Agency rates, Accreditation and QA
Thread poster: Carole Muller

Carole Muller
Local time: 12:50
English to French
+ ...
Dec 14, 2001

..following the discussion regarding \"Are we undoing what trade unions used 150 years to achieve\" :couldnt\' reply to Werner, the thread was not allowed to run over another page:

Werner, it\'s an interesting remark, it seems different countries have different views: it seems Denmark has chosen the view that notarial power can only be awarded to accredited translators, and that accredited translators can only be accredited automatically, and that accreditation follows by having followed tuition at the business schools offering MA\'s in translation.And only that.

So Denmark has no QA procedures for translators, because in Denmark you\'re not qualified for Danish clients if you are an XXX-Danish translator having studied language XXX abroad, in the universities or translator schools of XXX,for instance. That\'s really interesting and thanks to you Werner I have another perspective on the problem in Denmark.

I still believe making accreditation procedures accessible to all by allowing qualified candidates to apply for accreditation would be interesting to the profession.

But, from that follows, that agencies should not be allowed -ever- to use translators who are not accredited -as part of some ISO9002 or similar procedure for agencies- and that doing it would be fraudulent, and why not after all?

Then, direct clients can mess around with 0.02 cts translators with 3 months holiday in country Z if they feel like, as I wrote I\'m sure there always will be a maarket for that too.

But will agencies like to cut profits and pay accredited translators more? Not easy to answer...Why don\'t more agencies reading this answer how is some agencies can make highly profitable business out of outsourcing work to translators whose credentials they never check and are agencies´overheads so great that they require rate-cutting outsourcers?

Why is it agencies cannot position themselves on the high quality segment of the market and keep accredited, professional translators with domain expertise? Is it because packaging is determining how the client selects the agency and a posh address and expensive add is determining, thus leaving little room for paying translators professional fee levels?

I\'d like to hear more from agencies....



Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:50
Economics: Use of credentialed translators should *increase* agency profit Dec 15, 2001


Thanks for all your postings. They clearly reflect a desire to improve our industry and this site.

Your title for this thread--Agency rates, accreditation and QA--is a good one. These are three words that are rarely grouped--though they should be!

However, with your concluding question, you are setting the thread off in a direction that will lead nowhere.

You ask, \"But will agencies like to cut profits and pay accredited translators more? Not easy to answer...\"

Actually, it is easy to answer. The answer is \'no.\'

You have presented yourself as someone with a deep understanding of economics. Surely you know, then, that the economic reason any agency would engage in QA, or use accredited translators, is to *increase* profits (even if the payment to the translator must rise.) This is a basic tenet of free-market economics.


Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO) (X)
Local time: 06:50
German to English
+ ...
Yes, Henry, QA is an absolute must! Dec 16, 2001

When we talk of regulation or accreditation, we refer to the need for QA in the translation industry, which can take many different forms.

Currently, all kinds of accreditations (eg, ATA) or certifications (eg, CTIC) are \"QA certificates\" - to varying degrees. These organizations also play a vital role in establishing their different QA systems as norms and standards. As I pointed out, CTIC has done it in Canada: at least 95% of our clients will refuse to work with non-certified translators. ATA, on the other hand, is still far behind.

Any kind of QA testing must include the following components: knowledge of source and target languages, translation techniques and professional ethics. These are universal values and principles and could be implemented by each and every country or market; therefore, there is no need to have a global organization.

Depending on your qualifications and background, you may be given \"credit\" for one or two of the above components: for example, if you have a language degree or a degree in T&I, you may not be required to take the language tests or the test on translation techniques. However, if you wish to become a translator and you have no previous training, etc., you would have to take tests in all three modules.

This way, no one would be excluded from our profession, while giving credit to those that actually took the trouble of enrolling in a full-time university program of translation (and, in some cases, paid hefty tuition fees).

Finally, if such a QA system is to be implemented, the \"fee structure\" will have to be modified as well: instead of paying membership fees to the various organizations in order to keep one\'s accreditation \"alive\", there should be a one-time charge only for taking the QA tests. However, the rules of professional standards and ethics will have to be strictly enforced: if a \"QA translator\" is found to violate certain rules at any time, he or she should lose their QA seal (following a thorough investigation) and either be barred from re-taking the tests (depending on the severity of the violation) or be forced to re-take the tests following a certain suspension period.

If we could pull this off, the translation industry would be stronger and healthier (and there would be fewer complaints about lower rates or unprofessional conduct).


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Agency rates, Accreditation and QA

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