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An attempt to stop agencies ripping us off. Vote if you agree. (UK only)
Thread poster: Rad Graban

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
English to Slovak
+ ...
Jul 10, 2010

Just an attempt to stop agencies to rip us off.icon_smile.gifhttp://spendingchallenge.hm-treasury.gov.uk/how-can-we-rethink-public-services-to-deliver-more-for-less/translation-interpreting/idea-view

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-07-11 00:12 GMT]


 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
Agreed, liked... and voted Jul 10, 2010

icon_smile.gif

 

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
English to Slovak
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Nesrin Jul 10, 2010

Thank you.icon_smile.gif

 

Steven F Smith
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
Member (2007)
Japanese to English
A bit of history Jul 10, 2010

The government used to work directly with freelancers until about 2007 when the decision was made to outsource to agencies. There was a fair amount of protest at the time from translators (e.g http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article3042104.ece ) but it seems nothing came of it. Still, I support your petition.

[Edited at 2010-07-10 17:09 GMT]


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
Flemish to English
+ ...
If the government really wants to cut costs... Jul 10, 2010

it should look at multilingual countries. Belgium, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Canada employ translators and interpreters as civil servants.
They earn about £20-30K per annum.
They are recruited after having passed competitive exams containing difficult vocabulary and expressions. Either they are added to the department or their department consists of about 10 people.
This would weed out the intermediaries and unqualified, self-anointed translators, ensure quality and cut costs.


[Edited at 2010-07-10 17:15 GMT]


 

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
English to Slovak
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Steven Jul 10, 2010

Give is a vote then.:)

Steven F Smith wrote:
The government used to work directly with freelancers until about 2007 when the decision was made to outsource to agencies. There was a fair amount of protest at the time from translators (e.g http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article3042104.ece ) but it seems nothing came of it. Still, I support your petition.

[Edited at 2010-07-10 17:09 GMT]


 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
Pre-2007 Jul 10, 2010

Steven F Smith wrote:

The government used to work directly with freelancers until about 2007 when the decision was made to outsource to agencies. There was a fair amount of protest at the time from translators (e.g http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article3042104.ece ) but it seems nothing came of it. Still, I support your petition.

[Edited at 2010-07-10 17:09 GMT]


Pre-2007 the government didn't work exclusively with freelancers though, as far as I know. I did plenty of government translation work (some of it quite sensitive) through one particular agency between 2002 and 2006. I did have to be vetted though. They paid absolute peanuts, and I'm sure they charged the government at least 4x as much, but on the plus side the work was abundant and steady..


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:45
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
20 years ago ... Jul 11, 2010

Twenty years or more ago, I started working as a freelance translator for what was then the Ministry of Overseas Development. I was teaching French and Spanish at secondary school level at the time, and translated in the evening and at weekends. They paid peanuts back then, but it got me started and was excellent experience on a wide variety of development topics. I also had considerable work experience in the investment banking and property development worlds. Later I became a full-time freelancer and have never looked back.
It's a pity if the government, now rightly so intent on cutting costs, uses agencies to place their translations - much more expensive of course - rather than having lists of freelance translators as in the past.
What about a campaign of letters to our MPs pointing out this cost-cutting possibility - of benefit to us personally and to the country as a whole?
Best wishes
Jenny


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:45
Member
Italian to English
Impressions count Jul 11, 2010

I agree in principle, however it is difficult for freelancers to be taken seriously with such sloppy language and grammar.

 

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
English to Slovak
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Really Fiona? Jul 11, 2010

Fiona Peterson wrote:
I agree in principle, however it is difficult for freelancers to be taken seriously with such sloppy language and grammar.


It was just an idea and I really wasn't expecting anyone bitching about my language and grammar. Do your own "smartest-of the-smart-arses-translator". Excuse my language, but you did piss me off.


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:45
Member
Italian to English
Personal opinion Jul 11, 2010

I was simply stating my professional and personal opinion; this is a discussion forum after all. I am sorry that you seem to have taken my post as a personal attack and criticism of your language skills - if you read carefully you will see this is not the case.

I know my contributions to the Italian forum are not 100% grammatically correct; I would never dream of criticising the language used on a forum. However you are contesting the use of agencies over freelancers; you are representing your profession through the words you put on a page, so why be less than accurate because it was "just an idea"?

My intention was not to offend, and if I have done so I apologise.


 

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 16:45
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
one question Jul 11, 2010

Steven F Smith wrote:

The government used to work directly with freelancers until about 2007 when the decision was made to outsource to agencies. There was a fair amount of protest at the time from translators (e.g http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article3042104.ece ) but it seems nothing came of it. Still, I support your petition.

[Edited at 2010-07-10 17:09 GMT]


Hi Steven,

Do you mean that from 2007 onwards, UK gov agencies and institutions cannot (for some formal reasons) give work to freelancers? Only to agencies?

Thanks in advance for the info!


 

John Farebrother  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
If the government really wants to cut costs... Jul 12, 2010

The government's main concern is being seen to cut costs. They just set the overall budget policy, they don't care about individual budget lines, even if the result is more waste ('where there's muck there's brass'); unless of course it becomes the subject of media attention. Indeed, they know better than most of us how these things 'work' in practice. And least of all do they care about individual contractors who think they should be treated fairly.

[Edited at 2010-07-12 07:49 GMT]


 

N Andersson
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:45
English to Swedish
Great idea, I voted. Jul 12, 2010

My vote added.icon_smile.gif

 
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