French Translation Agency
Thread poster: Alison Sparks
Alison Sparks  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
French to English
+ ...
Mar 8, 2012

How do I check up on a French Translation Agency that isn't listed on your Blue Board. They've offered me so proofreading work and I'm trying to be careful about who I work with as per all the advice I've seen on these forums recently.

I've done the obvious check of Siret N°, address and so on, and it all seems bona fide. They also have a web site (not that that's a guarantee of anything), and they have posted jobs on the SFT site.

Anyone any other ideas?


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:38
Portuguese to English
+ ...
If you want a second pair of eyes Mar 8, 2012

You can send me a private message with the url and I'll take a look. However, my best advice for agencies you've never worked for is to take it slowly. I never take on more than 2000 words from a new client. I wait until that gets paid and then move on, slowly but surely. Very occasionally you can get an agency to agree to pay you in advance but they might well balk at that. Worth a try though.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Add them Mar 8, 2012

Hello Alison,

By SIRET, do you mean you've checked on Infogreffe and Société websites? I'm never sure what they're telling me but they do say if the company is already on its way under.

Regarding the BB, you should go there and "Add outsourcer" and then "call for entries". It's normally too late for the first job as it takes a while to get any feedback, but it could stop you throwing good money after bad.

Perhaps I shouldn't mention it, but there are some BB lookalikes around the ether too.

Sheila


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NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:38
French to English
Not all good agencies are on the blue board Mar 8, 2012

There are some excellent and long-established agencies in France that are not on the blue board and I have sometimes wondered why. Perhaps an agency can opt out.

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Alison Sparks  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Noted Mar 8, 2012

Yes I've checked Infogreffe and other sources. It appears they have a reasonable "chiffres d'affaires" but record a loss for 2 out of the four years shown gratis. I think that there's a new owner taken over in the fairly recent past.

Trouble is that for a lot of the more detailed info you have to pay. Obviously I'll do that if they are really serious about the work, but for the meantime I'm just trying to "test the water" so to speak. I have asked for precisions about the quantity of text, file format, and their allocated budget and will see what that brings in reply.

Lisa, your kind offer is noted and an email on its way to you.

NR Stedman, you make a good point, but having been in a pickle before many years ago, I'd rather be safe than sorry. Especially since I'm only just converting into this line of work.

Good news, however, is that my local commune are taking me seriously and we are negotiating for various pamphlets, and eventually proofreading their web site, so even at my age I may be able to have a new career.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Profit is not relevant Mar 8, 2012

Alison Sparks wrote:
It appears they have a reasonable "chiffres d'affaires" but record a loss for 2 out of the four years shown gratis.


Of course, the title of this posting needs to be taken in context: profit IS relevant, but not on a balance sheet. Zero or negative profit with a good turnover can simply mean good accounting practice. Gross profit results in TAXES! A company that employs a good accountant should never show much of a profit. In fact, it could mean they are a very good company to work for as they are organised and business-like and shouldn't have too many cash-flow problems. Mind you, nothing guarantees that nowadays.

Sheila


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:38
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Couldn't agree more Mar 8, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Alison Sparks wrote:
It appears they have a reasonable "chiffres d'affaires" but record a loss for 2 out of the four years shown gratis.


Of course, the title of this posting needs to be taken in context: profit IS relevant, but not on a balance sheet. Zero or negative profit with a good turnover can simply mean good accounting practice. Gross profit results in TAXES! A company that employs a good accountant should never show much of a profit. In fact, it could mean they are a very good company to work for as they are organised and business-like and shouldn't have too many cash-flow problems. Mind you, nothing guarantees that nowadays.

Sheila


Couldn't have said it better myself


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Alison Sparks  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Guess what? Mar 8, 2012

They've sent some files through. Doesn't look too complicated and there's very little text to check. So, I think I'll run with this anyway, a couple of hours work won't be too great a loss if there's a problem.

They have also agreed to pay "comptant" on receipt of the invoice and as it isn't going to amount to a huge sum, it seems a bit unreasonable to ask for money up front, so I've decided to take the risk. It might turn out to be a fruitful collaboration.

I have however, told them that in doing the work without a % in advance is breaking my usual rule!

I'll follow up on Sheila's suggestions for the BB as soon as I can get my head around various minor family problems + work + unfamiliar ProZ procedures.

Thank you all so much for being so helpful and supportive.

I'll post the result whichever way it turns out.


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Alison Sparks  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good News Mar 17, 2012

Seems this is a genuine Bone Fide company.

The basic files they sent through were straightforward proofreading and simple enough, but the biggest file was horrendous. I don't think I've ever seen such garbled English.

So I contacted them and said this was serious post translation editing and I would have to double my rate. No problem they said!

Did the work, sent it back with invoice and was paid 2 days later by wire transfer.

More files in the last few days, work similar, some easy, some very difficult. Again same actions and reactions, bill paid on the nail.

Not only that, but it turns out this will be regular work for a long time to come, and although it's relatively small income each time, it is most welcome. The only down side is that it is highly confidential and so I can't use it on the ProZ profile.

However, I'm glad you all helped me check it out in the first instance.

Cheers all, and her's to a very bright future, as other jobs have landed in my lap too!!:D


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:38
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Excellent Mar 17, 2012

Alison Sparks wrote:

Seems this is a genuine Bone Fide company.

The basic files they sent through were straightforward proofreading and simple enough, but the biggest file was horrendous. I don't think I've ever seen such garbled English.

So I contacted them and said this was serious post translation editing and I would have to double my rate. No problem they said!

Did the work, sent it back with invoice and was paid 2 days later by wire transfer.

More files in the last few days, work similar, some easy, some very difficult. Again same actions and reactions, bill paid on the nail.

Not only that, but it turns out this will be regular work for a long time to come, and although it's relatively small income each time, it is most welcome. The only down side is that it is highly confidential and so I can't use it on the ProZ profile.

However, I'm glad you all helped me check it out in the first instance.

Cheers all, and her's to a very bright future, as other jobs have landed in my lap too!!:D



Hi Alison,

So glad they were indeed a good egg. Thanks for the update and may work keep coming in


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