Translation PO: What Is It and Why Is It Important

What Is a Translation PO?

PO stands for purchase order, and a PO is basically an order form. The basic requirements are agreed upon when contracting with an agency, but a separate specific contract must be formed for each specific project. So, a translation PO is basically an agency’s purchase order for each of these specific projects. Its purpose is a promise and contract saying, “I will give you this payment for this specific translation service.” Now, let’s take a look at an example below.


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Why Is It Important?

It’s difficult to work without any guarantee in an Internet translation market where people who have never even met each other have to trade quite significant amounts of effort and money. This is why you must obtain things like this before starting translation.


In the rare case that a dispute occurs, if the PO was issued by the company and you proceeded with the project on the basis of the PO, you can say that the translator side is at an advantage. Of course, there are other variables… However, if you finish and send a project without having received a PO, just trusting in what the PM said, you will have no one to complain to when the agency later says, “We don’t know anything about that project.” Saying, “Oh, so-and-so from your company gave me the translation work” in an email does not have much effect. That is why POs are important.



When do you need to get a PO?

You must first receive the PO before starting work


“I am too busy right now to send a PO, so I will send it to you later.” It’s possible, isn’t it? Anybody might get really busy at a certain point, so we have to be understanding of that. But if the PO has not been sent even after 24 hours, there is a problem with this PM. When that happens, the translator inevitably becomes anxious. Don’t just assume, “He said he was going to send it, so I’m sure he will eventually…” and not do anything. You must contact the agency and confirm whether or not they’re sending the PO. Even if that PM is absent from work due to illness, you must still obtain a PO from someone else.


In the worst-case scenario, if you still haven’t received the PO by the time you finish the translation, you must not send the translation file. Ask them why they still haven’t sent you the PO after assigning you a job and tell them you will send your translation file only after they send you the PO. Then they will have no excuses. Of course, after you send an invoice based on the PO and get your payment, you should end your relationship with such a company. Then you should check the Blue Board for any reviews mentioning the company’s unusual behavior, and you can also write about this unusual situation for other people to read. In the end, the only way to guarantee a translator’s status and safety is through a translator group. Don’t forget that a PO is a mini-contract that a translator must secure.



If you would like to get more information on basic matters regarding being a translator, please visit the How to Become a Translator category page.


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