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Tips on How to Better Connect with your Freelancers (GALAxy newsletter article) March 22, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Translation.
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I was recently asked to contribute an article for the Globalization and Localization Association’s GALAxy newsletter, which was just published in the last few days. GALA is holding its 2012 conference in Monaco this week, so the timing couldn’t be better. Since GALA is targeted to globalization and localization companies, they thought it would be interesting for me to write about the qualities a good translation company should have. Jiri Stejskal, CEO of CETRA, wrote a similar article from the company’s point of view entitled LSP with a Human Face: Connecting with Freelancers. In his article he offers “suggestions from an LSP perspective on how to develop a successful working relationship with contracted freelancers.” I was asked to take the freelancer’s perspective on working with translation companies and share advice on “how to create lasting and fruitful relationships with translators.” You can read my article here (note that I consistently used “translation agency” instead of “LSP” (because we are all LSPs) in my article. I had to defend my choice to the newsletter editor, but she agreed that I had a valid point and allowed me to use “translation agency.” I wonder if anyone in GALA even noticed. I am honored to have been asked to write the article and hope you all enjoy it.

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Comments»

1. mfdanis - March 22, 2012

Great article, Jill!

And no, one can never repeat enough the value of a properly formatted document!

2. Megan Onions - March 22, 2012

Thank you for writing this article, Jill. You make some great points.

I have worked in-house with a number of agencies and some of the payment practices (translators remaining unpaid for months after a job, low rates, ‘free’ samples…) left me quite nervous about launching my own freelance career.

Thankfully, I have found some fantastic sources of work at fair rates. There are some great agencies out there, and your tips may well make a few more.

Megan

3. patenttranslator - March 22, 2012

“I consistently used “translation agency” instead of “LSP” (because we are all LSPs) in my article. I had to defend my choice to the newsletter editor, but she agreed that I had a valid point and allowed me to use “translation agency.” I wonder if anyone in GALA even noticed.”

I think they noticed.

I think that translation agencies prefer to use the term LSP because they don’t like to admit that they are really just brokers since the translation service is really provided by translators, not by them.

You know, they like to pretend that if they proofread your translation 3 times as they falsely claim, they somehow add value to it. They would not really add any value by proofreading a translation seventy seven times if it was a good translation, would they? And if it was a bad translation, it would need to be retranslated since no amount of proofreading layers would help much.

The main value they add, and they do add value in several respects, is when they pick the right translator for the job, which is what a good talent does.

Good article.

4. Dozza - March 26, 2012

Great article, Jill! Especially the point you make about mass e-mails and logging onto a site to have to accept a job only to find it’s gone! (ARGH!)

Your article has given me the courage to not bother with that particular agency any more.


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