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Blue Board: I would like...
Thread poster: Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo

Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 05:30
English to Spanish
Mar 13, 2009

...and highly appreciate it if Proz.com & staff would place a mouseover feature on the names of member colleagues blueboarding on the Blue Board to indicate their country.

Many times, when checking an agency/company's rating in this most helpful section, I've wished I could immediately know a fellow translator's mother tongue or country of residence, which would save me a lot of time, particularly when the same agency is urging me to send a reply.

All this in order to determine what rates my colleagues are charging that agency, and what countries the agency tends to give jobs to —considering that my mother tongue is spoken by more than 400 million people distributed in the world.

Note: I do like and often do visit colleague profiles, but I prefer to do that when I'm free and in the mood.

Members' feedback would be highly appreciated.



[Edited at 2009-03-13 07:35 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:30
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Am I reading this correctly? Mar 13, 2009

Tadzio Carvallo wrote:

...and highly appreciate it if Proz.com & staff would place a mouseover feature on the names of member colleagues blueboarding on the Blue Board to indicate their nationality.


How would ProZ.com know anybody's nationality?
We do not provide that info in our profile.
We have an option to provide info about the country we are currently live in, but that is not the same as nationality.

I've wished I could immediately know a fellow translator's mother tongue or country of residence, which would save me a lot of time, particularly when the same agency is urging me to send a reply.


Save you a lot of time? Clicking on the name brings up the profile where this info is immediately available, if the profile owner decided to make it public. I do not see the great time savings between moving the mouse over a name or actually clicking on it.

All this in order to determine what rates my colleagues are charging that agency,


I am curious to see how many replies this comment of yours will generate...
Here is mine:
In my humble opinion, the rates that other colleagues charging is none of your business.
I fail to see how one's "nationality" would imply the rates that person is charging - my experience is that rates are all over the scale for any given "nationality", there is no correlation with mother tongue, country of residence, etc.
The most reliable info on rates is (surprisingly) the "Rates" section in our profiles. People have a choice of making their rates public or not. So, if you want to know that, take the effort and click.
I still have no idea why you need this piece of info (rates that others charge)? Do you base your rates on what others would charge for the same project? When the "others" are translators that actually working (or worked) for the same agency? Do you think if you charge more than them, you have a better chance of getting the job? Or are trying to undercut them? I just don't see how this piece of information could be used in a way that would not be perceived as unethical in this situation.

and what nationalities the agency tends to give jobs to —considering that my mother tongue is spoken by more than 400 million people distributed in numerous countries.


Again, what difference does it make? You said the agency is waiting for your urgent reply, which means they contacted you, so they are obviously interested in you regardless of your "nationality" (whatever you mean by that). Or are you changing that to suit the job? I guess not, so again, what is the point?

Note: I do like and often do visit colleague profiles, but I prefer to do that when I'm free and in the mood.


I prefer too, that you visit my profile when you are free, and in the mood, not when you are trying to figure out how much I charge for a client that you are about to send a quote to...

I apologize if I misread your posting, but based on what you wrote, I think I have to take a serious looks at some past forum threads where people were complaining about the disadvantages of posting good remarks on the BB.

I do hope I misunderstood you.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree - Use and decide your rates Mar 13, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
Tadzio Carvallo wrote:
All this in order to determine what rates my colleagues are charging that agency,

I am curious to see how many replies this comment of yours will generate... Here is mine: In my humble opinion, the rates that other colleagues charging is none of your business.


I agree with Katalin here. I don't publish my rates in Proz. If any prospect is interested, we agree rates privately based on the nature of the job. And I don't think the rates others charge should be the calculation base for your rates. You must decide your rates yourself based on your circumstances. In general, I don't agree with publishing rates in Proz as I believe that publishing them in the open is not really beneficial for the industry.


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Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 13:30
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I certainly agree with Katalin Mar 13, 2009

Hello Tadzio,

1) Many colleagues here do not even enter that information as it is definitively irrelevant to our business. They might/have entered mother tongue language, but not necessarily nationality;

2) Katalin is right when she quotes your words - they also made quite an impression on me as well. How can you possibly decide the level of rate I would charge by knowing my nationality? Do you also know that there are people with 2 or even 3 nationalities?

