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Henry and all the staff: Set up a referendum or a poll over banning low rate \"jobs\" on this site
Thread poster: Daniel Alcaine-Rich, M.V., BSc
Since I don\'t know what good can ProZ get from companies or individuals posting \"jobs\" ate rates in the range of 3-8 cents (whether it\'s US Dollar cents or Euro cents), I\'d suggest that Henry, the moderators, staff, evaluate the possibility of setting up a referendum or a poll to know whether a majority of ProZ members would like to ban low rate \"jobs\" in this site.
As far as I know, such low rates don\'t benefit _anyone_ in the site, save for the posters themselves.
If such \"job\" providers wish to contact translators and find out if these are willing to work in that price range, let Them (the purported \"job\" providers) do the work, take the time to send emails to their chosen target translators.
Otherwise, all I see ProZ and All that make up ProZ are doing is provide these indesirable \"job\" providers with an easy way to get instantaneous resources for their despicable \"projects\".
I\'d personally also vote for banning those \"calls for resumes\" we see so often, though I understand that this last point might be going too far.
However, I\'d certainly expect ProZ to implement my first petition above.
I hope other ProZ members think the same way.
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| | Ralf Lemster
Local time: 05:50
English to German
| Check out FAQ #20 || Jun 26, 2002 |
In response to widespread calls for upward pressure on rates, ProZ has obviously decided to take a different route - see the information on the FAQ list.
I believe this approach is superior compared to attempts at banning anything below a certain rate level (which, by definition, would be arbitrary).
[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-06-26 22:14 ]
I\'m prepared to debate this issue long and in depth.
FAQ # whichever may say whatever it says.
You believe the approach there is better.
I believe a voting wouldn\'t do any harm, in fact, I believe it would do some good.
Let\'s see what other members have to say (if any other members wish to give their opinions) and we\'ll all be able to forward our ideas.
I\'ll respond to your belief that this would be arbitrary later on.
P.S.: Yes, I had posted this issue at the \"Suggestions\" forum, then saw it didn\'t show up in the main page list of postings, so I re-posted it under this category, which is visible to all. Sorry for the double posting, no \"higher push\" was intended. I\'ve just removed my message from the \"Suggestions\" forum.
| | Lydia Molea
Local time: 05:50
English to German
| Different countries ... || Jun 26, 2002 |
have different rates. What may seem cheap to us may seem a lot to other people. I live in Germany, and I definitely cannot work for 4 cents per word, I simply couldn\'t afford it. However, 4 US-Dollar cents in other countries with lower costs of living is a lot more than it is for us. You have the choice to bid or not to bid. Simply ignore the job posting if it is too low for you.
| We have committed to trying the rates approach || Jun 26, 2002 |
As a moderator, Ralf is aware of the many discussions and debates we have had here and in the moderator list regarding rates.
We have determined that the \"rates range\" now in place is more likely than alternative approaches to achieve the desired results. We have spent several months making the necessary changes, and have just implemented some of the functionality. So now is the time for waiting, watching, and judging the effectiveness of the approach.
If it fails, debate will be welcome. For now, let\'s wait and see.
BTW, this topic relates to money, so it should have been posted under \"money matters\". I am moving it.
| answers to Lydia and Henry || Jun 27, 2002 |
Lydia: one of these days you might find that, basing their arguments on an hypotethical calculation of the average price in the market, all jobs offered to native German translators residing in Germany will be made at 4 cents or less. I hope this won\'t happen, but it\'s not a bad idea to take into account all possibilities.
If you change this posting to another forum, please make it visible on the main page...
ok, too late, while I was writing these lines you already moved it - not visible anymore from the main page:
By the way, I think you\'re simplifying the issue when you say this is just related to money.
What I\'ve wrote above for Lydia relates, and very much, to the issue of quality. If German translators residing in Germany come to a point where they are not able to live of their work in Germany, who will do the translations for Germany. Translators residing in Poland, perhaps? Would that be a good quality practice being offered to end customers?
I know I\'m stretching things a bit, but it is a possibility.
In fact, it has been a growing trend in the jobs posted for German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese -at least, I don\'t know for sure as to other languages. And there\'s the repulsive case of what many so-called agencies have been doing with the Argentinian colleagues.
The approach you\'ve taken at the ProZ management levels is not bad, except that it might, and just might, produce results only on the long term. Many members of this site may not be able to wait that long.
I\'m not against giving everybody the chance to state their rates in their profiles. However, that\'s not a direct measure. It may also be capitalized by the so-called agencies to come up to any translator and say: \"well, look, Mr./Ms./Mrs., I\'ve seen many excellent translators stating that their rates are 5 cents per word, and they live in your same country...\"
You have stated clearly to me, and on other occasions as well, I assume, that you at ProZ can act only as a kind of referees.
I think this doesn\'t prevent you from banning the abussive use of the \"job post\" function by too many agencies looking for, and finally getting, cheap translation services with no effort made on their part to search for and locate professionals. This seems very unfair.
On the other hand, if you just take a clear action and set a minimum offer rate for companies, no company will be prevented from searching the site and negotiating whatever rates they wish to -low, high- with the translators they approach.
As a member of this site, I\'d welcome a democratic solution to this issue. Decissions taken by the staff and the moderators are well-intended, but I don\'t see where the democracy comes in.
I frankly don\'t see where the problems lie either.
[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-06-27 01:47 ]
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| | BelkisDV
Local time: 23:50
Spanish to English
I agree with Daniel\'s proposal to submit this issue to a vote by all ProZ members. Those opposed to the idea can vote against it, those who agree can vote in favor of it. I fail to see how trying this would harm us, I think it would instead benefit us, since we will know once and for all how the majority feels about it.
I have been very concerned by the issue brought up by Daniel about how clients have finally found a place where they can easily obtain cheap translations. I believe that they are abusing the system and furthermore if it continues, THE PRICES WILL NEVER INCREASE and we will forever remain in no man\'s land concerning this matter. How will this help those translators in less developed countries?
We all agree that a translator in such a country, if approached by a client in the United States for example, should be paid the same prices as translators in the United States. However, this is not happening, what IS happening is that clients in the United States resort to hiring translators from these countries and offer them cheapest rates. Ultimately, those clients in the U.S. will have to hire an editor (probably not from the same country as the translator) to adapt the translation to a \"general\" market and pay them for their work. So what does this tell you? It should tell you that they had the money to pay the translator a fair price to begin with, but they got away with not doing so.
I\'ve said it before and I\'ll say it again, united we stand, divided we fall. And that is the technique used by these clients, divide and conquer.
My best to all,
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| People will not agree on a rate || Jun 27, 2002 |
Daniel, Belkis, with all due respect for your commitment to boosting rates--which I welcome--your proposed solution is simply not practical.
Imagine an agency wants a job done at 4c/wd. Now, imagine a pro wants to do that job for 4c/wd. Am I, as a referee, to step in and say no?
You presume your definition of the term \"cheap\" is held by all. It\'s not.
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Even if we voted on the concept of having a minimum rate, and it passed, we would then need to decide what that minimum would be. But we know from past discussions that the community will not come to mutual agreement on any specific rate.
That leaves us with two choices for a minimum: set it ourselves, or let the community set it by vote. Presumably, you would favor a vote.
Assuming we did that, when we have arrived at an average, and imposed it (yes, it would then have to be *imposed*), those significantly below the average, and those significantly above the average would simply quit using the site.
Think about it: If the rates wind up lower than you consider adequate, you too would stop using ProZ.com, correct?
So what you are suggesting is not really democracy...what you are suggesting is exclusion of the high and low ends of the market. We are not going to do that.
I\'ll say what I said before about your vision of a one-rate industry: you are forgetting about quality. There are good translations, and there are bad translations. The good ones are worth more. Until you understand what is meant by this, and allow that fact into your equation, you are not going to make progress in your initiative. You espouse minimum rates. That begs the question: minimum rates for what?
And to answer your question about why this topic is not being shown on the home page, the answer is that the rates discussion keeps coming up in exactly the same form. Just check the archives, you will find the debate you desire has already happened.
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Anyway, I am glad that you see the potential in our rates initiative. We have put a lot of work into this; I would ask you to support it, since our objectives are the same. If it fails, the issue will be opened up again, and we can have another front-page discussion.
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| Right: united we stand, divided we fall || Jun 27, 2002 |
On 2002-06-27 13:28, BelkisDV wrote:
I\'ve said it before and I\'ll say it again, united we stand, divided we fall.
