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No payment because of no delivering TMX file
Thread poster: Hiromasa Funaki

Hiromasa Funaki  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:26
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jun 26

I was requested from a Malaysian translation company to translate a document regarding Japanese pension. The source file was a monochrome PDF file which cannot be OCRed. They requested me to translated it in Word format and deliver TMX file to them. I could not use any CAT tool because the source file was not readable, so I manually translated and delivered the target file in Word file and requested additional fee for reading and typing Japanese texts to create bi-lingual file, but they rejected the additional payment.

4 weeks after my delivery, I requested them to issue PO for my translation, but at last they rejected. They said they had to request another translator to re-translate whole Japanese texts.

I worked with the company several times before this project, and we had set a standard rate for translation. I think TMX file was not a by-product of translation in this case, and I have a right to be paid in accordance with the standard translation rate.

I would like to hear your opinion. What should I do, and what should I have done?
Thanks in advance,



[2018-06-26 17:31 GMTに編集されました]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
broad versus deep Jun 26

Hiromasa, if I get it right, a client asked you to (1) translate a 'dead' PDF and (2) to provide a TMX.
Without preliminary questions you (3) accepted the offer == you agreed to do BOTH tasks and (4) went an extra mile, solely charging more.

Not clear about a contract, but--
(A) you haven't completed the part (2), so they have no source to align into a TMX (which is at least -50%), yet--
(B) why did they have to request another translator to re-translate whole Japanese texts? (another -50%)

Without the contract it's very difficult to prove anything, but your tacit acceptance made it worse--always do ask your client BEFORE even making any assumptions, let alone extra charges. Why, it may annoy a bit, but makes most things straight right from the start--for all parties.

Meanwhile, if your translation is ok, then all the client had to get was an OCRed/typed original, so you seem to be still eligible for some 50%. On the other hand, if for the client it turned out as a cause for a late, postponed, or even broken agreement(s), then it could stand really high, alas.

Take care

[Edited at 2018-06-27 11:06 GMT]


 

123Translations
Venezuela
Local time: 07:26
Member (2008)
Dutch to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Agree Jun 26

I totally agree with You that a bilingual file is a rather ridiculous requirement is this case. The problem, however, is that You seem to have agreed to this before starting the translation. I suggest you once again contact the client explaining why the request was difficult to comply with, tell them you are sorry you did not deliver what they asked for it it was just unreasonable. I hope they respond

Armine Abelyan
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There are two sides to this Jun 26

Hiromasa Funaki wrote:
They requested me to translated it in Word format and deliver TMX file to them.

I could not use any CAT tool because the source file was not readable, so I manually translated and delivered the target file in Word file

So you had a contract, but you didn't actually fulfil the terms of that contract. I can understand why not, but that doesn't really enter into it. If you can't, or don't intend to, deliver what they're asking for then you absolutely must discuss it before starting the job.

I really don't see that they're justified in paying you nothing at all. However, it's for you to weigh up all the alternatives. Maybe if this agency has been good business for you in the past it would be worth letting this go to salvage the relationship? Only you know the answer to that.


Mirko Mainardi
 

Hiromasa Funaki  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:26
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I failed to detect the requirement Jun 26

Yes, I misunderstood that I was only requested to translate the source file manually, when I accepted their proposal.

I have negotiated with them for about a month, and their conclusion is that no payment to me.

BTW, I have another question, that is:

Is it permissible to disclose the name of the translation company here and inform their possible clients of this problem in order for the clients to reconsider their decision making to work with the translation company?


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:26
Member
English to Italian
I'm afraid not Jun 26

Hiromasa Funaki wrote:

Is it permissible to disclose the name of the translation company here and inform their possible clients of this problem in order for the clients to reconsider their decision making to work with the translation company?


