Translators' anonymity in an agency
Thread poster: TRADL

Local time: 22:34
English to French
+ ...
Nov 3, 2005

I was just wondering whether it's OK for an agency to give out the name of a particular translator to their client. I've always naively thought that this would be confidential info. Any experience/views on the subject?


Elena Pavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:34
Member (2005)
French to Italian
+ ...
The only risk... Nov 3, 2005 that the client then contacts the translator directly, if he is satisfied of his job and if there is no particolar agreement between the agency and the translator (apart from a moral agreement). Otherwise I do not see why it should be a confidential information.

[Edited at 2005-11-03 15:33]


Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:34
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
I wouldn't mind Nov 3, 2005

TRADL wrote:

I was just wondering whether it's OK for an agency to give out the name of a particular translator to their client.

The agency might think it not in their best interest to do so. The risk is that the translator and the client might decide to do business directly, cutting out the agency. (The agency might, however, use appropriate terms of business to prevent that.)

Seen from the vantage point of the translator, however, I don't see why one would mind that. What harm could there be? It is good publicity, after all.

Who knows? The client might be that excited about the work done so far that they will henceforth instruct the agency: "Have those documents translated, please, but see to it that Ms. X will get the job."



Seadeta Osmani  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:34
English to Croatian
+ ...
My experiences Nov 3, 2005

I don't know if there are rules or any code of conduct for these situations, but recently a client of mine received a job from a client of his (the end user) and decided to assign the task to me. We were one tiny step from issuing the official PO, when his client (the end user) conditioned him to give away the name of the translator, not giving any specific reasons for this condition. My client decided to decline the job, risking to lose the client and further oportunities with the same. I am not familiar with the end user's reason for his request, nor my client's reason for refusing to meet the request (other than the obvious-- fear that his client will avoid his services in the future working with translators directly).

On the other hand, I have a client who gave away my name and my contact details (including my home address) to his client and we are still working through my client.

So, go figure...



Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:34
Latvian to English
+ ...
Normal practice for the EC etc Nov 3, 2005

TRADL wrote:

I was just wondering whether it's OK for an agency to give out the name of a particular translator to their client. I've always naively thought that this would be confidential info. Any experience/views on the subject?

Whilst one would assume that it would be in an agency's own interests to keep this information confidential, translators' CVs/details have to be included in tenders submitted to the European agencies, European Commission etc by translation agencies. Personally, I don't have a problem with that, and the agencies have always asked for my permission before submitting my details. Whether or not this actually leads to any work is a different mattericon_wink.gif


Burkhard Ziegler  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:34
Russian to German
+ ...
Agency should not forward translator's name (for their business and trl's privacy) Nov 3, 2005

This medal has two sides:

On the one hand translator and client might decide doing business without the agency. Excourse: The best "term" to prevent this is high quality renderred to the client as a result of cooperation between translator, proof reader and project manager.

However, if the agency does so without the translators consent it's a rather unethical behaviour. Maybe, not all translators prefer being publically named and don't want to make possible identifying them, their home address and phone number. Maybe, other translators don't want to let anybody know, that they work for an agency, especially for certain agencies.

And even for the first reason, an agency should not forward the translator's name to the client without the translator's consent.

My 2 cents


tazdog (X)
Local time: 22:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
only with permission Nov 3, 2005

As Jana said, sometimes the CV's of the translators who will be working on a project have to be included with the tender. An agency once recruited me for a large ongoing project for a Spanish government agency, but before they submitted my CV they asked me to confirm that I agreed to that. Other agencies have arranged for the client to have my contact information (and vice-versa), mainly for projects that had very specific terminology or other somewhat unusual requirements. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but do think the agency should ask for permission before disclosing this information.


Lucinda Hollenberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:34
Dutch to English
+ ...
I see no problems with it! Nov 3, 2005

In fact, sometimes if the client is a government entity (such as the Eu mentioned before) they may insist on the translators providing a confidentiality agreement. Some leave it to the agency to manage this process but others insist on having these signed forms on hand.

It has happened to me before that a satisfied client insisted on the agency using my services. So, who would say 'no' to that kind of good publicity.

I think that the agencies that I have worked before know that I would not cut my fingers by contacting their clients directly. You just do not stay in business long doing that.



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