Philip Birzulis wrote:
MY QUESTIONS ARE:
- why didn't the agency indicate what the rate for 100% is
As a general rule, you, the independent contractor, need to state your price. That said, considering that they're dictating how much discount they expect on this and that, they may simply have forgotten to mention the rate they're willing to pay.
(and didn't answer an email question about it)?
- if they just say "rate", is there an assumption that they accept my minimum or target rate?
- it seemed a bit short on details, ie not even specifying what direction of my language pair they need (I'm much stronger on Latvian to English). Is this usual?
Not usual, but not surprising either. Welcome to the fascinating world of ProZ Jobs!
- are most job offers this concise,
Some job offers are this "concise"; some even more so; others provide more detailed information. If you're not given enough details, it's up to you to either ask for them or ignore the request.
and if so what are the assumptions a beginner like me needs to make?
The assumption a beginner needs to make is that a potential client is either clueless, or careless, or fraudulent, or all of the above — if there are no indicators to the contrary. In most cases, I would strongly advise that you ask to see the source document (or, at the very least, a representative excerpt) before you decide that you are both willing and able to do the translation, and before you commit to a rate.
- how quickly do agencies offering jobs expect a response? (I got on to them about three hours later with a confirmation of the job subject to their answering a few questions, but they never got back to me.)
The sooner the better. I don't think that 3 hours is too long to respond to an email; however, things move fast in this business, and they may indeed already have given the job to someone else (and may not have wanted to waste any time on further communications with you). If you're in a position where you're trying to build business, I would encourage you to respond to job requests as fast as you can. If you're not given enough information to commit to anything, express your interest and respond with questions rather than a quote.
[Edited at 2004-05-23 16:33]