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Are rates getting even poorer?
Thread poster: Dave Greatrix

Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
May 30, 2004

I've lived a colourful life to say the least, and I didn't think there are many things that would shock me - then this.

--------------------------------------

Job type: Potential job; Translation

Languages: Dutch>English

Job description:
ours is a larger requirement -approx 3000 to 4000 words daily for next 1 year.
Since this is a large ongoing requirement we seek for the lowest bid as 0.011 USD per English word.
Pls note! that we get payment from our clients, a month after the job is done and would prefer to pay our translators accordingly.
Looking forward to hearing from intrested [sic]translators.
Regards
-----------------------------------

Well they'll be a long time "looking forward" to hearing from any translators in their right mind.

33 USD for 3000 words!!

I've said in the past that ProZ is or has become a "Bargain Basement" for translating agencies.

If this isn't an argument for introducing a minimum word rate for postings, I don't know what is.

Whatever next? One bag of salt = 1000 words.

I wonder why they felt the need to add the extra .001 USD. Perhaps they thought that .010 USD had to many zeros, and would not appeal to the translators sub-conscious. Clever!!

Is it any wonder that I've left translating.

I've made more money from developing property in the last three months than in 3 years of translating.

If these parasites had there way, we would have to pay them for work.

Do you think they are getting .022 USD per word from their client - which would give them 100% profit! Of course they're not. They're getting MUCH more.

If this wasn't so absurd it would be an insult.

There, all my toys are out of the pram, and I've lost my dummy!!

Happy Translating.





[Edited at 2004-05-30 08:00]


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Vesna Zivcic  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:56
German to Croatian
+ ...
Ignore it May 30, 2004

Dear David,

this is not the first nor the last of the ridiculous offers we'll come to see - just ignore it.

This site is just a market venue - it does not dictate the prices nor support slave wages.

[Edited at 2004-05-30 08:19]


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IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:56
English to Georgian
+ ...
Maybe it's a typo??? (or let's hope it is) May 30, 2004

I just can't believe that one would spend all day translating just to make 33 USD a day... Even in the countries where the wages are low... This is not sit in the office, answer the phone calls kind of job. I just hope that it's a typo and someone does not expect translators to work for this kind of money.

But if it IS true, then like Vesna said, all we can do is ignore these kind of job postings. I personally don't let these kind of things bother me - life is too short!

Have a nice weekend everyone and happy translating!


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martineh
English to German
+ ...
Yes they are getting even poorer May 30, 2004

[quote]Vesna Zivcic wrote:

This site is just a market venue - it does not dictate the prices nor support slave wages.

Dear Vesna

No, but it certainly puts downwards pressure on prices, which can't be good for the translating profession.

I recently spoke to a project manager at an agency who told me that they had been able to reduce the amount they pay translators by an average of 40 per cent thanks to proz.com.

What possible argument can there be against introducing a minimum rate of, say, 0.05 cents a word?

Regards
Martine


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 09:56
English to Russian
Not a surprise for Russia - but fading away (hopefully) :) May 30, 2004

David Greatrix wrote: 0.011 USD per English word. 33 USD for 3000 words!! Whatever next?


Those are regular rates in Russia. 'Next' is already happening. Normal, reasonable people are becoming unhappy with the quality they get for such rates and start increasing them. However, such offers will be around for years to come.


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Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'll ignore it allright! May 30, 2004

Vesna Zivcic wrote:

this is not the first nor the last of the ridiculous offers we'll come to see - just ignore it.

This site is just a market venue - it does not dictate the prices nor support slave wages.

[Edited at 2004-05-30 08:19]


But these outrageous job postings will only stop when EVERYBODY ignores them. The problem is there are people out there who are prepared to work for twenty Euros a day.


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:56
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Dear David, May 30, 2004

I do not know if my life has been as colourful as yours but there sure came some colourful words to my mind when I read that posting.

Well, we have sure scraped the bottom with this one.

Happy Whitsun!

Lucinda.


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 09:56
English to Russian
Do not rush to judge May 30, 2004

But these outrageous job postings will only stop when EVERYBODY ignores them. The problem is there are people out there who are prepared to work for twenty Euros a day.


In Belarus and Russia, where average wages are 100USD a month and a CD with latest DV and Trados is 3USD your reasoning seems a bit pale. I do not accept such rates but I do understand those who does.


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 08:56
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
We cannot impose a minimum rate (again) May 30, 2004

I'm copying here what another moderator, Ralf, said about this issue in another thread:

-quote-
Leaving aside the issue of whether a venue that is not a party to any transaction should intervene in the negotiation process between two able and willing parties, ProZ.com cannot simply impose a minimum rate without running significant legal risks.

