+7 (831) 262-10-70

+7 (831) 280-82-09

+7 (831) 280-82-93

+7 (495) 545-46-62

42 B, ul. B. Pokrovskaya, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 603000

Monday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00 (GMT+3)

Frequently Asked Questions by Translators

1. General Guidelines of Cooperation
Why do I have to follow any rules? I am more comfortable doing what I am used to.

Our rules for good practice are designed to eliminate disputes with customers as much as possible. The rules are created based on our commitment to our customers, the applicable industry-specific standards and years of experience. If we get a result from the translator that does not meet requirements it costs us time, and therefore money, on the project review and follow-up. This increases the cost of the project. Since in most cases the project budget is limited by the rates we receive from the client, it stands to reason that we offer to such translators rates that are lower compared to the rates of their colleagues who follow the rules. The rules allow the translator to clearly understand what results we and the end customer expect from them.

What are the grounds of termination of cooperation with a freelance translator?

There are only a few such cases, and all of them are related in one or another way to the fact that the translator violates the terms and conditions of the agreement concluded between the parties. In particular, the following cases should be sufficient reason for the termination of cooperation:
1. The translator grossly and without notice violates the deadlines for work completion, and such violations occur on a regular basis.
2. The translator works directly with the client for whom they have previously performed translation jobs via our company. Each client comes at a price, so we kindly ask you to treat this rule with understanding.
3. The translator violates his confidentiality protection obligations.

What confidentiality protection obligations are imposed on me under the contract concluded with your company?

An essential prerequisite for the cooperation of ALBA Translating Company with a freelance translator or editor is to sign a confidentiality agreement precisely determining the rights and obligations of both parties, or to include such conditions in the contract concluded between the parties.

The observance of confidentiality means that the translator uses the materials received from the company (texts for translation/editing or texts for reference only, or any other relevant information) only and exclusively for the purpose of the job they are performing. The translator may not independently transfer such materials to third parties, regardless of the purpose of such transfer (to consult on terminology, review, send text to the company by email, etc.) In order to do this, the translator needs to obtain our explicit written permission (including by email). This requirement applies to all persons, including relatives, colleagues, partners, and so on. The translator alone is entitled to work with the text.

After handing over the deliverables and obtaining payment for the work, the translator is obliged to destroy all the information received and not to use it in further work.

In addition to the foregoing, the information on the terms and conditions of the translator's cooperation with ALBA Translating Company is also confidential.

May I use the translation memory I have received from your company in projects for other customers?

No. The translation memory contains segments, exclusive rights to which have been transferred to us by the translators and then by us to the end client. For each client, we create a separate file with a translation memory. The use of the translation memory obtained from us in the course of other projects is a violation of intellectual property legislation and may result in civil, administrative and even criminal liability in cases prescribed by law.

May I use machine translation (MT) in projects for your company?

No. It is not allowed to use machine translation (MT), unless specifically requested by the client. Most translation engines, such as Google Translate or Bing, stipulate that, once text is uploaded to their engine, they reserve certain rights to use, analyze, or publish said source and/or translated text. The use of machine translation without our consent is a breach of confidentiality that may result in civil, administrative and even criminal liability in cases prescribed by law.

May I send translations completed for you as a sample to other customers?

No. In accordance with the agreement you signed before starting our collaboration, all exclusive rights to the completed translation as a result of intellectual activity are transferred from you to the translation agency in full after the payment of services (works).

May I consult with you on technical issues?

ALBA Translating Company provides its freelance translators with free technical advice (setting up software, use of CAT tools, etc.) Such issues fall under responsibility of the Chief Editor.

Do I have to carry out my orders personally?

Yes. All orders are sent to a specific translator based on their expertise, specialisation and soft skills (analytical abilities, attentiveness, etc.) We expect that the orders will be executed by the translator to whom they are sent. If you cannot complete the job yourself and want to pass it on to a colleague, you should be sure to report it to the translation project manager. All orders are given to translators only by the manager of translation projects directly. This means that you will need to provide the contact details of a colleague to give them an order.

