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Thread poster: Melisa Fernández Rosso
How can we monitor low rates?

Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 24, 2011

This is my first year working as a translator and, as all beginners, I was open to work on any new project and sometimes worked for USD 0.01 per source word (for those massive texts about food, health, tourism, etc. that swarm the web).
The problem is that I took many frustrating jobs on Freelancer.com and after a year I am fed up with it (very low rates, disrespect for the work of a professional translator, disloyalty, lack of payment, etc.). Nonetheless, many employers look for cheap -awful- translations through this and other web sites.
Is there a way to stop this web sites from providing this outrageous service that affect us as professionals? Is there a way to report them?
(I want to make clear that I have cancelled my registration on the web site mentioned above.)


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:00
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Question answered Nov 24, 2011


Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

I took many frustrating jobs on Freelancer.com ... Is there a way to stop this web sites from providing this outrageous service?


You have answered your own question. There is no way that these web sites will stop providing this outrageous service while there are translators who are willing to do "many jobs" for them.


[Edited at 2011-11-24 13:33 GMT]


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:00
Member (2008)
French to English
Vote... Nov 24, 2011

...with your feet.

And encourage others to do the same.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:00
Hebrew to English
I must have dodged the bullet...... Nov 24, 2011


Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

This is my first year working as a translator and, as all beginners, I was open to work on any new project and sometimes worked for USD 0.01 per source word (for those massive texts about food, health, tourism, etc. that swarm the web).
The problem is that I took many frustrating jobs on Freelancer.com and after a year I am fed up with it (very low rates, disrespect for the work of a professional translator, disloyalty, lack of payment, etc.). Nonetheless, many employers look for cheap -awful- translations through this and other web sites.
Is there a way to stop this web sites from providing this outrageous service that affect us as professionals? Is there a way to report them?
(I want to make clear that I have cancelled my registration on the web site mentioned above.)


As a relative newcomer to the profession, I've (fortunately) never heard of freelancer.com, and even as a beginner, wouldn't consider working for 0.01USD, and to think I was insulted when one agency offered me 0.07USD once!

I think it's harder as a beginner to turn down work (believe me it's even harder for me with a rare language pair), but I think in the long run, you're doing yourself a favour by not feeding the beast.


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Donatella Semproni  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:00
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Did you ask yourself Nov 24, 2011

Did you ask yourself if you can live with such rates? if you can pay your taxes and housing and food and updating and leisure in your country?

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:00
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Low-rate-agencies Nov 24, 2011


Ty Kendall wrote:

I think it's harder as a beginner to turn down work (believe me it's even harder for me with a rare language pair), but I think in the long run, you're doing yourself a favour by not feeding the beast.



There is no way to monitor low - or, for that matter, any - rates. For as long as translators and in many cases "wanna-be" translators are willing to work for such extremely low rates, these rates are what will be offered. Let's face it, many agencies will never pay a decent rate for as long as they can have the translations for an "on sale" price. This is, of course, not to say that there aren't any decent agencies which appreciate the work the translator does and is, therefore, willing to pay for such quality.

The only ones who are able to eliminate low-rate agencies (punch somewhat intended ) are the translators by refusing to work for such insulting rates.


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Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Nov 24, 2011

Dear Emma,

I am also a lawyer and find more convenient to look for a legal way to close the web site, as there will always be translators or bilingual persons interested in working for a few dollars...

Dear Donatella,

... as working for a few dollars is still profitable (for me is somehow profitable in Argentina, imagine in Pakistan and India, as most bidders come from those countries).
Anyway, you're right, in the long run working for nothing is not profitable at all and, as I am getting better jobs now, I can choose what to do and was able to decline a lot of "opportunities" that I found just humiliating -mostly audio transcriptions.

Dear John,

You're right.

Dear Ty,

I should tell you that the conversion (money change) is 1 UK pound=6 ARS pesos, quite a difference in earnings.


But that was just the beginning. Thank you to all of you, I will not keep feeding the beast


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Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Nov 24, 2011

Dear Emma,

I am also a lawyer and find more convenient to look for a legal way to close the web site, as there will always be translators or bilingual persons interested in working for a few dollars...

Dear Donatella,

... as working for a few dollars is still profitable (for me is somehow profitable in Argentina, imagine in Pakistan and India, as most bidders come from those countries).
Anyway, you're right, in the long run working for nothing is not profitable at all and, as I am getting better jobs now, I can choose what to do and was able to decline a lot of "opportunities" that I found just humiliating -mostly audio transcriptions.

Dear John & Thayenga,

You're right.

