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Do you begin a translation before it's confirmed?
Thread poster: Bethany Davies

Bethany Davies  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:27
Italian to English
+ ...
Oct 21

An agency sends you a translation to see if you are available to do it and to receive a quote, and you say yes and provide your price and deadline. They then contact the client to see if they wish to proceed. Do you go ahead and start translating before the client has confirmed?

 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
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MODERATOR
Sure! Oct 21

Sure! If you want to risk the job not getting the go-ahead and potentially wasting your precious time!
Seriously though, even if the client is rock-solid, don't ever begin until you get the green light...


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Carol Rush  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:27
Member (2008)
French to English
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No Oct 21

No, wait until you get confirmation from your agency - sometimes it's a group bid, and the customer will give it to someone else, or for whatever reason they might cancel the job. It's best to wait until you have full confirmation.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:27
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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@Bethany Oct 21

Bethany Davies wrote:
An agency sends you a translation to see if you are available to do it and to receive a quote, and you say yes and provide your price and deadline. They then contact the client to see if they wish to proceed. Do you go ahead and start translating before the client has confirmed?


Sometimes, if it's short, but I don't deliver unless the job is awarded and they give me the go-ahead. More often I will start the preparations before the job is officially awarded, even if I don't start with the actual translation. Preparations may include things like setting up a project in the CAT tool, preparing the necessary TMs and glossaries, etc.

Added: obviously sometimes these are "bid" type of jobs, so amount of work I'm prepared to do before the go-ahead depends on how likely I deem it that the go-ahead will be given.

[Edited at 2019-10-21 10:09 GMT]


Bethany Davies
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:27
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Final confirmation required Oct 21

Bethany Davies wrote:
They then contact the client to see if they wish to proceed. Do you go ahead and start translating before the client has confirmed?

Absolutely not. In my experience the end client often decides not to proceed.

Dan


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Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:27
Member (2011)
Spanish to French
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Always useful to draw a parallel Oct 21

Does your plumber start working on your sink before you give him the green light?

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Anthony Keily
Local time: 14:27
Member
Italian to English
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Is your indication of availability a confirmation? Oct 21

If you've just indicated you're available, you haven't given a binding commitment either.

One of my ground rules is that my indication of availability isn't binding (otherwise I'd potentially risk losing a larger job while 'blocking' my availability for a smaller job). Obviously if a PM asks for a few minutes, that's OK, but I've had agencies coming back with "the translation is confirmed' after 4/5 days' silence!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:27
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes, sometimes Oct 21

Bethany Davies wrote:

An agency sends you a translation to see if you are available to do it and to receive a quote, and you say yes and provide your price and deadline. They then contact the client to see if they wish to proceed. Do you go ahead and start translating before the client has confirmed?


If I know the agency well, and expect confirmation to come later, I may begin looking at a job and maybe translating bits of it before it's confirmed.

Sometimes I even translate things just because I'm interested in them.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:27
Member
Italian to English
No Oct 21

Why would you?

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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:27
Member
Italian to English
To expand on my previous post... Oct 21

I know that if the translation is big, or the deadline is tight, it can be tempting to start right away before the job has been confirmed, to get a head start. But to echo what Dan pointed out, I'm finding out that clients are increasingly failing to confirm jobs, so it makes sense to wait.

 

Ebrahim mohammed  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:27
Member (2018)
English to Arabic
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Why not ?! Oct 21

Why not ?! if you have time and need some mental excercise figuring out some difficult specialized terms and puplulate your translation memory and termbase so that you will be prepared for this task and similar topic tasks in the future ........
Keep in mind it is not all about deadlines and money....


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NickyO
United Kingdom
Dutch to English
No and I rarely 'hold time' either Oct 21

I wouldn't start a project before it has been confirmed and I am also very careful about 'holding time' for a project that will 'definitely' arrive on Monday. I've had my fingers burnt too many times with that old chestnut

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:27
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
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It depends Oct 21

I never begin a translation before it’s confirmed if the project is coming from a first-time client, whatever the size and the deadline, but sometimes I will begin translating it if it comes from a repeat customer, if only to take a good look at the terminology and try to sort out any difficulties straight away.

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:27
French to English
Most of the time no. Oct 23

in the past couple of weeks, I've had a couple of interesting requests for quotes come my way. They are in the academic field, interesting projects and come at a time when I really need to keep the flow of work coming in. The universities concerned each had a specific deadline. At this time of year, universities like to finish spending any "spare" money of their budgets in order to make sure they have just as much the following year. Each project would take one week, and they would follow one af... See more
in the past couple of weeks, I've had a couple of interesting requests for quotes come my way. They are in the academic field, interesting projects and come at a time when I really need to keep the flow of work coming in. The universities concerned each had a specific deadline. At this time of year, universities like to finish spending any "spare" money of their budgets in order to make sure they have just as much the following year. Each project would take one week, and they would follow one after the other. I only ever pencilled them in and continued to accept other projects, albeit smaller, just in case.

If you accept, reserve the time for these potential jobs and refuse others in the meantime, you run the risk of having nothing at all if the biggies change their mind. I tend to indicate that the job and time will be considered confirmed once a deposit of 30% has been received. One of the unis confirmed, one is still dillying about. In the meantime, I've been kept busy on smaller jobs which has at least kept some money coming in and will be doing one of the uni projects next week. If the other uni project comes back, it'll just have to wait its turn. Now, if I had decided to start working on that particular project, unless I wanted to keep myself busy and/or learn something new, then it would have been a waste of time.

So, you can look at it several ways and ultimately, the choice is yours. In my experience though, when the project that is going to be paid finally comes in, you might need to be pretty reactive and have a fresh brain. So it can be nice to do other stuff in the meantime.
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Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:27
German to English
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definitely not Oct 24

Especially if the agency says they will contact the client first (which is standard in my experience). Some clients shop around. I've given quotes where the agency tells me six weeks later that the client suddenly decided to go ahead with the job after all. Only a portion of requests for quotes lead to confirmation by the client in my experience.

Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 
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