Aide - entretien pour un emploi chez une agence.
Thread poster: xxxcvaudry
French to English
Dec 19, 2003


J'ai un entretien pour un emploi (35h) de traducteur chez une agence à Paris. Comme je n'ai jamais travaillé avec des agences je n'ai aucune idée comment négocier....

Je me presente - je suis une ex avocate d'affaires britannique(6 ans d'expérience). Je travaille actuellement en tant que freelance (fr-eng) pour un cabinet anglo-saxon, une institution internationale et un governement.

Je pourrais gagner très bien ma vie mais ce n'est pas le cas car le volume de travail est extremement irregulier. De plus, comme je ne fais que du juridique, tous mes documents sont - sans exception - très compliqués et demandent beaucoup de travail et de recherches. Donc, bien que mon taux/mot est élévé, en fin de compte je suis payé moins que 15 euro par jour. Exemple, j'ai mis un jour entier à retrouver une convention de 1966 dont j'avais besoin afin de traduire 2 lignes d'un document.....coherence oblige !!! Cette journée là j'ai du gagner 3 euros, non, moins, il faudrait enlever le prix de la connection Internet.

De plus, nous avons tres envie de devenir proprietaire et sans une revenue plus regulière (de moi) c'est impossible.

Donc, un salaire regulier serait le bienvenue! J'ai cependant beaucoup d'inquietude concernent les agences.... et plein de questions!!!

1) est-ce que c'est vrai que 1800 - 2000 euros est le salaire maximum chez les agences ? Brut ?
2) comment est ce que les agences s'organisent ? Par exemple, l'agence accepte des documents juridiques très compliqués avec des échéances extremement serrés...comment négocier dans les cas où l'agence s'attendent à ce que je fasse une nuit blanche?
3)Je crains une difference d'approche. Moi, j'estime que la qualité est primordiale, je ne fais pas n'importe quoi. Surtout quand il s'agit d'un document juridique. Comment réagir si l'agence s'en fiche et aime la quantité plutôt que qualité ?
4) Finalement, ils utilise CAT tools dont je n'ai aucune expérience.....est-ce que je pourrais argumenter que je deviendrais rapidement operationnelle ou est-ce que ces "tools" sont compliquès à utiliser ?

Bon, plein de questions !!! C'est surtout le fait que j'ai lu, en gros, que les agences exploitent les traducteurs et donc sont à eviter qui les motive.

Je vous remercie pour vos reponses (si vous avez un moment, merci !) et veuillez excuser mes fautes de français !!!

Sincères salutations

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Marina Zinno  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:28
French to Italian
+ ...
experience italienne Dec 19, 2003

Bonjour Claire,
je peux seulement te donner un avis sur une partie de tes questions

TRADOS et Wordfast les CAT que j'utilise sont très facile à utiliser si on ne doit pas faire un usage très technique, mais t'apprendre son utilisation est une tache de l'agence, surtout parce que probablement ils ont des "customization" sur le logiciel en question.

Pour le salaire j'ai aucune idée, en Italie cela serait très très bien d'avoir 1800 euros, un salaire moyen pour un employé est de 1000 euros et max 1500 pour un spécialiste!!!!

En tout cas BONNE CHANCE!

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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:28
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
negociate / sell yourself Dec 19, 2003

Hi Claire,

(sorry in English)

You basically have to find out how much money you make for an agency.
If the agency charges 60 euro per hour for you, you can safely suggest 30 euro per hour as a salary (is it a CDD or CDI?).

Now on the price per word / per hour. If they claim you 'only' translate a few hundred words per day, they will probably charge the client for research hours anyway, so don´t worry about that - they may also have a large library with juridical info, books CDs DVDs etc...

1) salary of 1800 - 2000 euros brut -
Don´t know about france, but I just started in an agency for 2400, and that´s not in a major capital.
What I don´t understand is if this is freelance or inhouse?
If it´s freelance, just set an hourly rate for you specialism : law at 60-100? euro per hour

2) organisation - add a certain percentage if you have to work evenings, nights and weekends, or have to do more work then the average 2000/2500 a day. If you can´t do it just refuse....

3)Je crains une difference d'approche. refuse the job if you can't deliver the quality - it's you reputation as a professional translator that is at stake.

4) CAT tools, a few months ago I never touched a Trados or other tool, but I am still a very good specialist in my field - you can learn the basics of a CAT tool in a day... getting used to working with CAT tools takes a few weeks, but still don´t lower you salary because of it. You are an intelligent person and can learn things very quickly probably...

If an agency wants to keep their clients they better work with professionals in a professional way, so not all of them exploit their people...( I think most don´t)

and goodluck!

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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:28
French to English
Agencies in France Dec 19, 2003

Hi Claire,

re your interview with an agency. I had several interviews with agencies in Paris a few years ago when I was looking for work and the pay was pretty poor. I ended up working in the translation dept at Arthur Andersen where I stayed for five years. I would suggest you contact law firms in Paris and/or look in the Herald Tribune on Mondays to see who is looking for F/E legal translators. The pay is better and there is more chance that they will care about quality.

The agencies are not generally interested in quality in my experience, with some honourable exceptions.

Good luck!

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Local time: 23:28
French to English
on research Dec 20, 2003

Hi Claire,
I agree with what Mary and the others have said. I am a legal translator with, like Mary, experience of working in-house for a law firm and freelance for agencies.
I would just like to comment on the amount of time we should spend on research. I wholeheartedly agree that quality is essential for legal translations and that even the smallest quotation or reference to an official document needs to be researched. However, deadlines for legal translations are also often extremely tight. Quality is vital, but then so is efficiency. I think the following approach is perfectly acceptable and professional: if you haven't found a quotation or specific law or treaty after, say, an hour of searching, you could contact the client/author and see if he has it or knows how to find it so you can include it in your translation. Failing that, you could leave the quotation in French (or translate it clearly indicating that it is an unofficial translation) and add a note when you send your translation saying that you were unable to find the official wording within the time given for the translation (and add that you would be happy to continue searching, if you want).
Good luck with the interview!

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French to English
Merci à tous Jan 22, 2004

Thanks to everyone for their replies, which helped me prepare for the interview. I had a - negative - reply from the agency yesterday, its turns out that that they do not do much legal work at all but concentrate on IT/chemicals......
Never mind, I'll keep trying !!!
Thanks again

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