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Poll: Do you outsource work to fellow translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:49
SITE STAFF
Jan 19, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you outsource work to fellow translators?".

This poll was originally submitted by Katja Schoone. View the poll results »



 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 19, 2015

To my wife. She works in my reverse language pair, but refuses to do any of her own marketing.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 19, 2015

I may sometimes pass work on, but usually only when I can't handle it all myself, or if I don't fancy the job for some reason. Or if a colleagues has asked me to do so.

However, if the query refers to taking on work from all sides then outsourcing it to other translators and taking a cut, I leave that up to the agencies.

[Edited at 2015-01-19 09:37 GMT]


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 08:49
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Jan 19, 2015

My motto could be summed up as: "Neither an employee nor an employer be ." I simply market the fruits of my own labour.

 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 07:49
English to German
+ ...
No Jan 19, 2015

But it can happen that in a technical text there is a difficult legal part, that I will give to a translator colleague who is a lawyer. This is generally free of charge, if the volume is not a lot of paragraphs. Vice versa for him to send me technical parts in a legal document.

 

Rita Utt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:49
Member
English to German
+ ...
Build teams Jan 19, 2015

No I rather build a team, or just ask people to contact my collegues.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jan 19, 2015

I got in big trouble doing that about 15 years ago - lost my best client. I'd been working with a financial counselor who urged me to build my business. I listened to him instead of my conscience.

I agreed with my colleague that I would review her work and charge 2 cents a word, which meant that she collected 2 cents less than I did. In fact, the work was sloppy and I ended up losing time and money. Still, she complained to the end client that I had cheated her.

I learned my lesson: never again! I don't want to be responsible for anybody's work but my own.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
This poll might have been better Jan 19, 2015

if there had been the option "Used to".

It was profitable but I have always found it incredibly difficult to accept other people's way of writing/translating even if it isn't flawed as such.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:49
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jan 19, 2015

If the job is outside my turf - i.e. other languages, technical areas/subjects I don't serve - I refer the client to some colleague I know as thoroughly reliable to do it, wish them all good luck, and step out of the picture. No finder's fee, ever!

If I am overloaded already, and the client needs it faster than I could possibly deliver, I follow the same procedure.

A relatively frequent case is when I'm asked to translate and subtitle one same video into several languages. I have a few carefully selected colleagues who do it reliably for the most commonly requested languages that I don't serve. Depending on each one's availability, we decide on who will do the time-spotting. I usually end up doing the subtitle burning for all languages, so the output will be uniform.

On the other hand, I am a member of the "emergency team" of several colleagues who now and then bite more than they can chew, and split jobs among fellow translators they know they can count on.


 

Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:49
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only when really necessary Jan 19, 2015

neilmac wrote:

I may sometimes pass work on, but usually only when I can't handle it all myself, or if I don't fancy the job for some reason. Or if a colleagues has asked me to do so.

However, if the query refers to taking on work from all sides then outsourcing it to other translators and taking a cut, I leave that up to the agencies.

[Edited at 2015-01-19 09:37 GMT]


Sometimes I find myself obliged to request the help of a colleague. Usually the same one, who I have had the opportunity of working with and never had a bad experience.

Regards to all,


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:49
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Jan 19, 2015

Not for translation (my clients have their own lists of translators), but for proofreading once in a while, when a client asks for an external proofreader. That has always worked out fine.

 

Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 07:49
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
there was no such option Jan 19, 2015

Yetta J Bogarde wrote:

Not for translation (my clients have their own lists of translators), but for proofreading once in a while, when a client asks for an external proofreader. That has always worked out fine.


I work both a s a freelancer and ÍI run a small translation office. On one hand, of course I do my work in my main pairs by myself. But after a sadexperince I never do anything related to accountancy (balances), this is - even in Hungarian - seems to me "written in Chinese" (dear colleagues, this a Hungarian saying so please do not find it offensive!)
On the other hand, sometimes I share my work with experienced colleagues and mother tongue proofreaders. And, of course as an office, I regularly offer jobs to my fellow colleagues-freelancers.


 

Mariel Varjão Azoubel  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:49
Portuguese
+ ...
Not outsourcing Jan 19, 2015

I have a trusted colleague I work with, but I don't outsource anything.
I guess the feeling is pretty much unanimous: most of you have described exactly what I think of outsourcing — even though I've never had any bad experiences before (having never tried it myself).


 

TB CommuniCAT  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:49
Member (2014)
English to French
No Jan 19, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I don't want to be responsible for anybody's work but my own.


100% agree


 

Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:49
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, but ... Jan 19, 2015

... only to a very limited extent (i.e. occasionally) to one of only a few trusted colleagues (depending on the field/specialty), for instance in projects that involve more than just a single language combination.

Another example are interpreting assignments where the conference organiser is my (direct) client. In that case, I outsource to my trusted boothmate whilst invoicing the full amount to the client.

Kind regards,

Steffen


 
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