What do you think of these rates?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 6, 2003

I received this URL from a US company. I would like to hear the opinions of others before I send them my "opinion" of their "competitve vendor" rates.

http://www.etranslate.com/Survey/rates.html

In addition, why is that I only see translators complaining about low rates and no complaints from agencies that pay well and care about quality. Don't they realize that companies who pay low rates are bringing down the market and forcing good translators to seek more and more of their own direct clients? These good agencies will soon see their client base reduced and their pool of professional talent diminished...

I know that this topic has been discussed a lot. But how else can we get the word out to translators (at least those working in the US for US companies) that they are getting ripped off and taken advantage of!!!




[Edited at 2003-11-06 22:17]


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Nigel Skipper
Local time: 04:56
Swedish to English
It's up to you to decide who you'll work for . . . Nov 6, 2003

While I thoroughly agree with you, the only way of exterminating these vultures is to deny them access to qualified translation services. I was absolutely horrified to see a job offer on ProZ recently at a rate of 3 cents a word (Swe>Eng). I wouldn't even waste my time offering for such a job. But to my dismay, I later saw that there were 10 offers made. I just hope that they were rude remarks instead of poverty stricken colleages striving to make their ends meet.

The only way we can get rid of companies like these, is to ensure that the help they get for their prices is really bottom grade - i.e. students earning a fast buck and not bothering about paying taxes etc. Sooner or later, their customers will get tired of receiving garbage and turn to a real translation agency.

//Nigel


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Kpy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:56
French to English
+ ...
How I agree with you Nov 6, 2003

Problem is there are plenty of monkeys out there willing to be paid peanuts for a second rate job. Those of us who really care about what we do just have to try harder and avoid these sweatshops. This crew is on my list of people to avoid.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Re: What do you think of these rates? Nov 7, 2003

Thanks Nigel.

I know what you mean. Some of the offers I see are simply insane! I am happy that I work with a number of excellent agencies and companies that are happy with my work and my rates. If another translator wants to work three times as hard for the same money, who am I to say that they cannot. But would the Portuguese translator who works for this company at .04/word be happy if they knew how much the company was billing their clients? Are these agencies really billing their clients less or just increasing their profit margin?

In addition to the low rate, these job offers frequently involve very strict deadlines. Ex. "4500 words of technical text in two hours at .04?" Most of us agree that low rates and poor quality go hand in hand. What do you get when you combine this with über-fast speed?

I remember the "pre-Internet" days when companies would call me and ask how much I charged and maybe we would negotiate by one or two cents per word, but more and more frequently it is the companies who are setting the rates. Many companies even specify on their websites: "if you charge more than xx, do not even bother to apply". What kind of message does this send to their customers?


[Edited at 2003-11-07 00:03]


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
My cleaner gets more! Nov 7, 2003

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I received this URL from a US company. I would like to hear the opinions of others before I send them my "opinion" of their "competitve vendor" rates.
[Edited at 2003-11-06 22:17]


Please don't get me wrong, every penny I spend on my cleaner is well worth it! It means I can work and spend time with my children!

Just like Nigel, I don't bother even making a bid if the rate is low or the terms impossible (4,500 words in 2 hours!).

Absolute silence is the best answer!


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
looks desperate Nov 7, 2003

Maybe he didn't get any more jobs because of poor quality and hopes he can compensate this by extremly low rates.

What a drama in the neighborhood of the highly expensive Silicone Valley..


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:56
Flemish to English
+ ...
The translation jungle: a globalized market Nov 7, 2003

I've missed some voluminous work because I stuck to my basic rate of €0.10.
Although on the long term I have some costly goals, I am not sad about it. If you consult the website of the agencies or have a friend of yours who works at a company inform about their rates, your mouth will fall wide open: 0.17$ for Dutch for example or a profit of 0.10$ on every word.
That mother-tongue of mine (and Marijke's mother-tongue) is one of those rare niche languages. I recently got a message from a translator turned agency-owner that I will not get paid more than 0.07 eurocents while she charges 0.12-0.14 eurocents for her (subcontracted) assignments.
Translation is a globalized market.
Scan it and go where you are paid most. If a Californian colleague can get 0.14 dollarcent per word for translation Dutch>English and Dutch>French, why should I accept 0.07 for a translation in the other direction. Such a situation evokes an awry feeling about being a translator and incites one to evolve into the direction of (translation)management and interpreting : a different kind of linguistic exercise, which is financially and intellectually more rewarding.





[Edited at 2003-11-07 12:25]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
What about language combination? Nov 7, 2003

The odd thing about etranslate's list is that it takes no account of language combination, and therefore lacks credibiilty.

Surely translating German to Chinese would be paid better than English to Chinese?


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Pernille Chapman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:56
Member (2004)
English to Danish
+ ...
Looks highly unprofessional altogether Nov 7, 2003

While it's frustrating to see such rates, I really wouldn't worry too much as this agency seems rather unprofessional in other areas, too. What jumped out at me on the list of rates was the separate entry for "Scandinavian". This is NOT a single language, but any one of the three main Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish) may be read and understood by speakers of the other two. Interestingly, though, the rate for Scandinavian is higher than for Danish - just goes to show that somebody somewhere has very little idea of what they're doing?

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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:56
English to German
+ ...
Schlag nach bei Shakespeare: Nov 7, 2003

[quote]Jeff Whittaker wrote:

What do you think of these rates? quote]

TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK, THAT'S THE QUESTION!



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charlesink
Local time: 23:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
I always answer: with these rates you'l get only bad translations Nov 11, 2003

Marijke Singer wrote:

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I received this URL from a US company. I would like to hear the opinions of others before I send them my "opinion" of their "competitve vendor" rates.
[Edited at 2003-11-06 22:17]


Please don't get me wrong, every penny I spend on my cleaner is well worth it! It means I can work and spend time with my children!

Just like Nigel, I don't bother even making a bid if the rate is low or the terms impossible (4,500 words in 2 hours!).

Absolute silence is the best answer!


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:56
Member
English to Turkish
They do not necessarily mind this, Nov 12, 2003

Carlos Burgos wrote:

I always answer: with these rates you'l get only bad translations





when the target language is Turkish, for example, and the direct client and/or agency is European, hence usually lacks the means to assess the translation, and there are too many out there more than ready to offer some hilarious (should I've said outrageous?) translation in return for, say, € 0.02, and the worse, the Turkish readership or audience or whatever based in Europe isn't usually in a position to demand quality, either because being from the old generation, is not very well educated, or being from the younger generation, more proficient in the language of the host country. The result? According to the Turkish version of the municipal leaflets distributed here, citizens are required to dispose of their bio waste into a sort of dessert bowl!!! I don't know, though, how many cents they paid per word of that. Maybe a many

[Edited at 2003-11-12 01:26]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:56
German to English
+ ...
Dessert bown Nov 12, 2003

According to the Turkish version of the municipal leaflets distributed here, citizens are required to dispose of their bio waste into a sort of dessert bowl


This is interesting - have you got a link?

Marc


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