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Transpiral.com Germany offers only 0.06 for SAP translations: is this a normal rate in Germany?
Thread poster: Evert DELOOF-SYS

Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:11
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Mar 13, 2002

Is 0.06 euro a normal rate in/for Germany? Transpiral \'offers\' a \'staggering\' 0.06 euro for SAP translations into French and deducts for fuzzy matches?



http://www.proz.com/job/?id=19576



SAP English to French EUR .06 /source word



English>French



Language Pair: English into (European) French (only native speakers)



Subject Matter: SAP



Deadline: 3 weeks from start date



Start date: Next Monday, 18th of March



Number of translators required: 6



Software: Trados or compatible



Volume: 2000 words per working day for three weeks, more work to follow for the next six months.



Rate: EUR .06/ source word and following grid applies for TM and repetitions:



New words at 100%

95% - 99% Match: at 30%

85% - 94% Match: at 50%

100% Match File Handling only: at 10%



Sample available on request.



Please send CV to recruitment@transpiral.com



New words at 100%

95% - 99 Match:at 30%

85% - 94% Match:at 50%

100% Match File Handling only:at 10%



Sample text (Bidders must translate)



Go through the external procurement process from MRP -> Planned order -> Purchase requisition -> Purchase order -> Goods receipt -> Invoice verification -> Settlement.



For more information, see:



http://www.transpiral.com/freelance-hr1.php?L1=Arabic





About the outsourcer

Contact person: John Moran

Company: Transpiral Services

URL: http://www.transpiral.com



Transpiral Translation Services,

Neusserstr. 306,

50733 Cologne,

Germany.











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John Moran  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
SAP EUR .06 Mar 14, 2002

Hi Evert,





Just a quick note on the job posting, the rate and Transpiral in general. First of all Transpiral is really a one man agency. I have spent a few years working as a translator and lecturer in technical German at Trinity College Dublin and for various reasons I have gradually been taking on more work as an agency, in particular for a large translation house based in Dublin. They have a large base of agencies who I can only assume provide quality translation and the price I charge them has to be a bit lower as I am a newcomer so to speak.





Secondly, the job is potentially a very large one, six months full time work for up to ten translators. They have pressed me quite hard on my rates because of the volume and this has to be passed onto the translators. Having seen your profile I can understand that this is a lower rate than you might be prepared to work for but I am looking for a number of translators with various degrees of experience. Some of the material is non-technical training material that a younger less experience translator can handle. I can send you the samples if you are interested (as soon as my hosting providor fixes my e-mail account today!!).



There will be further postings for this project and most likely I won\'t be quoting a rate because quite honestly I need someone with the maximum experience possible to have the final call on terminology issues as English - French is not my language pair. I would hope that you would submit a bit at that stage as your online profile seems perfectly suited.



In short EUR .06 per word is not a German standard and the rate I pay is normally higher as various translators registered with proz can testify to but there are other factors involved, namely volume and difficulty.



Best regards,



John
[addsig]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 23:11
German to English
+ ...
Same old excuse! Mar 14, 2002

Being a newcomer, as John put it, is no excuse for offering cheapo rates - that is unethical and unprofessional (and will hurt him more than others in the long run).

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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:11
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh well, SAP again May 3, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-03-14 13:37, jmoran wrote:

Hi Evert,



...There will be further postings for this project and most likely I won\'t be quoting a rate because quite honestly I need someone with the maximum experience possible to have the final call on terminology issues as English - French is not my language pair. I would hope that you would submit a bit at that stage as your online profile seems perfectly suited.



In short EUR .06 per word is not a German standard and the rate I pay is normally higher as various translators registered with proz can testify to but there are other factors involved, namely volume and difficulty.



Best regards,



John







Well, nothing much has changed, apparently, as a new job was posted today at the same 0.06 euro/word and -again- even far less for fuzzy matches.



By the way, SAP is hardly ever easy and translations by less experienced translators (fine with me, though) do need quite some editing afterwards.





For more info:

http://www.proz.com/job/?id=21537



Since the SAP translations will not be edited by you, I still wonder why rates are so low...



Other than that, let\'s enjoy our weekend.