Dear Ty,

I should tell you that the conversion (money change) is 1 UK pound=6 ARS pesos, quite a difference in earnings.


But that was just the beginning. Thank you to all of you, I will not keep feeding the beast


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Ivan Rocha, CT
Canada
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Close it? Nov 24, 2011


Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

Dear Emma,

I am also a lawyer and find more convenient to look for a legal way to close the web site, as there will always be translators or bilingual persons interested in working for a few dollars...


Why in the world would you want to "close the web site", just because it offers low paying jobs? Why is it of your concern?


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:00
French to German
+ ...
In the bull's eye... Nov 24, 2011


Emma Goldsmith wrote:


Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

I took many frustrating jobs on Freelancer.com ... Is there a way to stop this web sites from providing this outrageous service?


You have answered your own question. There is no way that these web sites will stop providing this outrageous service while there are translators who are willing to do "many jobs" for them.


[Edited at 2011-11-24 13:33 GMT]


And such web sites also live from paid memberships without feeling the heat when things take a turn for the worst.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:00
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Close the web site? Nov 24, 2011


Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:
I am also a lawyer and find more convenient to look for a legal way to close the web site, as there will always be translators or bilingual persons interested in working for a few dollars...


You want to close the entire market, just because a few stallholders sell rubbish at exhorbitant prices? I think that's a very high-handed attitude. Who are you to determine what other people will work for? These websites (there are a lot of them out there) cater for all types of freelancers: legally-registered professionals and those working illegally or moonlighting, students looking for experience, retirees looking for interesting "hobbies", the low-paid looking for a way to make ends meet, single mothers with young children who have very few life choices, etc., etc.

Nobody is forcing you to spend time there, still less to accept jobs. I actually got a very interesting and quite large job through one of them, however. The budget was way too low but I took a gamble and expressed my interest - we finally settled on 0.09 €, a bit lower than normal but acceptable. The client had been disgusted at the letters and sample translation of most of the bidders.

ProZ.com has now forbidden clients to openly display any budget (be it low or high) in a job posting. I find that a very welcome development, as this site is mainly aimed at language professionals who should be given the right to set their own rates, but I doubt staff would be willing to ban those who are not prepared to settle for market rates. Many other sites are not willing to hide budget information. I don't like it but, hey, it's a free world and I wouldn't like to see the end of that.

Sheila


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Alexandre Maricato
Brazil
Local time: 12:00
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
A unique concept of Law Nov 24, 2011


Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

I am also a lawyer and find more convenient to look for a legal way to close the web site, as there will always be translators or bilingual persons interested in working for a few dollars...



I wonder what is your concept of Law and, in particular, Business Law, International Law, Free Market and the vey basic idea of supply and demand.

Maybe you should start your crusade by trying to close the retail stores which sell underpriced products or, going further, the entire low budget market.

It is your choice to work for a few dollars. If you made a bad choice, it seems great that you realized it now.

So, if there is anyone to blame here it is the people who makes poor choices, and not the companies who profit on them.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:00
Member (2004)
English to Polish
How thoughtful of you... Nov 24, 2011


Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:
Anyway, you're right, in the long run working for nothing is not profitable at all and, as I am getting better jobs now, I can choose what to do and was able to decline a lot of "opportunities" that I found just humiliating -mostly audio transcriptions.


I see... You have used the site yourself to get experience... Now, when you have "better jobs" (and are among "us professionals"), they are suddenly "outrageous" and you want them closed?

Frankly, I'm at loss for words...


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:00
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
First thing you need to learn is Free Market rules Nov 24, 2011

I don't agree with low rates, but your attitude is outrageous, just because you consider someone's business model is wrong you want to report them (plus the fact that you willingly partook of that business makes this worse).

Offering low rates is not illegal and if the people who accept the jobs do so willingly then its not up to you to decide if they should be allowed to do so.

The best way to deal with these business models is to ignore them.


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Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We are loosing the point Nov 24, 2011

My point is, dear all, that I committed a mistake by registering on Freelancer.com and was advised by fellows not to get involved in those type of job offers.
In Argentina, a translation agency that exploited translators was sanctioned by the Translator's Association and we all found this penalty correctly applied.

Dear Alexandre, Jabberwock and Alex,

The ups and downs of free market are not the point in this discussion, or a field of law for that matter. My point is that we should ALWAYS work with dignity, a totally lost feature when it comes to exploiting people and making the best profit of something.

I hope that you all understand my point of view and do not get confussed by thinking that I want to manage the rules of the market.
I just want to enjoy my profession and be respected for doing so.

Do you really think that there are people out there who agree with being humillated?

Thank you all for participating


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