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rates
Thread poster: Silvia Lee

Silvia Lee  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 3, 2001

I am appalled by some of the rates indicated by translators. By quoting such low rates (anything less than US$0.10 is not acceptable),rather than encourage competition, it places translators at the level of mere clerks, and not as the professionals we are. I suggest that all translators should agree in a standard rate to obtain the economic respect that we deserve. I also wonder about the individuals that quote such ridiculous rates of US$0.05 per source word and the quality of the translators. Every time I read some packaging or instructions that are poorly translated, I know that they were probably translated by an underpaid alleged \"translator.\" Such documents badly translated reflect negatively on the profession as a whole.
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lcmolinari  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:13
Member
French to English
+ ...
Whose standards? Dec 3, 2001

Silvia,



Please check the forums and follow the NUMEROUS threads on rates. They may enlighten you. I think we have beaten this discussion to a pulp on this site.



Perhaps anything less than $0.10 is unacceptable for you, but for others it could be triple what agencies pay translators in their home country. There is also a big difference between bidding on a job for a direct client and bidding on one for an agency. Obviously, in the latter case, the rates will be lower.



Universal standard rates are impossible. It\'s as ridiculous as proposing a universal standard price around the world for milk. We may live in a globalized society, but it\'s not THAT globalized. Your suggestion would mean that any other service provider would also have to have a standard rate around the world?


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Tatjana Aleksic, MA  Identity Verified
English to Serbo-Croat
+ ...
Just look at the latest job posting in Eng-Serbian pair! Dec 3, 2001

The outsorcer quoted Euro 0.02 as their offer and advised those who disagree with the price not to bid! And we thought that $ 0.04 was a shameful offer!!!!!!!!!!

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Raymond Chu
Taiwan
Local time: 08:13
English to Chinese
+ ...
Intellectual Slave Labors Dec 3, 2001

I agree with Silvia one hundred percent. The bloody facts are: (1) Most agencies take too deep a \"cut\" on translation fees, and (2) Most clients are not capable of telling the differences in quality, as they generally are not bilinguals themselves. This is true with many large corporations that do not have bilinguals on their staffs. Any rate below USD0.10 per source word is certainly making professional translators

\"intellectual slave labors.\"


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 20:13
German to English
+ ...
Dear Silvia Dec 3, 2001

Excellent observations. Thank you!



The problem is that our profession, in most countries, is not properly regulated.



Don\'t get me wrong: I am not talking about degrees and diplomas, but about a body of professional and ethical rules and standards that every member of our profession, regardless of their location, should adhere to.



One thing\'s for sure: access to the profession must be regulated. This is done for everything else, and it must be done for translators as well.



Unfortunately, there are many people who just stumble into the field of translation (I call them infiltrators or \"side-swipers\"). The problem is that these people don\'t want to play by any rules and they fiercely oppose any attempts to regulate the profession (they outright hate regulation, they like anarchy - clearly they are part of the lunatic fringe) because they know that they\'d be gone in a sec if that were to happen.



It is common sense (some have it, some don\'t): if you want to be part of something, you will have to play by the rules and show some respect.



I fully agree with you, Silvia, there are tons of bad translations floating around these days, because most of these texts you mention are not translated by professionals but by nitwits, who have no idea of what translation is all about.



As a client, you should always ask yourself this question: why is it that Mr./Ms. XXX works as a translator, offers me his/her services, but, apparently, is not willing to adhere to any professional standards (= XXX is not a member of any professional association, is not accredited or certified, does not have professional liability insurance and does not follow any standards)?



If somebody claims to be a doctor, accountant, etc. without being recognized by any of the certifying/regulatory bodies, you, as a client, will know that there is something seriously wrong with this person.


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Patricia García Ces  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Professionals DO share international standards Dec 3, 2001

I agree with both Silvia and Raymond. Don´t physicians, architects, lawyers -to mention but a few professional fields- share some sort of universal standards as regards fees? Why should professional translators be different? The thing is, I´m afraid, not everyone in this field seems to have spent years in college in order to earn their degree in translation; if they had they would probably know where to draw the line when it comes to how little they are willing to work for. Have we forgotten what professional ethics means?
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SWEDISH-TRANSLATION.com - your Swedish translation partner
Local time: 02:13
Swedish to English
+ ...
What a narrow-minded view! Dec 3, 2001

It\'s ridiculous to try to globalize the translation rates. As mentioned before, you can\'t globalize the price of milk, can you? Tell me one thing that\'s regulated all over the world and I\'ll accept your opinions. People in different countries has different standards. What a narrowminded view to even fantasize that a regulation in the translation rates will ever happen!



You could do one thing to regulate the rates - start a translation agency and hire all the translators in the world.



And why blubber over the lousy translated manuals. Proofread the manual yourself for free and send it in to the company. Maybe you\'ll get a job as a proofreader. I would really cry if my translation was badly done, but not if somebody elses was.



So Silvia Lee, Raymond Chu and AbracadabraTrans, accept the trend with the low rates, or jump of the train, take your magnificent educations with you and find another job.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-03 12:26 ]


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:13
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Another consideration Dec 3, 2001

Has it ever occurred to you that some bad translations you see out there (I\'ve seen many) may well not be done by somebody who calls him/herself a translator, but by some poor bod in some department who speaks the relevant languages (more or less) and whose boss has said \"translate this\" to save a few pennies/cents/pesetas or whatever?

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Silvia Lee  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
obviously not a professional Dec 3, 2001

Obviously you must not be professional. As a technical writer, I have an ethical duty to perform a job so that it will protect the user. When you have a lousy translation is harming everyone of those individuals who may read the instructions. There should be a standard just like there is for doctors and lawyers, or would you like someone that just learned on the internet how to perform an operation to perform surgery on you?