[addsig]

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John Moran  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Correction on posting May 8, 2002

Dear Evert,



In fact the 10% for the posting in question was an error on my part. The payment is 25% which is significant as there is a high percentage of repetitions in the files. There is a team of about seven people working on the material at the moment and we are still looking for people with SAP experience. Also, some experienced translators are turning out 5k words per 8 hr. day without any quality problems from the proofreaders. I would say EUR 1500 / week is a fair payment for any job.



Best regards,



John Moran



http://www.transpiral.com


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:11
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Glad to hear that May 8, 2002

[quote]

On 2002-05-08 09:42, jmoran wrote:

Dear Evert,



In fact the 10% for the posting in question was an error on my part. The payment is 25% which is significant as there is a high percentage of repetitions in the files. There is a team of about seven people working on the material at the moment and we are still looking for people with SAP experience. Also, some experienced translators are turning out 5k words per 8 hr. day without any quality problems from the proofreaders. I would say EUR 1500 / week is a fair payment for any job.



Best regards,



John Moran



--------

Hi John,



I guess there\'s no point in arguing here.

You have found your translators and that\'s fine.

Yet, I beg to differ, the \'1500 euro/week\' is rhetorics.

I have translated and edited more than enough SAP in my life to know that hardly any translator translates 5000 words a day, let alone can keep up that pace for days on end.



You may want to read what others have to say about this; the topic was raised about an hour ago at:



http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&eid_c=2127&topic=2673&forum=15





Bottom point: 0.06 euro and less is far too low, as far as I\'m concerned.

Almost half of this is going to the tax collectors here.



Being a translator yourself, you should know this; then again, I\'m sure you\'re earning well over 1500 euro/week by not translating anything.



If I were to follow your own reasoning:



1500 euro/week per translator; 7 are already at work; you need three more (cfr. your today\'s job posting):

1500 x 10 = 15000 euro/week.



30 % goes to the outsourcer: I have no clue, but in this case it will surely be more, as I don\'t believe for one minute you\'d accept 0.078 euro/word in your capacity of translation agent: 4500 euro/week.

That\'s what I would call good money for a \'one-man agency\'.



In short, and that\'s all there is to it: allow a bit more to the translators and you\'ll make their lives a bit nicer.



It\'s up to them, though. If they agree to your conditions, then that\'s -again- fine with me.



Other than that, good luck.



Evert Deloof-Sys





_________________



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-08 11:16 ]


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Teresa Duran-Sanchez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:11
German to Spanish
+ ...
SAP might be "easy"... But terribly boring May 8, 2002

I hope the people you found won\'t realise as quickly as I did that it doesn\'t pay to do an easy job if it\'s so terribly monotonous and the deadlines are so pushing. I was given the same project into Spanish and worked like a dog for two weeks until I realised that such a brain-killing job deserved more that the miserable $0.06 per word I was being offered.



Good luck.


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Maya Jurt  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 05:11
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Th end of the story? May 8, 2002

I would like to see the end of this story, once the work is done. Hear what the client - or rather the readers - of this huge work has/have to say. The proofreader as well.



I just hope that this is not going to end in a big mess, since the outsourcer cannot judge the quality of the work done.



But it is a great idea: Let\'s all become outsourcers, let\'s the cheap ones do the work for us. After all, a lot of translators already advertise themselves as outsourcers!



I just outsourced 2500 words for Italian, which I can read and understand, but not translated into. The translator gets €0.15 per word, exactly what the client pays for it.



John\'s two cents, since his rates are on the cheap, cheap side.

Maya



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John Moran  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
In defense of project managers :) May 11, 2002

Hi Evert,



Thanks for keeping a friendly tone on this discussion. I was afraid when I answered the first posting that I would be the equivalent of a PC user posting to a Mac newsgroup. Actually I agree with your point that it is not really cricket to base a payment estimate on 5000 words per day seeing as I use 2000 for scheduling, but the fact is that my gut tells me that it still works out as reasonable remuneration for ongoing work.



