PROCEDURES & TERMS
With well over a decade of experience working as a fulltime freelance translator, I have learned the importance of maintaining business relationships based on clear communication, transparency, and well-defined terms and procedures. Therefore, in an effort to do better business with my clients by preventing or addressing potential miscommunications and pitfalls before they occur, I have set out the following procedures and terms for accepting, performing, and billing translation projects.
Please note that a link to this page is provided in all client communications and any translation project that I accept will be subject to these procedures and terms.
1. Project Assignment and Acceptance
I am happy to provide quick general translation rate and availability estimates, but in order to provide an accurate rate and delivery quote I will need to see the actual source files for translation. Once I receive the source files, I will identify the project’s requirements and determine whether the subject matter is within my areas of competency. If I am able to accept the project, I will provide a rate and delivery quote.
2. Purchase Orders or Written Project Confirmations
Once the terms of a project have been agreed, I will ask for a Purchase Order or written confirmation to ensure that all parties involved are aware of exactly how the project will be performed, delivered, and billed. A Purchase Order (PO) is preferred but e-mail confirmation is also an acceptable form of written confirmation for repeat clients or clients with a solid reputation according to the Proz.com Blueboard or another payment practices database.
3. Changes & Cancellations
I understand that the business and legal circumstances of my clients can change at a moment’s notice and I will do everything within my power to accommodate changes or cancellations. However, as a freelance service provider with my own business expenses to cover, I do need to charge fair compensation in the event of any changes or cancellations after written confirmation has been issued.
Once a project has been assigned, I will be available to respond to inquiries immediately during business hours and within approximately 4-12 hours on evenings, weekends, and holidays. I ask that my clients or project managers be available to respond to my own consultations or requests within a similar period.
5. Translation Memory and Repetition Discounts
I have been trained on SDL and Kilgray products and I am an advanced user of SDL Trados 2007/2009/2011 and MemoQ Translator Pro and am an intermediate user of many other leading Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. In many cases, these tools improve the efficiency and consistency of the translation process by leveraging individuals segments (translation units or TUs) from previous translations. I am happy to work with the CAT tool or file format of my client’s choosing and to apply reasonable repetition discounts based on the source text analyses provided by CAT tools. However, since these tools and any resulting repetition discounts have a significant effect on how a project is processed and billed, I ask that the specific CAT tool to be used, any repetition discounts to be applied, and the appropriate source word count calculations be clearly stated as part of the basic terms indicated in the written project confirmation.
6. Certified Translation & Sworn Translation
I am happy to provide a Certificate of Accuracy with every translation that I perform at no additional charge. If Sworn Translation is required, I am also able to appear before a notary public and swear that the translation is an accurate representation of the original source file and that I am qualified to perform Spanish-English translations.
7. Proofreading Service
I accept proofreading projects under the assumption that the translation has been translated and reviewed by a competent human translator and meets minimum quality standards for professional translation work product. I define acceptable translation as follows:
Acceptable quality translation means properly redacted and naturally phrased target language text using terminology appropriate to the subject matter that is essentially free from grammar errors or mistranslations, but in no case contains more than 2-3 minor errors or 1 major error per 1,000 words, and is entirely free from machine translation, inconsistent translation, and nonsense translation in general.
I ask that my project managers understand that submitting a translation to me for proofreading that does not meet a quality standard similar to the one above, even if unintentionally, amounts to assigning more work than what I have been contracted for and is a violation of the PO or written project confirmation. Therefore, if a file submitted to me for proofreading does not meet reasonable quality standards for professional translation work product, I will immediately alert the project manager and provide evidence that the terms of the proofreading project have not been kept and that the project rate and deadline will need to be renegotiated.
8. Post Editing Service
Post Editing consists of reviewing the output of public Machine Translation (MT) engines such as Google Translate, or trained industry-specific or client-specific MT engines. While MT has been around in one form or another since the 1950’s, in recent years the technology has improved drastically it has become a valuable tool for improving the efficiency of the translation process. There is a general consensus in the industry that this advancement in translation technology, along with CAT tools, Cloud-based TM, etc. have created downward pressure on the per-word rates charged by professional translators. Put another way, today’s competitive translation rates have already factored in the efficiency gains obtained from applying modern translation technologies such as MT.
9. Collaboration on Translation Tenders
I understand that preparing bids that include the qualifications of the translators who would work on a potential project is an essential part of winning important translation contracts from government agencies, especially in the case of tenders for the European Union. I am happy to assist my clients in preparing such bids by providing detailed information on my experience and qualifications such as the information provided my Recent Projects page), giving permission for my clients to use my information in their bids, and filling out the required paperwork. However, there are cases in which translation outsourcers attempt to recruit qualified linguists, especially those with advanced degrees, just for the bidding process, only to send the work to bargain translators and/or renegotiate rates once the contract is won. In light of this unfortunate reality, I am not willing to collaborate on translation tenders free of charge for new clients.
When processing payments, I ask my clients to apply the same level of professional dedication that I apply to their translation projects. Unless otherwise agreed in the written project confirmation, the following general payment terms shall apply: