A new agency client contacted you for translation or interpreting work. If the client didn't come through a referral from a colleague (which means the colleague also told you about them, the pros and cons), how can you check if they are reliable and trustworthy to pay you after you deliver the work?
There are multiple available resources on the Web to help. Databases, mailing lists, groups, you name it. Most of us only know and use a couple of those resources, but just in case you want more feedback on an agency, here is a collection of the resources (paid or free) that you can use online.
The Payment Practices™ online database is the successor to Payment Practices list (PP list) on Yahoo Groups, which started on December 21, 1999.
The database contains information on 10205 translation agencies and clients worldwide, 6720 total responses and 2072 comments on those companies. Agencies are rated by the responses of freelancer translators: the PP Reliability Score (PPR Score™) shows the translation agency's reliability in terms of on-time payments; the Translator Approval (TA Score™) is assigned to each response based on the freelance translator's willingness to work with that agency again.
Facebook: Payment Practices
Linkedin: Payment Practices
Fee: $19.99 (€14.99 for EU) annually
ATA member discount: 25% off subscription rate and free 7-day trial
Blue Board - Proz
Database with over 17,000 records and more than 92,000 feedback entries from translators, searchable by country or name.
Fee: Free for paying Proz members. Non-members can see a record for either $0.50 or 50 browniz points.
Translation agencies business practices
Closed Linkedin group which started on December 16, 2008. 4,305 members
Fee: Free (members only)
The Black and White List - GoTranslators
Fee: Free (members only)
Hall of Fame & Shame - TranslatorsCafé
Fee: Free for paying members
The TCR List (Translator Client Review List)
Translators discuss payment experiences with different agencies and companies they have worked with, as well as other related topics.
Fee: $12 annually
Google Groups, no fee
Yahoo groups in English
Translation Agency Payment
1,070 members, started on March 17, 2002. Fee: Free
World Payment Practices Free (WPPF)
1,616 members, started on March 30, 2002. Fee: Free
Translation Payments Who When What
543 members, started on August 3, 2008. Fee: Free
1,267 members, started on July 23, 1999. Fee: Free
Yahoo groups in languages other than English
2,321 members, started on September 8, 2001. Fee: Free
528 members, started on November 24, 2001. Fee: Free
395 members, started on January 7, 2001. Fee: Free
Any other online resources that you know and use? Let us know in the Comments below so we can add them to the list.
Catherine Christaki has been a full-time freelance translator since 2001 and co-oner of Lingua Greca Translations since March 2012. She translates from English, French and German to Greek. She holds a BA in French & German from Anglia Ruskin University (UK) in 2001 and a Diploma in English-Greek translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists (UK). Her specializations include IT, Medical and Gambling texts. She is a member of the American Translators Association and the Chartered Institute of Linguists. She is active in social media (especially Twitter, @LinguaGreca) and co-maintains a blog about translation and freelancing called Adventures in Freelance Translation.