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Poll: Do you adjust quality depending on rate (better rate gets more)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:45
SITE STAFF
Sep 1, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you adjust quality depending on rate?".

This poll was originally submitted by Enrique

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-09-01 14:50]


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Pilar T. Bayle  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
It has to do with the rate... Sep 1, 2006

If you always charge a fair rate for your work, then there is no adjustment in the level of quality, whatsoever. If you charge ANY rate and then you adust the level of quality, you are accountable on two counts of lack of ethics:

1. for dumping prices and contributing to the degradation of our market

2. for reacting against the customer and adjusting your level of quality

Professionals do not accept just any rate and take pride in their work, I think. I know I do.

P.
www.pbayle.com/blogs-english

[Edited at 2006-09-01 15:06]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:45
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I only adjust quality for rushed jobs... Sep 1, 2006

I occasionally warn the client that the deadline is too tight, and I can't spend the time I normally would on checking and ensuring quality.

In a situation where the deadline is absolute, we agree on what is most important and what we will do about it.

This usually amounts to not worrying if there are odd 'Danglish' sentences and expressions that are not entirely idiomatic, as long as the meaning is clear. I run a spell check if format permits, or try to find a colleague who can proof read for me, but if the client is that desperate, then I make reservations for typos and similar, and leave it at that.

I simply do the best I can in the time, then deliver the job with a note explaining my reservations.

In fact I hate this kind of situation. Under normal circumstances I read the text through, at least a section at a time, and find the terminology and collocations before I start to translate. Then I can concentrate on how I construct sentences and what expressions and idioms or professional jargon I will use. The translation flows, and it is often impossible to do it faster.

Not checking terminology properly usually means I have to check later anyway, and then 'search and replace' all through the text when I am forced to find the right term. So poor quality wastes time - and why would I do that if I was getting paid less anyway?

If I'm using Trados I certainly want the text to be as faultless as possible before I clean up and perpetuate it in the TM!

No, I'm not perfect, but I do my best every time. It pays in lots of ways, quite apart from money.



[Edited at 2006-09-01 16:32]


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 16:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
40% discount ... but it's your choice! Sep 1, 2006

I had a client once who was unhappy about the rate I proposed for his job. He told me he'd accept 'poorer' quality in exchange for a 'better' price.

So I asked him: "What would you prefer: bad style, sloppy spelling, wrong terminology or no punctuation? I'll deduct 10% from my rate for each option.

He thought for a moment ... and agreed to pay me the full rate I was asking for.

And I'm glad he did, 'cos I've no idea how I could have translated his text if he'd chosen a 40% discount!

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2006-09-01 18:34]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:45
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Isn't it a tall order? Sep 1, 2006

I can't imagine anyone deliberately working worse, unless, as Christine mentions, time pressure comes into play. And even then, the outcome would be deliberately the best possible under the circumstances.

Or am I missing something?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Have to charge more Sep 1, 2006

To adjust from good quality to poorer quality would be added work, so I guess I would have to change more for that.

One exception, however, was when a client wanted something very lengthy translated on a short deadline, but for internal use only.

I sight translated it and recorded it so it could be transcribed; it was "quick and dirty", but it met the need. The difference in price and delivery time was considerable.


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 22:45
French to English
+ ...
I'm shocked at the question Sep 1, 2006

As an ex-professional interpreter/translator of many years standing, I am gob-smacked that you should even ask such a question. Leaving aside the cases mentioned of working against the clock and the client having to understand that you can't make silk purses out of sows ears, to suggest that any serious professional translator would adjust his or her standards to allow for the price the client is prepared to pay leaves me SPEECHLESS.
And, Enrique,with all due respect, you should be ashamed to have even suggested such a poll. Anyone who answers that low pay means low quality in their book, should be booted off the site and, more importantly, out of the profession PDQ.
Anyone who takes on a job has a duty to do his or her best. If the price is too low, then there was a problem back up the line, in accepting the job or in negotiating the price.
I commission work of other translators (don't apply, I have my team already) and if I thought for a moment that their quality was price-related, I would kick them off my lists before they knew what had hit them. As it happens I (or my clients) are prepared to pay top dollar for good, quick, intelligent work (not always easy to find), so the problem shouldn't arise.
BUT what a thought - I still can't believe that anyone could even think this way. What ever happened to professional standards?


