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Application form as a mean to pressurize translators
Thread poster: Vadim Poguliaev
Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:50
English to Russian
Jan 31, 2008

LOL
I still can't stop laughing.
A few days ago I received a job offer via Connect - some web site localization, doesn't matter actually. After I expressed my interest, they asked to fill online aplication form, it was pretty regular in the beginning — experience, education, software etc. When I submitted rate the following dynamic message appeared, it was pretty scary — exclamation marks etc.:

Accept a lower rate: we can offer you more work
Suggested rate: Euro 0.030 [?]
We work hard to make things easier for you ...

* Payment: 5 days after invoicing (month end)
* Outstanding references from our translators


I should have been mad, but I laughed — my last review job cost 0.03 EU. After all those guys are creative in their chasing of margin. The funniest part, is that they hadn't finished yet, I received the following email shortly after:

Dear Vadim,
RE: Application to translate (account: )
in COMBINATION:
English (USA) -> Russian
The RATE you have proposed in your application to translate
in THIS COMBINATION is rather high.
If you can offer a better rate, please follow the
instructions below:
1) Follow this link:

2) Click on 'English (USA) -> Russian'.
3) If you wish to CHANGE your RATE, SELECT a new rate and
CLICK 'Save'.
4) If you do not wish to lower your rate, you don't need
to take any action.

Thank you,


This post is for fun mostly, but I won't surprized, if this "know how" will become popular among outsourcers, inexperienced or soft translator might submit to their pressure. Or not? What do you think?


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:50
English to Dutch
+ ...
Same here Jan 31, 2008

I was pretty p****d off, actually, since they sent this e-mail for each of my language pairs.

The rate they offered me was higher though, but still little more than half the rate I had entered.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:50
English to French
+ ...
Pay peanuts, get monkeys Jan 31, 2008

This may actually be good. Those who want to pay peanuts will get monkeys, because no serious translator would touch such a form even with a 39.5-foot pole.

What I find insulting about this particular form is that you find yourself negotiating with a machine. How low can you go? If an outsourcer is not willing to discuss rates with me, at least through e-mail, then I am afraid it just won't happen. At least, they could spare you the effort of filling in your other details for nothing, by putting the rates section at the top of the form...

I don't think this will become a standard. I think you are just "lucky" to have stumbled upon a particularly zealous agency who is very much into rate fixing.

May I ask what country the agency is based in?

Edit: I was wondering if maybe ProZ would be interested in banning invitations to databases from the Connect platform - or at least make sure that the word "database" is in the subject line of the e-mail and in the title of the job posting. What do you think?

[Edited at 2008-01-31 16:05]


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Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:50
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Italy Jan 31, 2008

With branch offices in Sweden and Belgium

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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dumping prices to your outsources (we translators) won't pay off Jan 31, 2008

What the...heck!

How sad is.. What a load of... let us say, remarks we get from an application! Like a warning!??

So, you are supposed to have to adjust yourself to THEIR rates, conditions, rules, etc., and they impose it all.
And you have to adapt yourself to them, and yet you have no input or say?

Well, I would just reply, simply saying that if not, they can, politely, 'look for someone else'.

They probably will try to look for other natives in Russia, or elsewhere, for an even cheaper rate.

But then, you live in the States, right? And you have to face much higher charges, different market, etc.

Honestly, I just wouldn't waste your time on them.
You'd better keep your time for better projects, rather than slave yourself for a couple of beers!

All the best,

Alfredo


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:50
English to French
+ ...
Eeeeew! Jan 31, 2008

Vadim Poguliaev wrote:

With branch offices in Sweden and Belgium


This doesn't look good. These are people in the European Union, where life is expensive! What's next?!

I bet they get paid in Euros - and pay their freelancers in USD... >:[

[Edited at 2008-01-31 16:43]


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Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:50
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
=) Jan 31, 2008

I live in Russia, but it changes nothing. Binding rates to location is even more corruted practise, than the one discussed. And I already wasted 15 minutes of my time — not a big deal. As I already told, I'm not mad, they made me laugh after all=)
I'm not a translator for them, and they are not a client for me. Too bad...


