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Good Practices in quoting
Thread poster: Jing Nie

Jing Nie
China
Local time: 01:13
Member (2011)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Mar 9, 2009

I am a freelance English to Chinese translator & subtitler., but sometimes I have to outsourcing some small projects. For example, My client need subtitles in several languages, I have to outsourcing the languages that I do not know.

But after posting my jobs on Proz for several times, I found it is rather hard to find suitable persons due to the lack of quoting.

Some people just leave me a message : “I am interested in your project.” And some people just paste their resume. I am curious if they really have read my job postings.

Some people do not tell me their rate in the letter. To save our time, why not tell me your rates directly?

BTW, I need a native traditional Chinese translator from Taiwan this time, and I have declared clearly in the job posting . But several people from China(native simplified Chinese speakers) quoted for this project , and one of them even told me he is a native speaker of Traditional Chinese. Please do remember that I am also a Chinese living in Shanghai, I can distinguish if you are a native Traditional Chinese speaker or not.

I think good quoting should be at least like this:
To show the client he/she have read the job posting and give the reasons that he/she can meet the commands.
Tell the client directly about his/her rates.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:13
English to German
+ ...
Top-professionals don't give their rates until they have seen the job Mar 9, 2009

Job postings are sketchy and no professional of sound mind would ever tell the pricing in advance without having seen at least a part of the project.

Translators are neither copy shops nor fast food restaurants with price lists at their door.

There is more to Proz.com than the job site. Have you ever considered contacting the translators of your choice in person? That's what this terrific network is all about.

Meet the commands? How shall the translator know what the commands of a particular project are? Speaking the language? That the project has a certain number of words?

I am sorry, but I couldn't disagree more with this perception of outsourcing. Even if it "saves your time".


Regards,

Nicole Schnell


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Jing Nie
China
Local time: 01:13
Member (2011)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I have post the total project. Mar 9, 2009

Hi Nocole,
Thanks for let me know your comment.

But the problem is , I usually post my projects with web links. This time , it is a video that need subtitling, I have given the potential quoters a link to view the video clips before quoting.
So there is no excuse to say I do not know the content of the project before quoting.
Nicole Schnell wrote:

Job postings are sketchy and no professional of sound mind would ever tell the pricing in advance without having seen at least a part of the project.

Translators are neither copy shops nor fast food restaurants with price lists at their door.

There is more to Proz.com than the job site. Have you ever considered contacting the translators of your choice in person? That's what this terrific network is all about.

Meet the commands? How shall the translator know what the commands of a particular project are? Speaking the language? That the project has a certain number of words?

I am sorry, but I couldn't disagree more with this perception of outsourcing. Even if it "saves your time".


Regards,

Nicole Schnell


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:13
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Maybe there is no suitable person here Mar 9, 2009

Hi Jing,
Maybe there is no suitable translator on ProZ interested in the job.
If you are talking about the two latest job postings of yours, I think the job description was OK, especially that you provided a link to the actual video that needed translation.
In my opinion, that is enough info to give you both a price and a delivery timeline.
If a reply you get makes you think the person did not read the instructions, you may be right about not willing to work with him/her. Clear communication, reading and following the project instructions are crucial for successful work.

You can try searching the directory and targeting translators directly, instead of posting jobs.
Furthermore, there are other places, not only ProZ where you can find suitable candidates.
Professional translators' organizations, such as the ATA offer online directories that you can search according to language pairs, specialization, etc.

Good luck!
Katalin


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Jing Nie
China
Local time: 01:13
Member (2011)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I have tried searching the directory and targeting translators directly Mar 9, 2009

Hi Katalin and Nocole,

Thanks for your suggestions for searching for the directory and contacting the translators directly.

I have tried that before, but the results were not good.

You may image it. You write to one potential translator, then he replied next day "I am interested in the project, but I have no time these days". Then you have to write to next translator. Time are wasted. It is not my practices to ask serval translators at the same time, since I have only one project and can only assign the project to one person. I do not want the other persons to feel that they are fooled.

So I change to post my projects directly later.

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Hi Jing,
Maybe there is no suitable translator on ProZ interested in the job.
If you are talking about the two latest job postings of yours, I think the job description was OK, especially that you provided a link to the actual video that needed translation.
In my opinion, that is enough info to give you both a price and a delivery timeline.
If a reply you get makes you think the person did not read the instructions, you may be right about not willing to work with him/her. Clear communication, reading and following the project instructions are crucial for successful work.

You can try searching the directory and targeting translators directly, instead of posting jobs.
Furthermore, there are other places, not only ProZ where you can find suitable candidates.
Professional translators' organizations, such as the ATA offer online directories that you can search according to language pairs, specialization, etc.

Good luck!
Katalin


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 12:13
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hi Mar 9, 2009

Hi, Jing

Sadly, this happens all the time. I outsource projects too and honestly, PEOPLE DON'T READ!! It seems that they just read the title of the job and reply whatever they want. Or they have a fixed message that they copy&paste from somewhere else, that definitely doesn't match your requirements. I normally thought that XX people don't read (signs, manuals, instructions, etc.) and that it is already bad, but when I actually saw translators doing the same, this is worse! I think to myself: "My, God! Are they dumb or they want to play a joke on me? Is this the same treatment my to-be-translated-text is gonna get? Who guarantees me that a translator who cannot read a small ad and follow its instructions, is going to read well my whole text of 20 pages and translate it nicely?"

About stating the rates, in my opinion, any real professional who doesn't have anything to hide and who is not afraid of translating, publishes his/her rates. If the conditions are mentioned in the job post (length of document, number of words, subject, format, etc.), then the translator should already have a list with his own rates to apply to this particular job. Not posting the rates, definitely wastes your time and -this is proven- in most cases, shows that the translator is really expensive. Search on Internet for expensive restaurants, cars, hotels: they do not show their prices online and oblige you to fill in a form in order to get their price list, thus wasting your time.