3) Each of us has it's rates, depending on their level, expertise, calculation, but also on the kind of project, status of the source documents, and so on. There are a number of factors that determine the rate for a project.

4) If you would like to see where does this particular outsourcer hires more from (I cannot think of the utility of this piece of information but still, you would like to know) I guess you have to spend some time to come and find it out.

Personally I would not like Proz.com to do to my profile what you are asking them to do.

Best, Fabiana


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 06:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
I guess Europeans will not understand Tadzio's point Mar 13, 2009

Latin Americans will, however.

I am Chilean and live in my homeland, and I am sure that I would be contacted by many more outsourcers if I omitted my country of residence on my profile page. Why? Because agencies look for Argentinian translators. Why? Because my peers from the other side of Los Andes have a reputation of charging very low rates.

So it is useful to us (English-Spanish translators) to know if an agency works primarily with Argentinian colleagues. If I knew that fact, I wouldn't waste my time quoting.

Maybe Proz staff could fulfill Tadzio's request for this particular language pair.

Anyway, I should note that it has been a long time since I stopped hoping to get work from outsourcers through this site. I do get invited to participate in interesting projects --mostly from "expensive" Argentinian peers!

Networking is the key to success. Proz Jobs should be renamed: "Proz Jokes" is definitly more becoming and self-descriptive


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 05:30
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Being misunderstood :( Mar 13, 2009

1. I believe that I have been misunderstood, and know the reason: I mistook the word country for nationality. Due to this, I am changing the word in my initial thread, and I apologize for my mistake.

2. Every day I read a forum thread where everyone is complaining about the lack of standard rates, and due to this outsourcers are taking advantage of us. (Let's get standard, then!)

3. I am a translator who receives several proposals each week from different agencies, but I do not have a "general" price rate for all of them, and feel that some are taking advantage of me.

4. It is not my intention to take the work from anybody, but yes, I do want to charge a standard rate (in my language pair) as everybody else.

5. My initiative has been made with the aim of STANDARDIZE our rates, as it is a general claim, not only in my language pair but everybody's in this business.

I hope to have explained myself better this time, and if some business sensibilities have been hurt, I apologize again.

Finally, I, just as Proz.com, think that announcing our price rates is not a sin or a bad idea; but this point remains optional.

See you tomorrow! It's late in the night over here.

[Edited at 2009-03-13 07:43 GMT]


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Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:30
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Standard rates ??? Mar 13, 2009

How can we standardize rates? When a lot of us, me for sure, quote according to the job in question, (complexity, urgency, etc.), remember we are not government controlled Notaries, Architects or Lawyers.
I am sure, that a majority of us work within the field of "average rates", and usually this is what we include in our profiles. But, aren't we all 'available for negotiation' at some given time?

I don't see the necessity of a world-wide 'Standard rate' and I fail to see, how this could be done country-by-country, because that would lead to a necessary monitoring that colleagues do not quote for jobs coming from other countries to where they live. That is impossible, in this digital world.

Regards,

Nigel:)


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:30
French to German
+ ...
It's interesting to know an agency's nationality... Mar 13, 2009

I think it very interesting to know the nationality of an agency, but not for deriving rate levels.

I consider it hard and expensive to file lawsuits or small claims (e.g., in order to chase payments) in certain countries, and so I am especially cautious when dealing with companies located there.

Peter

[Edited at 2009-03-13 09:11 GMT]


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I am Argentinean: Mar 13, 2009

And my rates are not low AT ALL.




Alicia


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:30
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Price fixing is against the law in many jurisdictions Mar 13, 2009

5. My initiative has been made with the aim of STANDARDIZE our rates, as it is a general claim, not only in my language pair but everybody's in this business.


While this may seem as an idea coming from good intentions, I would like to point out that such practice is called price fixing and it is illegal in many countries. Please search the forums for past threads on this - many people have commented on it. (Suggested keywords: cartel, price fixing, minimum rate.)


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:30
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
About minimum rates Mar 13, 2009

This is maybe one of the most important topics that arise once and again and again along the years. And it is important to bear in mind.
http://www.proz.com/faq/jobs#jobs_minimum_rate
3.18 - Why doesn't ProZ.com set a minimum rate for translation?
At times, the suggestion has been made that site staff institute some form of technical mechanism to dictate minimums. Although ProZ.com has instituted certain mechanisms which may help to stabilize rates (see the FAQ on rates), ProZ.com has no intention of instituting a minimum rate mechanism in the near future, for the following reason:

We believe that each member should be entitled to set his or her own minimum rates. We provide a rates calculator to assist site users in making the necessary considerations, and provide optional filters so that in effect, a site user can set his/her own minimum rate. This is in line with the site's philosophy of not interfering in members' businesses.