On that point, at least, I can agree with you.
So what surprises me is that at the same time you realize this, you think that ProZ.com can impose something upon its community (whether that something comes out of thin air, or is arrived at by vote).
By appealing to me, you are barking up the wrong tree. What you need to do is give the people who offer low rates an incentive to raise them. (Which is the point of the new rates system.)
| | xxxmax
Local time: 20:50
English to Dutch
| I must say, I agree with Daniel and Belkis, ...... || Jun 27, 2002 |
but also with Henry.
The idea of organizing polls among the community, not only in the rate case we are dealing with, but for other matters might be very useful.
On the other hand, Henry and the Proz Team did do a big effort in making the necessary changes for us to quote our rates. Why don\'t we give it a try, at least for a while as he is asking us?
\"I\'ll say what I said before about your vision of a one-rate industry: you are forgetting about quality. There are good translations, and there are bad translations. The good ones are worth more. Until you understand what is meant by this, and allow that fact into your equation, you are not going to make progress in your initiative. You espouse minimum rates. That begs the question: minimum rates for what?\"
Each one of us should definitely consider the quality of the translation in order to boost the rates.
No one\'s talked of setting minimum rates for/by translators in this debate, therefore I get the impression that you\'re either mixing things or trying to lead the discussion in a different direction.
What I asked, and continue to ask from you, from ProZ, is that you prohibit agencies from posting jobs below a certain rate offer. I believe that 8 cents is the minimum rate a translator residing in Europe can accept if he/she wants to live of his/her work.
I am not saying that translators set that particular, or any other, rate in their profiles, negotiations with their customers, etc., because that\'s their business, not mine or anybody else\'s.
Concerning quality, that\'s not for ProZ, for the companies or for translators to start ruling about, and therefore establishing any kind of ruling that assigns X cents for a degree of quality Y is out of the question.
Quality depends on each translator when she/he is doing his/her job, and therefore, the contracting agency or company will get to know about the quality of the translator\'s work once the translator delivers his/her work.
Quality assurance procedures established internally by agencies/companies are a different story, also only for them to dig out.
So all this talk you\'re doing about quality makes no sense.
Certainly not in the context of a site whose motto or title is \"Global community of language professionals\". Agencies and companies are not \"language professionals\", they are companies; by definition, they are created to make money above all other considerations.
You are not defending the interests of the \"language professionals\" when you allow money-making organizations to come into this site, post an offer of 2, 3 or 7 cents per word and thus dump the market. You\'ve been allowing this to happen for too long.
You\'ve also implemented a system where paying members of this site get no return on their investment (small or hihg).
Here are some reasons why:
- In my opinion: ProZ is becoming (or has become) to be known as a site where egencies can save on translation jobs. Low-rate bidding jobs are allowed.
- A fact: many non-paying members form unofficial groups to gather more KudoZ points and therefore rank higher in the lists - establishing common-fronts against the payning members
- You publish KudoZ leaders up on the front page. As the vast majority of the agencies/companies who visit the site don\'t need to perform translator searches, paying members usually are not even seen, regardless of the fact that they \"appear first\" on the lists (that don\'t show up on the front page) and in the bids
So, in short, you say you\'re concerned about quality, but almost every action you take, active or passive, benefits low-paying agencies and low-charging translators, and very frankly, Henry, just as you can\'t buy a brand new top-quality car or house for 300 dollars, you can\'t expect quality from a translation job, done by a native translator living in the target country, when rates paid nake up for a salary which is below the cost of living. That\'s only common sense, and, for your info, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, etc., are places where cost of living is higher than the cost of living in the United States.
But, as I said, this post was not about setting minimum rates.
It\'s about ProZ defending language professionals and not defending the market-dumpers.
If/when you reply, please don\'t quote on those portions of this message that seemingly interest you more and ignore the portions that refer to what I\'ve actually come to discuss here.
I can assure you that, if you implement a system which forces job-posters to offer rates above 8 cents, no member is going to quite the site, unless what you actually mean is that you fear that members of the site who are agencies would quit the site.
In that case, perhaps you should consider changing the name/title/motto of this site from \"Global community of language professionals\" to \"Global community of dumper translation agencies and the poor good fellows who are kindly benefited by them\".