Also, your calculation in your last posting is not far off. I certainly charge more that EUR .78. I don\'t have 7 people running in parallel, more like 4 out of a pool of 7 but the outcome is around what you came up with anyway. However, there are other factors which you have to consider.



a) A large project like this does not appear out of nowhere. It is well paid and makes May a red letter month but it takes alot of effort organising 200 word press releases at 9pm for delivery the following morning to build up enough trust with a client to be offered it. I use timezones alot which means I often end up working very late, as many US/Canadian translators on this site can testify to.



b) There is alot of work involved in organising a project. Yes, I do feel guilty to some extent that I am not being productive in the truest sense and my submissions to this thread could be read as an apologia, but the fact is that I have a very good relationship with the people I work with on a regular basis and where a hands-on approach is required I tend to be fairly „available“. It is a fact that on projects which require several translators there has to be someone who is keeping track of progress and dealing with the client, not to mention recruitment, file handling, paperwork and organising payments from last month‘s project. It can be a difficult balancing act and trust me, the fact that I am not translating does not mean that I am not working.



c) I spent a couple of years as a \"Senior\" software engineer for Cap Gemini in Germany and I would be earning more if I was still with them full time. I still consult for them as a programmer a couple of days a week but my main job is now Transpiral and I quite enjoy it – due largely to the people I have met through proz.



d)´In answer to Maya’s somewhat sardonic „lets all become outsourcers“ suggestion, my answer is - feel free to try. Any translator who has been working for a while knows that it is often better to „outsource“ to a colleague rather than say „no“ to a client and risk loosing them. However, it is a different matter if you are trying to make a living from it. If you assume that I take 30% on a job, then I have to have enough work for a little over three people all the time to earn the same as them. In a competitive market, finding and keeping that volume of work is not a trivial task and good months like this have to compensate for bad ones.



One final point: A negative side effect of me replaying to this thread is that it promotes it to the top of the list but I think it important not to allow newsgroup or forums to become onesided and I notice I am the only outsourcer exercising his right to reply . Part of me agrees with the „US .02 – isn‘t time we did something about this!“ postings and maybe I should feel threatened by them myself but somehow I don’t. In my experience rates have a tendency to regulate themselves. From my point of view Proz is not so much an auction as a very useful way of matching a translator‘s skills and experience with the job at hand.



Bon weekend!



John















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Yazmin Osoyo  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
SAP is never easy ! so do not be fooled May 12, 2002

I have been involved in three SAP translation projects and interpreting in workshops and meetings during an entire SAP implementation, and still, to me SAP translations equals trouble, and yes it is very boring. My normal word output per day is 5000 wds, but for SAP it goes down to 1,000 -2,000 wds per day, I think that the rate problem could be solved by Project Managers not accepting these demeaning low rates for such highly-specialized work, that way we can all win.

BTW- Does anybody know of any GOOD sources for SAP terminology (En-Sp-En)?, I already have the SAPterm CD and to my opinion it is disappointingly poor for my language pair



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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:11
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
In defense of both translators and project managers May 12, 2002

You absolutely don\'t need to defend yourself for trying to earn a good living.



I\'ll have to be brief, as I have some work to do:



I\'ve been long enough around to understand and -at times- appreciate your reasoning.

I managed quite some projects as well and do know that it entails a lot more work than what most people would think, yet, I still simply dislike your rates because -and that\'s the main reason- you don\'t proof or edit the translations yourself, so you can\'t have a clue about the quality submitted by your translators.

I wonder where that will leave you the moment your client would/will find out one or more of your translations suck.

I sincerely hope this will not be the case, but you\'re taking a lot of risks here.



Whenever I have to outsource part of my own translation/editing work -at times I\'m really swamped- the translator may count on it that I\'m always available to answer questions, to suggest other translations, to help them find good resources etc.

I always sign for the final version and I sent the translator the version I have forwarded to the end customer, together with additional comments(if any).



In short, when you offer 0.06 and less, without knowing the target language and without having to edit anything yourself, I fear your piece of the pie is way too high in comparison to what your translators make for working real hard.

Since they choose to work for you on this project, it\'s still up to them...