How is payment made?

Payment is made to a bank account.

On what basis is the decision is made to start cooperation with a freelance translator?

Just as the client chooses us as a translation company according to competitive advantage and convenience of cooperation with us, we decide to cooperate with freelance translators, being guided by a number of criteria:
A. The main consideration is the average test translation score according to the following criteria:
- Terminology and accuracy of the translation, observance of the glossary;
- Spelling and punctuation;
- Style;
- Formatting;
- Absence of actual errors (omission, distortion, addition).

The following criteria apply when assessing a test interpretation:
- Terminology and accuracy of the translation;
- Lexical and grammatical errors;
- Style, self-corrections and repetitions, unfinished phrases, slips of the tongue;
- Conduct, intensity and pace of speech, manner of speaking;
- Absence of actual errors (omission, distortion, addition).

Scores are awarded according to a five-point scale.

B. Additional credit points are awarded for CAT tool skills. If you have extensive experience or skills of using different CAT tools, two additional points are added to this criterion.

In case of interpretation, this score is awarded for customer references.

С. An additional score is awarded for average market rates and openness to cooperation.

If the translator refuses to perform the test assignment, 3 points are awarded to the first criterion. The minimum cumulative score for the start of cooperation is at least 5.

The translator's place of residence, education and work experience are not the determining factors for starting cooperation.

What should I do when there is a discrepancy between the translation memory, glossary, the present rules and/or instructions from the project manager?

If such discrepancies are detected, it is best to inform the project manager right away. However, if it is not possible to contact the manager promptly (for example, outside working hours), you can continue to work keeping in mind the following priority of requirements: instructions from the project manager, these rules, the glossary, the translation memory. It should be taken into account that the instructions of the project manager apply only to a specific order.

2. Placement, confirmation and execution of an order
Who can I receive translation orders from?

Solely project managers have the authority to place translation orders and, in exceptional cases, the orders can be placed by the Chief Editor of ALBA Translating Company. They all use corporate email addresses located on the @alba-translating.ru or @alba-multimedia.ru domain.

Why do I need to keep the order number in the subject line of the email when I reply?

Each order has its own number. The project manager processes several orders simultaneously. During peak workload periods, their number can amount to two dozen. The order number in the email’s subject line allows the PM to quickly understand which project the correspondence relates to.

How do I hand over the deliverables?

All translations are made in electronic form only and sent via email or through the Vendor Portal. If the file size does not allow you to send it via email or through the Vendor Portal, you should contact the project manager and ask for an alternative way of transmitting the file (for example, you will be given access to upload the file directly to our file storage). If the project-related instructions do not specify otherwise, please observe the following principles when sending a file by email:
1. All project files are handed over in one email. A step-by-step delivery is only necessary when the project manager has explicitly asked you to do so. It is also not permitted to send multiple orders in one email.
2. Please keep the order number in the subject line of the email. This speeds up processing.
3. The translated text is to be sent exclusively in attached files. The insertion of translation into the email’s body is permitted only if it is expressly stated by the project manager.
4. If you send multiple translation files, please include a "Part 1 of 3" comment in the subject line.

The order is deemed to be delivered from the moment the translation agency confirms it has been received. It is the duty of the translator as a vendor to ensure that the completed work is received by the customer. If you send a translation and leave home to run an errand and we do not receive the translated text, the project manager will try to contact you immediately. If the contact attempt fails, and the deadline of the project has passed, the manager will have to hand over the order to other translators for urgent translation.

How is the order placed?

When placing an urgent order, the project manager calls the translator by phone to clarify beforehand the translator’s availability to perform a specific job. If the turnaround time is acceptable, we can send the order by email. When sending an order by email, the manager will specify the order number, volume of work, deadline and the list of files attached to the order. If an order is sent in multiple messages, the subject line of the email will contain a "Part 1 of 3" comment. Transferring materials to a translator in any way other than by email (in paper form, as a link to our file storage, etc.) does not revoke the sending of an email with the order details. In this case, the message may not contain any files and is sent only for the purpose of confirming the order.

