Greater than 3 minutes, my friend!
What led to outsourcing part of translation
Outsourcing is giving away a bit of work to someone you trust and who you know will do it just as you would were it not for a few unwelcoming circumstances. These unwelcoming circumstances are: the length of the text in combination with the tight deadline, the subject of the text you don’t cover, since you don’t feel apt to translate something you haven’t grown accustomed to. I was close to outsource part of translation before, but decided against it. I somehow found the necessary bravery and attitude to follow a task through, have spent much time to do research along the way and found the answers to questions cropping up to come to the conclusion that I can do it. Without anyone coming to my aid.
This time help was needed. I may have done without it, but estimated that a person with much more experience would carry out the job more adequately. Searching through names and aptitudes, I found someone in Slovenia to translate a text meant to be read by Austrians. Enough odd to outsource part of translation to a person from Slovenia? Well, it is. But when you find out the German or Austrian rates, maybe you wuld settle for the second best solution.
The project was huge enough for me to let part of the earnings go and head to Slovenia. There were some references this person had that led me believe that he/she will be the best option and the person was strongly linked to Austrian institutions. So why not give it a try?
Problems when outsourcing part of translation
The problems started at the stage of the first proposal. I understand a proposal should not always display some kind of discount or benefit. When you are buying, you want to get an offer at an affordable rate. The Germans were somewhat different in ther approach. They included a discount, but they linked this with upfront payment, no matter how neglectable the sum. The rate they offered was twice as much the Slovenian rate. Good point to order then from the second, but they offered no discount, even though I pointed out that in Germany that’s a custom (relying on the two offers i got from them).Ok, not wanting to give in.
The second problem was, you guess, upfront payment, although on the order it was made clear that payment can be done within 1 business day. This then against the written text. So, why put something that is not valid on the invoice? Obviously not professional.
The third problem was the waiting for the translation. I paid it accordingly, and they wouldnt send the translation. They needed a more firm form of acknowledgement from the bank that the payment had been executed. In the meantime i phoned and phoned, not knowing this. No answer. Another bad practice. Agencies are supposed to answer calls. Nobody answered because they knew the call came from Croatia. They answered, no, they called, only when i sent them the confirmation that I had done my part of the deal.
The fourth issue was what stood in the mail to which the translation was attached. They underlined word and expressions they were not that familiar with or didnt know what to make of it. And I had already paid! When I received their call I instantly poured myself out at them. In German. Slovenian I don’t understand. The man on the other side could hardly utter a word. I was put out by the way they communicated, by the way they handled (not handled) the phone and conducted a policy of hide and seek when all I wanted was to get my translation. Why then ask whether the translation was good? The man wanted to know that. I didnt come to that. I was at that point preocuppied with the way they were doing business.
One new client they would never come to see again, surely. My search will then continue. I have to come to terms with the fact that upfront payment is sometimes a predefined thing. When it is, then make sure that everything else that makes up the delivery of a service, is just as you would see it fit in relation to your clients.