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Poll: Of these, which is the most common requirement you see when applying to agencies?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:35
SITE STAFF
Nov 5

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Of these, which is the most common requirement you see when applying to agencies?".

This poll was originally submitted by Michael Michael_Mathieu. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 5

CAT tools - usually the big T, although others are available.

Teresa Borges
Kaisa I
Thayenga
Yaotl Altan
Siraj Khan
Anne Schulz
svetlana cosquéric
 

Sarah Basto  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Decades of experience + Extremely low rates Nov 5

And worse, people are working for lower and lower rates, our business is on the rocks.

Anja Hajek
Nina Khmielnitzky
Elaine Ruby
Tradupro17
Thayenga
Matthias Brombach
writeaway
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:35
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Nov 5

As I’ve been translating full-time since 1985 I always find amusing when I’m asked for a copy of my diplomas for courses I did in the 1970s. I would rather do a translation test for free than sending diplomas, references and the like and having to fill endless forms. I understand that sometimes a translation test might be useful to see how a translator treats this or that particular sentence. If I’m really interested in that job I'll be happy to do a short translation test (300/400 words m... See more
As I’ve been translating full-time since 1985 I always find amusing when I’m asked for a copy of my diplomas for courses I did in the 1970s. I would rather do a translation test for free than sending diplomas, references and the like and having to fill endless forms. I understand that sometimes a translation test might be useful to see how a translator treats this or that particular sentence. If I’m really interested in that job I'll be happy to do a short translation test (300/400 words maximum), providing we have already agreed on price and payment and there is no deadline set for the test, so I can do it at my own pace. Anyway, that’s how I got some of my best clients (direct clients and translation agencies) and some of my highest-paid assignments.Collapse


Yetta J Bogarde
ipv
Laura Bissio CT
Tradupro17
Mario Freitas
Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk
Philip Lees
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:35
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I don't.... Nov 5

I no longer apply to agencies. It's a time-consuming, thankless task and I don't think I've ever had a response from any of them.

Alexandra Speirs
Thayenga
Helena Chavarria
Philip Lees
Josephine Cassar
Muriel Vasconcellos
Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
 

Alexandra Hirsch  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 05:35
English to German
+ ...
ToS Nov 5

The terms are strange. "Payment 30 days after invoicing" but I'm not allowed to send the invoice, the agency decides when it's allowed. What kind of payment strategy is that?!!

Yetta J Bogarde
Nina Khmielnitzky
Josephine Cassar
Laura Kingdon
Mikael Adolfsson
 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:35
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Nov 5

I have never applied to an agency, they have found me via Proz.com, TC or my website.

For the rest I agree with Teresa above.

[Edited at 2019-11-05 10:25 GMT]


Helena Chavarria
Philip Lees
Kitty Brussaard
 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:35
Portuguese to English
+ ...
CAT Tools Nov 5

CAT Tools, especially the one known locally as Travos (from Portuguese 'travar' which means '(a system) to crash') but also the Big Q and the Big W. Some insist on tools we have never heard of before, such as WordBee. Some agencies even insist on their own tools, or on using their own portal (So 'ABC Translations' (fictitious name, not talking about a real agency here) would ask translators to use ABCCat, ABCWorkbench or something.
(Other common requirements: You must be a US citizen; You
... See more
CAT Tools, especially the one known locally as Travos (from Portuguese 'travar' which means '(a system) to crash') but also the Big Q and the Big W. Some insist on tools we have never heard of before, such as WordBee. Some agencies even insist on their own tools, or on using their own portal (So 'ABC Translations' (fictitious name, not talking about a real agency here) would ask translators to use ABCCat, ABCWorkbench or something.
(Other common requirements: You must be a US citizen; You must live in the US; You must be a graduate in [name subject here]; You must have [number of years] of experience in [name professional field]; You must supply three professional references...)
I refuse to give references and mention work, as there is always a possibility that the agency could grab the client. Worse is when they ask for samples of work, as most work is subject to an NDA and therefore cannot be sent to anyone else except the client. What I do is mention the jobs generically: 'Worked on a project with valuations of 34 commercial properties, building a team to work with me' (true, by the way)
And then there's the bureaucracy of UN jobs. They ask for over 30 pages of diplomas, certificates, references, Europass forms, personal declarations, to be sent by e-mail AND by post (special delivery because of the tight deadline). Last time I spent over 150 Brazilian Reais (40 USD) on postal fees, plus photocopying fees, scanning fees... applied for the job... and they NEVER EVEN BOTHERED either to acknowledge the documents or to give the result of the test.
Collapse


Mariana Borio
Peter Simon
svetlana cosquéric
 

Anna Herbst  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 15:35
Member (2008)
English to Swedish
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile



MODERATOR
Certification Nov 5

In Australia the NAATI certification (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) is the be all and end all. It has to be renewed every three years when a logbook of work done during the previous three years as well as one of Professional Development courses undertaken have to be presented together with a recertification fee in order for a new dated stamp to be issued for the next three-year period. Certain Government authorities will not accept translations that do not ca... See more
In Australia the NAATI certification (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) is the be all and end all. It has to be renewed every three years when a logbook of work done during the previous three years as well as one of Professional Development courses undertaken have to be presented together with a recertification fee in order for a new dated stamp to be issued for the next three-year period. Certain Government authorities will not accept translations that do not carry a current NAATI stamp, so to be on the safe side, agencies will demand current certification from their translators.Collapse


