Shall I sign that contract or not?
Thread poster: lucysebastian
lucysebastian
Local time: 08:45
English to Arabic
Aug 26, 2006

Hello

Today I have received an email from a translatin company. Part of the procedures, the company asked me to sign its contract. After reading the contract, I noticed and found out that the contract has a provision and term that gives the right for the client to reject the translation work if it has poor quality.

I think this is not binding and not good because the company may say the translation is not good and therefore does not pay. OR, the company is not paid by the clietn and consequently does not pay the translator. OR client escapes payment by saying that the translation is of poor quality.

I think the translator must pay in advance for the company.
I think the company must do a test for the translator.
Once the test is passed then the company reject claims that the translation work is poor.

What do you think?

Would you allow a client to evaluate your work?

What shall be done and if your were me then what would you do?

Your help is far more appreciated.

Thanks
Sebastian


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Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 08:45
English to Greek
+ ...
My two cents... Aug 26, 2006

lucysebastian wrote:

Today I have received an email from a translatin company. Part of the procedures, the company asked me to sign its contract. After reading the contract, I noticed and found out that the contract has a provision and term that gives the right for the client to reject the translation work if it has poor quality.

>> These are standard contract terms sent by many agencies. After all, let's be fair, they also have to protect themself from translations of poor quality.

I think this is not binding and not good because the company may say the translation is not good and therefore does not pay. OR, the company is not paid by the clietn and consequently does not pay the translator. OR client escapes payment by saying that the translation is of poor quality.

>> Once you sign it, it is binding. What seems to be missing here if the procedure used to confirm that the poor quality of a translation (e.g. by an independent third party). As to whether the agency is paid or not by client, you will find numerous post on this matter. IMHO, your client is the agency and whether they are paid or not by their client is not your problem.

I think the translator must pay in advance for the company.
I think the company must do a test for the translator.
Once the test is passed then the company reject claims that the translation work is poor.

>> I have not yet seen any agency paying translators in advance (and between us, they would be crazy if they did).
>> I agree that the agency should first test the translator (although as discussed in a number of posts previously, this is not a guarantee for the quality of the translation job delivered by the translator).

What do you think?

>> I think that I would ask them to include their quality assurance procedures.

Would you allow a client to evaluate your work?

>> Of course I would, after all they are paying for job. The point is how they evaluate your work and whether this method and reasonable and acceptable to you.



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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 08:45
Turkish to English
+ ...
I personally find it unacceptable Aug 26, 2006

I agree that translation service providers have to ensure that they receive good quality work and are thus entitled to apply procedures such as requiring new applicants to take test translations. I once ran a small agency and can state with pride that I never failed to pay a translator and find it immoral that any agency should enter a contractual agreement with a translator to pay for work and then renege on this agreement. After all, based on test results or the qualifications presented by the translator, the agency has decided that the translator is up to the job. There were occasional times when I would have to have a poor translation re-done as a rush job by a trusted translator and thus make a loss on the job. I believe this is one of the reasons that justifies agencies in charging about a 100% mark up, and they should honour their agreement with the translator who produced the unsatisfactory translation but never work with them again. I can remember specifically waiting for small, non-urgent jobs to come along to send to untried and untested translators and only give them really serious stuff once they had proved their mettle on these small jobs. So, I have no sympathy with the agency here.
I also think that in legal terms it denies you the possibility of pursuing a claim through the courts if necessary. The agency can simply point to the clause in the agreement that permits them to arbitrarily dismiss any translation as sub-standard and therefore not worthy of payment.
Currently I have quite a few regular clients who pay on time, so I am in the luxurious position of being able to split hairs over various agreements that agencies ask me to sign. I remember being in a much more precarious position at one time and would probably then have signed anything at all. It is very much a personal decision that is probably dictated as much by personal circumstances as legal niceties.


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Refugio
Local time: 22:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
I would not sign it if I were you Aug 26, 2006

The contract does not specify how quality will be determined, and therefore leaves you vulnerable to abuse. It is a conflict of interest for the payer to be able to arbitrarily decide whether it wants to pay for the work or not.

Your language pair is in high demand. There is no reason for you to have to work with agencies who have dubious intentions. You should be able to pick and choose among the most ethical clients.


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lucysebastian
Local time: 08:45
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Your time is appreciated Aug 26, 2006

A nice welcome goes to you from the heart of hearts

I do appreciate your time spent to answer this question.

Actually, you have posted a nice comment here in that I learnt from you important three things that are : -
1. The agency must work again with the translator if he or she submits work of poor quality.
2. The translation agency must select the translator carefully and make a test.
3. Both parties must honour the agreement.

You are all invited for a cup o tea.

Thanks
Sebastian


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Eva T
English to Albanian
+ ...
Agree on: Aug 27, 2006



1. The agency must work again with the translator if he or she submits work of poor quality.


If the company is a serious one, then they will work with the translator, if any disputes arises. If possible, a third translator/editor should be engaged. BUT, this one should be chosen extremly carefully, because he/she might spoil a good translation. IMO, he/she should be a full time and very experienced translator, one who has a great proven record for himself/herself and not one who just self-claims to be a good translator.

Eva


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xxxcmwilliams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
French to English
+ ...
Why? Aug 27, 2006

lucysebastian wrote:


1. The agency must work again with the translator if he or she submits work of poor quality.

Sebastian



If it is determined that the work really is of poor quality, why should an agency work with the translator again?

I agree with Tim that the agency is liable to pay for any work they have already given the translator, but why would they give more work to someone they weren't satisfied with? Perhaps I misunderstood your comment.


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lucysebastian
Local time: 08:45
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
This is what I meant Aug 28, 2006

hello

Actually, I meant that
The agency must NOT work again with the translator if he or she submits work of poor quality.
So, you are right.

Thanks
Sebastian


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