Good luck trying to find the right people for your job!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:13
English to German
+ ...
I noticed that you are restricting the potential applicants to a particular country of residence Mar 9, 2009

Why?

Whenever I see a job posting such as "English to German translation requested. Translator must live in Germany.", it simply screams "beginner / hobby outsourcer / insecurity".

I know some utmost brilliant translators in my language pair who reside in countries where neither target nor source language is spoken.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Make your life easy Mar 9, 2009

You say you sometimes have to outsource small projects that involve languages you do not know. Have you thought that maybe you should stick to what you do know and leave it at that? You have no obligation to provide what you do not know. You can leave it up to the client to find translators for that. Since these are small jobs and you have to pay someone else to do them, whatever markup you can earn for your trouble is liable to be small also.

Therefore, why not make your life easy? Do what you do best and forget about the rest. Let you clients prefer you for your own work, not another's.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:13
English to German
+ ...
Cristina - picking the right translator saves money in the long run Mar 9, 2009

Depends on what you expect. As an outsourcer you are fully liable in terms of cost and quality. If the client refuses to pay for shoddy results, you - the intermediate outsourcer - have to fork out the money and pay out of pocket.

[quote]Cristina Heraud-van Tol wrote:

If the conditions are mentioned in the job post (length of document, number of words, subject, format, etc.), then the translator should already have a list with his own rates to apply to this particular job.


Try to call a department store and ask the for their prices for blue t-shirts in XL. See what happens. Hey, but you defined size and color? They must be so dumb!

Not posting the rates, definitely wastes your time and -this is proven- in most cases, shows that the translator is really expensive. Search on Internet for expensive restaurants, cars, hotels: they do not show their prices online and oblige you to fill in a form in order to get their price list, thus wasting your time.


Sorry, you are contradicting yourself. If expensive hotels require some extra information first, why shouldn't the translator do the same?

Now we are getting to the point: If expensive translators are not appreciated, and you want cheapo ones only, don't write in your job posting: "Preferred quoter location: United States of America"





Edited for typo.



[Edited at 2009-03-09 04:07 GMT]


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J Chae  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:13
English to Korean
+ ...
There's a reason Mar 9, 2009

Why I hate to mention price on the first contact?

As a freelance translator, I'm often being sought by agencies and outsourcers for jobs. True, about half of them want to know your best price above all.

I stopped replying to agencies requesting my best price a long time ago. Well, I provide an excuse of tight schedule (which is true, btw.) and that maybe if he/she needs me in the future, I will assist gladly. But I do not try to land on their job. Because It never works, not on my price. Some agencies don't even reply back.

The one I consider seriously is when they ask for feasibility. At least we're talking contents, I know I'm not wasting my time.


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Marta Brambilla  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 19:13
German to Italian
+ ...
My experience Mar 9, 2009

The only one time I posted a job I had 8 answer and found a real good person among the 8. I don't know if it was luck but I think as I'm a translator first, I tried to post a job thinking as translator and not as outsourcer. I wanted the best translator to do the job for my client, that's it.

Another thing, thank you J. Chae because your post let me think about a lot ....
I'm answering almost every day to posted jobs and never get an answer.
And I read the whole post, and give all the information requested ....

Thank you for this forum, it has been very useful.

Marta


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Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 20:13
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Expensive Mar 9, 2009

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Now we are getting to the point: If expensive translators are not appreciated, and you want cheapo ones only, don't write in your job posting: "Preferred quoter location: United States of America"


Also, I think it's logical that for the cheapo price the cheapo translator only reads a part of the instructions and does a cheapo translation, which doesn't include background work or proofreading.

Hotel analogies were already brought up, so... you don't go to Cockroach Motel and demand top quality or to Hilton and demand "your best offer", do you?

This is a general note not directed at the topic starter - I haven't checked your job postings.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:13
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Built up a pool of translators first Mar 9, 2009

One is not supposed to take on jobs without the capacity. First one must built up a network of trusted translators, test them, and only then can you take on jobs for outsourcing.
The reason why it is difficult to find good translators at short notice is that they are busy most of the time. Job postings are mostly answered by beginners or people out of work.

Regards
Heinrich


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Anne Kjaer Iversen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:13
German to Danish
+ ...
Location of the translator Mar 9, 2009

I totally disagree if we are talking about subtitling and localization. It is of vital importance that such translators live in the country of their native language if they are to produce a contemporary quality product!

Anne


Nicole Schnell wrote:

Why?

Whenever I see a job posting such as "English to German translation requested. Translator must live in Germany.", it simply screams "beginner / hobby outsourcer / insecurity".

I know some utmost brilliant translators in my language pair who reside in countries where neither target nor source language is spoken.


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:13
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quality translation comes at a price Mar 9, 2009

I have posted quotes for quite a few jobs on Proz and other freelance websites, and having seen what some people write in their quotes, I have to say you get what you pay for. I have seen many quotes with spelling and grammatical errors, but THAT QUOTE GETS THE JOB, because THEY OFFER A LOW PRICE.

Even on Proz Kudoz you see people asking questions that prove they do not have a real understanding of the language they are translating from.

If you want a professional translator, one that reads yous posting correctly, answers it in a correct manner and most of all GIVES YOU A QUALITY TRANSLATION, you have to be willing to pay for it, and that means your client has to be willing to pay for it as well.

If you are not getting quality replies maybe you are not making quality offers. I have not seen your job posts so I don't know if that is the case, but it may well be.

[Edited at 2009-03-09 09:43 GMT]


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