Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Is ProZ.com really that good?
Thread poster: Franck Abate

Franck Abate  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:06
English to French
+ ...
Nov 21, 2001

Apart from the occasional terminology emergency, has anyone (professional, qualified, charging the going Western rate translator) benefited from this site? Seems to me that every time I\'m interested in a job posting for my language pair, I see that there are so many bids at a rate so much lower than mine, I don\'t even bother responding anymore, because I just know I won\'t get the job. I understand the new nature of this business, as well as the concept of competition, but I fail to see how ProZ is really helping us translators by not imposing standard minimum fees for bidding parties. Next year anyone - not already a gold member or whatever at 120 bucks a pop - responding to a bid will have to pay. That makes my decision to blow off this site even easier. To pay for that service, I would need to be convinced that I\'m actually NOT wasting my money. Some could argue that charging a dollar per bid would weed out cheap translation providers, but I doubt it. Opinions anyone?



_________________



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:06
SITE FOUNDER
The charge for quoting is $1 OR 100 browniz Nov 21, 2001

When we (ProZ.com staff) refer to the quote fee to be instituted in January, we say \"$1 or 100 browniz.\"



When making a posting in this forum, please take care not to mislead others. The fee is not $1. It is $1 OR 100 browniz.



The idea is that you can contribute to this community and business either through your efforts (entering 10 terms in the glossary earns you 100 browniz) or with your dollars.



If you are unwilling to do either, you will still get a few quote bids. But eventually you will be asked to contribute something.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-04-14 19:30 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 21:06
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
$1 or 100 Browniz: OK, but not for postings like #15974 Nov 21, 2001

You\'re absolutely right, Henry, in correcting Franck.

Other than that, I can\'t stress enough that ProZ is a lot more than just job offers and absolutely worth the subscription fee.



But -mind you- Franck does make a valid point:



Have a look at e.g. job posting #15974

English > Dutch



This is all the info we receive:



\"Details



Translation English > Dutch (Trados)



Requirements



All CVs (copied into the body of the message) + rates:


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 15:06
German to English
+ ...
Evert is completely right Nov 21, 2001

Fully agree with you, Evert. Nothing more to add; you said it all.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:06
SITE FOUNDER
translators benefit too Nov 21, 2001

Evert said:

-------------

From a commercial point of view, however, I only see two winners: the asker, even though nothing much will change, and ProZ.com itself, but not the translator/bidder

-------------



I disagree. When 300 people bid on a job, the last 250 don\'t even get a look. You may be the perfect person for the job, if you are bidder 299, no one will ever know it.



Weeding out non-serious bids will not benefit all bidders--it will benefit only the careful ones. With 10 good bids, instead of three hundred irrationally optimistic \'I\'m-available-contact-me-for-a-quote\'s, outsourcers will be more likely to perceive ProZ.com as a community of professionals. Over time, we can expect that the agencies that frequent the marketplace will reflect the increased professionalism with better postings and better rates.



By the way, as outlined in other threads, we will be tightening the screws, in terms of posting requirements.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 15:06
German to English
+ ...
Of course, translators benefit too.... Nov 21, 2001

..., but we need to \"tighten the screws\".



A minimum rate requirement will address some (or most) of the issues raised by Evert, Telesforo and many others, and it should be one of the first steps to take when implementing the new system in January.



On the outsourcer\'s side, we need to have more control as to the true identity of the outsourcer: full address (or at least the country), phone & fax numbers, ...



And, finally, agencies that are known all over the world as \"payment offenders\" should not be allowed to post anymore (like one German agency that everyone knows about and that posted yet another job within the last 48 hours); this would stop them from recruiting further \"victims\" (at least as far as ProZ is concerned).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Theodore Quester  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:06
French to English
+ ...
Benefit from the site Nov 21, 2001

I for one have had many job offers and offers of collaboration -- so far, unfortunately, I haven\'t been able to take any (because of other circumstances -- a new baby), all because of my presence on this site.



It seems a lot easier to get job offers just from people contacting you unsolicited than to get bid jobs -- I\'ve only got two after bidding on probably at least 50.



I think it is good to charge for bidding, which only seems worthwhile anyway for jobs that need more than one translator.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:06
German to English
+ ...
Implement a registry system for job offers Nov 21, 2001

Henry, I think that it would be a good idea to implement a registry system for askers. I can understand that some agencies do not want to put all their data upfront, but that could be avoided through a registry process, which means that the PROZ organization knows the address, telephone number, etc., and furnishes a Code No., which tells us translators that this job offer is for real and posted by an entity known to PROZ.



I also totally underwrite that askers should be obliged to give minimum information. Your form should have required input fields, rejecting the job offer, if they are not filled out.



You could also avoid \"fuzzy\" input (\"urgent\" instead of \"3 days\" for deadline) by giving ranges to be ticked (500~1000, 1000~1500, ...more than 10,000 words and one free input field ... for the 21,953 words). That saves time on all sides.