How can I confirm the order?

The confirmation or rejection of an order is carried out via the Vendor Portal (https://lk.alba-translating.ru/) or, in exceptional cases, in the form of a reply to an email sent. To confirm or reject an order in the Vendor Portal, you must click "Confirm" or "Decline" in the order line on the “To Be Confirmed” tab.

The confirmation means that the translator:
- Received all messages regarding the order;
- Received all files related to the order;
- Carefully reviewed the texts, identified the subject matter and difficulty;
- Familiarised themselves with the specific requirements of the client (if any);
- Assessed their abilities and correlated them with the deadline;
- Only then is the order confirmed.

What will happen if I violate the deadline of the order?

The deadline is as important as the quality of the translation. It is essential to understand that the translation agency does not set the deadlines by itself, but determines them taking into account the wishes and needs of the client. If order deadlines are violated, the value of the translation for the customer is often reduced to none. There is no excuse for the failure to meet the project deadline, even if meant for the best. For example, to carefully review the translation, improve the translation, check the terminology online again, edit the text again, etc. In the case of violation of the project deadline without prior notice in accordance with the provisions of the contract concluded between you and ALBA Translating Company, you will be subject to the penalties which are calculated according to the formula:
P=C×D/T,
where:
P is amount of penalty fee
C is the cost of services (works) not completed in due time
D is the duration of delay in hours rounded to the whole number
T is the duration of service (work) in hours rounded to the whole number.

For example, an order has been sent to you at 10 AM and the deadline for its delivery is set for 10 AM the next day. The translation was delivered by the translator at 11.00 AM without prior notice of the project manager. The amount of the penalty in this case will be 1/24*100%=4.2%.

Every such instance is out of the ordinary for us, because we have to turn to other translators already assigned to other projects to complete the job. You have probably have experienced such challenging situations and you know how difficult it is to get involved in a project at the final stage of its completion.

In the case of a significant delay (of more than 10%) and failure to reach the translator, we reserve the right to distribute the file to be translated among other translators. In this case, the actual amount of fulfilled work is NOT payable. The order is considered to be delivered after we have confirmed its receipt. If you want to leave your work space for a long time after sending your translation to us, be sure to call us and check that we have received your message and translation.

What should I do if I confirm an order but realise that I will not be able to complete it to the deadline?

The confirmation of an order means that you have agreed to all its terms and conditions. However, in very rare cases you may find yourself in a situation of force majeure, when you are unable to complete the job within the initially agreed period (due to power supply failure, computer problems, illness, etc.). In this case, you should immediately contact the project manager by email, and if the manager does not reply to you within an hour, then by phone.

Why am I not allowed to rename the files during the translation process?

One translation project may contain dozens or even hundreds of files. Each file can be translated into several languages. In the process of translation, you should keep the original file name unchanged and add a double-character abbreviated name of the language to it. It is not permitted to join or split the original files. This is required to make alignment of the translation files with the original files more quickly.

3. Calculation of the scope of work and payment terms
Which orders are considered urgent?

The mark-up for an urgent translation shall be agreed upon with the project manager PRIOR to the start of work on the project. The standard speed of translation is 8 conventional pages (1 conventional page comprises 1,800 characters with spaces) per day. In the case of editing the standard speed is 50-70 pages per day. Orders performed at this speed or less are not considered urgent.

Are orders performed at weekends considered urgent?

Our position is that in cooperation with freelance translators, the payment is made depending on the volume of work (pages, hours, etc.). The concept of a day off does not apply to such cooperation. We pay for the amount of work, and the decision on how and when you do this work is left to your discretion.

What should I do if I don't agree with the calculation of the volume of work that is specified in the request for the translation?

When sending a translation order, the project manager indicates the scope of the order. If you discover during the translation process that some units were not taken into account based on the original document, then be sure to email us your updated figure along with a brief explanation of the discrepancy between the calculations. The project manager will check your calculation and, if you are right, will send a confirmation to you by email. This will speed up the process of reconciliation of payable amounts. If the amount of work was not indicated when the order was transferred to you because its calculation is based on the finished translation, then provide us with your figure upon delivery of the finished translation to the project manager.

How are editing and proofreading are paid?

It is clear that the efforts of the editor or proofreader can vary by a wide margin depending on the quality of the translation. For this reason, a fixed payment per word or page is not always adequate compensation. Therefore, we offer an hourly payment for the actual time spent. The time is calculated by means of the Editor’s Little Helper app, an in-house software solution. You can download the app here. In this case, the spell check is done automatically in the document, which is provided in the last versions of MS Word software.

How is translation in CAT tools paid?

We assume that the CAT tool is a useful software that speeds up the work of the translator. The equivalent amount of work performed with the use of a CAT tool is calculated using the following indices:
- Full matches and repetitions are paid at 30% of the agreed translation rate;
- Matches of 95-99% are paid at 45% of the agreed translation rate;
- Matches of 75-94% are paid at 65% of the agreed translation rate;
- Matches less than 75% are paid at 100% of the agreed translation rate.

These indices are applied provided that the matches contained in the translation memory represent high-quality translation.

How is the volume of interpretation services calculated?

The rate for interpretation services can be made on an hourly or daily basis. The minimum order time for consecutive interpretation is 4 hours. If the daily rate was agreed, then the standard 8-hour working day is assumed. If you work more than 8 hours in one calendar day, the work is paid as a full-time working day, and each additional hour is charged at an hourly rate. The entire time that the translator is at the customer's disposal is paid, regardless of whether the translator works, rests or performs other instructions from the customer.

If you arrive at the specified venue on time, and the customer is slightly late, the time of work is counted from the time of your arrival, but not earlier the time agreed beforehand for your arrival.

The document confirming the scope of the interpretation is in the form of a certificate of delivery and acceptance of interpretation services signed and stamped by the customer. In the case of conflict with the customer at the time of signing the certificate of delivery and acceptance of interpretation services, it is necessary to contact the project manager immediately (by mobile phone at weekends). Only the work confirmed by the schedule signed by the authorised representative of the client is paid for. The filled in (scanned) schedule should be emailed to us not later than the day following the end of the last working day of the order.

Can we discuss rates for each particular job?

Our translation agency does not have the opportunity to discuss rates of pay for each individual job because when we contact a freelancer, we need to know what we can expect. If we do not know what the rate will be, we will not contact such a translator/interpreter.

Will my payment depend on whether you have received the payment from the end customer?

No. This condition is not stipulated in the contracts we conclude with translators. Our obligations to translators do not depend on whether payment has been received from the client. Unfortunately, sometimes it does happen that a client does not pay for the services rendered for no good reason. We consider such situations as risks arising in the course of our activities, and always pay for the work performed by translators from the profit received on other orders.

Does the quality of work effect the payment?

Yes, of course. The offered rate of payment depends on the quality of work we expect to receive based on the results of the test assignment. On average, when translators apply good practice to their tasks, the assigned rate of pay for translators is constant. However, in rare cases where the quality of the performed translation is unsatisfactory, we have to enforce a penalty, which is calculated according to the following equation: P=C×S/T,
where:
P is amount of penalty fee
C is the cost of services (works) not completed in due time
S is the number of significant strokes made by the editor
T is the total number of characters in the text.

Significant strokes are keystrokes on the keyboard resulting in changes made in the text on the screen: alphanumeric keys of the keyboard, Space, Enter, Delete and Backspace.

Significant strokes are counted by the Editor's Little Helper app.

Penalties are not applied if the number of significant strokes does not exceed 10-15% of the number of characters in the text.

For example, you have completed a translation containing 10,000 characters, the editing of which required 5,000 significant strokes. These strokes were not preferential changes; these changes were aimed at correcting terminological, spelling or punctuation mistakes. It is obvious that the quality of such a translation is unsatisfactory and it will be paid at the rate constituting 5000/10000*100%=50% of the standard rate.

