Confidentiality in outlining jobs you've done and who you have worked for in freelance portfolios
Thread poster: Christiane Klauss

Christiane Klauss  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 09:10
+ ...
May 16, 2012

I have recently created a freelance portfolio which I want to give to prospective clients, as well as agencies, and I would like to know how other people deal with issues of confidentiality while still displaying translation work you have carried out, in some detail.

Is it okay to state (among other information):
- the name of the translation agency
- the title of the job (which often summarises what a job is about) e.g. 'crane user guide'
- name of end user (such as the name of a generic large business) e.g. Belron

I have also included the language combination, date of job and number of words translated.

I realise this could differ between agencies and confidentiality agreements, but in general, I'd be interested to know how other people handle this.

Should I be contacting each individual agency to see what I'm allowed to do? This sort of thing isn't always covered in confidentiality agreements, and I wouldn't like to break the trust of an agency or end client.

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NataliaAnne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:10
Portuguese to English
Online content May 16, 2012

I would love to hear other people’s views about this too. Up to now, I’ve only used work which is available online (e.g. website content, online journals etc) to avoid confidentiality issues.

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Lionel Kempf  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:10
English to French
+ ...
Re:Confidentiality in outlining jobs you've done and who you have worked for in freelance portfolios May 16, 2012

I don't usually accept to provide any done previously :
the details of the agency and end customer because they're actually valuable information for any translator
and the content of the translation, because that's where you could actually find confidential information.

Exceptions could indeed be information provided online, or brochures, leaflets, etc ... that is any document used by the end customer for advertisement purposes.

Usual practice is to accept a free test translation of a couple of hundred words really.

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Veronica Coquard
Local time: 21:10
French to English
Confidentiality issues on CV May 16, 2012

Hello Christiane,

I have not gone so far as to use copy translated for an agency in my portfolio, but I have been confronted with similar issues when listing work on my CV. The solution that I struck upon was to use vague terms such as "a leading women's magazine" or "an internationally known Internet browser"... This allows me to talk about work that I translated for agencies without taking any risks (as I consider any indirect work to be confidential, with or without an explicit agreement).

On the other hand, why bother using such a translation for your portfolio? You can showcase any translation you like in your portfolio, even if you are the author of the source text. If you are looking to show technical difficulty, I am sure that you can provide it. I would think that the people reading examples of your work are evaluating the quality of your work in general and are not necessarily concerned with the details of that specific work. The best answer might be to dissociate these two aspects - examples of work and a list of previous accomplishments -, and to leave the details on accomplishments (as detailed as you can make them) for your CV.

Best of luck!

[Edited at 2012-05-16 15:00 GMT]

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Christiane Klauss  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 09:10
+ ...
Vague descriptions of translation jobs & sample translations is a great idea May 17, 2012

Thank you everyone for your replies.

I think I will offer sample translations as well as vague descriptions of what the job entailed, and links to online/publicly available work.

Have a great weekend!

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