 

Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:35
Member (2004)
English to French
Low rates Nov 5

I hate working for agencies, because each time they ask for my certified 20+ years expercience at beginners' rates. I'm not going to work tirelessly for peanuts. When they offer, let's say, $0.04 per word, I tell them slavery is illegal, and at that price, I put it all in Google Translate and they'll have it back in 5 minutes. I always quote my regular rate and then some to make sure they don't bother me again. After all, they ask for my best rate, but don't specify if it's the best rate for the... See more
I hate working for agencies, because each time they ask for my certified 20+ years expercience at beginners' rates. I'm not going to work tirelessly for peanuts. When they offer, let's say, $0.04 per word, I tell them slavery is illegal, and at that price, I put it all in Google Translate and they'll have it back in 5 minutes. I always quote my regular rate and then some to make sure they don't bother me again. After all, they ask for my best rate, but don't specify if it's the best rate for them of for me. I say for me!

The other thing is the tests. I hate them. Why would I give you my best effort in the hope of earning mere pennies? Nope, not worth the hassle.
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Tradupro17
Thayenga
Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk
writeaway
Mariana Borio
Tanja Oresnik
Cristina Heraud-van Tol
 

Oliver Romero  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:35
English to Spanish
Experience Nov 5

I agree with Teresa that a translation test can provide clients with a better preview of the translator's capacities than the possession of certifications. The requirement I see most often is that of experience in a specific field.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:35
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Tests are the ONLY way Nov 5

Translation tests are the only and exclusive way to evaluate the quality and accuracy of the translation/translators. Experienced clients know very well that titles and education in the area mean very little and do not qualify a translator. Most agencies do ask for certificates and the like, but what determines the translators that will be engaged is doubtlessly the translation test. The rest are just add-ons.

[Edited at 2019-11-05 17:58 GMT]


Cristina Heraud-van Tol
Jorge Payan
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:35
German to English
+ ...
Other - "apply?" Nov 5

If we work as freelancers, we are not seeking employment. The agencies are seeking our services. There is no applying. The list itself has: higher education degree, language-related certification, and tests. There is nothing about training in the field of translation or certification as a translator. When I started out, I contacted local agencies by phone asking if they wanted my info, which I gave if the answer was yes, and then went beyond local. I told them of my degree, and my certific... See more
If we work as freelancers, we are not seeking employment. The agencies are seeking our services. There is no applying. The list itself has: higher education degree, language-related certification, and tests. There is nothing about training in the field of translation or certification as a translator. When I started out, I contacted local agencies by phone asking if they wanted my info, which I gave if the answer was yes, and then went beyond local. I told them of my degree, and my certification. Once I had experience, I added that. I don't remember them having "requirements" and I didn't think to ask. I have seen such things on-line, however, especially in the bulk "jobs" that are sent out to anyone registered in the given language combination.Collapse


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Rater: Metaphorically "timid cheap" Nov 5

I work with a few local direct clients only, who demand (1) quality, (2) timeliness, and occasionally (3) specific requirements. Even having mid/long-term contract jobs, I still consider myself to be a freelancer.

While I have nothing to do with fraudsters and agencies, my colleagues say the only thing most such non-end clients long for is a timid cheap: Spongers are ready to graciously accept anyone who is needy enough to blindly sign u
... See more
I work with a few local direct clients only, who demand (1) quality, (2) timeliness, and occasionally (3) specific requirements. Even having mid/long-term contract jobs, I still consider myself to be a freelancer.

While I have nothing to do with fraudsters and agencies, my colleagues say the only thing most such non-end clients long for is a timid cheap: Spongers are ready to graciously accept anyone who is needy enough to blindly sign up for $0.01/word rush jobs minus "fuzzies" after a couple of months, especially if prospect yesman initially offers PEMT/"freebies"/"discounts" and even pays their VAT and other company expenses.

Unfortunately, beside very low entry barriers and harsh market trends, most translators are naive twice-shy introverts without business awareness or communication skills. Certainly, the soft target and easy-peasy prey for predators. Furthermore, rather many wannabe free*lancers are fresh high-school graduates [leavers], rejects, or dropouts, who couldn't take their degree and get a real job, complementing it nicely with foreign language skills...
 And out of sudden unwanted hobbyists are self-proclaimed "pure" translators, okay.
No portfolio and references? Little wonder they keep doing never-ending "free tests" instead of doing the biz.

Taking into consideration the recommended rates and terms, I partly concur with the opinion that modern education, self-employment, care allowance, and the such are often but clever tricks to disguise the unemployment
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Gitte Hovedskov
Denmark
Local time: 05:35
Member (Mar 2019)
English to Danish
+ ...
Low prices Nov 6

So sad...

writeaway
Elaine Ruby
Tanja Oresnik
Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
Angus Stewart
Mónica Algazi
Habibur RahmanI
 
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