Off topic: Incomprehensible brush-offs from agencies
Thread poster: S P Willcock (X)

S P Willcock (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:27
German to English
+ ...
Nov 9, 2011

After a certain amount of back-and-forth (in English) with an agency, we agreed that I was not the right candidate for their post since I don't have the CAT experience (Trados was specifically mentioned). However, the email giving me the brush-off also contained the almost totally inscrutable sentence "We would appreciate any possibility of a recommendation for this function by your side."

After some puzzling over this, I was able to unriddle it into "We would appreciate it if you could recommend somebody for this role" where "by your side" is meant to mean "on your part."

My wife, whose sense of humour is rather more cutting than mine, suggests that I write back asking the agency whether that sentence was produced by Trados....

Any other stories of rejections from agencies where the way the brush-off was phrased shows that you may well never have wanted to work with them in the first place?


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 08:27
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Accept our rate and then, after a while, we'll raise it to your target rate Nov 9, 2011

I once went through lengthy rate negotiations with a PM about ongoing marketing translation work. After she finally rejected my bid, she told me I should have quoted lower and THEN they would probably have raised my rate to the one I wanted if they were satisfied with my quality.

Yeah, right.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:27
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ha! Nov 9, 2011

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:
I once went through lengthy rate negotiations with a PM about ongoing marketing translation work. After she finally rejected my bid, she told me I should have quoted lower and THEN they would probably have raised my rate to the one I wanted if they were satisfied with my quality.

Sure!icon_wink.gif


 

gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:27
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Missing the target Nov 9, 2011

S P Willcocks wrote:
My wife, whose sense of humour is rather more cutting than mine, suggests that I write back asking the agency whether that sentence was produced by Trados....


The revealing detail is... that Trados doesn't produce any sentence, at least not in the sense of producing automatically ungrammatical or puzzling sentences, unless the software user does it.

Perhaps you, or your wife, or both, are confusing Trados (a translation memory tool) with an automatic translation software, which is another kettle of fish.

GF


 

Jan Rausch  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:27
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
Yeah but no but Nov 9, 2011

Not brush-offs as such but I've had countless messages from agencies prompting me to offer them my proofreading services for any future communication they send because they ruddy well needed it.
The quality of the English used by some people working for LANGUAGE services companies is mind boggling, but also quite entertaining I will admit.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:27
English to German
+ ...
Misunderstanding on both sides? Nov 9, 2011

There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you guys are able to communicate on the same level at some point.

S P Willcocks wrote:

After a certain amount of back-and-forth (in English) with an agency, we agreed that I was not the right candidate for their post since I don't have the CAT experience (Trados was specifically mentioned). However, the email giving me the brush-off also contained the almost totally inscrutable sentence "We would appreciate any possibility of a recommendation for this function by your side."


Simply state that you don't believe in any benefit of using CAT-tools in your line of work because in journalism, pedagogy and literature you would get dismissed, fired and taken to the backyard and shot unceremoniously, should you ever dare to repeat yourself, therefore you don't see any purpose in acquiring such software.

If your client is eager to build up a glossary - which you should take as a compliment - offer to build up a glossary in an Excel file. There.

After some puzzling over this, I was able to unriddle it into "We would appreciate it if you could recommend somebody for this role" where "by your side" is meant to mean "on your part."


Oh well. Recently I had a similar discussion with a new customer (same continent, different country), "Waaah! Our agency only uses "Something-X! You MUST use Something-X, otherwise I cannot process your files!". I offered the PM about four different CAT-tools of which I have the editor versions on hand. "Waaah! That's not what we need! We are not compatible!!" -- "Well, what DO you need?," I asked. "A CLEANED FILE IN MS WORD FOR THIS 800 WORD PRESS RELEASE!"

No further comment. I simply translated everything in Word and delivered it in Word as desired. How easy and convenient. Why the ado?


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 13:27
Chinese to English
Should be incomprehensible, but isn't Nov 10, 2011

A price-related one from just the other night:

I met a representative of an interpretation agency that I may work with in future, and he mentioned that they also offer translation. This is always an uncomfortable moment, because I pretty much refuse point blank to work with all Chinese translation agencies. I tried to move on, but he pressed the point: how much do you charge?
So I told him I have a hard minimum of (I scarcely dare tell you, but...) 0.5 RMB per character. "Oh," he said. "That's more than we charge the clients."

This should be an incomprehensible state of affairs, but sadly, it is all too common.


 


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Incomprehensible brush-offs from agencies

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