Off topic: Translation Agencies opening requests
Thread poster: Helene van der Westhuizen

Helene van der Westhuizen  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 07:09
Member (2013)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Sep 11, 2018

This should probably have been under the forum: Translation Agencies, but when I clicked on it, got an error message that the forum may not exist.

I'd just like to know how other members feel about requests from agencies that ask if you're available and if you're interested, and then for your best rates for translation or proofreading, as the case may be, without telling you anything else about the job except for the source and target languages. You don't know how big the job is, an
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This should probably have been under the forum: Translation Agencies, but when I clicked on it, got an error message that the forum may not exist.

I'd just like to know how other members feel about requests from agencies that ask if you're available and if you're interested, and then for your best rates for translation or proofreading, as the case may be, without telling you anything else about the job except for the source and target languages. You don't know how big the job is, and while you may have a day or a few hours available for a small job, you don't necessarily have a week to do a big job.

Thanks

Helene
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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:09
French to English
I ignore vague requests Sep 11, 2018

I ignore vague requests from agencies. If they have a specific need, they will request the details they need. If they are generally fishing about to see what your "best" rates are, I delete the message immediately. Why? I hate this use of "best". For the agency, it means "lowest rate". For a freelancer, the sky is the limit! I suggest you don't waste any time even replying to a mail that is likely to start a useless exchange about how little you are prepared to work for. If a casual approach is ... See more
I ignore vague requests from agencies. If they have a specific need, they will request the details they need. If they are generally fishing about to see what your "best" rates are, I delete the message immediately. Why? I hate this use of "best". For the agency, it means "lowest rate". For a freelancer, the sky is the limit! I suggest you don't waste any time even replying to a mail that is likely to start a useless exchange about how little you are prepared to work for. If a casual approach is a ploy as an opener to a business relationship about something as important as rates, would you really want to work with an agency that has a casual attitude to money?Collapse


Mari Rosman
Valérie Ourset
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:09
Member
Italian to English
I only reply to those addressed specifically to me Sep 11, 2018

My biggest peeve is when "agencies" send a request containing only the language combination. What's the project about? Moral philosophy? Nuclear Fission for Dummies? A menu for a Michelin-starred restaurant? A manual for budding neurosurgeons? Nor do they mention volume, job format, deadline, or other "minor" details. After the umpteenth email which opened "Dear ," I started only replying to agencies who have deliberately sought me out, address me by name, and who are interested in the services ... See more
My biggest peeve is when "agencies" send a request containing only the language combination. What's the project about? Moral philosophy? Nuclear Fission for Dummies? A menu for a Michelin-starred restaurant? A manual for budding neurosurgeons? Nor do they mention volume, job format, deadline, or other "minor" details. After the umpteenth email which opened "Dear ," I started only replying to agencies who have deliberately sought me out, address me by name, and who are interested in the services I provide. Since it really doesn't take much to approach a potential colleague in a business-like manner, anything with even the slightest whiff of a mass-mail gets fast-tracked to its own special little trash can.Collapse


Vera Schoen
Valérie Ourset
MEREDITH IRENE NIKIDES
Mirko Mainardi
Tina Vonhof
Michele Fauble
Desiree Tigerstrand Cox
 

Mari Rosman
Norway
Local time: 06:09
English to Norwegian
+ ...
You can always ask for details Sep 12, 2018

I would be willing to talk to them in a respectful manner. Respect goes both ways. I would ask what sort of work it is, and how many words. If they can not give me this information, I would not say yes. Ask for their information first, then give them your price.

Tania123
Tina Vonhof
 

Valérie Ourset
Spain
Local time: 06:09
Member (2018)
English to French
+ ...
It depends on the agency Sep 12, 2018

If it is an agency I usually work with and I know that the PM is new, I insist so that I get more information. I still do not understand why some agencies think that translators are not interested in the field of the text. I always ask what is the text about and really do appreciate when the agency sends me an extract of the text. It is a matter of "education" and "get to know you" I guess. If after three or four jobs, I can see that the agency does not understand the basic information I need (s... See more
If it is an agency I usually work with and I know that the PM is new, I insist so that I get more information. I still do not understand why some agencies think that translators are not interested in the field of the text. I always ask what is the text about and really do appreciate when the agency sends me an extract of the text. It is a matter of "education" and "get to know you" I guess. If after three or four jobs, I can see that the agency does not understand the basic information I need (subject, type of text, number of words and price, I seriously think not working for them anymore as I do not feel respected.Collapse


 

IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:09
Member (2005)
French to English


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


I ignore impersonal requests... Sep 12, 2018

... if the rates or deadlines are unrealistic or I have no availability. I agree with Nikki that requests with insufficient information should be disregarded, although if an assignment sounds promising, one should explicitly make one's consent subject to the client's confirmation of the missing items - avoid a "pig in a poke".

With kind regards,

Adam Warren (IanDhu - translator 41189).


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:09
Member
Italian to English


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Hmmm Sep 12, 2018

Mari Rosman wrote:

I would be willing to talk to them in a respectful manner. Respect goes both ways. I would ask what sort of work it is, and how many words. If they can not give me this information, I would not say yes. Ask for their information first, then give them your price.


If I want to buy a pair of sneakers and go to my local shopping mall, I don't stand in the middle and yell "Anyone here sell sneakers?" I'd be hauled out by security pretty quickly. If I actually take the time to identify which shops sell sports gear, not only do I not get taken for a madwoman, I get a much more positive response from everyone, and save time in the process.


Mirko Mainardi
Helene van der Westhuizen
 

Ada Mirasol Navarro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:09
Member (2017)
English to Spanish
+ ...
And then no work Sep 13, 2018

My view is that of someone that is starting and tries to make new clients every day, so I tend to answer all requests for information, regardless of how vague they are.

However, what bothers me are agencies that don't provide you with much information about the project itself, send a lot of documentation to read through, ask you to learn new CAT tools and then send no work. It feels like a waste of time.

I should stop replying to this type of generic emails but then, no
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My view is that of someone that is starting and tries to make new clients every day, so I tend to answer all requests for information, regardless of how vague they are.

However, what bothers me are agencies that don't provide you with much information about the project itself, send a lot of documentation to read through, ask you to learn new CAT tools and then send no work. It feels like a waste of time.

I should stop replying to this type of generic emails but then, nothing much comes through so... I guess translators that are just starting have to play this game while more established professionals can afford to ignore vague requests from agencies.
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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:09
French to English
Intros Sep 13, 2018

I must be truly "old school" but I never reply to overly personal requests either. I ignore emails starting with "Dear Translator" but also those starting with "Hi Nikki", when we have never met, virtually or otherwise. The "Hi Nikki" emails are 99.9% more general than a raincloud over the British Isles and give no details of what they are really looking for. I take my work as a translator seriously and expect my clients to be serious about their work too.

P.S. I am actually a very
... See more
I must be truly "old school" but I never reply to overly personal requests either. I ignore emails starting with "Dear Translator" but also those starting with "Hi Nikki", when we have never met, virtually or otherwise. The "Hi Nikki" emails are 99.9% more general than a raincloud over the British Isles and give no details of what they are really looking for. I take my work as a translator seriously and expect my clients to be serious about their work too.

P.S. I am actually a very smiley even-tempered sort of person and intend to stay that way, which is why I give these clients an extremely wide berth!
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Philippe SALMON
 

Helene van der Westhuizen  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 07:09
Member (2013)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks. Sep 13, 2018

Thanks for all the feedback. Much appreciated.

 


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