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US Based Translation Agencies - Are they Just Mean?
Thread poster: Will Volny

Will Volny  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:54
Member (2018)
Czech to English
+ ...
Nov 17, 2019

I'm very much a beginner. 1.5 years in if we consider the modern era. 5 years in back during the Caveperson era of 1990. Just a very quick and probably not very PC question.
I work with about 37 different agencies. Most based in Europe. I've worked so far with two US-based agencies and they've really been bad. What I mean is that they're 'mean.' They're just not nice to work with. They're haughty, demanding, duplicitous and don't respond well when you ask them for clarification.
... See more
I'm very much a beginner. 1.5 years in if we consider the modern era. 5 years in back during the Caveperson era of 1990. Just a very quick and probably not very PC question.
I work with about 37 different agencies. Most based in Europe. I've worked so far with two US-based agencies and they've really been bad. What I mean is that they're 'mean.' They're just not nice to work with. They're haughty, demanding, duplicitous and don't respond well when you ask them for clarification.
This is not at all a statistical number, but the interaction with these two US based companies has left a bad taste.
Is it just my limited experience? I'm very curious to learn more from your vast experience. Because if I were to pursue the path to my two experiences with the American agencies, I absolutely would steer clear of them. I'd rather be underemployed than put up with their arrogance and haughtiness. But? If it's just these two companies, then I'm cutting myself off from future collaborations with an entire country.
Kind regards,
Will
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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:54
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
US based agencies Nov 17, 2019

Many US-based agencies are run by people from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, China, Russia and so on with the attendant cheapness.. So take "US" with a grain of salt.

Edward Potter
 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:54
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
US based agencies Nov 17, 2019

I must add that the two nastiest US-based agencies I have dealt with are run by Americans. btw, they are banned from posting jobs. The good part about dealing with less-than-friendly US-based agencies is that it is relatively easy to take them to Small Claims Court when they don't pay.

Edward Potter
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
My experience is different Nov 17, 2019

I work with 2 or 3 US based agencies, my impression is different, I found most of them clear, fast, easy going, but of course one must be punctual and strictly respect deadlines, I found them in general also punctual regarding payments.
Regarding rudeness in my experience the winner is... Italy.


Edward Potter
Eleonora_P
Chandra Dhungel
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:54
Member
Italian to English
No difference Nov 17, 2019

I have found them to be no different than any other agencies I've worked with.

Angie Garbarino
Nataliia Gorina
Edward Potter
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Zibow Retailleau  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 17:54
Member (2019)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It's not a rule. Nov 17, 2019

I've been working with this American agency for several months now. Everyone, the ones in the billing department included, is nice and the communication has been nothing but clear. So I think maybe you should give them, the American agencies, another chance, Will.

Angie Garbarino
Nataliia Gorina
Edward Potter
Olga Taran
 

Lynn Fang  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 21:54
Member (2012)
English to Chinese
Nov 17, 2019



[Edited at 2019-11-17 15:39 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:54
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My experience Nov 17, 2019

My experience with US agencies has been very limited for no other reason than I’m generally quite busy with my European customers, but I must say that I have no complaints at all regarding those 3 or 4 US clients I have very occasionally worked with: good communication, clear instructions, payment on time. The only things I would point out are the fact that they have been much more bureaucratic than what I expected (tons of forms to be filled) and they insist on paying by PayPal or by cheque (... See more
My experience with US agencies has been very limited for no other reason than I’m generally quite busy with my European customers, but I must say that I have no complaints at all regarding those 3 or 4 US clients I have very occasionally worked with: good communication, clear instructions, payment on time. The only things I would point out are the fact that they have been much more bureaucratic than what I expected (tons of forms to be filled) and they insist on paying by PayPal or by cheque (which I don’t accept)…Collapse


Edward Potter
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:54
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
No problem except Nov 17, 2019

I had no problems working with US agencies at all except for the fact that you have to clarify and settle who is going to pay bank fees before starting any work so these fees will not be deducted from your payment but these issues have to be settled before bot after payment has been made.

Edward Potter
Oleksandr Ivanov
 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:54
German to English
No real difference Nov 17, 2019

Idiots can be found everywhere. The main difference I've observed is that European agencies tend to be staffed by multilingual personnel who understand the translation process. Many US agencies use monolingual PMs who understand project management, but have little concept of linguistic processes.

Teresa Borges
Liviu-Lee Roth
Angie Garbarino
Inge Meinzer
Edward Potter
Jorge Payan
Oleksandr Ivanov
 

Jocelin Meunier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:54
English to French
No difference Nov 17, 2019

As far as I can remember, I didn't have any problem with US agencies. They do tend, in my experience only, to be less friendly than Europe-based ones. That is to say, they keep it as cold ("professional") as possible, while other agencies tend to be a bit nicer and coordinators don't mind knowing you a bit more.
So far, I only had bad experiences with Indian agencies. I find them to be everything you said about US-based agencies, the incredibly low rates being an added bonus.


Edward Potter
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:54
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ther is no hard and fast rule Nov 18, 2019

As mentioned in different responses above: it all depends on the agency. A huge added bonus for working with U.S. agencies is that when there is a dispute your access to legal recourse is among the best.

That said, if you encounter an idiot with the wrong attitude that could present problems. Such a person could be from any given country, albeit operating from the U.S.

[Edited at 2019-11-18 13:33 GMT]


Angie Garbarino
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:54
Member (2008)
Italian to English
That's why Nov 18, 2019

Edward Potter wrote:

....A huge added bonus for working with U.S. agencies is that when there is a dispute your access to legal recourse is among the best....


That's exactly why I dislike working for US agencies. The litigious business environment in the US puts me off. Everyone seems about to call their lawyer at the slightest provocation. Hence the cold ("professional") attitude mentioned by Jocelin. I can't work with people who aren't friendly and personable.

[Edited at 2019-11-18 10:25 GMT]


Sabine Braun
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
This is strange Tom Nov 18, 2019

Tom in London wrote:

I can't work with people who aren't friendly and personable.


I prefer friendly people as well, but I found them more friendly than Italians (for example), it must be just a matter of people, I think this prove once again that generalization does not work


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:54
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
No different from anywhere else Nov 18, 2019

Two clients are statistically irrelevant to brand an entire category (US-based) as "mean". I work with many US agencies and find them no different than anywhere else. There are outstanding agencies and there are crooks. Just as in Europe, Canada and anywhere else.

Vi Pukite
Gina Centanni
Teresa Borges
Peter Shortall
 
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