Unfortunately not: https://www.proz.com/faq/forums.html#can_i_make_a_posting_about_a_bad_outsourcer_or_translator_


 

Hiromasa Funaki  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:26
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
They rejected additional payment. Jun 26

Sheila,

I understand your point, but I could not accept their request, to create TMX file without additional payment, because they may add further unreasonable requests without additional payment in the future. There was a standard rate for translation between I and the company before I accepted this project, and they did not clearly request me to deliver TMX file without additional payment. That is all.


[2018-06-26 19:08 GMTに編集されました]


 

Hiromasa Funaki  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:26
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I see Jun 26

Mirco,

Thank you for your info.


 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:26
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
No payment Jun 27

Always demand a PO before you start any project. If the company bulks, drop them.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Hiromasa Jun 27

Hiromasa Funaki wrote:
1. They requested me to translated it in Word format and deliver TMX file to them.
2. I manually translated and delivered the target file in Word file,
3. and requested additional fee for reading and typing Japanese texts to create bi-lingual file.


I worked with the company several times before this project, and we had set a standard rate for translation. I think TMX file was not a by-product of translation in this case, and I have a right to be paid in accordance with the standard translation rate.


You should have requested the additional fee before you did the translation. It doesn't matter that you have done previous jobs for this client in which the same fee was paid for translation only. It was not correct of you to assume that the client will pay extra for the extra product simply because the client had previously bought the other product at the other price.

If you do several jobs for a client for a certain fee for a certain type of product, and the client then requests an additional product, to be included in the price, then you should tell the client if you are unable or unwilling to provide the extra product without extra payment. The terms for every new job is independent from the rest. Yes, I realise that it is convenient (for both you and your client) to just assume that each new job will have the same terms as the previous jobs, but you have to be vigilant for any variation in the job requirements, and inform the client before you do the job if you are unable or unwilling to fulful his request.

From your description it seems to me that both you and the client knew shortly after delivery that you would not be delivering all the requested files. From the client's perspective, the job was not completed, and no negotiations for partial payment took place.

When the client rejected your request for additional payment for the TMX file, you should have made an effort to find out whether the client then considered the job to have been "fully completed" or not. You should not have just assumed that the client would still pay for the partial delivery, even though the client refused to pay extra for the extra file.

I do find it odd that the client was unwilling to at least negotiate a lowered fee when he discovered that you would not deliver the extra file. After all, he could still have used your translation, and just asked another translator to do the typing and the alignment. But perhaps the client was unaware that such a thing as "alignment" even existed.

Michael Newton wrote:
Always demand a PO before you start any project. If the company [baulks], drop them.


I disagree. Lots of good clients issue formal POs only after the end of the project. The e-mail exchange also serves as a "purchase order", after all. A common difference is that the formal PO often contains additional information that is needed for invoicing, but e-mail confirmation is also legally binding.

Hiromasa Funaki wrote:
I could not accept their request to create TMX file without additional payment, because they may add further unreasonable requests without additional payment in the future.


I understand -- it can be difficult for to remain clinical while a relationship is being built. However, you should see each job as independent from previous jobs, even for the same client. The fact that you did the client a favour in one job should not mean that you would be forced to do more favours in future jobs, and if the client does eventually ask for more favours, you should then tell them that the previous favour was a once-off favour.

They did not clearly request me to deliver TMX file without additional payment.


Okay, it was unclear at the start, but it became very clear at delivery time. However, as soon as you discovered that there was a misunderstanding, you should have immediately made more effort to re-negotiate the requirements and payment for the work that you delivered.

Did you offer a reduced fee for the work that you delivered, or did you continue to insist that they pay you the full fee for the partial delivery?



[Edited at 2018-06-27 09:33 GMT]


Edward Potter
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
... Jun 27

...

