Risk management in translation: ProZ.com knowledge base for translators, translation companies, and others in the language industry 2

Every business type is exposed to risks influenced by numerous factors and the translation and interpretation business is no exception. Regardless of the type of activity involved, everyone either offering language services or looking for language service providers is exposed so several types of risks that should be acknowledged if a reliable and successful service provider-outsourcer relationship is desired.

With this in mind, ProZ.com has been creating content and developing new tools with the purpose of helping translators, translation companies, and others in the language industry to learn about the different risks involved in doing business online and how to prevent them.

One of these resources, and probably the most widely used by service providers when assessing risks, is the ProZ.com Blue Board. The Blue Board record is the complete, searchable database of records made up of feedback entries posted by language service providers in connection with outsourcers they have worked with. For service providers, the Blue Board record has proved to be a great tool for assessing the reliability of specific outsourcers before accepting a job offer from them. For outsourcers, being listed in the Blue Board record with a good number of positive entries from service providers represents a great marketing tool. Outsourcers with a good Blue Board record report a higher degree of trust and shortened project launch cycles among those service providers who reference the Blue Board. More information about using the Blue Board record is available here.

Another great source of information in connection with business risks in translation is the ProZ.com Wiki. The ProZ.com translation industry wiki is an ever-evolving collection of articles about relevant, industry related topics, written and updated regularly by translators themselves. In this wiki, there are several articles on risk management, addressed both to language professionals and to outsourcers. Risk management-related wiki articles include the following:

For more information about the ProZ.com industry wiki, visit this page.

A recently released scam alert center is another potentially valuable resource for those seeking to manage risk when it comes to false job offers and other scams. The Translator scam alert center is an area used to provide organized, concise information regarding false job offers or requests and other scams which may be aimed at or are affecting language professionals and outsourcers. Information provided in the center is based in part on reports made by ProZ.com members through the online support system and in the ProZ.com Scams forum, and ProZ.com members have the option of subscribing to receive useful news and alerts of new scams as they are detected. The scam alert center is available here.

Finally, ProZ.com also offers its members a free webinar on “Risk management for translators and interpreters” on a monthly basis. This training session enumerates and explains risk management procedures that translators and interpreters should follow as part of their everyday professional activities. The schedule for these webinars is available here.

Regardless of the number of years a service provider or an outsourcer has been in the translation industry, risks are everywhere when doing business. However, the above-listed resources and tools have been made available by ProZ.com to promote not just professional practices, but also clear and concise information on the steps that should be taken to avoid risks when participating in the language industry. If you have any questions about these tools and resources, or if you need assistance with using them, contact site staff through the support center.


  1. This is nice, but it is mostly from a translation company point of view. Blue board is useful as a tool to weed out companies with bad credit. But blue board does not help at all when translator is wasting his/her time applying to a translation company, which pays maximum 5 cents per word. Why there is not a place in Proz where I can find out how much a translation agency pays on average per word.
    When I read restaurant reviews on Internet, I can see how expensive the restaurant is. They do it with dollar signs – one to five dollar signs.
    Why we can’t rate translation agencies the same way?
    Proz always says that it is here for translators.
    Bidding turned the tide against translators.
    So let us rate translation agencies by how much they pay and allow us to identify the bottom feeding agencies.
    What is wrong with that, except that Proz may lose some advertising money from those cheap agencies?


  2. Hi Czechtranslation. Thanks for your feedback.

    I would like to clarify a few points you mention, though. The Blue Board record is in place to 1) help outsourcers with the promotion of their business and, most importantly, 2) to help service providers to assess the reliability of a given outsourcer before accepting a job offer from them. So, the Blue Board record will not show you if an outsourcer pays more or less, but if the outsourcer is reliable commercially speaking.

    But regardless of the commercial reliability of a given outsourcer, ProZ.com believes that it is the translator the one in the best position to determine what he or she needs to charge to deliver the requisite quality on a given job. Thus, ProZ.com encourages service providers to set their own rates. Showing rate information in Blue Board records may be taken as an acknowledgement of low rates as correct ones.

    Finally, note that the main channel to get jobs at ProZ.com is the directory of freelance translators and interpreters, http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/ , and not the job posting area.

    To learn more about how client-service provider matching works at ProZ.com, the Blue Board and other job-related tools, I invite you to attend one of the free webinars on “Meeting clients at ProZ.com” offered by site staff on a weekly basis (if you haven’t attended one yet):


    Or else, watch this short video on “Getting the most out of your ProZ.com profile”:


    Thanks again for your comment!



Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s