By the way, implementing such a system is as easy as placing a selection box where the lowest figure is 0.08, and the highest figure, whatever you wish it to be, or even no \"higher figure\" at all. Then make selection of a figure a requisite to post jobs, and voilá, there you have it.
We have a saying in Spain that goes \"no se puede jugar a dos bandas\" (which could be translated as \"you can\'t play a double game and get away with it\"). You can\'t try to satisfy everyone, in other words.
Personally, I\'m hugely dissatisfied and, other than what you seem to think, I\'ll consider to cease supporting this site if you don\'t take active measures.
I\'m just one Platinum, and I hope that you\'ll be able to retain a high number of Platinums and Premiums only because I think you\'re a well-intended guy.
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| Closing the thread || Jun 28, 2002 |
No one\'s talked of setting minimum rates for/by translators...What I asked, and continue to ask from you, from ProZ, is that you prohibit agencies from posting jobs below a certain rate offer.
This is the same thing as imposing a minimum rate. I guess you don\'t know that profile rates determine the rates one is allowed to bid. Makes sense that you don\'t know--after all, the system is a little complicated, and you did say that you aren\'t interested in reading the ProZ.com FAQs.
I am going to lock this thread soon, so make a final remark now, if you like. In the future, if you want to raise an issue for debate, please first familiarizing yourself with the topic as it pertains to ProZ.com.
| Solution for the low rates problem: MORE JOBS || Jun 29, 2002 |
If we have much offer and little demand, is it realistic to impose high rates?
A 0.05 offer receive 60 o more bids!!!!!!
A natural increase in the rates will occur WHEN Proz gets more posters and jobs.
IT IS SIMPLE. WHEN THE TRANSLATORS ARE WORKING THEY HAVE NO TIME TO BID FOR LOW RATE JOBS.
Proz needs to focus his effort in attracting posters, particularly good posters.
That is the solution.
| I had enough ! || Jun 29, 2002 |
I am a part-time member -- I don\'t bid for jobs, I rarely ask for help (almost never) and yet, I did set my rates on \"invisible mode\" at $0.08/word. Proz staff is right: is the best way to convince outsiders that there is not such a thing as free translation. If a client posts a job for $0.03 and finds out that only 2 translators will be notified, he may change his mind about \"cheap translators\". This site has plenty of \"profiles\" where the translator announces that he/she will be happy to work for $0.03 cents and you want Proz to do something about the rates? It is my understanding that Proz doesn\'t charge 20-40% / job but maybe I am wrong and in that case yes, they should do something. Although, in case I am not wrong, why should they be responsible for our fees? If Proz decides tomorrow not to accept job postings anymore, I am sure that most of the members will stay -- where else do you find help as quickly as here? Unfortunately, the Internet scared everybody who sells something and the translators are not an exception. Only because somebody else asks for less money doesn\'t mean that you have to do it too. I don\'t have a problem explaining why I should be paid more and I don\'t have a problem either telling a client \"sorry, I wish you good luck but I am not accepting your offer\". It may seem strange to many people but there are plenty of clients who would rather have a good translation and are willing to pay more for it.
I know I am off-topic but I had enough about the complains regarding Kudos abuse as well. Yes, sometimes you get the feeling that a translator took a job way over his/hers expertise and , obviously, you could have done much better. I have news for you : you didn\'t get that job and IMHO at this point you have the choice to ignore the demand for help or to consider that many times bad translations end up on the Internet and 2 years from now we may consider them a \"reference\", or you will buy a new TV and the owner manual will tell you to put your fingers into an electrical outlet. If you really love your job, maybe you should think that other people will love to get started into it. Nobody is perfect, especially me, but we all have to start somewhere and proz is not such a bad place to start. I can\'t speak for anybody else, but when I got started I was still in my first year at the University and the Internet wasn\'t around yet. I was lucky to have a very understanding client (all my translation work was for him) and to have a very bad competition. Moreover, it has been my experience that university professors are not perfect. Why not give a student the chance to learn the current equivalent even if they post a hundred questions? Most of the time Kudos abuse is being made by a student! Couldn\'t we stop complaining and enjoy this site? Is it so difficult?
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| bids are often higher than rate offered || Jun 29, 2002 |
A 0.05 offer receive 60 o more bids!!!!!!
That doesn\'t mean they were not above 0.05.
Anyway, you are right that increasing the number of jobs is important.
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