How to get a work from agencies
Thread poster: xxxGianky70
xxxGianky70
English to Italian
+ ...
Feb 17, 2010

Hi,
this is my fist time in http://www.proz.com/ because I'm a beginner in translation.
As I'm going to work for translation agencies, I'd like to know how you usually behave in taking into account a work from the agency. I mean, after getting a text to translate from the translation agency, which steps do you generally follow for translating it? Do I have to pretend to analyze the text for a while and afterwords to give them how many hours/days it will take to translate the text by giving them a paper with the price per word or what else? In other words which is the "iter" do you usually follow for preparing your job?
Thanks!


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Rifraf
Local time: 09:17
Internet Feb 17, 2010

You can pretend all you want...

Pfew; I'm lost for words...
How about you ask agencies how they work with their freelance translators?
And there's so much information to be found on the Internet!


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:17
German to English
+ ...
Be honest. Feb 17, 2010

Gianky70 wrote:
...
Do I have to pretend to analyze the text for a while and afterwords to give them how many hours/days it will take to translate the text by giving them a paper with the price per word or what else?
...


Welcome to ProZ, Gianky!

I wouldn't pretend to do anything. Either do it or don't—honesty is the best policy.

To answer your question, however, here is a rough outline of what I do:
1. I receive the inquiry from the client.
2. I review the text to see whether it is in my language pair and field of specialization (if not, then I try to recommend a trusted colleague).
3. I review the price offered or offer a price (usually per word).
4. I also review the number of words in the document and decide whether I will be able to complete the translation on time, i.e., by the time the client would like to have the translation back. If I think I won't be able to finish it on time, I suggest a deadline that would work for me.
5. If all of these things can be worked out (i.e., negotiated) with the client, and I get the go ahead, then I start my administrative process (e.g., putting the files in the right folder structure, giving the project a number for invoicing, etc.).
6. I then translate the document, taking into account any and all details that were arranged during negotiations.
7. When I have finished the translation, I draw up an invoice based on what we negotiated.
8. I email the translation back to the client on time and (usually) together with a copy of the invoice, the original of which I then send per snail-mail.
9. I check my bank account a couple of weeks later to make sure the client paid (if not, then the lawyer in me wakes up and is usually in a nasty mood).
10. ????
11. PROFIT!!!

You may also consider taking a look at the forum, "Getting Established," which contains a lot of helpful tips.

Good luck!


[Edited at 2010-02-17 09:50 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:17
English to German
+ ...
Hi Gianky Feb 17, 2010

Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself? Such as your language pairs, if you studied translation, what is your current profession and such. To pack all the accumulated know-how into a forum thread is a bit much to ask for.

First of all: What makes you think that you have to "pretend" to analyze a text?


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
Italian to English
+ ...
Meaning of "Pretend" Feb 17, 2010

Given his/her location, Gianky is probably a native Italian speaker, and the Italian "pretendere" and the English "pretend" are false friends. I'd say he/she is simply asking if he/she will be expected to analyse the text.


[Edited at 2010-02-17 11:17 GMT]


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:17
English to French
+ ...
Many agencies ask for your rates first Feb 17, 2010

It's not that often that you have to provide your quote for a job. Usually, the agencies ask for your rates first. If they are fine with your rates, then they send you jobs, usually stating their word count. It does not take into account the difficulty nor the adequation to your profile. So your hourly income may vary a lot.
The first thing you must do, when you receive a job, is to check the word count. If it does not match the agency's word count, let them know right away.
Don't expect agencies to provide jobs which are fitted with your skills. Many of them are not experts in estimating the difficulty of a text. Review carefully, do your own selection, and accept what you feel confident with, decline the rest. You can always decline a job. You don't need to say that you don't want it, you can simply say that you are not available right now.


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xxxGianky70
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Who I am Feb 17, 2010

Sorry for not having said nothing about me.
I'm Italian. I'm an IT consultant and I deal with databases, but I do like reading in English and in Spanish, so I'm keeping in touch with some agencies for translating from these two languages in Italian with reference to IT materials (documents, tutorials, ...).
When I've used the term "pretend" I meant if it usually makes sense to ask for analyzing the text before translating it and above all what I have to do before getting and starting the work.

Have a good day!


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
Italian to English
+ ...
For Gianky Feb 17, 2010

Gianky70 wrote:

Sorry for not having said nothing about me.
I'm Italian. I'm an IT consultant and I deal with databases, but I do like reading in English and in Spanish, so I'm keeping in touch with some agencies for translating from these two languages in Italian with reference to IT materials (documents, tutorials, ...).
When I've used the term "pretend" I meant if it usually makes sense to ask for analyzing the text before translating it and above all what I have to do before getting and starting the work.



"Pretend" in English means "far finta", which is why people misunderstood you. What you actually asked (which is clearly not what you wanted to ask) is "devo far finta di analizzare il testo...?"

So from what you've said above, you're asking if you should expect the agency to analyse the text?



[Edited at 2010-02-17 13:22 GMT]


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Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:17
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
On analyzing the text Feb 17, 2010

This step is key in the whole process but there's a (growing) tendency of outsourcers not giving us enough time to read the text once so you better learn to quickly SCAN the text while still being able to assess both the timescale needed for handling it and whether you can do it in a proficient manner. This ain't an easy thing to learn though.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:17
English to German
+ ...
That's a great start, Gianky Feb 17, 2010

You can offer a lot of expertise, which is excellent.

Here is a bit about agencies:

- You never work FOR an agency, you work WITH an agency as a contractor and business partner.
- You are supposed to set your own rates. Most agencies will ask you for your rates anyway, then they will decide if you will match their budget. However: Their rates are never, never, ever set in stone. Negotiate, because in most cases they are looking for a specialist (in your case IT), and they will pay any rate. Forget about the ones who don't care.
- You don't have to analyze the text. This is the agency's job, this is what they are paid for - to analyze texts and to prepare them into translator-friendly formats. To double-check in terms of wordcount can never hurt because you are dealing with human beings, just as you are.
- Suggested deadlines are not set in stone either, it is your job to check if you are comfortable with a particular time frame. If not, decline, for the sake of quality. At all times the translator is the one to determine how much research will be involved, provided that you actually HAVE the expertise. Nobody can expect a Project Manager to know all and everything about the subject matter. After all, that's why they hired you, the specialist.
- Ask for a PO where all the job details are stated, such as volume, delivery date, special instructions, rates, job number, etc.
- After you delivered your translation, the agency will forward your work to an editor who will double-check your work because nobody is perfect. NOTE: The really good agencies will send the editor's work back to the translator who has the final saying which changes will be accepted and which ones are to be declined. Then you send the final version. And your invoice. Eventually.

Since you are in touch with agencies already this shouldn't be much news.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
pretender ... Feb 17, 2010

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

Given his/her location, Gianky is probably a native Italian speaker, and the Italian "pretendere" and the English "pretend" are false friends. I'd say he/she is simply asking if he/she will be expected to analyse the text.


[Edited at 2010-02-17 11:17 GMT]


It's a false friend in Spanish, too (pretender [not "pretender" as in "faker" in English]). I hope that Gianki isn't smarting from the scoldings some other posters gave him.

Still, this will be a very important lesson about "false friends" for this beginning translator!!

Patricia


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