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Plain truth (opinion on rates)
Thread poster: Telesforo Fernandez
Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 22, 2001

By now all the translators might have already read all the discussions on the quality of translations and falling rates.



All the forum discussions have been extraordinarily educative and revealing.



I strongly suggest all the readers to read all that is written in these forum pages on rates and quality of translations and on translation agencies.

Read them again and again and you will draw the following conclusion:



Irrespective of the fact that:

- You are highly experienced

-You are certified or not

-You live in Europe, USA, Latin America, East European countries or in Greenland

-You have due accreditation

-You are a native speakers – including PROZ certified

-You are specialist in your field,

-You have CAT or Rat tools,

- Your agency knows you and the quality you deliver

-You swear to never work below a particular rate

-You are relatively fresher



The rates today are hovering around 4 cents/word and at the most 6 cents/word.



The conclusion I draw is that all good translators should quote between 4 and 6 cents if they really want to bag jobs.

This is the only way to beat the poor quality translators.

There is no other way to do it- You can only discourage them by quoting their rates – Beat them at their own game.



If you can’t swallow this, you should not translate- you may have better thing to do.



And those who say ‘do not lower your rates’ because agencies will soon realize are mistaken.

Agencies have known it for years together and yet they have not realized anything; only you have realized that jobs have been slipping from your hands and you are under the delusion that some day agencies will learn.

All this applies even if you are bidding on PROZ.com site where the competition is extremely fierce.

And last, but not the least, be very carefull in answering Kudoz questions, lest you contribute to the fall of rates( by translating , free of cost, for the incompetent translator who is snatching the job from you) and the fall of your profession.

Q.E.D, but I have not said Requiem yet.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-22 22:40 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-22 22:56 ]


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Anila Mayhew  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:12
English to Albanian
+ ...
Are you sure? Nov 22, 2001

What makes you sure that if you lower your rates to beat them at their game, they will not lower them any further? For example, you bid at 0.06 and to beat your bid they bid at 0.05 since it seems like that is the only way they can get jobs.

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 17:12
German to English
+ ...
So, doomsday is here??? Nov 22, 2001

I agree with some of what you are saying, Telesforo, but not with your general call for further degradation (\"lower your rates to 4-6 cents\").



This may be fine for where you live, but if you live in most parts of Europe or North America, you will starve if you charge 4-6 cents.



According to you, then, my \"doomsday scenario\" (see other thread) has already become reality, has it? That is, no more full-time translators, only lousy part-time dilettantes who don\'t know what they are doing?



If clients (and, in particular, agencies) want only dilettantes who work for 4-6 cents, fine! At least then, the agencies will be out of business too (because their clients will leave them behind), and then, we can start from scratch and set things right again. Bonne nuit!

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-22 23:25 ]


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
NO. Werner, not only in my country Nov 23, 2001

I have seen people from France and even Belgium quoting for 4 cents and 3 cents , just two days ago on this very site of ours.



You must beat them at their own game. This is the only way out, I suppose.



And the second worst thing that has happened is the auctioning that is going on.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-23 01:10 ]


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:12
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
No Doomsday, Variety! Nov 23, 2001

Telesforo,

You propose to be very carefull in answering KudoZ questions, otherwise we would help \"incompetent translators\" to come through a difficult text: do you really think a couple (or so) of good answers would make a difference in the whole text? If you don\'t know exactly what you are translating, there\'s no way to keep a good standard through the whole text and a couple of good sentences or good technical words wouldn\'t improve the average, but just let the \"final reader\" understand they were perhaps just a good guess in the middle of nowhere.

Globalization might be the reason for falling rates, on the other hand it \"takes\" so many different people & Countries together, that the chance someone complains at the source about the bad quality of a translation is much higher than ever before. Competition is not a new \"fact\", it has always been part of our world and the only way to beat it, on the long run, has always been by the way of \"quality\". \"If you want quality goods, you must be ready to pay for them\": we do it every day with whatever we buy, so why should it be different for translations? It should be especially this way for translations, because you cannot operate for example a device, if you read the manual and don\'t understand what you should do exactly, in order to make it run or work!

