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Working for 0.01$ per word
Thread poster: Ritu Bhanot

Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:20
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Jun 8, 2006

Well... though it was not through proz but I just received a job offer and the person was really kind...

I don't know anyone who is really ready to work at this rate!!!

Have a look:

Hello,
We are looking for translators.

The translation to be done will mainly be website translation as we are a x company.
But the main project will be to take care of the translation of a new search engine interface that we are lunching.
The need will not only be on the interface translation but also on maintenance of it: this directory will use keyword that will be translated in about 10 languages.
Those keywords will be added continually, at any times, by users worldwide. We need a daily revision to add the keyword in each language into our internal search engine keyword dictionary.
It will be also a keyword synonyms dictionary to verified and to maintain
This work can be done at anytime of the day from any computer connected to internet
We expect at least about 50 000 word to translate in each languages during the first month…..then it will be add every days
We work generally at around 0.01$ per word (can be 0.015$ for first quality native translation)
All word to translate will be well prepared in a single column to be quickly read and translated
Then there is the synonyms verification that has other rates..

If interested, let me please know from which language to which language you fell comfortable to translate in professional way. (native language)

Let me please know if you are interested,
Best regards,


I have removed the name and other details and so I hope I'm not breaking any rules... but I couldn't help being upset with this.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 01:20
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
sadly not so uncommon.... Jun 8, 2006

....these days.

Hi Ritu,
We get alot of those too because we are based in China and agencies and companies think that that is a reasonable rate for the economy and cost of living here.

We always decline of course and point out matter of factly the irrelevance of geography.

The sad thing is you can bet your bottom dollar that someone will accept it and it will continue.

Do you find yourself in the same position in India? We get alot of agencies from India contacting us with offers at the most ludicrous rates.

Kind regards,
Mark


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:20
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
situation in India Jun 8, 2006

well... yes there are people who offer low rates... but this is the lowest I've ever heard. And frankly... why would anyone do it... I mean with all that u wouldn't even be able pay for the resources u use to do the job (electricity etc.)... i.e. no pay for your hard work.

Even in India, I have seen that only students or wannabees work for a very low rate (which is not as low as this one) and then they are just using it as an opportunity to learn "on the job" if u know what I mean.

Actually, this was an offer "not for translators" but for "language teachers" on a site for language teachers... I am a language teacher as well as a translator, so this person was kind enough to send me a message.


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:20
French to Spanish
+ ...
Same here... Jun 8, 2006

...but in Spanish:

http://www.proz.com/topic/48943

0.01$ per word.


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Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 14:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Do my house work for 2.6 usd per hour, please Jun 8, 2006

I translate about 2,000 words a day. That would make about 20 dollars/euros, whatever.

Try asking the person who's "offering" those kind of jobs, if/she would like to work for around 2.6 usd/euros per hour.

If so, don't hesistate to hire him/her to do your house cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc, in your house! I know I wouldn't hesitate!!

Best,
jbr


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 09:20
SITE FOUNDER
Try the new rates calculator Jun 8, 2006

Try the new rates calculator: http://www.proz.com/ratecalculator

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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 17:20
English to Russian
Nice guys Jun 8, 2006

I like this piece best: «new search engine interface that we are lunching».
Nice edible New-Google!
Stay healthy,
Shurka


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:20
English to French
+ ...
It's not even as bright as it looks Jun 9, 2006

I would like to remind you that translating isolated phrases and words - just like PowerPoint presentations - takes much more time than translating the same amount of words that are withing a regular text. This means that they should actually pay MORE, not less, than the average market rate for translation. So, it's actually even worse than you think.

There is a similar project going on in the US that I work on on and off, on days when I have no work (doesn't happen often) and don't have anything else to do. They pay between 15 and 25 US cents per term on average (depends on the file). So, I hope these people never write to me, because for once, I WILL answer. And they will not be happy with the reply.


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Larissa Dinsley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:20
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
Hmm, Jun 9, 2006

Henry wrote:

Try the new rates calculator: http://www.proz.com/ratecalculator


Actually, this would be a good illustration of the point I have made in another thread (http://www.proz.com/topic/49028).

Let's do some calculations:

The starting salary of a university graduate in India is about $6,000 (correct me if I am wrong Ritu). As a beginner you can get by with a second hand computer (ca. $300) and dial-up connection ($0.5 per hour). Say, you will have around $500 of business-related costs. To my knowledge, people in India generally do not take 4 weeks of holiday (a beginner who is keen to build up his/her client base would probably take 2 weeks - if any). The beginner is capable and prepared to work hard at 40 hours a day at 300 words per hour. I know it is stretching it but the calculator does not give us the flexibility to account for irregularities of work.

