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Derisory rates
Thread poster: James Calder

James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 14, 2005

Hi everyone

Did anybody else notice an "Urgent" SP>EN job posting this morning from a Germany-based "agency" offering the princely rate of €0.02/per word? I wonder if this is a record in this oft-abused language combination. Yes, I know it's a free market and the market is king in these globalised times, but this surely takes the biscuit as they say.

James


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:56
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
They received 6 quotes Dec 14, 2005

Hi James!

They have received 6 quotes, and have a pure "5" Blue Board record. The company is in India, so that may explain the rate.

Astrid


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 13:56
English to Arabic
+ ...
Totally agree Dec 14, 2005

I really get shocked upon seeing such ads on Proz or elsewhere and I wonder if there could be a syndicate or ethic codes for translators setting a minimum for any job. The problem is that there are translators who accept such awful rates!!!

Ahmad Wadan

www.arablish.com


[Edited at 2005-12-14 12:56]


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 11:56
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
An ordinary job would earn me more per hour Dec 14, 2005

Yes, it's a free market, but in Denmark I would be better off with an ordinary job (not translating) as an employee. On top of my hourly earnings I would get sick cover, vacation paid etc., so anyone living in Denmark would propably not go for such an offer.

The ongoing discussion of this topic, however, shows us all that people living in some countries may be able to make a better (if not even good) living on such rates, so there you have it!

Luckily, there are tons of agencies out there willing to pay a decent rate (from our point of view), so we should have no need to go for a sub-level rate like this.

On the other hand, one could suggest that translators living in countries where such rates are good would up their rates even so. This would provide them with greater earnings (to make a GREAT living), and it would help the rest of us keeping rates at a more reasonable level at least ;o)


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:56
English to German
+ ...
Recurrent issue Dec 14, 2005

Hi all,
You may want to refer to previous discussions on the same issue.

As the concept of minimum rates was mentioned, I would like to remind everyone of ProZ.com's policy on that point.

Also, thanks for not discussing specific outsourcers in the forum; referring to specific jobs (including details described) may be construed as such. Please review the forum rules.

On the other hand, one could suggest that translators living in countries where such rates are good would up their rates even so.

That is what good translators do, regardless of where they live.

Best regards,
Ralf


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James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Awareness Dec 14, 2005

Sorry Ralf,

I'll try not to be so specific in the future.

I'd like to clarify something if I may. I wasn't trying to instigate another debate about rates, market forces, etc. as it's a topic that has been done to death here. I see several postings, however, from new members asking about acceptable rates for certain language combinations, and I think it's the duty of more experienced translators to raise awareness about unacceptable rates and derisory offers (which I consider this particular one to be) regardless of the geographical location of the company in question or indeed of the people who respond to such postings.

Regards

James



[Edited at 2005-12-14 14:42]


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:56
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Not really "free" market yet Dec 14, 2005

James Calder wrote:
Did anybody else notice an "Urgent" SP>EN job posting this morning from a Germany-based "agency" offering the princely rate of €0.02/per word?
s, I know it's a free market[/quote]

Not really free, yet. They still offer two cents!

Ducking, running and hiding,
P.B.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Congratulations! Dec 14, 2005

When an outsourcer offering such a rate meets a translator accepting it, they should marry.

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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
:-) Dec 14, 2005

Peter Bouillon wrote:


Not really free, yet. They still offer two cents!

)


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Agua  Identity Verified
Spain
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is in Germany Dec 14, 2005

Hello,
Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
They have received 6 quotes, and have a pure "5" Blue Board record. The company is in India, so that may explain the rate.

Astrid


Actually, it is the German offer; there is another offer from India, USD0.03/word.

I sent an e-mail to her, assuming it was a genuine error... since it came from Germany and it was legal... No reply as yet.

Best,

Mar


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:56
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Possibly simply a price-cutting ploy Dec 14, 2005

James Calder wrote:
Did anybody else notice an "Urgent" SP>EN job posting this morning from a Germany-based "agency" offering the princely rate of €0.02/per word?


This doesn't necessarily mean that they try to actually get away with a rate of two cents. It might simply be a ploy to keep quotes very low. After the "psychological target" of €0.02 has been set in the mind of the readers, it is very difficult for them to bid a rate of €0.12 or so.

Even if the rate they do get offered in the end is, say, four cents, they might figure that they would still get their work done for extremely cheap money.

P.


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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:56
French to English
+ ...
Price-Fixing is Unlawful Dec 14, 2005

Remember that any agreement to fix prices (i.e. where two or more translators agreed to hold firm to a specific price table) would likely be viewed as an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade under American, European (and probably other)anti-trust law.

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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
any agreement to fix prices? Dec 14, 2005

Richard Creech wrote:
Remember that any agreement to fix prices (i.e. where two or more translators agreed to hold firm to a specific price table) would likely be viewed as an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade under American, European (and probably other)anti-trust law.

This may be true for U.S. attorneys, but in Germany there is a BRAGO (Bundesrechtsanwaltsgebührenordnung) which fixes a price frame for (mostly freelancing) attorneys.
I think it is meant to protect their clients from excessive invoices and it relates to the value under dispute.

Maybe we should discuss such a rating system, too.

How, exactly, should the translation rate depend on the value of the underlying deal?


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