How do you pursue money owed by another translator?
Thread poster: bbbb bbbb (X)

bbbb bbbb (X)
Local time: 04:42
Aug 18, 2012

I worked for another translator on a number of occasions who I was paired with through a respectable agency. This person was very helpful, provided me with his/her personal address and phone number, answered questions I had about the project at hand and freelance work in general and was very attentive when we were working together. The problem is that I've done a few translations for him/her since then and have sent emails regarding payment over several months at the time I instructed to ask only to receive no response. How likely is it that I'll never see the payment owed? Is there anything I can do to either report his/her behavior (on this site or another) once I've made sure nonpayment is deliberate? Should I contact the agency in common regarding this conduct or leave them completely out of it?


ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Collection Problems Aug 18, 2012

I think you should contact the agency, and let them know what has been happening. If you cannot collect your money through the help of the agency, I suggest you contact what is called Small Claims Court. I do not know if there is one in your country. If there is, use it by all means. Please examine the following link. Good luck!


Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:42
Member (2008)
English to French
Get a few more facts first Aug 18, 2012

Does this person have a presence on this site or another site? If they do, have they been active lately - there is always the possibility they've been hit by the proverbial bus - do you have a phone number or just an email address? Sounds weird in a professional context but check facebook - most people's profile are wide open...

The projects you completed for this person I'm guessing don't have anything to do with the agency you mentioned - the agency is simply your only other common point of contact... in that case you could ask the agency if they've been in touch lately with such and such translator but I would leave all mention of translations/money/problems out of it.

Something along the lines of "Several months ago, [PM] paired me with [rogue translator] on a project. I've been trying to get in touch with that person lately and haven't heard of them. Have you heard from them and would it be possible to obtain his/her phone number?"

If you mention a debt the agency might be reticent to help you as they might be afraid it would be construed as accepting some responsibility for the situation.

If it is a case translatorial dine and dash, then as Atil said - small claims is the way to go. You can also create a profile on the BB for that person since they assigned you work which you completed.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:42
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Something unusual must have happened Aug 19, 2012

I'd bet on Arianne's proverbial bus: something external must have rendered them incommunicado against their will.

I work relatively often for colleagues when they bit - or were bitten by - more than they could chew. It's normal... now and then a constant client of theirs has a larger than usual job with a shorter than usual deadline, and they want to keep that client happy. I help them the best way I can, and they are always the fastest in paying, as they want to keep me happy so that I'll be - or make myself - readily available whenever they are in such a fix again.

Of course, for project logistics reasons, I have all possible means of contact with them. They want me to be able to reach them on, say, a Saturday evening, if I discover that, for instance, page 292 is missing.

So if everything went right on previous occurrences, and now you can't reach that colleague, chances are they are really MIA, hopefully not forever.


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How do you pursue money owed by another translator?

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