From an economic perspective, setting/imposing (my word) minimum rates is an illusion, I'm afraid. Setting your own minimum rates (and sticking to them) is a reality.
-unquote-


Here's a reference that may explain why price setting is not an option:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/predawn/F95/asi-taals-2.htm

On another note, we ought to -indeed, Ralf- market ourselves more professionally, and defend our target prices rather than calling for someone else to regulate the problem away.

But I tend to agree that the great visibility given to these very low rates is starting to distort our market to some point.
They are certainly not setting a good example.
And yes, some of those outsourcers ought to know much better.
They don't seem to realize that their offers work totally counterproductive.

News travels fast.


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Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aquarius May 30, 2004

[quote]Evert DELOOF-SYS wrote:

Leaving aside the issue of whether a venue that is not a party to any transaction should intervene in the negotiation process between two able and willing parties, ProZ.com cannot simply impose a minimum rate without running significant legal risks.

[quote]

If I remember correctly, it is impossible to enter a bid below 0.07 Euro on Aquarius.


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Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Last translator to leave, please turn the light off! May 30, 2004

Aleksandr Okunev wrote:

In Belarus and Russia, where average wages are 100USD a month and a CD with latest DV and Trados is 3USD your reasoning seems a bit pale. I do not accept such rates but I do understand those who does.


Well, if that's the case there will soon be a great many translators searching for new career options.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:56
Flemish to English
+ ...
Implementation of rate-calculator May 30, 2004

I have a question: Proz is incorporated in California. So, the legislation of California (US-laws) applies/apply with regard to Proz. On the other hand, Proz has a registered (?) office in Germany for the purpose of complying with the EU-VAT-regulations.
U.S.-legislation forbids price-setting.
Apparently, since Aquarius does have a kind of price-setting system, EU-legislation does not forbid price-setting?
75% (?) of the Proz-customers(members) live in Europe.

Does the fact that Proz has a German office does not open the possibility to impose a minimum-price mechanism?

The Aquarius feature is an effective tool. You can calculate beforehand how much more you will make by bidding at a higher rate or how much you will loose by lowering your bid. It makes you think twice before bidding.
Technically it is perfectly possible to introduce a drop down box starting at 0.00€/$ and going up to 2.00 €/$/word (maximum on Aquarius). No anti-trust regulation applies to this feature. It would make people think twice.

As for Dutch and its worth on the translation market: It is a niche market/language with a value of between 0.07-0.014 eurocents/word (direct customers).
I always keep this price-range in mind, but try not to settle for the minimum €0.07, especially not when translating technical texts which are sold at double that rate.
Stick to your rates and the cheapskates will no longer post on this website.


[Edited at 2004-05-30 12:35]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:56
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Solution: Individual limits May 30, 2004

Dear David,

A good suggestion has been made:

Let everyone of us set a limit below which we do not want to read about, much less bid on jobs.

It's a brilliant idea because it's personal and ProZ.com only does not present such jobs to us, which hardly could offend any law.

Simple and effective and outsourcers will get only those that have set a low enough limit (which might tell them something).

PS Check the job you mention if it's possibly a typo.

Best regards

Mats J C Wiman
Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe
http://www.MatsWiman.com
http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com
http://www.proz.com/pro/1749
(Proz.com moderator, deu>swe, Swedish)
Träsk 201
SE-872 97 Skog
Schweden/Sweden/Suède/Suecia
Tel:+46-612-54112 Fax:+46-612-54181 Mobile:+46-70-5769797


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 08:56
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
No, incorrect May 30, 2004

[quote]David Greatrix wrote:

[quote]Evert DELOOF-SYS wrote:

Leaving aside the issue of whether a venue that is not a party to any transaction should intervene in the negotiation process between two able and willing parties, ProZ.com cannot simply impose a minimum rate without running significant legal risks.



If I remember correctly, it is impossible to enter a bid below 0.07 Euro on Aquarius.


No, the minimum rate at Aquarius is set at 0.05, still to be considered as extremely low for certain language pairs.

Anyway and by the way, David, by all means, tell me about your new venture! Haven't seen you for a while...

[Edited at 2004-05-30 12:49]


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 08:56
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
not a typo, Mats May 30, 2004

Mats Wiman wrote:

PS Check the job you mention if it's possibly a typo.

Best regards

Mats J C Wiman


No, Mats, the mentioned rate is definitely not a typo.
Unfortunately.


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