We do not offer public reviews of our translators. Ever. It won’t happen. Yes, we do like you (those of you who are good and meet your deadlines). No. No reviews on Proz.com or Translatorscafe.com or Craigslist or anywhere else that is publicly available.
Imagine a bad translator (who is not aware of quite how bad he is). And he’s awful. He lies about his native language, where he is living, who he has worked for in the past, but THAT SHOULD NOT MATTER. Because he is THE ONE – the great intelligent translator who knows all and sees all. Yes, you’ll get that translation back a week late, but it’s HIS and you should be happy for it. Even though all of the declensions are wrong. After all, this is a minor matter compared to his genius. If you run a translation agency, you can name at least three people whom this describes.
He asks for a review. We have three options:
1) Honesty. We tell the world how bad he is. All agencies have their own way of filtering translators, so this information does not really help them. The information is devastating to the translator, who thought he was simply excellent (why else did he ask for a review?). He writes a bad review right back at us, pretending to be that-big-client-everyone-wants, and gets his slimy bad-translator friends to do the same. Suddenly, we’re in an internet pissing fight which has done no one any good and, here is the key, has done Apogee Communications a world of bad. Let me repeat: no good for anyone, bad for us.
2) Lie. This really bad translator gets a good review from Apogee. He shows it to the world, saying what a great translator he is, and that he’s done a world of good for Apogee, videogames and Mom’s apple pie. Some less-then-careful agency hires him in the future and loses their big client over the bad translator’s work. This less-than-careful agency then goes online to explain his unfortunate demise due to hiring Apogee’s translators. Again, the key here is that it is bad for Apogee.
3) We can refuse to review. This is OK as long as we refuse to review EVERYONE. If the bad translator sees that we’ve reviewed good translators (as he will surely look for, since he’s wondering why no one has reviewed him publicly), he’ll ask WHY THE F**K WE DON’T REVIEW HIM. See possibilities 1 and 2 above. Again, not good for us UNLESS we refuse all public reviews.
We do offer private reviews for our translators if they need a reference. This is a professional courtesy, and it should come naturally to everyone in the industry who struggles with good and bad translators on a daily basis.