation-jobs/1022486

If so, payment is mentioned ...


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:59
Member
English to French
Who does she think you are? May 29, 2015

davidtrlns wrote:

I got an email asking me to check a translation of something like a document title. "Please let me know if this translation is good if not kindly provide me with the right one." That's what she says before she includes the source and the translation of the document title.

She's not a client of mine. She introduces herself. Her name, her company, her email all seemed genuine (I checked both in ProZ and using Google,) but if so, why would she ask a translator unknown to her for this, and without payment?

A helpdesk attendant from her company.

If this person is in a terrible situation, she should be ready to pay upfront whatever is necessary, and even more, to fix it. I don't believe in reciprocity with unknown people, but maybe I'm too cynical.

I wouldn't even reply. Anyway she probably sent the message to a zillion translators, so she'll have what she wants anyway.

Philippe

Edit: which doesn't mean I don't stop when I see somebody stranded in the mud. But it's my choice, and I interact with real people.

[Edited at 2015-05-29 07:45 GMT]


 

David C P Lo  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:59
Member (2015)
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Considered closed May 29, 2015

Thanks everyone for your input.

No matter what, I'm not going to do anything now, since she also mentioned it was rush. So by this time, on her side, everything should have been settled (or messed up.)

Anyway, thanks, everyone, for now I'm starting to know what I'll do next time something similar happens.

(And, Irene, no, it's not that job posting.)


 


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