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NDAs and forms
Thread poster: Helena Grahn

Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:41
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 18, 2012

What is your opinion when all these agencies approach you with a so-called translation and then when you ask to see the file they come with pages for you to sign + NDAs just for a sample? Is the job really there? Most of the times, there isn't anything. I am not talking about any tests here....


however, here I am talking about agencies which want you to do a test and even so they send you pages to read and sign + NDA so as they can add you to their database and again you never hear from them... If they say they need the NDA signed because there is confidential material in their tests, well... they might just as well send tests without any confidential material. Why am I supposed to sign a contract with an agency (they usually send the contract together with the NDA) if I do not even know what the results will be?


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Opinion May 18, 2012

I find being asked to fill in this kind of thing tiresome. Requests for "updated CVs" and "best rates" also result in short shrift. My way of looking at it is that if they approach me, they have already made a pre-selection.

I expect my clients to take my discretion for granted.


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xxxchristela
Simple May 18, 2012

Helena Grahn wrote:
however, here I am talking about agencies which want you to do a test and even so they send you pages to read and sign + NDA so as they can add you to their database and again you never hear from them...


Updating databases is a good thing for keeping trainees and junior PMs busy. And also, lots of things can be found in CVs.
For the external translators it's a kind of tennis tournament: 64 players, next round they'll be 32, etc., thereafter there's one winner and 63 are disappointed.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
If he says there is a job... May 18, 2012

Helena Grahn wrote:
What is your opinion when all these agencies approach you with a so-called translation and then when you ask to see the file they come with pages for you to sign + NDAs just for a sample? Is the job really there? Most of the times, there isn't anything.


If the client says that there is a job, then I assume that there is a job (even if I end up not getting the job). While one has to be careful not to be done in, I think the basis of international freelance work is: trust first, distrust later. If you're going to approach your clients or potential clients with distrust, you won't enjoy your work.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Neil (or Mac) May 18, 2012

neilmac wrote:
My way of looking at it is that if they approach me, they have already made a pre-selection.


Do you mean you don't mind signing NDAs because of this, or that you object to signing NDAs because of this?


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Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:41
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Actually, reading it over again, the client never said he had the job to offer... May 18, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

If the client says that there is a job, then I assume that there is a job (even if I end up not getting the job). While one has to be careful not to be done in, I think the basis of international freelance work is: trust first, distrust later. If you're going to approach your clients or potential clients with distrust, you won't enjoy your work.


here is what they say....

Do you have any experience in Legal/Tax/Law for Brazilian Portuguese to English?

If yes then please explain me your experience and also let us know your best rates.

After having replied to the customer in potential, he sends me the forms and NDA to read and fill in so I can see a sample of the file to be translated.... My lack of trust comes from dozens of agencies doing that and no job is presented... unfortunately, once bitten, twice shy...

I do not think there is a job from this agency as he told me to take my time to fill in all docs.... they always find a way to try and get you in their database for future projects.... but not honest enough to admit it.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
NDA should not have to be signed prior to taking on a job... May 18, 2012

...and just for the purpose of viewing a document so that you can determine whether you will or will not accept a project.

If the agency is concerned about client confidentiality, they can create a version of the document blanking out personal information (something pretty easy to do with "Find and Replace" in MS Word, and not terribly difficult manually with a couple of pdf pages, if the document is unconvertible to Word).

There are probably even ways of blotting out information onscreen without having to print out the document.

Having to fill out an NDA for a job that you may not get seems to me entirely unacceptable.



[Edited at 2012-05-18 20:28 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I sign them with a PO in the hand May 18, 2012

Indeed, I entirely share your analysis. Why on earth do they want us to sign all sorts of little things with no real job? I tend to sign any documents when there is a PO already in place and they need the signed documents to send me the actual files --confidential or not.

I really think some agencies are dead document-hungry, even with no real purpose.


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xxxchristela
Well May 19, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:

...and just for the purpose of viewing a document so that you can determine whether you will or will not accept a project.

...

Having to fill out an NDA for a job that you may not get seems to me entirely unacceptable.



There are agencies which absolutely don't have the right to show documents, even blanked out, even parts of them, to people who didn't sign an NDA. The NDA is here the minimum protection requested by their own clients.

[Edited at 2012-05-19 07:18 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:41
Member
French to English
+ ...
I agree May 19, 2012

I think most agencies have an NDA-type commitment to their customers, and it would make a nonsense of this if they then released parts of confidential documents to all and sundry without that same provision. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't built in to their ISO 90001 or whatever certification...

I don't think it at all unreasonable that an agency seeking to work with me for the first time make this request, and if it is an agency I am interested in working for at some time in the future, then I will happily comply.

However, in passing, do let's note that a lot of the chunks of context we all post on KudoZ may very well be in breach of our NDAs!


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Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:41
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
then... May 19, 2012

well then they shouldn't include the NDA in their contract as many do....

Yes, many agencies include the NDA within their contract so instead of reading perhaps what, 1 or 2 pages for the NDA, you have to go through 6 or 8 because of their own rules. It makes no sense whatsoever, especially when they are asking you to do a test and you do not know what the results will be.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The limits of security May 20, 2012

If an agency really thinks that I (or any other freelancer), having received a document for review to determine whether I would take on a translation or not, would subsequently distribute it to all and sundry, then we are dealing with a fairly extreme level of paranoia.

And if the worry is that my system might be hacked into and the sensitive document in question thus extracted, then I cannot guarantee this will not happen at any time after I have signed the NDA, and while I am working on the project.

If documents are truly of a sensitive nature, then it would seem that the safest solution would be for a translator to not only work from hard copies, but to produce the translation on a typewriter so that it could not be accessed from the hard drive on his or her computer.


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Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:41
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
agreed, Robert May 20, 2012

In the end, it is a useless thing to do... just more red tapes. I personally do not have patience with that anymore. And sometimes, with all these agencies approaching me, I even think there are more agencies than translators ... just manic!

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Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:41
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
NDA May 20, 2012

usually they also mention in the NDA that as soon as you sent them the file translated, that you must delete all files regarding it in your hard drive... excuse me! I have no interest whatsoever to keep their translations or original texts in my computer, however I do object to delete anything until I have received payment... you will need to present this material in court just in case they do not pay you.

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Priscila Wilke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
Almost same question May 21, 2012

I have been reading all the comments, and my question is almost similar to the first one. I got a reply from an agency and is asking me to fill out my vendor application (initially I did already and I wonder if whoever got my application read it at all, but I do not mind to fill it out again), sign the T&C Agreement and send my resume/CV.
However, now they are also asking I need to provide my own secondary proofreader and information of that person based on their ISO standards. I do not have any proofreader. I could find someone but the point is, I have worked in the past as proofreader and such experience is highlighted in my resume I already sent initially with the vendor application. Certainly all this tells me that they did not really read the first application and are asking me to do it again, plus signing the agreement and if I am willing to participate in a test.
I have been a freelance translator for the last 5 years, yet never before I was requested to do this, sometimes I was requested to translate non-paid test and to fill out the W-9, just simple as that. Has anyone before gone though this type of process/experience and can assist me too, please?


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