[Edited at 2008-01-31 16:13]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:50
English to Dutch
+ ...
Don't give in Jan 31, 2008

I did NOT lower my rates, and if that means I don't get any jobs from them, well, who cares.

It is insulting to be negotiating with a machine, but apart from that: my rates are rather average, if you check the RateCalculator here on ProZ for my language pairs.

Are they lying, or did they already pressurize some naive, inexperienced or easy-to-scare translators into working for these low rates?

@Viktoria: 'Eeeeew' - couldn't have said it better myself


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A rebuttal Jan 31, 2008

Sometimes when a prospect - especially a domestic one - tries hard to lower my rates by saying they can get someone else cheaper, I call their bluff and tell them to go for it, as I'm used to redo that kind of work at the very same rate I initially offered.

The worst is that it's true!

All right, I don't do it every week, but such things come up about twice every quarter.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:50
Member
English to French
Thanks for the tip Feb 1, 2008

I kept this Connect message and meant to reply in the coming days.
You saved me some time.
Thanks!
have a good weekend,
Philippe


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:50
English to Spanish
Another one for you... Feb 2, 2008

Last year, I logged into my account at a translation agency's website, in order to update my profile just for the hell of it (I had filled it about 1 1/2 years earlier and have never gotten a job offer from them, but I had some time to spare).

When I reached the "rates" section, I entered a higher rate than the one I had signed in with, and a notificacion popped up: "You are not allowed to increase your prices. Please supply value no more then [sic] XXX (my initial rates)"

I wonder... would I have gotten a similar response if I had tried to lower them?


Andrea


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Maria Ramon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
Slavery was abolished long time back! Feb 2, 2008

It is quite offensive to read that some agencies try to get people to translate for a pittance.

They need a certain document, that is written in X language, to be translated into Y language.

They do not know how to do it; it is like going to the dentist: you have a tooth ache, you go to the dentist, he charges A, you cannot tell him that you will only pay B, if you do, he says:" go elsewhere!" In his rate is calculated all the years he studied, the investment in his equipment.

A translator also has studied, invested in equipment; if someone needs your skills, they got to pay for it.

If they don't like your rates, let them go elsewhere; no use wasting time. They'll get what they pay for, as stated earlier: pay peanuts, you get monkeys! - I like that one!

Slavery is long since gone! when you worked hard, day in day out, always, didn't get paid, and got room and board that allowed you to just barely subsist!

I think every translator should have pride in his/her skills and when others need to use their skills, they should be paid appropriately!

I believe it is a wonderful skill to translate one language into another. It facilitates communication between people!, either by the written word, or the spoken word.

There are unscrupulous folks that program their websites in such a way that the user (we) cannot make a choice, or are forced to submit/agree to something that we should not agree to; it is a form of "dictatorship", or boiler room practices on the Internet.

I would just stay away from such places; if no one responds or submits anything they will have to die out and disappear!

Maria


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:50
English to French
+ ...
Exactly! Feb 4, 2008

Maria Ramon wrote:

I would just stay away from such places; if no one responds or submits anything they will have to die out and disappear!



Nothing more to add.


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Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:50
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Continued Feb 7, 2008

Just received the following message:

RE: Application to translate (account: VadimP)
in COMBINATION:
English (USA) -> Russian
Your profile, IN THIS COMBINATION, has been APPROVED:
it is now visible to our project managers.
According to your experience, skills and rate, and market
demand, you may be contacted for translation opportunities.


Of course I didn't lower my rate, but it seems that the one I entered was good enough for them. Or noone submitted to their robotic pressure after all.
We win=]
Still not sure, what's the moral of the story, though.

[Edited at 2008-02-07 08:57]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:50
English to French
+ ...
The moral of the story Feb 7, 2008

Simple - stick to your principles and you shall never fail. If only most of us really lived by this... that would make a pretty big difference!

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