Quote:


On 2001-12-03 12:21, Swedish-Tr wrote:

It\'s ridiculous to try to globalize the translation rates. As mentioned before, you can\'t globalize the price of milk, can you? Tell me one thing that\'s regulated all over the world and I\'ll accept your opinions. People in different countries has different standards. What a narrowminded view to even fantasize that a regulation in the translation rates will ever happen!



You could do one thing to regulate the rates - start a translation agency and hire all the translators in the world.



And why blubber over the lousy translated manuals. Proofread the manual yourself for free and send it in to the company. Maybe you\'ll get a job as a proofreader. I would really cry if my translation was badly done, but not if somebody elses was.



So Silvia Lee, Raymond Chu and AbracadabraTrans, accept the trend with the low rates, or jump of the train, take your magnificent educations with you and find another job.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-03 12:26 ]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 20:13
German to English
+ ...
Comments Dec 3, 2001

I did not say anything about rates, but about professional standards in general.



It is always fascinating to see such \"wonderful\" narrow-mindedness when it comes to having some simple ethical and professional standards. I guess, some people are just not interested in being ethical (De \"Mattias\" nihil nisi bene ).



********

Nikki: I made this point some time ago (eg, secretaries that are forced to translate documents, etc.). And you are right about this, no doubt. But these \"reluctant translators\" are only part of the problem - the \"side-swipers\" are a much bigger problem.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-03 13:15 ]


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Peter Skipp  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:13
Member (2012)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
USD0.02 and all that Dec 3, 2001

Tatjana draws our attention to an USD0.02 offer in Serbian, and we are supposed to be scandalised. I suppose Serbia is pretty similar to Bulgaria in terns of lifestyle. In the latter country this rate is about average. With the amount of sheer work available, and a perfectly average throughput of some 10-15 pages a day, one can enjoy a very professional lifestyle indeed -- within Bulgaria... But if one raises the rate, one gets stuffed -- ok, some blue-chip clients will stick by one, but the pot-boilers will go hunt cheaper. Result? Misery!

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:13
English to German
+ ...
I'm baffled... Dec 3, 2001

...and amazed at the amount of time and effort spent in these forums lamenting the general demise of rates, standards, ethics, etc. (Nicely put, Laura: \"beaten to a pulp\" accurately summarises the point.)



Stop whining, guys: turn the whole thing upside down. Forget about rules & regs, the minimum rate enforcement squad, global professional bodies (try and tell that to the guy \'next door\' on the Web - he/she just happens to be wherever, and probably couldn\'t care less...) - \'use\' bad translation examples as an opportunity to shine with the quality of work you deliver.



And if someone turns up and delivers real quality at a rock-bottom price (something I sincerely hope won\'t happen too quickly, by the way...), let\'s hope that you thought about re-inventing your own business model a few months earlier... welcome to the 21st century.



Come on, Werner, give it to me...


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 20:13
German to English
+ ...
You are safe, Ralf Dec 3, 2001

Don\'t worry, Ralf - I agree with what you have just said.



The \"guy next door\" is a reality, but I am not talking about the \"guy next door\". I am referring to our own \"little select group\" here.



Besides, if every country had the kind of regulations that Canada has, then you guys would not have to worry about the \"guy next door\" so much - now or in the future.



Let me say just one thing in conclusion: the whole thing is no skin off my back, because we\'re fine where I am, but all of you will be in trouble when the \"guy next door\" comes knockin\'.


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 20:13
German to English
+ ...
Bravo, Silvia Dec 3, 2001

Good stuff, Silvia: you call \'em as you see \'em.



Indeed, having professional rules of conduct and quality standards in place is very important.



Would you also allow anyone to set up shop as a stockbroker? NO! That\'s why stockbrokers have to take special courses, several \"accreditation exams\" (and not just one), etc. - and they have very strict professional rules.



There is no association that tells its members how much they should charge, but they do set binding rules for professional and ethical conduct.



But don\'t worry, Silvia: anyone who PUBLICLY rejects and spits on education, quality, professional standards and ETHICS (!) only shoots himself in the foot. It\'s a good thing that many potential clients will be reading this too!



Ralf is absolutely right in bringing market forces into play: but associations and regulations do not prevent that. Lawyers, for example, are still subject to the laws of the market, and there is fierce competition among lawyers too. However, they have to slug it out within the confines of rules and standards.



Yes, Silvia, there are professionals and there are ...... (fill in a word of your choice ). The latter can have all the 2 or 4-cent jobs in the world, but we, as professionals, will handle the rest (ie, jobs that pay 10 cents and up).



I also find it noteworthy that, according to Mattias, translation is a profession that all highly-educated and qualified people should leave (\"take your magnificent educations and find another job\"). That statement alone speaks volumes!!!! (Quick note to Mattias: does that mean, oh glorious one, that you can stay in the translation industry because you don\'t fit that profile, that is, because your education and qualfications are not that \"magnificent\" Sorry, but this is YOUR OWN message coming back to bite you in the ...)



You know, Silvia, we need to have limited and regulated access to our profession in order to avoid such things from happening: people literally stumbling into this profession who then tell everyone else how to do things. Ridiculous!



Again, Silvia, thank you for pointing this out: anyone who so willingly throws education, quality and ethics overboard can\'t be a professional (and never will).

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-03 21:45 ]


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 05:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bidding is the cause of falling rates Dec 3, 2001

I have read a lot and have written a lot about this subject of falling rates.

Before the bidding sites came into existence, perhaps, there was no fall in rates.

I attribute the fall in rates to all types of bidding,sometimes at ridiculous rates, at times, quoted by the so caled high profile translators - and if you click on their profiles you may not get any details except that they are top level translators.

Bid more and ruin the profession .



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