Weird requests from translation agencies
Thread poster: Sarah McDowell

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:48
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
Nov 8, 2012

Hello everyone,

Lately I have been getting some strange requests from translation agencies. I get messages saying, "Hello translator, we have some translation/proofreading we need you to do. The deadline is three hours from now. Can you do it?"

I check my e-mail often but in most cases I cannot complete a translation/proofreading in under 3 hours no matter how short it is because I have other work that I am busy with.

I can't understand why they expect us to just drop all our other work and do something for them. Especially since it is companies I have never worked with before. I also have a minimum rate and they have not even bothered to read my profile because they offered a price below my minimum rate.

Has anyone else received such strange requests? How do you usually handle these things? Delete them or respond?

OK, that's enough of my rant for now.

Sarah


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Ricardy Ricot  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:48
French to English
+ ...
Hi, Sarah Nov 8, 2012

I understand how you feel. No matter how short a translation is, you may still have to do extensive research and then review it when you are done, and that takes time. So three hours is not very serious.

I haven't experienced this kind of problem before. I would reply and explain the situation to them, also specifying my rates. Hopefully, they would live you alone when seeing that the rate you charge is higher than what they offer.


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Peter Gleason  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
First-Name Basis Nov 8, 2012

Sarah McDowell wrote:
I get messages saying, "Hello translator...


I don't think that an answer is expected if they fail to greet you by name. I think the assumption is that you can respond if you are free and want to, otherwise somebody else will.

Sarah McDowell wrote:
Has anyone else received such strange requests?


All the timeicon_smile.gif It's got something to do with my profile settings, I think.


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:48
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
if they wanted YOU to do it Nov 8, 2012

they would have called you, texted you, skyped you or used MSN, ICQ, Whatsapp, or something else to get your immediate attention - -

Don't even bother to respond, they are just shooting hail in the dark - and hope to hit the right translator at the right price (usually they pay peanuts).

Or you can say. let's go for it, ask for upfront payment and drop everything you are working on and possibly get a BTA (Best Translation Agency) for life... (doubtfull)

Ed

[Edited at 2012-11-08 08:10 GMT]


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:48
English
+ ...
The strangest one I received recently Nov 8, 2012

was "looking for an experienced English to Mongolian translator."

I cannot imagine why they contacted me. There is no mention at all of Mongolian on my profile.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Perfect opportunity to practice your writing skills Nov 8, 2012

Sarah McDowell wrote:
Lately I have been getting some strange requests from translation agencies. I get messages saying, "Hello translator, we have some translation/proofreading we need you to do. The deadline is three hours from now. Can you do it?"


Simply reply as if it is a serious request, and tell the client when you would be able to deliver it. Tell him your rates, too. If they are hurried, they won't use you. If they're just harried, they might still use you, and you gain a client.


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bwerner
Local time: 08:48
English to German
+ ...
I´ve got several of this messages Nov 8, 2012

As said above I have got several of such mails, any time I replied there is no answer anymore coming, of course, I asked for a payment upfront and told them my rates.

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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:48
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
I received even a more weird request Nov 8, 2012

Suzan Hamer wrote:
The strangest one I received recently was "looking for an experienced English to Mongolian translator."


Here is what I received some time ago:

I have purchased 1 unit toyota premio F 2009, I have
downloaded user manual(pdf format) of this car but it is in
japanese language, i could not understand the language. i
want to convert in english language. could you please help
me?



If serious, messages like "Hello translator, we have some translation..." sound like a scam. I would strongly advise to reposrt them to the site staff.

Natalia


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Gyula Erdész
Hungary
Local time: 08:48
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
See the fun in it Nov 8, 2012

Sarah McDowell wrote:

Has anyone else received such strange requests?


Sure. To tell you the truth, I collect these nonsense inquiries. Let me share you some of my personal favourites:

#3
A typical mass mail with a "minor" discrepancy:
Our agency is currently looking for translators and proofreaders in your language combination. I came across your CV on the internet and found it really promising. Please send us your CV along with your best rate...

#2
The best argument to lower one's price:
If you are interested in a cooperation, send us your CV and best rate. Please note that India is a very poor country...


#1
My favourite closing words:
I hope to hear soon.


Consider these e-mails as jokes.

Cheers,
Gyula



[Módosítva: 2012-11-08 11:05 GMT]


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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:48
German to English
Delete... Nov 8, 2012

I've had five job offers from one agency at well below my stated rates. I tried writing back and pointing out my rates to them, twice. Both emails were ignored. Now I just hit the "delete" button...

Steve


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Eileen Ferguson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:48
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
Unreasonable expectations Nov 8, 2012

It seems there is really no such thing as business moral. I received the following offer at 5 pm a couple Sundays ago. Even though I did bid on the project a few days prior, I was expected to drop everything else and work throughout Sunday night to complete the translation of 3500 words from a poor quality pdf file. Never mind the red flags that went up owing to the fact that this total stranger from a seemingly reputable translation agency was referring to me as "dearest".

Dear Eileen,

Please to ”meet” you dearest… J I have received your data, but finally assigned the file to another resource… We have had a major problem with it, though.

The translator who was assigned this German>Eng translation task (one of our core ones) has suffered the loss of his wife on Friday. Nevertheless, he managed to send me this morning the first translated file (i.e., a first approach before his own edit and DTP, see it attached) He is overwhelmed to finish with the edit and final DTP task on it.

Would it be possible that you help us, Eileen? We will pay you the full translation rate $0.12 per Eng target wordcount (3500 words approx.) for we need this file today Sunday anytime, by 11 p.m. Eastern time at the most.

Waiting for your kindly answer asap, my dearest…

All the best,

Attached: PDF German source, Word Eng Translation (without edit and DTP tasks)


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Weird morals Nov 8, 2012

Eileen-Ferguson wrote:
It seems there is really no such thing as business moral. ... I was expected to drop everything else and work throughout Sunday night to complete the translation...


Were you expected or were you requested?

Their usual translator had a family crisis, and they needed a replacement translator who could deal with an unusually short deadline. What aspect of that job was not in line with business moral?


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Weird requests Nov 8, 2012

TMI usually = SCAM

Samuel Murray wrote:


Their usual translator had a family crisis, and they needed a replacement translator who could deal with an unusually short deadline. What aspect of that job was not in line with business moral?



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xxxSitiens
Sweden
Local time: 08:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
Not really Nov 8, 2012

I haven't really had weird requests. Although some projects are crazier than others, in terms of instructions (especially when they conflict each other!).

The most troublesome cooperation was one with an Indian agency, in the beginning of my career. I should never have accepted to work with them, because it was insane. In the mornings I had nine missing calls (somehow they missed that I live in Sweden and that there're several time zones between us). They asked me to translate a pdf, then when I was done, sent it back and complained that they didn't get an editable pdf.

Suffice to say, I only did that one project for them and then declined any further cooperation. On the upside, I learned very much from that experience.


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