I think it is easy: you buy a C-class refrigerator for less money than an A-class one, wonderful, you get what you were ready to pay for! But, do not complain if your electricity bill is then high!



I agree with you, we can only suggest not to work under a certain standard, but I don\'t see how we could \"beat\" them in that we offer the same low rates: we would just show that good quality is available at lower rates, too.



It doesn\'t take much time to realize that a cheap translation is often equal to a bad translation and if you are a good well-equipped translator, you cannot live with few cents per word or less than a dollar per line: let\'s say your rates are higher, you get perhaps fewer jobs (but, Werner reported some \"expensive\" qualified translators are fully booked and I can believe that, as a satisfied client or agency goes only back to the same translator) earning the same money, perhaps more of the very busy, but less paid translators, and still investing less time in translations than they are doing, so that you have free time for other activities, such has do some public relations or look for other potential clients.



I can\'t quote less than that I used to quote ten years ago, when everything was less expensive. If I were new in the job, I might quote a different way, but I would even consider that, anyway, there are even now, notwithstanding the \"falling-rates\" trend, translators who work only for acceptable rates and refuse anything under a certain level, because they wouldn\'t be able to cover their expences or feel they would sell their knowledge (obtained by the way of long expensive tuition, too) under cost.



I mean, we can keep on discussing about this point for ages without finding ever a solution... Good to talk about, good to let people know about these differences, but we should act according to what we believe to be correct and fair for our position or belief, explaining why we quote more than another translator or, as an agency or a client, ask why one accepts to work for lower rates.





Giuliana
[addsig]


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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:12
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lowering rates is not the answer Nov 23, 2001

I have to agree with Werner on this one - trying to \"beat them at their own game\" by quoting lower rates is not the way to go.



If those quoting low rates are, as I suspect in most cases, the poorer quality, unqualified or underqualified translators, then cleints, and, hopefully, agencies will soon realise that the work submitted by such people is below the standard expected and that they will have to pay a REASONABLE rate to get a good translation.



I appreciate that in some parts of the world the rates are low, and that is, I suppsoe, something that has to be accepted by those professional translators working in such countries.



But, for the vast majority of countries, it would be a BIG mistake, in my opinion, to lower your rates to a ridiculous level to win a translation project. I do sometimes adjust my rate to secure a piece of work, but my top and bottom rate do not vary by a great deal and I would ceratinly not consider anything less than 6 cents a word.



At the end of the day, if your client is happy to pay the rate that you want and they keep coming back to you for more translations, why should you even consider lowering your rate? This, surely, is what differentiates a good translator who is confident in his ability and his service and a \"not so good\" translator.


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
We must beat them at their own game Nov 23, 2001

Guiliana,

I do not deny what you say. What you say and what I say, has been told umpteen number of times on this site and people will continue to tell many things.



But we must catch the bull by the horns.



What I am proposing is to beat them at their own game. It is a strategic rate that we have to adopt.

Next, it is not a couple of term questions that one can post on this site. One can makes several IDs and even posts several profiles. You see there is no verification of profiles. It is simply free of cost. It only requires an e- mail address.It is nice thing- for which Henry is to complimented. But it can be misused.



So, an incompetent translator can list a number of profiles and mind you,even very scanty profiles. Even in the name of Maryabcd or Francoisxyz.



An incompetent translator can post even 100 questions under one language pair , under different names and no one can prevent him from doing so.



And under easy questions, it is even more convenient.

You see,one has to adopt a strategy to beat them to survive.

The sad part is the auctioning which makes the situation even worse.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-23 03:43 ]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 17:12
German to English
+ ...
France & Belgium Nov 23, 2001

Telesforo, tell me something I have not known for years: France and Belgium are the \"cheapest bastards\" in the West! That\'s old news!





