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Why on earth would anyone respond to an ad like this?
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Sep 1, 2008

Here's the ad (including mistakes):


< XXXX Translators Ltd., Moscow, is looking urgent qualified and professional translators, native English speaker for regularly long time cooperation. We pay 0.05USD s/w. If you are interested, please send us your detailed CV URGENTLY. >

At today's exchange rate, 0.05USD = EURO 0,03, i.e. as close to nothing as it's possible to get. And that's before tax.

How could **anyone** ever respond to an ad like that - or is it some kind of Russian scam?


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
English to Norwegian
A lot of people would respond Sep 1, 2008

There are a lot of countries where people only earn 5 to 25 USD per day. Then if you translate 2000 words a day, you get USD 100, which is a good salary in for instance India. Internet is worldwide, and agencies take advantage of that. Mind you, I have said nothing about the quality, but I have read a lot of users manuals produced in China, India and the former east-block and I can assure you, they are not worth more than USD 0.05 per word



[Edited at 2008-09-01 15:09]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:51
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Lots of room for monkeys at the zoo Sep 1, 2008

Gee, Tom, that sounds about on par with this job post which showed up today:

"My client needs 3 more full-time translators for the next six months. Your job will be to translate and update a business and finance related website. Must translate around 2,000 words per day, 5 days a week. Must be willing to work some weekends. Start: immediately. Payment: $2,000 per month via bank transfer... NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS ONLY!!"

Although as Per points out that may be good money in India (can't say - I've never lived there, and as far as I know the really qualified translators in India may disagree vehemently with this), a first-rate translator should be able to command top rates from any location. I can assure you that if I moved to India or Thailand my rates would not be cut one bit.

I am sure that this outsourcer will get the quality he/she pays for.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
But it isn't for India... Sep 1, 2008

Per Magnus wrote:

There are a lot of countries where people only earn 5 to 25 USD per day. Then if you translate 2000 words a day, you get USD 100, which is a good salary in for instance India. Internet is worldwide, and agencies take advantage of that. Mind you, I have said nothing about the quality, but I have read a lot of users manuals produced in China, India and the former east-block and I can assure you, they are not worth more than USD 0.05 per word



[Edited at 2008-09-01 15:09]


BUt this was for Italian to English! I imagine most Italian to English translators (such as me) would be based in oh-so-expensive-and-getting-more-expensive-by-the-day Europe!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
well... Sep 1, 2008

well, I hope they don't want translations of brain surgery manuals

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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
English to Norwegian
Lots of monkeys at the zoo Sep 1, 2008

I have observed that the same agencies come around, time and again, with new projects and the same low prices. So it is obvious that the get the response they want.

Kevin Lossner wrote:
I can assure you that if I moved to India or Thailand my rates would not be cut one bit.


Sure, so would I. And a lot of Norwegian translators have moved from the “oh-so-expensive-and-getting-more-expensive-by-the-day” Norway. And they charge about 70 % of what we charge here in Norway.


Tom in London wrote:
I hope they don't want translations of brain surgery manuals.


You can always hope


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 18:51
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
IMAGINE Sep 1, 2008

Imagine that the agency is a NGO....

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 13:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Simple! Sep 1, 2008

Tom in London asked:

Why on earth would anyone respond to an ad like this?"

How could **anyone** ever respond to an ad like that ... ?


It's all very simple, Tom.

Some people will answer such ads in the hope of earning some money.

And as I pointed out in a recent thread where someone was complaining angrily about a job-posting offering similar 'rewards', the income that might be won from just half-a-day's work on those conditions would be the equivalent of about 18 days-worth of the minimum legal wage here in Chile (which, until a couple of weeks ago, was widely regarded as one of South America's three leading economies).

Don't fight it, Tom. Just ignore it if you're not comfortable with it.

MediaMatrix

PS - Before I'm innundated with job offers at USD 0.05 / word, let me point out that as a European ex-pat who just happens to be living in Chile, my rates fall at the high end of the normal European range (they are so high, in fact, that they might be regarded as unetical by some of my local colleagues).


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:51
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
My guess would be... Sep 1, 2008

My guess is that people respond to such ads because they find the rate advertised sufficient to work for.

I'd hate to start another heated debate on the topic on this forum, but it all comes down to free choice.

If outsources continue to have the nerve, or the cheek, or whatever to offer rates at the level mentioned in the original post, it's simply because there are translators out there willing to work for those rates.

I hit Delete a split second after I see an advert offering a rate in the region of 0.03 euros per source word, but calling other pople monkeys only because they make a decision to work for a rate much lower than yours is going too far at best in my opinion.

M


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
English to Norwegian
Yes, you are right. Sep 1, 2008

Maciek Drobka wrote:
I hit Delete a split second after I see an advert offering a rate in the region of 0.03 euros per source word, but calling other pople monkeys only because they make a decision to work for a rate much lower than yours is going too far at best in my opinion.
M


I did not mean to offend anyone, and I am sure Kevin didn’t either.
It is just an old joke; if you pay with peanuts, you only get monkeys to work.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 11:51
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
How 'bout 3 US cents? Sep 1, 2008

This job has 10 quotes so far:

1000 words
at 0.030 USD per word [ TOTAL: 30.00 USD ]
Payment method: Online via Paypal


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 19:51
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
English to Latvian Sep 1, 2008

From what I have seen, obviously they translate into Latvian too. Quite recently we were asked to proof something done into Latvian, a single sentence of which none of us could make head or tail of (we refused, of course). But I really enjoyed that text- I guess translation done by me into, say, Portuguese, would look very muck alike

Uldis

Per Magnus wrote:
Asian people sit in India and translate to Norwegian. The customer does not care, because “nobody reads the user manual anyway”.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
English to Polish
+ ...
Perspective Sep 1, 2008

This is a lavish rate.

The lowest I was ever offered in Poland by an agency which was just awarded a contract with "one of the ministries" was PLN 10 per 1800 characters (make that ca. 300 words).

The US dollar goes for ca. 2.2 Polish zlotys these days.

Do the math.

Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
English to German
+ ...
How many decent Italian to English translators are there? Sep 1, 2008

Probably just a handful (let's face it, there aren't that many native English translators anyway) and I bet none of them live in Russia or India or Poland. Come on...

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