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Would you sign a badly written contract?
Thread poster: Emily Scott

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I think this is way off topic Dec 6

I couldn't understand why the topic of "a badly written contract" has led to a discussion about the setting an agency up BB. They are quite different things and they are not that related at all.

 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Sheila has already said why Dec 6

jyuan_us wrote:

What is the point for the OP to set an agency up on BB if she cannot make an entry? It only makes sense to me for the first linguist who wants to and who can leave an BB entry to set an agency up on BB.


As Sheila said: 'Then issue a request for entries from others. Maybe some translators will then provide feedback.'


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Why do you want to set the agency up on BB? Dec 6

Emily Scott wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:
It could be that they only recently set up in business.


Hi Sheila, I checked their records on the government website and they've been a business since 2011 so not too new but it could be that they've only just become a larger business?

Do I need the company's permission to set them up on BB? How do I go about setting them up?


This seems irrelevant to your initial question.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Are you expecting good or bad feedback by setting an agency up on BB? Dec 6

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

jyuan_us wrote:

What is the point for the OP to set an agency up on BB if she cannot make an entry? It only makes sense to me for the first linguist who wants to and who can leave an BB entry to set an agency up on BB.


As Sheila said: 'Then issue a request for entries from others. Maybe some translators will then provide feedback.'


If you expect people to make bad entries, then setting an agency up on BB is a scary practice. I'd stay away from the translator who set my agency up to invite comments if I were the agency's owner.

[Edited at 2018-12-06 22:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-12-07 13:18 GMT]


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Nobody said that Dec 6

jyuan_us wrote:

If you expect people to make bad entries, then that is scary. Actually that is terrible. I'd stay away from these kinds of translators if I were the agency's owner.


Apart from you, nobody has said anything about expecting anyone to make bad entries. That's an absurd suggestion.

When a colleague asks for help to decide whether or not to sign a contract, due diligence is highly relevant, and the BB is one such tool.


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
You have to admit one thing about the BB entries Dec 6

Negative entries are more of a focus/concern than positive ones when most translators evaluate their potential clients by looking at their BB records.

Probably the OP expected some negative feedback if she sets the agency up on BB because she just had doubts about this agency.


 

Emily Scott  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:00
Member (Nov 2018)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Actually Dec 6

Actually, I just wanted to see the opinions of other translators on this agency. If they were positive I may be more forgiving of the poor English in the contract, just as I would give them a miss if people left negative comments. Thomas is right, BB is a great tool for sussing out whether to work with an agency or not so why not set them up a profile (which I did earlier)?

 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
That's your own opinion Dec 6

jyuan_us wrote:

Negative entries are more of a focus/concern than positive ones when most translators evaluate their potential clients by looking at their BB records.

Probably the OP expected some negative feedback if she sets the agency up on BB because she just had doubts about this agency.


You have no way of knowing what others think. If an outsourcer is good, why would anyone be looking for negative feedback about them? All I want when I look at the BB is a truthful image of the outsourcer.

And by the way, forum rule number 5 says:
'Speculating on others' opinions is not allowed.
Commenting on others' opinions without authorization ('Jenny seems to think...'), is not allowed.'

https://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/5#5

Apart from the rules, it is not reasonable to accuse others of what you yourself are thinking.


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
 

Paweł Hamerski
Local time: 14:00
English to Polish
+ ...
I would if clear enough as I have no time to teach them English and Dec 7

besides I hate teaching

 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:00
Serbian to English
+ ...
few contracts Dec 7

are "perfectly written" as far style is concerned.

In any other business, the easily interpretable content (however clumsily formulated) is far more important then stylistic niceties - you wouldn't want to sign an abusive contract even if couched in perfect legalese, would you?

I've signed in the past a contract or two containing obvious mistakes (even about key elements!) and the Earth still kept rotating ...

OTOH, in this particular occurrence, their business being handling words, a badly written contract is not a good start, not really a good sign. But it's only one element in deciding if you want or not to have anything to do with this agency.


Thomas T. Frost
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I won't be skeptical if there is no Blue Board Dec 7

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

If there is no Blue Board, I would be skeptical.

You could Google their address and phone number to try to find out if they have been using a trade name. They may have a Blue Board record under another name.

If they can't demonstrate that they have a good payment record, I would ask for full or partial advance payment, unless perhaps we were only talking about modest amounts.


There could be a million reasons why an agency has no Blue Board. A lot of agencies have just never requested their translators to make blue board entries. I would also think an agency which has no blue board entry has never had any complaint from their translators.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Sceptical Dec 7

jyuan_us wrote:

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

If there is no Blue Board, I would be skeptical.

You could Google their address and phone number to try to find out if they have been using a trade name. They may have a Blue Board record under another name.

If they can't demonstrate that they have a good payment record, I would ask for full or partial advance payment, unless perhaps we were only talking about modest amounts.


There could be a million reasons why an agency has no Blue Board. A lot of agencies have just never requested their translators to make blue board entries. I would also think an agency which has no blue board entry has never had any complaint from their translators.


I most certainly did not use the American spelling of 'sceptical', but apart from that, it's obviously up to each provider how to use any available information. Some are more cautious than others (and sometimes we hear from the less cautious ones after they've been taken for a ride).


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
French to English
I agree Dec 7

Gerard de Noord wrote:

I would never sign a badly written contract, and I'm forgiving because I'm not a native speaker myself. Poor English is a tell-tale sign you’re not dealing with a serious company.

Cheers,
Gerard


Native or non-native, considering the company is apparently based in the UK, the contract they present to their freelancers should be in line with the quality of the rest of their professional documentation. If I were a client looking for a translation service and the contract the agency supplied had typos and poor grammar, I'd not trust the agent's ability to provide me with a quality translation. If they can't check their own stuff properly, they probably won't check your stuff properly before it goes out to clients. It's setting yourself up for quality problems, end-client complaints that this sloppy agency will probably transfer on to you and refuse to pay in the meantime. If they are in the UK, their clients are likely to be UK-based and thus able to judge the quality of what they get for their £££.

[Edited at 2018-12-07 18:41 GMT]


Teresa Borges
Gareth Callagy
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
structure: nihil obstat Dec 7

A contract is an agreement between two or more parties with the veto right
As a rule a contract clearly describes the term, the duties, and the responsibilities/liabilities of the parties in a typical structure:

1. The names and addresses of the parties
2. Recitals
3. Definitions
4. Conditions precedent
5. Agreements
6. Representations and warranties
7. Miscellaneous clauses
8. Schedules
9. Signatures
10. Appendices

Providing that everything defined without ambiguity and I have no contradictions, I could* consider signing it, yet I'd rather first (1) consult a lawyer and (2) ask the agency to paraphrase some shady articles, if any.


 
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