The main reason why I bring this up here is that your postings definitely inspire other agencies and that rates in the long run will not simply \'have a tendency to regulate themselves\'; they\'ll be forced into the very low price ranges and I\'m afraid this will lead to more and more reactions of a rather nasty nature in the future.



I\'m absolutely convinced more and more freelance translators will start working as translation agencies and will contact corporations more often directly. I\'m not referring to multinationals here, I have the SME\'s in mind.

And I\'m not referring to +1.000.000 word projects to be translated in 17 languages.



The moment you can prove you dealt with several projects before successfully, that you master the target language(s) needed and that your rates are considerably lower than what translation agencies charge, I\'m sure you\'ll be in for lots of work.

In fact, I assume that\'s how you once started.



Other than that, if you\'ve been around for a while, I don\'t think it\'s all that difficult to recruit the translators you need.



Having worked as recruiter myself and as translator/editor for many years, I think I know what I\'m looking for when I need a translator for project X or Y.

Mind you, I\'m not referring to some of the real \'exotic\' language pairs.



ProZ (and similar portals) allow you to post everything for free (compare that to what you pay for announcements in newspapers) and you have all the information you need at hand.

E-mail etc has also made our lives a lot easier...



In short, if you don\'t even edit your translation projects yourself and you offer rates like 0.06 and less, I\'m afraid we\'ll all be in for some surprises soon.



As of late, I\'ve been contacted by quite a number of agencies offering rates I can\'t accept; as a result I had to turn down quite a number of projects as I simply can\'t make a decent living here on what they offer.



What do you think of someone sending you both source text and a PO (including deadlines) without even asking if you\'re available for translation/editing and without informing about rates?

This is exactly what happened to me last week.

I was absolutely astonished to learn that an agency I worked with ONCE before simply did that, yet they now \'dictated\' me a rate of 0.07, set a deadline and expected me to do the assignment without knowing if I\'d actually be willing or available to help them out.



Maybe they meant well and I may have been a bit flattered they apparently liked my previous work, yet I did the only thing I could do: I turned down their request and returned everything to sender immediately.

As a result (and as expected), they simply posted a job assignment on ProZ and someone is now definitely working for a very meagre salary over the weekend.



I can give you many examples of similar occurrences :

- If I can handle a very technical translation for 0.07 and 0.08 respectively, editing included? Coming from UK agencies

- If I can handle several very technical translations for 0.04 euro? Coming from Indian and Taiwanese agencies, and so on and so forth.



No, I can\'t and I won\'t.



Maybe it\'s indeed about time I started to contact some companies directly.

I\'ll quote some fair rates, I\'ll work with translators I know, I\'ll translate parts of the job myself and I\'ll do the final editing myself.

I\'m sure the end customer will like that a lot better.

And by the way, some companies already \'found\' me without me looking for them.



Last but not least, you stated:

\"In a competitive market, finding and keeping that volume of work is not a trivial task and good months like this have to compensate for bad ones.\"



Don\'t you think this applies to translators as well? If all agencies start doing what you do, we -the boys and girls they need the most- will end up with nothing but bad months.

Guess what will happen next?



Best regards and have a nice weekend.



Evert Deloof-Sys



_________________



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-12 10:26 ]


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John Moran  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Everything gets proofread May 12, 2002

Hi Evert,



Just a couple of quick points on your last mail starting with a very important one. Every single file that gets mailed or ftp\'d to a client has been proofed and it is paid for on a per word basis. Sometimes it can work out that the proofer would be better paid if they were translating (sorry Nancy!) but I try to avoid this and 90% of the time the proofreader earns a good deal more than the translators because I listen to their feedback when deciding on where to channel work (big wave to Francois and Marcelle). About 25%/35% of the cost goes into that process and you must remember that my client in this case is also a translation agency so poor quality would be flagged right away.



For better paid German - English IT translation work I often proof myself if I have time and the job is small (under 20k words) and provide the translator with a diff file of the changes I have made.