The pricing is really a problem. October to December are usually very quiet in Japan and I accept jobs at much lower rates for the first time this year. But I have to pay my staff and rent and live..., so sometimes we have to bend backwards.



I recently receive an offer for a large software manual G-J from two different countries, both with ridiculously low rates (Euro 0.045/source word) and extreme deadlines (5500 word/day). I told them the truth - that my staff costs me about Euro 0.11/word and I am not willing to pay to be kept busy.

The present PROZ system is definitely promoting this price war, because as one agency asked me to translate \"from page 76\", they must have found someone who does that job, at least partly. But what quality does the customer get? I am sure that this customer had no idea what he was asking for...or did not care. Customer+agency \"education\" should be one task of PROZ.



Anyway, I am sure the discussion will not end here.





Direct link Reply with quote
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 15:06
German to English
+ ...
And the discussion just rolls right along.... Nov 21, 2001

You are right: it is a big problem, especially because many clients are so utterly uneducated when it comes to dealing with professional translators.



Good point, by the way, about requiring outsourcers to specify the exact timeline for the project.



Also, they need to specify the subject matter a whole lot more accurately: for example, saying that it is a medical document means nothing at all: is it a medical report or a general or highly specialized text?



As for the rate problem, Hans, let me tell you this: especially because you have staff to support, you cannot afford to lower your rates - you can do that if you work just for yourself (but even then it would be highly questionable), but if you continue this, your staff will run off.



I have seen Japanese translators demanding as much as US$0.40 per target word, and the ones I know are still in business. Quite frankly, I don\'t see any reason for lowering your rates (especially with your language combinations and given the high living standards in Japan!).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:06
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Required fields is a MUST Nov 21, 2001

Evert brought it up:



The \'tradlingua.com\' posting is ridiculous. My feeling is they\'re just out to fill their file. There is no job waiting. To pay $1 for that is degrading.



JOBS SHOULD BE JOBS, not these silly \"we are updating our file of translators\" nonsense.



So please Henry and Jason: Draw on Hans\' suggestions, so that the poster won\'t get through unless the JOB fields are all filled in.

Werner is so right about \'medical\'. The spec ought to be at least 5 DIFFFERENT words like \'Discourse on cholesterol creating blood clots ....\' (to avoid \'medical medical medical medical medical\').

AND:

Like with KudoZ askers we should all have a chance to have a look at the posters\' record (No of jobs posted, number of jobs closed, price paid, possible payment delay (both reported privately by job taker)) etc.

This a brainstorm suggestion.



Mats





Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:06
Italian to English
+ ...
Legitimate jobs Nov 21, 2001

Actually, I recently bid on a project and got an email saying \"congratulations\" - I\'d got the bid. Took me a week and a half to finally get a response from the job poster (after a couple of emails to him) saying \"This project has just come to an end, but we will keep you in mind... blah blah blah\".

Indeed this would have been a waste of $1 or brownieZ.



Just my 2 cents.



R.

==

Quote:


On 2001-11-21 21:08, MatsWiman wrote:

Evert brought it up:



...

JOBS SHOULD BE JOBS, not these silly \"we are updating our file of translators\" nonsense.

...

Mats





Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:06
German to English
+ ...
Always room for improvements... Nov 22, 2001

Being a member for only about 6 months, I am relatively new with PROZ compared to \"old hands\" like Mats and Ulrike, but as many of you may have recognized, I am quite actively participating in various fields, including KUDOZ (asking and answering) and organizing the Powwow in Yokohama (already 4 participants! I was surprised).



The reason for me to become a member was that one of my major clients opened a branch office in London and is now doing all the English - German there. I had $70,000 turnover with him in 2000, the first three months in 2001 about $2500 and the last 6 months approx. $300. With the still tight and even deteriorating Japanese economy, the writing is on the wall for other clients to follow.



Anyway, this opened my eyes to the rapid internationalization of translation business that we are experiencing at the moment. It is like the communicating pipes - it seems that the jobs are flowing, where the lowest prices are offered.



Mats, I would love to share your optimism concerning quality, but in the present environment, most companies have to calculate with a very sharp pencil. And Sabine in India is probably as qualified and offering as high quality in E - G IT translations as a Mats, Werner or Hans can provide (just an example - don\'t crucify me The difference is that she can probably live a whole day with $10, which buys me just the train ticket to and from my company, thus she can offer her quality at a much lower rate. I am an optimistic person, but I am quite sure that we have to face sinking translation rates, except for special situations like advantage of local presence, special education or qualification in one field, etc.



I can see the benefits but also the risks that PROZ can have for the translators. What seems to be the most urgent problem to tackle is, how we can avoid that PROZ becomes the place of choice for all the non-paying bargain hunters in translation business! The experience over the last couple of weeks points in that direction.