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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:12
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Multiple Profiles Nov 23, 2001

Telesforo,



I know about the fact that sometimes one person may navigate the site under many profiles, bad enough, but I think no reason for concern. Anyway, let\'s say someone posts many questions, even a hundred, under 10 nicks, don\'t you think you would be able to tell whether the questions belong to the same text or not? I am sure you would, if you were following and trying to find an answer. But even if you didn\'t answer, someone else would, so we were back to square one



Anonymity is a problem, I still believe it should stay as a free choice whether to write down your full name or use a nick: some people think they are better \"protected\", if they stay behind a nick (as from another thread), but a nick is not a firewall, just an illusion. I am sure that there are unique profiles behind most nicks.



It is an endless fight, like a dog trying to bite its tail, and I believe there\'s no common solution, as I said. Everyone has to find his/her way, according to his/her principles. As long as a business relation is only based on emails or work through the net, there won\'t be a chance to come to better rates. It is up to the translator to build a more \"personal\" and \"direct\" relation and tell why he/she would accept only better rates. Many clients & agencies would say \"no, thanks\" and pass, but some would listen. It depends on what you are looking for (someone said you can only find what you were looking for).



Giuliana
[addsig]


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Here again Nov 23, 2001

Guiliana,

I think it would be difficult to know that the questions belong to the same text. In one full document no two paragraphs are similar.



You must have read that people have posted questions on the sample translations asked and they have been answered.



Even I have answered without even sensing it was the part of a sample translation.



There have been complaints on the forum pages when attempts were made to get full text translated through term question route.



About anonymity, I agree with you – the issue of privacy. But I was referring to the possible misuse of it.



I will repeat, we have to catch the bull by the horns and forget the peripherals.



Don\'t you think this auctioning should be stopped? We have to devise some other means.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-23 08:30 ]


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Life goes on not only in the virtual world Nov 23, 2001

Giuliana wrote:



\"As long as a business relation is only based on emails or work through the net, there won\'t be a chance to come to better rates. It is up to the translator to build a more \"personal\" and \"direct\" relation and tell why he/she would accept only better rates.\"



If it were not for the above words, I would get the feeling that people pin all their hopes on the Internet. It is the 21st century, but it is too soon to say that we have killed the real world and the agencies have killed all the direct clients. So, despite the recession, cultivate your garden and do not cave in more than necessary! If you are a good established translator, there is no need to lower your rates. If you are a not-so-good translator, try harder to improve. If you are a beginner, the whole life is in front of you. Check out the real world too! ProZ is not the end of the road!



Jacek Krankowski


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Golden words Nov 23, 2001

Jacek,

You said it.

The Internet is not bad. The shoes pinches elsewhere.

You see we have to stop this culture of bidding. Bidding degrades, if you like it or not.



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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
here is another one about rates in Europe Nov 23, 2001



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-23 09:27 ]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 17:12
SITE FOUNDER
Your summary is not an accurate reflection of these forums Nov 23, 2001

Telesforo,



Having read the postings in these forums, you conclude that \"The rates today are hovering around 4 cents/word and at the most 6 cents/word...all good translators should quote between 4 and 6 cents if they really want to bag jobs.\"



I have read most, if not all of the comments posted in these forums. Your conclusion is representative neither of the sentiments expressed here, nor of the facts of business conducted via ProZ.com.



The above is merely your opinion, and should be presented as such.


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 03:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Opinions are mine Nov 23, 2001

Henry,

The opinions and conclusions are mine. The rates I see on this site are not mine.

You mean to say the rates that are being quoted do not reflect the sentiments on this site?

Look at what you suggested or declared as your policy, since you own PROZ.com

I quoute :



\"But there is also a possibility that as we continue to boost productivity (with tools, collaboration, etc.), it may be to our advantage to reduce per-word rates. In that this would increase job flow, we would benefit along with consumers.

Remember, there are many, many potential clients out there who would like to use translation services, but cannot afford them\"

Unquote



Peole have expressed deep sentiments on falling rates, cheap translations, cheating agencies, etc.

But the the site is still great.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-24 05:35 ]


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