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Gut gebrüllt, Löwe! (aka The Masked Translator rocks!) August 4, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.

FYI, Gut gebrüllt, Löwe basically means “Right on!” (literally: Well roared, lion)…

The Masked Translator has a fantastic post about translation agencies’ communication methods with their translators. Masked Translator then breaks down the various forms of communication, which include mass e-mails, assigning jobs to the fastest responder (so not worth anyone’s time!) and agency newsletters. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you immediately click on the above link. I would add that agencies need to clearly state at the top of the e-mail or in the subject line that they are sending out a mass e-mail or an e-mail inquiry without a confirmed job attached.

Two months ago one of my best friends received an e-mail from an agency that appeared to be a job request on a Friday afternoon that was due on Monday. Since she had an open P.O. with them for a related job she assumed it was a confirmed request and spent the weekend translating the job and delivered it, only to be told that the job had been assigned to someone else.

I myself fell victim to something similar over the July 4th weekend. A client (agency owner) sent me a job request on July 4th with a Tuesday deadline to my Gmail account (something I had asked him not to do several times). I had an autoresponder on my two main e-mail accounts informing my clients I was out of the office for the holiday weekend. I checked my mail Sunday night and responded (with a CC: to the specified project manager as well) that I would be happy to accept the job. The client never responded on Monday at all (not even to say they had given the job to someone else), so I proofread the job and delivered it that night. The next day I received a terse e-mail stating a PO had never been issued (literally one sentence long), so I had wasted three hours proofreading 12 pages (the translation was terrible!). I responded saying they should have written on Monday when I agreed to take the job and let me know they had assigned it to someone else. I then cut my losses and wrote them off. Needless to say I will never work with that agency again, and I assume they realize that because I haven’t heard from them since.



1. Masked Translator - August 6, 2008

Thanks for the kind words, and my condolences on your and your friend’s tribulations with badly run agencies. Perhaps PMs around the world will forward links to posts like ours and word will get out. 🙂

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