I got 3 jobs from 2 legitimate and straight forward companies at halfway reasonable rates, so I think my investment is already fully recovered. But I most probably missed on a juicy G - J soccer translation, though we do most German material for the Japanese Soccer Association (J-League) and are highly qualified - but expensive. And I refused the rock-bottom price for a software translation job mentioned in my first posting.



Henry, I think the challenge PROZ is facing is how to better qualify the job offerers and agencies without turning the good and legitimate ones away. 25,000 translator members is substantial, but it is also a huge responsibility. Immediate steps should be:



1. People should not be able to post job offers with just their e-mail address. A registration system and registration number for posters is an important security step.

2. The format of job offers should be unified with certain information like field, topic, size, and deadline mandatory.

3. PROZ should have some kind of agency list. \"Slander\" can be avoided by informing the agency about the complaint and giving them an opportunity (e.g. one week) for an own statement, BEFORE publishing the complaint. I am sure this will solve the \"slander\" problem. Also translators will think twice to complain, while e.g. a quality dispute between him/her and the agency is still unresolved. But we should definitely weed out the really bad guys, who just don\'t care.



Up to now I was lucky, but who knows...



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gilda Manara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:06
German to Italian
+ ...
Filters Nov 22, 2001

I am in ProZ since a couple of months and following with great interest all its activities - from Forums to KudoZs and so on. The absolute bestseller seems to be: quality / prices / competition. The order can change, the result remains the same. My impression is that as long as ProZ is open to everybody - agencies, outsourcers, translators - without any filter, we cannot rely on a self-discipline of the persons that are part of its activities. I have seen till now that there are some big stars of the translation world who in different Forums say that they are full of work, that they do not work for less than what they deem right and so on. Wonderful - I am certain it is what they deserve. But at the same time they attack, in some way, other translators who work for smaller rates, or outsourcers who try to get cheaper rates. This means (in my opinion) that, in a moment when the economy is slowing down and Internet makes the competition stronger, these few lucky people are afraid of what the new trend might bring in the future. All this has been widely discussed, with all its implications. But I think that, as long as ProZ, and similar sites on the Web, are open to everybody without filters we can go on discussing about it for ever and we won\'t achieve anything. There are realities which nobody can cancel: translators who have prooved to be very good, who have a long experience, who are equipped with all possible technological means and softwares, cannot accept to work for less than they are entitled to, considering the investments they have made in studies, equipment, hard work. But young/new translators who come now on the market, how can they compete? Only with price. They must still collect experience - and if they don\'t work they cannot make it. And if they don\'t work they cannot buy softwares, translation tools and so on. And nobody can tell them: refuse an underpaid job, when the alternative is: do not work at all! So it is up to the translators to filter the job offers they are interested to - and it is up to the outsourcers to filter the translators they are interested to. If I am sick and look for a physician, I can go to the newly graduated doctor, who won\'t charge me anything, or to the big celebrity, where I must pay just for making an appointment. It depends on whether I have a cold or whether I have something more serious - I know what to expect, I know what I can afford to pay. If it is the big crowd which disturbs - maybe ProZ should split its spaces. One for the big professional figures - with true and prooved qualifications - where outsourcers know what they get and must be prepared not to offer jobs below a certain price, as they won\'t get a translation below a certain standard; and another space where outsourcers can look for cheaper bidders - taking along the risk of the quality that can come with it. But as long as everybody bids for a single job - or all of us can be approached by whatever outsourcer with \"infamous\" offers... it is useless to complain! Market and economy have their laws, and we are on the weak side of the rope!

Good work and good prices to everybody...



Gilda


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:06
SITE FOUNDER
making yourself special Nov 22, 2001

reymarktco makes several good points. What makes something precious is its rarity; if you offer a commodity service, you must charge commodity rates.



Let me clarify one thing: The onus is on the individual, not on ProZ.com, to differentiate. ProZ.com is contantly taking steps to provide more tools to give translators and agencies ways to prove that they have unique skills, or that they excel in terms of quality, cost, speed. Those who take advantage of these tools to make themselves stand out are winning the good jobs now, and they will win them in the future.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 21:06
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
1$ or 100 Browniz will not weed out lots of bids Nov 22, 2001

That\'s actually one of my points, Henry.

I do agree that if fewer bidders would reply to a posting, those who did bid seriously would stand a (slightly) better chance, but I\'m absolutely not convinced that 1$ or 100 Browniz will scare a lot of non-paying members - enter a couple of times \'agree\' and that\'s it...

Even someone who never made any translations could easily enter \'agree\' anywhere, 100 times a day - s/he may easily do so without being noticed as s/he\'d only have to follow the gradings entered by other translators.









Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Is ProZ.com really that good?

Advanced search


Translation news





Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
TMreserve
Wake up in the Morning and see that you have sold TMs and made Money overnight



The TM Market Place for Translators
New: Our Instant TM Download
TM owners: Upload your TMs into the online database
Customers: Analyse your text & instantly download a text-specific TM
Well over 1.2 BILLION translation units

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs