Dilemma - to translate or not to translate?
Thread poster: Ivana UK

Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
Member (2005)
Italian to English
Jan 31, 2006

I was allocated a translation job (to be divided over several translators) at 5:30pm today and asked to choose which section of two documents I would translate. The email also confirmed that the deadline has been brought forward from the original 12:00 GMT to 07:00 EST. I responded 15 mins later confirming which part of the doc I would translate and asking for clarification of the deadline. (The outsourcer also lives in the UK so EST seems a bit strange - possibly a typo but I'm not sure...)

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I received no reply so phoned the outsourcer only to find that the office is now closed.

My dilemma is this: do I go ahead with the translation? If so, how do I know that another translator isn't doing the same part? I confirmed which section I would complete but it looks as if the agency was already closed by this time, so do I just take it that I'm not supposed to go ahead or do I go ahead regardless?

And in the event that two translators do translate the same section would I still be paid?

As for the time zone can anyone confirm what 07:00 EST is in GMT? Internet searches have provided two different ESTs - (GMT - 05:00 and GMT + 10:00).

Now I'm really confused!!!!!!!!

Any suggestions are much appreciated!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Surtees
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, go ahead Jan 31, 2006

Ivana:

I would go ahead with the translation. For the following reasons:

-They sent you an e-mail asking you which sections you wanted to translate, to which you promptly replied (15 mins. - the time it takes you to look at the docs and decide, you couln't have answered sooner).

-Surely, if they hadn't received a response from you before the office closed, it's their responsibility to phone you and check. They must have been waiting for your reply in any case before informing the other translator(s) which parts they wanted them to do. That is essentially the outsourcers job - organising the work.

-You must certainly must DEMAND payment even if two translators have translated the same parts. As I said in the previous point, it's their job to organise and make sure everything is in order before shutting up office.

-If you don't do it (I'm assuming here you were all geared up to doing it and actually want to do it despite it being an overnight job), and tomorrow morning it turns out to have been a misunderstanding and the outsourcer had presumed you were doing it, it still would not be your fault - they shouldn't presume - but you will undoubtedly either feel very bad about it, or very stressed out trying to get it done in very little time.

-EST (Eastern Standard Time - East Coast USA/Canada) is GMT -5, so in fact the two times they gave you are the same time. See this website:

http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com

Good luck.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gabriella Ambs-Wettstein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:35
English to German
+ ...
Go ahead Jan 31, 2006

I think you should go ahead. Write another e-mail stating clearly what part you chose to translate and ask for a confirmation.
You already have kind of order confirmation, yes, they will have to pay for your services. It's not your fault the agency was already closed when your answer arrived. Don't forget to state that in your e-mail.
Good luck and best regards
Gabriella


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:35
French to English
+ ...
My twopennyworth Feb 1, 2006

I always wait for a final confirmation before starting a job. From what I understand from your explanation, there was no final confirmation, so I'd be tempted not to do it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Levan Namoradze  Identity Verified
Georgia
Local time: 16:35
Member (2005)
English to Georgian
+ ...
For sure Feb 1, 2006

Timothy Barton wrote:

I always wait for a final confirmation before starting a job. From what I understand from your explanation, there was no final confirmation, so I'd be tempted not to do it.


I agree with Timothy. A final confirmation is the must (to me).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michaela Müller
Germany
Local time: 14:35
English to German
+ ...
With Timothy Feb 1, 2006

Although I can understand your feelings (this really is a difficult situation), I would also be tempted not to do it.
If this outsourcer cares "that much" about the end customer that he cannot even wait some minutes for a translator's reply, do you really think he is going to pay two translators who accidentally did the same part of the job? What kind of serious agency does sth. like that?
I usually do not start working on a job without a PO.

Have you actually worked with this outsourcer before?
You should try to reach the outsourcer in all possible ways. Maybe they just left for the post office

Michaela


Direct link Reply with quote
 
gad
United States
Local time: 08:35
Member
French to English
I agree with Timothy, Levan and Michaela Feb 3, 2006

I don't understand why they would ask for you to reply, which you did practically right away, then not be there and then their office be closed? In 15 minutes time? That is odd. Most agencies that I deal with communicate much better than that.

And if then they are stuck because you never got the final word to go ahead, then perhaps that will teach them to communicate better with their translators.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 07:35
English to Russian
+ ...
Don't start Feb 5, 2006

Michaela Müller wrote:
I would also be tempted not to do it.
If this outsourcer cares "that much" about the end customer that he cannot even wait some minutes for a translator's reply, do you really think he is going to pay two translators
Michaela


Or any translator at all.

My thoughts exactly.

Did you at least receive a read receipt for you reply?

Also, if we dealing with "Things happen" from Forrest Gump movie and "badmouthing" your client unfairly and they are normal professional people, then they would not only understand your decision but support it, apologize and thank you for not "building a double-payment case". With any other outcome you might face some unpleasant phone call or email but then indeed loss of such client could be a blessing.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
Member (2005)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everyone for their input ... Feb 5, 2006

For a few hours I was really at a loss as to how to proceed as like Levan and Michaela, my first instinct was not to proceed without final confirmation. However at the same time, I did not want to find myself in the position of being not completing (or even initiating) an allocated project and leaving the outsourcer in the lurch.

At the same time, I had received confirmation to go ahead but no agreement as to which part of the translation was to be completed so it really was a dilemma!

I eventually started the translation and 3 hours later received final confirmation from the outsourcer. (Better late than never!)

These situations are never easy so thank you all for your much valued input - sometimes I don't know where we'd all be without Proz!

Ivana


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Dilemma - to translate or not to translate?

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search