Freelance Translator Agreement
Thread poster: Omri Radai

Omri Radai
Israel
Local time: 01:44
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Aug 16, 2018

Hi everyone

Can you help with reviewing this standard contract? Also, do decisions on delivery time in email threads count legally? That is, do I need to document the specific date for each work in a separate contract? I am working with one client on several different projects, so I'd like to find the simplest method to get through the bureaucratic part and start translating.
Otherwise, if anyone has a freelance
... See more
Hi everyone

Can you help with reviewing this standard contract? Also, do decisions on delivery time in email threads count legally? That is, do I need to document the specific date for each work in a separate contract? I am working with one client on several different projects, so I'd like to find the simplest method to get through the bureaucratic part and start translating.
Otherwise, if anyone has a freelance translation agreement sample they can share with me, I'd appreciate it a lot.

Below is the contract.
Thank you


Preamble to Translation Contract:
The Translation Contract aims to give interested parties a detailed description of the Terms and Conditions of our translation service. All clients are required to sign this Contract when placing an order with the Translation Company; any client placing an order with us is deemed to have read and accepted this Contract. Depending on circumstances, a separate agreement (e.g. a special confidentiality agreement) may be signed between the Contracting Parties. This Preamble is an integral part of the Translation Contract.
________________________________________
Translation Contract
This Contract dated:
Parties to the Contract
Client :
Translation Company :
With regard to the translation of documents entrusted by the Client with the Translation Company (hereinafter, Company), the parties to this Contract, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and by mutual agreement, have negotiated and hereby agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions:
1. The Client is to provide the Company with books or materials to be translated by the Company.
2. The Client hereby warrants to the Company that he has obtained the necessary copyright for the said materials, and that the said materials contain nothing of a nature that may be the cause of a criminal or civil prosecution. The client shall indemnify and keep the Company indemnified against all actions, costs, expenses, claims, losses, charges and liabilities arising out of or in connection with any breach of the Client. Should the Company come into knowledge of any translation requirement that is in contradiction to the relevant laws or regulations or international laws or conventions, the Company has the right to reject such translation requests.
3. Should the Client wish to raise any disagreement with the translation by the Company, the Client is entitled to request, within seven days from receipt of the translation, that the Company make revisions to the translation within a reasonable specified time frame and at no further cost to the Client, until he is satisfied with the translation.
4. The Company is entitled to request that the Client provide, at no cost to the Company, background information and references pertaining to the translation.
5. The Company shall make every effort to render a quality translation that is true to the original text, is accurate, and is coherent. This notwithstanding, the Client’s attention is drawn to the following circumstances: that some words may not be translatable, that no absolute equivalence of two words or expressions exists between any two languages or even within the same language, and that there exists a great diversity in different languages or within the same language. As a consequence, no two translations are exactly the same. Although it is the responsibility of the translator to minimize this type of discrepancies, the Client is however not entitled to rejecting the translation on account of a translator’s particular choice of words.
6. The Company, being a professional translation company, observes the ethics of the profession and is responsible for the accuracy of the translation and for confidentiality of the assignment (a separate confidentiality agreement may be signed), but is free from any other responsibilities or liabilities in connection with the document being translated. Irrespective of the profit or loss of the Client’s business, the Company is entitled to the full translation fee.
7. The Company shall return the relevant background information and the translation to the Client on the due day.
8. Any loss arising from a delay on the part of the Client in providing the Company the relevant background information or other materials relating to the translation shall be borne by the Client.
9. Should the Company be unable to provide a translation that is up to standard and according to the delivery time table, the Client has the right to terminate the Contract and hold the Company as in breach of the Contract.
10. Unless the Company is in breach of this Contract, the Client shall pay the translation fee in full and within 30 days of the completion and submitting of the translation, failing which the Company is entitled to the full translation fee plus 20% of the same amount as compensation.
11. Should the Client wish to amend the original text and this necessitates corresponding amendments in the translation, the Company is entitled to an amendment fee. Alternatively, the Company, having been in receipt of the full payment for the original translation, has the right to reassess the charges for the parts of the text that are affected by the amendment. If additional translation is required, separate charges are levied.
12. Should this Contract be frustrated in full or in part due to force majeure, the Parties to the Contract shall be relieved of all liabilities relating thereto.
13. Should this Contract require any corrections, amendments, substitution, or alteration, the same must be in writing and must clearly make reference to this Contract. Any supplements to this Contract must be signed by an authorized person or representative of each of the contracting parties.
14. This Contract is in duplicate, with each party holding one copy, and takes effect on the date it is officiated with the authorized signatures and company common seals appended hereunder.
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Why? Aug 17, 2018

I’ve gone 25 years without needing any contract beyond an email exchange saying what I will translate and when, and what they will pay and when... and I’m sure I’m not alone!

