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Poll: You get the same text to translate from two separate clients. You:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:29
SITE STAFF
Mar 22

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "You get the same text to translate from two separate clients. You:".

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Rita Utt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:29
Member
English to German
+ ...
Confidentiality Mar 22

It all depends on the kind of text and the kind of client.
Before deciding I would check confidentiality issues.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:29
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Mar 22

It only happened to me once; some 20 years ago I got the same paid test translation from two different agencies. I delivered a slightly different version to both of them (thanks goodness for synonyms). If a similar situation were to present itself again, let’s say that I’ll handle it depending on the circumstances…

 

haslinahardy  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 19:29
Member (2016)
English to Malay


Posted via
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Other Mar 22

2 years ago I got a project for a mobile app from a freelancer outsourcing the project. Then last year, got the same project complete with the translation only this time from the owner of the app. Not sure what happened with the original freelancer. Maybe he/she was those lone freelancer who outsourced for multiple languages and didn't deliver to satisfaction? I did inform the owner I was the original translator. Checked the translation and did a few changes.

If a similar situation happen again, I may not say anything assuming the previous outsourcer didn't deliver on their work, unless pointed out or asked by the current client.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 22

It really depends on the clients and the details of this situation, as well as the relationship that you have with them. I don't recall this ever happening to me, and it is quite unlikely that it ever will. I'm only working with one agency these days, and only rarely. The rest of my clients are direct. I think this kind of situation is likely to arise in scenarios where agencies/translators are competing for the same work, which isn't really my case.

 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:29
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
It hasn't happened to me yet Mar 22

It hasn't happened to me yet, but I have been asked to translate two different texts relating to the same litigation by two seperate agency clients. Obviously reasons of confidentiality prevented me from disclosing to either agency that I had been approached by the other and I declined the second project in order to avoid finding myself in the position of potential conflict of interest.

 

bizisyl
Local time: 08:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other Mar 22

I only work with direct clients and this happened to me just once. Two people from different departments in the same multinational company asked for a quotation for a translation on some corporate standards that impacted both of them. Because there was no confidentiality issue involved, I shared this situation with both of them, so that they decided which cost centre would be the owner, PO generator, and the like. Needless to say, my transparency was much appreciated.

 

Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:29
Member (2004)
English to French
Because of employee turnaround Mar 22

It happened a few times that I get the same text to translate. It was because an employee had left and another filled in their position. Apparently, there had not been a transfer of the files. So, when processing a text in my TM, I noticed I had done the exact same job before, I notified the new employee and said it was free, as I had already been paid for the job. They appreciated my honesty.

 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:29
Member
French to English
+ ...
Why tell anyone? Mar 22

Why should I reveal anything about my dealings with one client to another client? The fact that the question has been asked seems to imply that there might be some reason why we should.

It has very occasionally happened to me that more than one agency has contacted me to ask for quotes for the same document (always Romanian-English), because an end client is "shopping around" for quotes. Little do they realise that the agencies will all contact the same tiny pool of native English-speaking translators in this pair, and perhaps the same translator if the others are busy. If end clients really want a lower quote, they'd be better off cutting out the middleman and coming direct to me!


 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:29
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Both if at the same time Mar 22

which is unlikely. It did happen to me once as far as I remember - an NGO sent a letter to several large food companies, and two of them sent the trans to me, but not on the same day - so that I only informed the second one and invoiced it at half the price to them. As to confidentiality - if this happens, the text is unlikely to be very confidential. Besides the above, I can imagine it with some law or with documentation for a public tender, which are in the public domain. You just don't tell who the other client is.

 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 05:29
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same as Peter Mar 22

I've had similar experiences as Peter: a client contacts me first and then goes shopping around at agencies, not realizing that the agencies will contact the same translator (and charge more!). I accept the job from the first person to contact me and tell the others that I'm not available. "Not available" is a beautiful term that covers everything from buying too busy to situations such as the above to finding the text too boring or too stressful.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
It happened to me once Mar 22

Needless to say I panicked.

On the one hand, there was the issue of client confidentiality and the omnipresent threat of instant bankruptcy under those pesky NDAs and SLAs other assorted GFYs.

On the other hand, there was that whole ethical conundrum. Charge twice for the same work and lower myself to my clients' level? I might not go to heaven.

And on my third (prosthetic) hand, the whole conflict of interests dilemma.

I mean, as a big-shot translator you really do have to take these things very seriously.

So I turned down both jobs and spent the time instead volunteering in a shelter for orphans to assuage my conscience, but I still feel dirty 14 years on.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:29
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Mar 22

It actually happened to me several times.
In each case I took on the first who asked, and told the second that another agency already had asked me. What's the problem with that?

I did not even contemplate to accept both and do the same job twice.


 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:29
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Mar 22

When has this happened?:

An Italian restaurant receives 4 different couples, then they order the same dish. Does the restaurant give a discount because all of them asked the same dish? No.


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:29
Romanian to English
+ ...
A more nuanced version of this question Mar 22

Peter Shortall wrote:
Why should I reveal anything about my dealings with one client to another client?


I agree. It's none of the client's business that I have my own resources, which include any previous translations I may reuse in future projects.

Saying anything to either of them would imply that I would have to give them a discount even for partial matches, wouldn't it? For example: a legal document includes lengthy quotes from a decree I translated for another client, which I can now reuse from my previous translation. Should I tell this second client he gets a discount because I've translated parts of the text before? Or should I contact the first client and tell him: hey, someone else pays me for the same thing, so I can now offer you a rebate? Absolutely not. It would be absurd.


 
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