If that is not reason enough, consider that:
(1) Even if it were conceptually possible and advisable to set a minimum rate, we would not currently have a means of enforcing it.
(2) Whether attempting to set a minimum is legal or not is an open question, and not one on which we have had adequate advice (comments from lawyers are welcome: http://www.proz.com/support )
(3) Other sites have attempted to set minimum rates, with no apparent effect.

It is in the interest of translators, and ProZ.com, for rates charged to be consistent with the demands of our challenging profession. To that end, ProZ.com's staff has welcomed and encouraged legal communication and cooperation among translators. But we believe that control of rates does (and should!) reside in the hands of service providers.

Many persons usually complain about this. But, in an open market, it is all about "if you are a freelancer, do not accept low rates", period.

Fabio


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:30
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree Mar 13, 2009

Fabio Descalzi wrote:

Many persons usually complain about this. But, in an open market, it is all about "if you are a freelancer, do not accept low rates", period.

Fabio


Completely in agreement. In any case, I would vote for standardizing rates at the high end of the scale, not at the low end. That is my personal trend.


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Walter Landesman
Uruguay
Local time: 07:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree with Fabio Mar 13, 2009

Yes, Fabio. You`ve said it all.

BTW, already in 2005 Aurora Humaran wrote and published here "Avivando colegas - Traductores argentinos: CAPACITADOS Y BARATOS: IRRESISTIBLES" http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/462/

I would recommend you all to read it back (or anew for those of you who haven`t done it yet), including the below comments and the related thread http://www.proz.com/forum/spanish/34848-article:_avivando_colegas_traductores_argentinos:_capacitados_y_baratos:_irresistibles.html

Since this is a recurrent topic....


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 05:30
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
This is the point!! Mar 13, 2009

Elías Sauza wrote:
In any case, I would vote for standardizing rates at the high end of the scale, not at the low end. That is my personal trend.


See, how can I compete with an excellent Latin American translator when they are charging .01 and .02 USD cents per source word? I think this is not fair... Another thing would be if we could increase the minimum charge by trying to increase our public rates. (Latin translators charge as much as Europeans and North Americans, but Latins are the best, they would say.)

In my opinion, as an average:
Argentinians are very good (not just good, but excellent!) translators, but charge low rates.
European Spanish translators are not as good as they think, but charge high rates.

From here my wish of having a prompt mouseover feature on the names of colleague members blueboarding on the Blue Board that could indicate their COUNTRY of residence. This would help us —Latins— to average our rates. That is, if an outsourcer uses to outsource EU Spanish translators, we could charge as high as them. But, if an outsourcer is used to hire Latin translators... you cannot expect to charge high, unfortunately.

Really, I feel very limited to addressing my point in English, but this is the idea.



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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
Commodities exchange anyone? Mar 13, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

5. My initiative has been made with the aim of STANDARDIZE our rates, as it is a general claim, not only in my language pair but everybody's in this business.


While this may seem as an idea coming from good intentions, I would like to point out that such practice is called price fixing and it is illegal in many countries. Please search the forums for past threads on this - many people have commented on it. (Suggested keywords: cartel, price fixing, minimum rate.)


To avoid charges of price fixing we could always establish a new commodities exchange (most agencies seem to view our words as commodities anyway). Something like CME but for language pairs.

No problem with different language variants. Just as Nymex and Brent Crude are separate markets, so each language variant could be. We could even have different units for different language pairs/variants - words, characters, lines or any other unit you prefer.

Don't forget that futures markets for agricultural commodities were originally establish to give farmers some kind of security of income.

Edited.
Forgot to include my offer for en_GB to sv_SE with April delivery:

ENGB/SVSE General Apr £0.14/word Put

[Edited at 2009-03-13 20:03 GMT]

Edited again as that really should be a Call.

ENGB/SVSE General Apr £0.14/word Call


[Edited at 2009-03-13 20:06 GMT]


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