The resulting figure is 0.0155.)

Wouldn't you think that the beginner - after this kind of calculations - may say to himself/herself: I'd better take any work that is coming my way to fill up my hours and to get the desired outcome?

Or have my calculations gone wrong anywhere (at the end of the day, I am better with words than numbers )?

Have a nice day!


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:20
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Response to Larissa's post Jun 9, 2006

Hi Larissa,

Well... in terms of computer and internet connection u r almost there... in fact u can get an excellent new computer assembled for 435 USD, so few people go in for a second hand which must be much cheaper (No idea about second hand market). In fact, recently someone offered to revamp my entire machine for INR 10000/- (except HDD that costs INR 2500 for 40 GB)

And a broadband internet connection with 2GB limit + free for nights (which means app. no limits) costs 500 INR (12 USD) per month.

But then there are other things that are more expensive... one of them being Electricity... and the supply is often erratic (I did someone else's work 'coz of long power-cuts at his place). This implies you need a good UPS and a sine-wave inverter... as a translator u do need all that.

Still as you say it's good enough for maybe a beginner looking out to make a client base... but then these days even a beginner can easily make a salary of app. USD 6000 (+ perks + incentives*) working at a call centre... so it's not really that lucrative to be a translator. Perks usually include cab facility, food, snacks, parties, vaccations etc. And incentives are monetary benefits calculated on the basis of how much business one generates... (and starts at about 15 USD/ often targets are for 2000 / month which is considered easy) It's a long holiday... so who wants to work

I mean, imagine, working at a call centre you get everything for free and your salary actually is just your pocket money... and frankly speaking anyone can really do the job it's too easy... so it is not really a motivation for people to become translators. I worked in a BPO for 2 years in order to support myself while working hard to be a freelance translator. And believe me... I could do the work half asleep... (and I was one of the best). In fact, it was so easy that I didn't really want to leave it at the end (and I was earning much more than 6000 USD). Thank god I got selected for CELTA otherwise I would still be working as a part-time translator and full time BPO employee...

So, I wouldn't think it's really lucrative to be a full time translator (at least not at this rate)

[Edited at 2006-06-09 06:04]


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Larissa Dinsley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:20
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
Thank you Ritu! Jun 9, 2006

Ritu Bhanot wrote:

So, I wouldn't think it's really lucrative to be a full time translator (at least not at this rate)


That's exactly my point!

Would you agree though that there is a fair number of beginners in India who would agree to work for such rates?

Anyway, I was just trying to illustrate how one can arrive at low rates using the new calculator.


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:20
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
At 45 paise a word Jun 9, 2006

Definitely no... this rate comes to about 45 paise a word... it would come to Rs. 22500 for the 50000 words... and even beginners don't work at this rate.

Why would they? They can easily get a better paying job where they have to work less and there's no investment. and if one can get more than that without investing anything but one's time...

I know a couple of people who completed their masters in Translation this year... and all of them opted to go for language related work in BPOs rather than be a translator.

[Edited at 2006-06-09 08:22]


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Fredrik Vrang  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:20
English to Swedish
+ ...
Try another calculation? Jun 12, 2006

Larissa wrote:

...The beginner is capable and prepared to work hard at 40 hours a day at 300 words per hour...

...Or have my calculations gone wrong anywhere...



I just noticed that you stated 40 hours a day - that *is* hard work

Seriously, from my own point of view, hard work would imply perhaps 10 hours a day, six days a week = 60 hours per week. That´s actually the amount of work that many, many ambitious people have had to put in, for a substantial part of their careers!, in order to become truly successful. So if we´re to consider what *hard* work is, I´d vote for using the figure of 60 hours per week.


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Larissa Dinsley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:20
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
Hi Fredrik! Jun 13, 2006

Fredrik Vrang wrote:

Larissa wrote:

...The beginner is capable and prepared to work hard at 40 hours a day at 300 words per hour...

...Or have my calculations gone wrong anywhere...



I just noticed that you stated 40 hours a day - that *is* hard work

Seriously, from my own point of view, hard work would imply perhaps 10 hours a day, six days a week = 60 hours per week. That´s actually the amount of work that many, many ambitious people have had to put in, for a substantial part of their careers!, in order to become truly successful. So if we´re to consider what *hard* work is, I´d vote for using the figure of 60 hours per week.


Sorry Fredrik, I actually meant 40 hours per week (not per day) and the calculation is per week.


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