The described penalties are not applied automatically, but are based on review of the situation carried out by the Chief Editor after discussion with the translator. At the same time, the translator always has the opportunity to justify the translation decisions they have made.

How do I get paid for the job done?

You need to request payment in the Vendor Portal (https://lk.alba-translating.ru/) or send an invoice. To request payment, you need to check the accuracy of the payment details, select orders on the "Payments" - "Unpaid" tab and click the "Request payment for selected orders" button.

Orders are paid within ten (10) business days after receipt of the request and on provision of all the necessary payment details to transfer the payment.

Please, be advised that ALBA Translating Company does not make:
- Prepayments for future orders or orders that are in progress
- Partial payment for orders that are not fully delivered at the time of payment.

Are travel and accommodation expenses reimbursed?

If an interpreter is going to work outside the place of permanent residence, the travel expenses (second class train tickets or economy class airline tickets) are paid additionally. It is necessary to keep documents confirming the expenses incurred (travel tickets, boarding passes, hotel invoices).

4. Translation quality and cooperation with editors.
Which of my mistakes should be corrected by an editor?

In our work we are guided by the rule that quality is a compromise between the deadline and the budget of the project. The project workflow agreed with the customer may consist of different stages (editing, proofreading, proofreading by a native speaker or an expert in a certain field of knowledge, auto QA, desktop publishing services, design layout correction).

Of course, quality control stages are needed, but this does not mean that the translator can deliver a draft translation to be reviewed and the quality of which to be improved by other individuals later. Such an attitude to work where the key role is shifted from the translator to the editor is totally inefficient. Moreover, it should be remembered that the distribution of work between translators/interpreters is based on assessment of the results of the quality of their work, which are recorded in a database by the editors. Of course, all other conditions being equal, we always turn to a translator/interpreter from whom we can expect to get the best work in this case.

How is cooperation with the company's editors arranged? Will I get feedback regarding the quality of my translation?

In most cases, the editor and translator communicate through the project manager. This is necessary because the manager must be aware of all possible challenges that may arise in the course of the project. The translator and editor are co-authors of the final translated text. Of course, the editor spends four to five times less time than a translator, but this does not make the editor’s contribution any less important. The editing of a translation ensures the quality standards that our customers are used to. The editor may have questions for the translator during this process. In most cases these are requests to explain translation decisions if they are not obvious to the editor. It should be noted that such questions do not arise for every order.

We work with highly qualified specialists and experts, so in most cases feedback is not required. However, after editing, the project manager is entitled to send the editor's comments to the translator. It is important to understand that these comments are sent to the translator not to offend or insult the translator, but in order to increase the efficiency of cooperation on further orders and reduce the time spent on editing. Quite often the comments relate to non-compliance with our recommendations that are available here (https://www.alba-translating.ru/ru/ru/recom-translation.html).

Please note that we do not give comments on corrections related to the accuracy of translation, understanding of the original, use of usual terminology or spelling or punctuation mistakes unless it is strictly necessary. The translator receives an edited text with Track Changes on (if the software used has such a feature). We assume that external assessment of the quality of translation is extremely useful for professional improvement, so the translator should review the corrections and immediately inform us if they disagree with any of them.

In the process of proofreading, we try to avoid preferential changes and maintain the writing style of the translator. However, such changes can be used sometimes, and we kindly ask you to employ an affirmative approach to such corrections and respect the editor's point of view.

Is the translator obliged to respond to the customer’s complaints?

Translation services are subject to complaints more than any other types of service due to the subjectivity of the translation process itself. This means that our translation company occasionally receives complaints on the quality of the work performed. In our experience, 90% of such claims are exaggerated. Normally such appeals are handled by our Chief Editor without involving the translators. However, in very rare cases it may be necessary to ask the translator to comment on the chosen translation decision. We kindly ask you to treat such requests with understanding.