Poll: Do you outsource any of your work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:53
SITE STAFF
Dec 27, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you outsource any of your work?".

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Anastasia Kingsley Kinkusic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Member (2011)
English
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Outsourcing - "sometimes" Dec 27, 2016

Qualified family members sometimes get a piece of a large project. At this point, "rarely" but this may become "occasionally" as my workload increases.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:53
Member (2006)
French to English
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Never Dec 27, 2016

I never outsource the work assigned to me. I take it that a client has assigned it to me because of my own capabilities, specialisms, etc. As far as I can remember, the agreements I have with my clients rule out subcontracting, in any case. If I'm overloaded, I might suggest that the client contacts a known colleague of mine but I wouldn't assign the work to that colleague myself.

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Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 07:53
English to Italian
+ ...
Exactly! Dec 27, 2016

Jenny Forbes wrote:

I never outsource the work assigned to me. I take it that a client has assigned it to me because of my own capabilities, specialisms, etc.


If I am too overloaded I just try to propose another deadline, or simply say that I cannot take on the project, unfortunately, if it can't be postponed.
Furthermore, I really believe in the saying "if you want something done, do it yourself"...every time that I proofread someone else's work, even if it is a good translation, I tend to think how I would have translated that sentence/paragraph instead. Obviously, if the translation is correct I don't change it -unless for rare stylistic purposes- but the text seems "strange" to me somehow, specially when the translator has a very literal translation style.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Dec 27, 2016

I never outsource the work assigned to me. If I'm overloaded, I’ll try to negotiate a new deadline and most of the times my clients are willing to wait. As I’m known to deliver quite often before the deadline, some even say right from the beginning “whenever you can”. That being said, I do outsource work when I have requests for languages I don't cover (always from and into European Portuguese) and I have been working with the same tested, approved and trusted translators for ages. Whenever European Portuguese is not involved I might refer the client to a few colleagues…

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Mona El-Shazly  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 08:53
Member (2016)
Arabic to English
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Never Dec 27, 2016

I do not do that because I am the one who is infront of the client not the other translator , I fear low quality

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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 03:53
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
A time or two Dec 27, 2016

I have rarely used outsourcing for the reverse direction of my language pair: English to Spanish. But the most productive outsourced work was DTP so that I could use a scanned PDF as editable text in a CAT tool.

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Fernán González  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:53
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
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Only if absolutely necessary Dec 27, 2016

I tell the client if it needs to be outsourced because they contact me because of my abilities or the previous knowledge about their project. Otherwise, I do the translations myself.

This must have happened once in the last 4 years. A client sent me something on a Saturday morning when I was on a trip without my laptop and he needed it by Monday morning. I let him know this would require outsourcing and that the quality could suffer because of this, but it could save him in a tight deadline. He agreed to it because he really needed it done and understood that while it may not have been ideal, the circumstances required it.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Only when I'm unqualified to do it Dec 27, 2016

I've declared off-limits for me five (so far) areas of human knowledge where I don't translate technical material. Quite frankly, I don't understand these in ANY language, so I'd be merely translating words, not meaning. I refer all such requests to translators that I know as competent and specialized in these, wish them good luck, and step out.

If I am overloaded and the turnaround they want is impossible for me, I'll refer the request to colleagues I know that will do a good job, wish them good luck, and step out.

However in video things are different. I cover the whole nine yards, perhaps more than that, if it's at all possible. I can go, in the most extreme case, from a VHS tape to a fully-authored, interactive DVD in another language. Yet my translation is limited to EN-PT, though I speak IT-FR-ES too.

So I have a few carefully selected colleagues, translation-for-subtitling experts in these three languages. Some of them do time-spotting, others don't. AFAIK none of them does video editing nor DVD authoring; one says she burns subs, but I've never seen them. So I outsource the translation from/into these languages to them.

Likewise, when it's about dubbing, I translate EN-PT, and outsource the dubbing itself to a top-notch professional studio. (If they want cheap dubbing, I let them find it on their own. I don't know any.)

I give the client the option to hire (i.e. pay) my outsourcees directly, and I'll still supervise their work technically, and do all the finishing, but none has wanted it so far. They prefer to have me accountable for the entire job.

BTW, I don't take any such job involving languages I don't understand, in spite of many requests so far.


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Andrea Diaz
Mexico
Local time: 00:53
English to Spanish
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Sometimes. Dec 27, 2016

I sometimes outsource my translations when it's necessary. I have a colleague who I really respect, and I trust the quality of his work. We have a good collaboration.

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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:53
Member (2012)
French to English
No Dec 27, 2016

All my work comes through agencies.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:53
English to Spanish
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Some of us prefer the simple No Dec 27, 2016

Do you know what is missing from these bland quick polls? A good newspaper and a crossword puzzle.



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Daniel1223
United States
Local time: 22:53
Japanese to English
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Once I did Dec 27, 2016

and it didn't work out.
It increased my work load.
I can rely on some colleagues depending on the circumstances though.

[Edited at 2016-12-27 18:35 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:53
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other, but ethically hard to handle. Dec 28, 2016

I don't really have time to do all the work my clients send to me regularly, above all when I'm working on big projects. So there are many small jobs I regularly give to my son and my wife to do for me, and I revise them before submitting to the clients. These clients are aware of that, and they have never complained.
Now, outsourcing jobs to other translations without the client's knowledge, IMO is practically a crime in the translation world. If a translator does that without the client's knowledge, they'll be acting wrongfully, and that can cause them a lot of trouble. You should only outsource when the client approves it and sets the standards for that outsourcing.


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