[Edited at 2018-06-27 09:32 GMT]


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:26
French to English
Comments Jun 27

The basis of the agreement was that you would provide the client with a Word file and a TMX file. As soon as it became apparent that this was not possible, you should have communicated that to the client. It would have been good practice to inform the client that it was technically possible but that there was a solution, at an extra charge. In essence, you knew from the start that you would not be able to meet one of the requirements you had agreed upon. You also knew that the solution would involve extra work. You failed to inform the client of these two facts before you started the work. Had you done so, the client would have been in a position to accept or refuse either or both of these facts. By the time the client knew, it was too late. You presented them with a "fait accompli" and there is no case of "force majeure" to justify either.

The client did nevertheless receive a Word version of the translation so you did satisfy one of the major terms of your agreement. It would only seem reasonable that the client pay you for the work that you supplied. However, the client has a strong argument for reducing the amount they should pay you as you did not supply the document in the two format you had agreed upon.

If you work with this client regularly and they are a good client, I think it would be reasonable to accept a reduced fee on the basis that the work was not supplied in both of the agreed formats. I think you have no argument for charging an additional fee as the client had no means of deciding whether to agree to that or not. Your one strong argument is that you did provide the translation in one usable format and that should be paid for. If the client is able to use that, they should pay for it.

This is a case of "part performance"; you have satisfied part of your side of the contract. Part performance can sometimes mean that whatever was provided, cannot be used. You agreed on terms but you effectively modified those terms unilaterally. You changed the contract without giving the client the possibility to accept.

As soon as there is a problem in providing what has been agreed, you should inform the client. If you go ahead anyway, as you have discovered, you are taking a risk that the client will be unsatisfied and whether rightly or wrongly, a lot of clients then simply refuse to pay.

My advice? Push politely for part payment. Drop any idea of the additional fee.


 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:26
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Use of your unpaid translation / TMX delivery off a PDF Jun 27

Samuel Murray wrote:

I do find it odd that the client was unwilling to at least negotiate a lowered fee when he discovered that you would not deliver the extra file. After all, he could still have used your translation, and just asked another translator to do the typing and the alignment.


I find it odd too. I can't think of the last time I had a real problem on this front. If the client doesn't pay, he can't use your translation, legally that is.

Although the poster has a point that asking for TMX delivery off a PDF source doc is unreasonable, you should discuss this beforehand. If you discover it only afterwards, your phone is sitting on the table, so stop texting with it and start talking to someone. icon_smile.gif


 

Hiromasa Funaki  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:26
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your advices Jun 28

Thank you for your comments.

As to current status, I have decided not to work with the company any more, while some employees of the company are still requesting me to accept their projects.

Some of you said, I should be assumed to accept to deliver the target and the TMX files, when I took the job offer. That's right. However, the fact I accepted the job offer does not directly mean I must prepare the source file by my own to create the TMX file.

When I realized I was requested to create the TMX file, I requested the agent to deliver a computer-readable source file or pay additionally for my preparing the source file, but they rejected my request, probably because their budget was too tight (I had not requested any concrete amount to them).

BTW, I was also requested by this company to confirm all of warning messages of QA checker, when I did a MemoQ project. There was no requirement of QA check included in their instruction. The confirmations were very time-consuming and I rejected this request. In this case, could I reject their request to do QA checks, if it is not time-consuming?

I will do the QA checks, if it is not so time-consuming and reasonable for maintaining the translation quality even if it is not listed in the order, but I will reject the request, if it is no effect on the translation quality.

This is my opinion and I would not work with any translation agencies who cannot accept my opinion.

Thank you again for your serious comments.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:26
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
On QA checks Jun 28

Hiromasa Funaki wrote:

...I will reject the request, if it is no effect on the translation quality.

It is sometimes tedious to go through and manually make the QA checker ignore "errors" that are not really errors. However, those QA checks sometimes find some pesky little mistakes that slip through when looking at the text for hours - double spaces, misplaced tags, etc. The spellchecker also finds typos that escaped even a native eye, so I tend to run those QA and spell checks every time on my projects.

From what you wrote, it seems that your project was from Japanese into English, right?


 
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