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 15:45
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Can't believe that 45 ProZ members deliver badly! Sep 1, 2006

I was most amazed that almost 8% of the commmunity that actually replied that they deliver poor quality.

Tell you what: You not going to last that much in the industry!

I just think it is an ethical thing. If for some reason I did not charge what I feel is appropriate and just for a job, I would not just deliver a poor translation to compensate for my lack of negotiating skills.

Shame on that 8%...


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 16:45
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Always top quality Sep 1, 2006

The only business I do is good business. To me this means giving the client my best. Also, documents in writing have the potential of existing forever. I wouldn't dream of someone saying "Who in the world translated this?" thirty years down the road.

Reed


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 22:45
English to German
+ ...
got no control over it Sep 1, 2006

If the text is not difficult it is good for the outsourcer, but if it is bad, i would then need more time. The extra compensation that would be demanded would not make the content eaiser, but the time factor does. Then the time will be converted into hourly rate.Best Brandis

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Sophia Hundt  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:45
Russian to English
+ ...
Always try to do my very best Sep 1, 2006

It doesn't matter what they pay as far as quality is concerned - I try to leave good impression on all of my clients, no matter what they are willing to pay. If the payment is way too low, I just don't take it on rather than doing not so good a job. Also, I avoid having to work under too tight of a deadline (take on a project due tomorrow, for example) because that would surely reflect negatively on the quality. In fact, I did it once and I regretted it dearly. Sometimes I have to negotiate the deadline, as I have done just a few days ago - they wanted me to do something in two days, while I needed about six, and they agreed. If they absolutely cannot adjust the deadline, I pass the offer.

I think one should be careful to maintain a steady, consistent, good quality throughout, cause good quality will always win in the long run.

[Edited at 2006-09-01 22:52]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 17:45
SITE STAFF
Ashamed? Sep 2, 2006

CMJ_Trans wrote:

And, Enrique,with all due respect, you should be ashamed to have even suggested such a poll. Anyone who answers that low pay means low quality in their book, should be booted off the site and, more importantly, out of the profession PDQ.


Why ashamed? I believe this is a valid question. Questions help us learn and debate.

Some people may have good quality for normal rates and even better quality for higher rates. You may have customers who pay extra money but demand extra quality.

Regards,
Enrique


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 15:45
English to Russian
+ ...
I'm dead curious about technical feasibility Sep 2, 2006

I definitely need some clarification. What are we talking about?

I'm leaving moral issues out entirely and intentionally. Please, enlighten me - what one is supposed to do to degrade the quality? My translation may not be the top one on a global scale, but this is the only way I know how. I'm not even thinking in terms of the best or the worst. There is the level I have achieved, it is MY best and... how am I supposed to lose it all of a sudden?!?!?!?!? It's an intergal part of me. I can't go back even if I wanted to. I don't know how to turn analphabet. Invent errors along the way? Omit paragraphs, mismatch tense, case and gender in Russian, stop using dictionaries and start guessing? This would be an additional work indeed.

Sure, I agree with everything said about deadlines impossible to achieve when the client agrees to accept the job "as is", but even then we are talking mostly "technicalities" and, maybe, some impact to the degree of smoothness, right?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quality is Productivity Sep 2, 2006

And productivity is quality. The two go together, and they result in greater value for a lower price.

Low quality = high price, out of business
High quality = low price, world class competitor

Ask anyone in global industry, they know. Based on that, they sink or swim.

So do we.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:45
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
you are right Enrique Sep 2, 2006

Enrique wrote:

CMJ_Trans wrote:

And, Enrique,with all due respect, you should be ashamed to have even suggested such a poll. Anyone who answers that low pay means low quality in their book, should be booted off the site and, more importantly, out of the profession PDQ.


Why ashamed? I believe this is a valid question. Questions help us learn and debate.

Some people may have good quality for normal rates and even better quality for higher rates. You may have customers who pay extra money but demand extra quality.

Regards,
Enrique


The question is not "poorer rate bad quality", the question is better rate better quality, at least this is what I understand,

BTW my answer is I always do my best, even if I am not perfect

All the best

Angioletta


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