Eleven signs that you are working for a zombie agency
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:42
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 24, 2013

http://patenttranslator.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/how-to-tell-that-you-are-working-for-a-zombie-farm-eleven-handy-characteristics/

(Note: this is not my blog)

[Edited at 2013-04-24 16:29 GMT]


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depressingly accurate Apr 24, 2013

Thanks for posting this.

Perhaps someone with the time and inclination can create a forum that will identify such operations and place them on a public list for all to see....


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:42
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Apr 24, 2013



[Edited at 2013-04-24 14:29 GMT]


 

xxxTimWindhof  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:42
English to German
Solution? Apr 24, 2013

Nice post, Jeff. Especially your point 6 is for me as former attorney a definite no go. But what is the solution? How do we get rid of Zombies:)

 

KateKaminski
Local time: 10:42
German to English
How to get rid of them? Apr 24, 2013

How about a new kind of agency set up by and managed collectively by translators. They would need appropriate certified qualifications to join, pass an initial test and ongoing quality reviews by their peers and work with proofreaders they choose themselves from within their agency. A percentage of their fees could pay for insurance, project managers, accountants etc.

That way clients would have the guarantee of quality they want (hiring a random translator comes with certain risks!) while cutting out the middleman for translators.


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:42
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, but this is not my blog. Apr 24, 2013

TimWindhof wrote:

Nice post, Jeff. Especially your point 6 is for me as former attorney a definite no go. But what is the solution? How do we get rid of Zombies:)


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Zombie agency Apr 24, 2013

Good article, tkx; you just forgot that they can make a myriad of mistakes in their emails but translators can't. They can forget to include attachments when they expect you to finish the translation by next day at zombie time, but forget something essential, and then do not open your email first thing despite your marking it High Importance. Well that's a zombie's life though.

 

Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you Jeff for sharing Apr 24, 2013

Thanks Jeff for posting it here and congratulations to Steve Vitek from http://patenttranslator.wordpress.com/, it is a really good article! This is why I love ProZ, for the forums/KudoZ and some interesting people who post around here. I suppose there are things that are not so nice about this place, but the forums are really good, at least I enjoy being part of it.

I have never worked for a zombie agency yet, in fact I am quite new as a freelancer and only work for direct clients from Mallorca. I still did not find enough, but this article strenghtens my belief that I am on the right path and I must keep on it. What a hell, it is really horrible to be forced to feel like a zombie!

Best regards,

Agnes


 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:42
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Profiling Apr 26, 2013

How do people (including agencies and their PMs) imagine other people?

You imagine a lawyer/financial consultant as a dynamic figure with a huge house in the suburbs or an expensive penthouse in the city and a sports car. And you pay them accordingly. Call a mediocre lawyer in America, he'll star charging you $300/hour and everyone will think it's ok.

Then you imagine a translator as that poor little soul with a weak body on a used bicycle in the "artistic area of the city" (aka "food stamps") that people order to do things for them and they' re always "desperate". And you pay them accordingly. Call an excellent translator and if he charges more than $30/hour most people will think it's expensive.

Perceptions, image, profiling.

No wonder people with no linguistic knowledge whatsoever open up new translation agencies every day: there's a huge profit margin and a market full of willing automatons to work for you at any price you want.


 

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:42
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Strido tag teams Apr 26, 2013

KateKaminski wrote:

How about a new kind of agency set up by and managed collectively by translators. They would need appropriate certified qualifications to join, pass an initial test and ongoing quality reviews by their peers and work with proofreaders they choose themselves from within their agency. A percentage of their fees could pay for insurance, project managers, accountants etc.

That way clients would have the guarantee of quality they want (hiring a random translator comes with certain risks!) while cutting out the middleman for translators.


http://www.stridonium.com/tag.aspx


 

Adam Jarczyk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:42
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Sounds like what the industry has been missing for far too long already ... Apr 26, 2013

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:
http://www.stridonium.com/tag.aspx



That looks very interesting - however, it may be impossible to join the ranks if one's circles and clients are different (for example, academic contacts from abroad, etc.) from the membership there. Which is a pity, as individuals with long years of experience and other (target) languages might even be a gain to the group in the long run.

Adam


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:42
English to Polish
+ ...
Actually May 1, 2013

Is it only my impression or are there very few agencies which don't correspond to at least some of the characteristics on the list? The market is so bad these days that I can't really imagine an agency capable of avoiding all of those.

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:


How do people (including agencies and their PMs) imagine other people?

You imagine a lawyer/financial consultant as a dynamic figure with a huge house in the suburbs or an expensive penthouse in the city and a sports car. And you pay them accordingly. Call a mediocre lawyer in America, he'll star charging you $300/hour and everyone will think it's ok.

Then you imagine a translator as that poor little soul with a weak body on a used bicycle in the "artistic area of the city" (aka "food stamps") that people order to do things for them and they' re always "desperate". And you pay them accordingly. Call an excellent translator and if he charges more than $30/hour most people will think it's expensive.


How true.

No wonder people with no linguistic knowledge whatsoever open up new translation agencies every day: there's a huge profit margin and a market full of willing automatons to work for you at any price you want.


Actually, linguists running agencies aren't necessarily much better. A real businessman might as well be more reasonable on a number of things in your contract, in addition to doing better at sales and negotiation and not needing to pass to you the discounts he's been forced to give to get the job. The fact that a linguist understands linguists better doesn't guarantee he'll treat them better.

[Edited at 2013-05-01 17:17 GMT]


 


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