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Poll: Have you ever been assigned a project that you had already translated before?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:02
SITE STAFF
Mar 7, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been assigned a project that you had already translated before?".

This poll was originally submitted by Magdalena Balibrea Vich. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 7, 2016

As most of my clients are direct, sometimes I have to translate updates or revised versions of previously translated material, for example catalogues. No biggie. If I feel it's warranted, I might offer them a discount, at my own discretion.

[Edited at 2016-03-07 08:42 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:02
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes Mar 7, 2016

And funnily enough, from two different agencies☺

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Magdalena Balibrea Vich  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I submitted this poll looooong ago… Mar 7, 2016

because an agency used to send me the same certificate to translate every month. It was the only assignment ever from that agency, so I didn’t tell them anything the first time, and then it just went on and on until the certificate expired!
They paid religiously every month and I never heard back from them after that. I think they sent it 6 or 7 times!!!


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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:02
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
Same here Mar 7, 2016

Michael Harris wrote:

And funnily enough, from two different agencies☺


Otherwise I want to believe that I would have notified the agency.
The funny thing is that I originally refused. I was heavily overbooked and the project was a little over 10K words! I sent the "Sorry, too busy" e-mail and only then looked at the file out of curiosity, recognised the text and immediately wrote back. Puh! I made coffee, set the project up in my CAT and ...vzzzt!...... 99% was automatically translated, 1% needed some tag fixing. The easiest money I have ever made!


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Sharon Toh, MITI MCIL
Singapore
Local time: 15:02
Member (2009)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Occasionally, but can't remember exactly how many times Mar 7, 2016

They were, as far as I could recall, published papers, patents and standards. Different clients somehow got hold of the same paper/patent/standard at different times and wanted it translated into English for them to understand. These projects don't necessarily come from an agency, so I am not necessarily 'assigned' a project. Direct clients engage my services to translate.

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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
Member
German to English
+ ...
Same end client Mar 7, 2016

I have had material from the same end clients, but from up to three different agencies with sizable chunks being parts that I had personally translated before.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:02
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, quite often! Mar 7, 2016

Hospitals (public and private) are required to organize public tenders for the purchase of medicinal products, so I have to translate and certify virtually the same documents each time one of my clients (a medical device company) takes part in a tendering procedure.

P.S. I have just remembered that when I worked as a sworn translator for the Belgian courts I was asked several times by different clients to translate exactly the same articles of the Belgian Civil Code…

[Edited at 2016-03-07 10:52 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:02
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Once or twice Mar 7, 2016

I've once or twice received a document (from the same agency) which I'd already translated months or even a year before. I informed the agency that they already had my translation and offered to send it again, and they were grateful. I wouldn't dream of charging an agency twice for the same job - especially as this was one of my most frequent clients. I expect it happened because the PM didn't understand the language well enough to detect that the work had been done before. Possibly the end client didn't either.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Quite a few times Mar 7, 2016

I've been asked to review my own translations before. Needless to say they passed muster.

I also once did the same (paid) test piece for three different agencies. Not sure what the end-customer made of that but they did award the contract to one of the agencies - which went on to give the work to cheaper translators. I still have the voodoo doll.

It's not unusual for one department at a company to have something translated and not tell other departments. And, of course, there are the people who simply forget they had me translate something the previous week. They always seem genuinely surprised by my honesty when I tell them. Lots of brownie points.


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 09:02
French to English
+ ...
Never an *exact* duplicate... Mar 7, 2016

...but I did once get a document that was a cut and paste of several other documents that I had previously translated. The only segment that wasn't a 100% match was the title on the first page.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Received files twice; not translated twice Mar 7, 2016

Each time, it's been a mistake. Clients have responded with an "Oops!" and the right files.

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Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 09:02
English to Arabic
+ ...
Review my own work Mar 7, 2016

One time, through a different agency.

But also refer to my own work done for the same end client through a different agency the year before.

"The client wants us to strictly use the terms employed in this contract translated last year"


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:02
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Two types of occurrences Mar 7, 2016

1. Same file from the same client or agency. This has happened a few times. In certain occasions, the file was updated and had changes, and the client sent the entire thing again instead of marking the changes and paying just for that. In other occasions, the same exact file I had translated was sent to me as a new job. In the first case, I compare the documents and propose the honest price to the client. In the second case, I tell them to cancel the job, and send the translated file to confirm.

When it's an agency, I believe some of them will cancel my job and charge the client just the same.

2. A document that I have already translated (partially or fully) is sent by another client or agency. Sometimes the same document, sometimes a new version. This happened many times when I was working in-house for engineering companies, for the contractor, and another contractor or the client would hire an agency to translate the document. Then, that agency would send me the document to translate. Since we had many foreign contractors working in the projects, many of them wanted the documents in PT translated to EN to send to their head offices abroad.

In these cases, I charged regularly.

CURIOSITY: That's when I had an idea of how much the agencies take from us, or at least some of them, to do nothing but issuing an invoice. One agency charged $ 29.00 from the contractor I worked for (per page), and paid me $ 12.00 to translate (no revision). So they earned 60% to do nothing and paid me 40% to do all the job.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:02
Member (2006)
German to English
Overheads Mar 8, 2016

Mario Freitas wrote:

CURIOSITY: That's when I had an idea of how much the agencies take from us, or at least some of them, to do nothing but issuing an invoice. One agency charged $ 29.00 from the contractor I worked for (per page), and paid me $ 12.00 to translate (no revision). So they earned 60% to do nothing and paid me 40% to do all the job.


Come on Mario, I cannot imagine that much is left over from that 60% after all of the taxes / wages, etc have been paid. May seem a lot, but what I see from South America, you have really high taxes down there.....


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