I do take your point that there is a danger that agencies may read this thread and assume that they can get away with offering very low rates. That said, I am afraid that is the risk you are taking when you discuss money matters on a public forum. In fact I must confess that I had never read this forum until a client of mine (cheers Ralf!) contacted me to tell me that Transpiral had been mentioned on it. Normally I would have let the posting drift down the page with the rest of the \"USD .0001/page - isn\'t it shocking!\" posts but I was concerned that he would think that I was recruiting translators for his project (about 100k of really tricky financial/IT material) at that rate which was not the case. I have different clients who pay different rates and expect different levels of service and it is common for me to vary my rates with the same translator based on who the client is (Hi Nancy!).



Concrete examples are alway good: In January I posted a job at EUR .05 for a human rights conference. The translations can be read on http://www.frontlinedefenders.org and you will just have to take my word for it that I charged the client my minumum rate. I also manage their website on a voluntary basis.



On the other end of the scale is a team of very autonomous translators (hi James!). Mostly I just forward the faxed POs I receive from my client and they subtract the two odd cents when they do their own invoices. Its a bit lazy on my part but the system works. You can double the rate on the current SAP project to get what they earn per word.



Also, a quick apology. It can happen that I get swamped in a project and the payments from a previous job are not handled as promptly as they should be (see Sonja\'s posting under the German section but there have been others - sorry Alan!). There is no excuse for this but on the other hand it is common for me to pay for a job just after it has been done along with a late payment (Hi Caroline/James/Nancy!). With the exception of Maria Rosa in Argentinia (who hasn\'t been forgotten I am still trying to find out what happened, banks take a while doing traces) every translator who has ever worked with me has been paid 100% of what they invoiced without quibble (Cheers .. ehh .. everyone!)



Finally; a quick request: I just noticed that the remark on the EUR .06 is also on the Germany forum (thanks for the posting Sonja!). Picking an agency up on a low rate is fair and I am asking for it to some extent but it is also a fair request that a critical posting be confined to one forum because I can\'t really reply to both. Thanks.

















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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:11
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still in defense and resting my case May 12, 2002

Hi John,



I\'ll be brief (again), as I don\'t feel like writing a book now.



Someone posted the following message on one of the forums I subscribe to:



-quote-



I think the two most important points in translation are:



a) a correct understanding of the source message (and for this you need to

be fluent in the source language and context, as well as the specific

field), and



b) a correct rendition of that message in the target language and context,

formulated as it would be if spoken spontaneously by a native speaker. It

must also be formulated clearly, without spelling, grammar or style errors

(which is tougher to achieve in some languages than others), and

terminologically consistent.



To do all that, you have to be not only a native speaker, but also a

qualified language professional. And, I might add, entitled to make a decent

living



-unquote-



This more or less sums it up for me and I\'ll leave it at that (for the time being?).



Sincere thanks for having replied and until next time




[addsig]


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John Moran  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Final note May 12, 2002

Hi Evert,



Thanks for keeping the tone light on what I know is a thorny issue. I think we both got to have our say and I do respect your point of view. Perhaps on a better paid project we may get to work together.



That\'s it from me too.



Cheers,



John


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Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
Member (2004)
German to English
You're welcome John May 13, 2002

I just realized that this thread was on this forum as well. As you said, I already posted in the German forum (in English) if anyone wants to read it. I still think that we cannot blame John for low rates. The rates have been low for a long time. I personally will not work for rididulously low rates. I have that luxury. I can supplement my income by teaching at the local university. I think the best best way to handle this is not to agree to these rates. Someone must be working for these rates and we cannot blame companies for paying it/contracting out for these rates if people will work for it. I still think that if we just try and hang on the rates will naturally come up again--let\'s hope so anyway. Otherwise I will be looking for another line of work.

I also have tax implications here (although not as much as in Europe) and I have to believe that those working for these rates either live somewhere that they don\'t have to pay taxes or they are working illegally.

At 0.06/word, 2000 words a day, I would be grossing 120/day. After taxes, I might get 70--and of course one doesn\'t normally have a project every day. It is hard to survive on that here. I could almost make more working at the local fast food restaurant. If I had to provide my own benefits, I would definitely come out ahead at the fast food place--pretty sad when you consider the years and expense of two university degrees and several post-graduate training programs.



I am sure John would second my hope that this situation improves for all of us soon.

Sonya



_________________



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-06-24 02:00 ]


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