Why shouldn't agencies quote??
Thread poster: Cristina Heraud-van Tol

Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 22, 2010

I am really curious about this, and I constantly see it in ProZ. Some job posters, when posting a job, expressly indicate that they don't want agencies to quote on them. Not that I own one, but why not??

I mean, let's say the job:

- Requires a translator in the German to Spanish combination
- Native speaker of Spanish
- Expertise in telecommunications

and an agency is able to offer all that, perhaps even at the same price as an individual translator, then, why can't an agency quote? What are the reasons for this?


Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:06
French to English
Keep the chain short? Jan 22, 2010

One reason might be to keep it simple. An agency might very possibly outsource to a freelancer themselves (although they might do the work in-house of course), thus making the agency (yet?) another link in a chain that might already have 2 or 3 links. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but it does complicate matters, especially if lots of different time zones become involved and so on.


Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:06
French to English
+ ...
My reasons... Jan 22, 2010

I sometimes outsource parts of projects to other translators, and generally only work directly with translators because:

- I want to be able to discuss issues that arise with the translation directly with the translator, and similarly, if they want to discuss things with me, it makes no sense for there to be another "layer" in the way
- my general agreement with my clients is that I'll only disclose parts of the text as strictly required for the translation; working directly with other translators helps me control that this is the case (other translators working with me effectively agree to the same condition; I can also communicate additional confidentiality or other guidelines as required and know that the translator has received these directly)
- even if the agency can perform the work for the same price as the individual translator, I don't require the agency's services (project management, checking, provision of glossaries...) as I will perform those roles as necessary; I'd rather that all of the money that I'm allocating goes directly into the translation.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:06
English to German
+ ...
Because an agency would be nothing but a box shifter Jan 22, 2010

Because they don't want a middle man.
Because they want to communicate with the translator directly and not through a PM.
Because they want to choose their translators themselves.
Because the don't want to pay 15 cent/word for a 5 cent/word translation. After all, they are looking for a specialist.*

Note: Agencies should never be mixed up with translation offices.

*When I outsource a job, I want the translator to receive the entire payment, not a percentage of it.

Edited for typo

[Edited at 2010-01-22 20:44 GMT]


Local time: 17:06
Member (2009)
German to Korean
+ ...
legitimate... Jan 22, 2010

wouldn't it be a cost issue?


madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:06
Swedish to English
+ ...
Wanting to know WHO is actually doing the translation Jan 22, 2010

And being able to communicate directly with them.

On the few occasions I've outsourced, I've devoted a lot of time to finding someone who I feel capable of successfully completing the assignment. As a bonus, my in-house colleague working in that language pair can then communicate directly with this person - rather than through me and the agency.


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Why shouldn't agencies quote??

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