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Job posting for just 5 US $ - is it worth it?
Thread poster: Henry Hinds

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 14, 2008

Just saw a job posted for US $5.00, payable through PayPal. Is it even worth posting? Is is worth a translator's time to reply? Won't PayPal take it all for a commission anyway?

From time to time I have seen other tiny jobs like that posted. Does anyone actually think they are worth it? Or do most people just establish a certain minimum to account for administrative time?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-06-16 10:19]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-06-17 12:21]


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The Misha
Local time: 12:43
Russian to English
+ ...
Oh, boy, don't even start ... Jun 14, 2008

You know the answer, I know the answer, people who post those jobs or bother replying to them know the answer too. Yet, God as they say works in mysterious ways...

P.S. I've also seen such jobs posted on a Net 60 basis. How's that for adding insult to injury?


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:43
English to German
+ ...
Don't you have a minimum fee? Jun 14, 2008

If your minimum fee exceeds 5 USD, then why bother?

Yawn.


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:43
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
I see it as a possible start to a working relationship Jun 14, 2008

I quite often reply to tiny jobs, 5 words for x amount of money - I see it as a possible start to a working relationship, so it could be worth it. Line introducing yourself to an agency.

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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 18:43
French to English
+ ...
I would do a 5 dollar job... Jun 14, 2008

...for a long-established good customer who wanted to add a paragraph to a job I had already done. In some circumstances I might not even charge them at all. As a good-will gesture its value would far exceed $5 particularly once you subtract the billing costs and the taxes/social charges to be paid.

However, I would not do the job at all unless I already had a good relationship with the customer. Which leads me to ask why this agency doesn't have translators with whom they already have a good relationship and that have time to fit in a $5 job...

T.


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Kristina Kolic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 18:43
Member (2007)
English to Croatian
+ ...
What about 'one word' only Jun 14, 2008

As strange as it might seem, I have already seen offers on Proz for just a few words.

A few days ago there was a job offer posted on Proz for one word only to be translated into several languages. The outsourcer also requested the translators to quote their *minimum price on a source word count basis*, which would be paid through Paypal or Moneybookers. How much would that be

I do not have an account with Paypal or Moneybookers and therefore I am not familiar with their payment policies. But I can only imagine how thrilled a translator could be to see his/her account credited by a few euro cents only (if any, considering any applicable charges). I found it quite hilarious!

May be I should have replied to this one by suggesting to the outsourcer to post a Kudoz question and then bill him on a source word basis for the tip


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:43
English to French
+ ...
Possible start... does it work? Jun 14, 2008

Ivana Friis Wilson wrote:

I quite often reply to tiny jobs, 5 words for x amount of money - I see it as a possible start to a working relationship, so it could be worth it. Line introducing yourself to an agency.



Your comment is interesting: as you accept this kind of jobs quite often, you could probably comment also about the overall result. Have you ever developped a steady and interesting relationship with an agency out of these first odd jobs?


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:43
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
You may laugh... Jun 14, 2008

... but my cooperation with one of my good clients (who supplies me with jobs rather regularly) dates back to 2001 when I did a 1-word translation: they needed translating "Welcome!" into Russian as well as getting an advice about Cyrillic fonts that were absent in their computer.

Of course, doing a $5 job looks rather like a favor; if your hands are full of jobs and your minimal rate is much higher, then just ignore; I just wanted to say, you never know what could be the long-term consequences of such tiny job.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 12:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
For want of a 15-word translation… Jun 14, 2008

There are a number of good reasons why translators may not consider tiny jobs worthy of their attention and that has been the focus of attention in this thread so far.

There are, likewise, many perfectly valid reasons why a mere 15 or 20 words may need to be translated – quickly, professionally and accurately.

Let’s imagine for a moment that a company receives a proposal from a client for a change to their € multi-million service contract; the letter is in the company’s language, English for the sake of argument – but the appendix with the new contract clause is in the client’s language: Armenian. All the company needs to know is: ‘What do these Armenian hieroglyphics mean? And should we accept or reject the proposal?’ Often, the fastest and most reliable way to answer those questions is to get the clause translated by a freelance translator.

It's a tiny job, but potentially worth millions to the company.

But if translators are systematically going to refuse such jobs, what are clients supposed to do?

Parodying a popular rhyme ( http://www.rhymes.org.uk/for_want_of_a_nail.htm )

For want of a translation the meaning was lost.
For want of the meaning the contract was lost.
For want of a contract the work was lost.
For want of work the profit was lost.
For want of profit the company was lost.
And all for the want of a tiny translation.

It does no harm to anyone here to do the occasional tiny translation – free of charge – as a gesture of goodwill towards the people and companies who drive the global economy which, let’s not forget, is the primary source of work for translators worldwide.

MediaMatrix


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:43
English to Portuguese
+ ...
If I do it, I do it for free Jun 14, 2008

Now and then such an ad comes up, and the job poster sounds nice and considerate.

Considering that I'll get those $5 via PayPal, and then will have them through Xoom to my bank account, it might cost me much more in fees. So if I do it, I do it for free.

So far this hasn't generated me any new business at all. One of these was so happy from my half-hour turnaround that he promised his next job in my pair would be mine. It wasn't; I saw the ad here.

On the other hand, I have invoiced a frequent client an agency, for $4. They pay me via PayPal, and the PM told me they really needed that invoice. So my invoices to them now range from 1 to 4 digits.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:43
Member (2008)
French to English
cheaper for free Jun 14, 2008

I agree, if I were to do that kind of job (can't imagine why, but you never know) I would rather do it for free - the time it takes to invoice would just be compounding my loss.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
For want of... Jun 14, 2008

Right, Mediamatrix: "It's a tiny job, but potentially worth millions to the company."

Then offering the translator more than five bucks should also be worthwhile.

But I agree that it may be good to offer to do small jobs like that free just to try to develop business. It doesn't take much, and it could turn into something. It could be a better shot than doing tests, sending out resumés and filling out applications.


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RichardDeegan
Local time: 11:43
Spanish to English
Insult to injury Jun 14, 2008

Sometimes you have to seriously question the thinking of agencies that post such jobs. Often it seems that, although they have nice BB ratings shown, they have no translator available, qualified or willing to do a small job in a common pair with a reasoable time frame (24-48 hours is posted for many such jobs).
Recently I offerred to do one of these shorties on a "sample translation" basis (i.e. free) figuring on future possibilities. The next day they sent me a 100-word text to be done in order to qualify for the shorty!!!!


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Sundar Gopalakrishnan
India
Local time: 22:13
English to Tamil
+ ...
Great! Jun 15, 2008

RichardDeegan wrote:

Sometimes you have to seriously question the thinking of agencies that post such jobs. Often it seems that, although they have nice BB ratings shown, they have no translator available, qualified or willing to do a small job in a common pair with a reasoable time frame (24-48 hours is posted for many such jobs).
Recently I offerred to do one of these shorties on a "sample translation" basis (i.e. free) figuring on future possibilities. The next day they sent me a 100-word text to be done in order to qualify for the shorty!!!!


This story is great!


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:43
French to English
Typo?? Jun 15, 2008

Surprised no-one has mentioned this possibility yet.
It has been known for posters to get a bit confused about the form, or make a mistake in currency conversion.
Might not even apply in this case for all I know, but I thought I'd mention it.

But if not, and it's a genuine case of a poster really just needing a few words doing with absolutely no idea if any other work in that field or pair is in the offing, what would you have them do?

Ask a string of kudoz questions and then have people slag them off on the forum for that?

Offer it as a "test" (knowing fine well the test is the whole thing)? Cue more forum outrage in future when a test fails to result in a book deal.

I know there are some odd and dubious job posters out there, but we don't have to criticise every little thing that falls outside the more usual working paramters.


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