Sabine Braun
Christine Andersen
Teresa Borges
Daryo
Lucien Rousseau
Michele Fauble
Thayenga
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
verbal contract Aug 17, 2018

Chris, while oral contract may suffice for starting the translation, there's no oral financial accountability, let alone "one's word against other's" stuff.

How do you agree the specific terms and reservations, which you could prove?
What about 'oral' PO? And if you're working with foreign clients, how regarding other possible external contract nuances? Whatever.

As f
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Chris, while oral contract may suffice for starting the translation, there's no oral financial accountability, let alone "one's word against other's" stuff.

How do you agree the specific terms and reservations, which you could prove?
What about 'oral' PO? And if you're working with foreign clients, how regarding other possible external contract nuances? Whatever.

As for me, before I started working as an interpreter with direct clients, in my country I preferred to see all contractual terms in black and white--beforehand, so I could think that over and check the copies)
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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Serbian to English
+ ...
It comes to a point where Aug 17, 2018

you simply can not think in advance of all sort of situation that could occur.

You could make a 100 page contract, and still end up in some unforeseen situation, or discover that some clauses you relied upon are simply unenforceable, or ...

Repeating what is part of the law is pointless - it applies anyway automatically, repeating basics of the profession is also waste of time (except for the lawyers charging for drafting the contract, of course), in case of disagreemen
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you simply can not think in advance of all sort of situation that could occur.

You could make a 100 page contract, and still end up in some unforeseen situation, or discover that some clauses you relied upon are simply unenforceable, or ...

Repeating what is part of the law is pointless - it applies anyway automatically, repeating basics of the profession is also waste of time (except for the lawyers charging for drafting the contract, of course), in case of disagreement any court will anyway look at what are the "standards / customs of the profession", so I would tend to agree with Chris S: all you really need for sure is to agree about the specification of services to be delivered and a schedule of payment, and preferably have some traces of that agreement - an exchange of emails should be enough.

And be sure WHO you are dealing with - far more important than any piece of paper. If one of the parties has overestimated its capacities, or is acting mala fides, no amount of legal prose is going to be of much help ...
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Thayenga
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No, you aren't alone Aug 17, 2018

Chris S wrote:
I’ve gone 25 years without needing any contract beyond an email exchange saying what I will translate and when, and what they will pay and when... and I’m sure I’m not alone!

I've never drawn up a legalese-style contract in over 20 years and I've only signed a dozen or so presented by clients. I rarely receive POs either. I much prefer a simple exchange of emails. They constitute a contract, anyway.

The only comments I have, Omri, are:

1. Are you actually trading as a company? You may well be but I think the majority of us aren't.

2. Are all the clauses actually practical? I certainly wouldn't fancy my own chances of wringing an extra 20% out of a client who was already proving unreliable by not paying promptly. Nice idea, but...

Neither would I let the client decide when a translation is good enough. If they can provide sufficient reason for specific changes, all well and good. But I'm not going to let them force me to wreck a perfectly good translation just because they prefer their own version of franglais !


Teresa Borges
Kevin Fulton
Ricardo Suin
 

Omri Radai
Israel
Local time: 01:44
English to Hebrew
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 19, 2018

I've learned a lot from all of your replies.
Thanks a lot for sharing and taking the time to explain and provide examples.


 

Steve R.
United States
Russian to English
Sometimes pointless, sometimes not Aug 19, 2018

In my experience, if it's a straightforward transaction, there's little need to conclude a contract, as most terms will be covered by applicable law, e.g. contract, intellectual property, commercial law, etc. with their respective liability structures. On the other hand, where parties urge the need for such contractual elements as non-disclosure, specific rights transfer, and data protection clauses, it usually makes sense to submit them into a broader service provision agreement.

O
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In my experience, if it's a straightforward transaction, there's little need to conclude a contract, as most terms will be covered by applicable law, e.g. contract, intellectual property, commercial law, etc. with their respective liability structures. On the other hand, where parties urge the need for such contractual elements as non-disclosure, specific rights transfer, and data protection clauses, it usually makes sense to submit them into a broader service provision agreement.

Of course, the territorial limit of enforcement throws a big, fat wrench into the above when translators deal internationally, so it really depends.

At any rate, a sweeping dismissal of the usefulness of contracting is rather myopic, in my opinion. Clients don't ask to contract because it's fun for them; sometimes they're asking simply because it's company policy to have one, and that's perfectly understandable.
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RashmiP
United States
Local time: 15:44
Translators Policy Sep 10, 2018

It totally depends the on translators policies which may changes. With some of the translators it stringent and with some it's not.

 


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