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English->Lingala Non profit work for platinium only...
Thread poster: Karl Supierz

Karl Supierz  Identity Verified
Dominican Republic
Local time: 13:47
English to French
+ ...
Aug 15, 2003

Dear all,

I was quite amazed to receive this posting from proz, as I hardly speak Lingala (it's not in my languages pairs, anyway). I wondered what it was about and was quite amazed to see that now, even non profit works are for platinum members in priority. If someone speaking Lingala (i. e. from Congo) would like to help, translating this text, he first has to pay to be a platinum member. I am not sure the price to become platinum is made for third world translators, although these are "encouraged" by proz to work at low rates (there were so many discussions about rates that I won't come back to this point).
I myself, as a European translator, am not platinum for various reasons. I do not criticize the fact that proz'owners wish everybody become platinum (although i don't see the point : platinum is not a guarantee of excellence, just a proof one can pay for this) but I find it quite ridiculous : what will they do once everybody is platinum ? Create a super platinum membership ?
How do you expect a third world translator, usually working at very low rates to pay US$ 200 to become platinum ? If it is to perform non profit work, I really don't see the point. The people requesting a platinum translator for such a job, in a language I see for the 1st time on proz, should think twice to what he does, I am afraid he will not find a lot of people to do this work.

Regards

Karl Supierz


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:47
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You are right, but I think it was a mistake of the poster. Aug 15, 2003

Hi, Karl

Do do completely agree with your posting. How could someone ask a Platinum member for a non profit job? But I have an idea of what could have happened: it was a mistake of the outsourcer. It happened to me once.
By default, the Job bid system at Proz is settled to call only the Platinum members. If you want another option, you have to expressly select it. Perhaps the outsourcer didn't notice it (a couple of days ago I needed a French translator and I posted the job to the Spanish community!)
Regards,

Clarisa Moraña


[Edited at 2003-08-15 18:34]


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:17
English to Tamil
+ ...
The same old default setting Aug 16, 2003

Sometime back I raised the same question. See: http://www.proz.com/topic/12234. There the default setting point came up. This default setting is only in English even in other language versions of Proz.com.
I hereby renew my request to Proz.com staff to do something about this. Otherwise we will continue to get such ridiculous job offers, where for doing free work, you have to be a platinum member! No thanks.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:47
English to German
+ ...
Can you send me the URL? Aug 16, 2003

Hi Karl,
Can you please send me the URL of the job posting in question? You did not mention the tag line of it, so I would need to scroll through the entire job list for the last few days... TIA.

At the same time, there are a few points in your posting I would like to comment on:
I am not sure the price to become platinum is made for third world translators, although these are "encouraged" by proz to work at low rates (there were so many discussions about rates that I won't come back to this point).

As you are no doubt aware, ProZ.com is not a party to the agreements entered into between outsourcers and providers. How the site would encourage translators to work at a given rate is something you would need to explain.

I myself, as a European translator, am not platinum for various reasons. I do not criticize the fact that proz'owners wish everybody become platinum (although i don't see the point : platinum is not a guarantee of excellence, just a proof one can pay for this) but I find it quite ridiculous : what will they do once everybody is platinum ? Create a super platinum membership ?

Why? Please don't forget that ProZ.com is a commercial enterprise, and requires funding: part of that is provided by membership fees.

How do you expect a third world translator, usually working at very low rates to pay US$ 200 to become platinum ?

Just to note that the price is 120 dollars, not 200.

Best regards, Ralf


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Michael Bastin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:47
English to French
+ ...
had the same probem Aug 16, 2003

I posted a job recently and needed someone fast (that is addressing the job to both platitum and non-platinum).

I didn't pay attention that anywhere it was written "Offer for platninum only", I do too agree with the fact that is should not be a default setting. Even though I am platinum...

Here is the url of the job posting (http://www.proz.com/job/41385) actually I received 3 of them.

What is strange as that I don't even know where Lingala is spoken, and I can't explain why I got this as I only translate to French.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 13:47
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
It was an English to French offer Aug 16, 2003

Hello

Here are two of the emails I received too.
They were marked as English to French jobs and the title was English-Lingala, I think that might be one of the answers to your questions.

Claudia

English to French



Title: English -> Lingala
Posted by (company): Ace Language Services
Posted by (name): Gerry O'Donnell
* The poster indicated that this is non-profit work.
URL: http://www.proz.com/job/41385
------------
**************************************************
English to French



Title: English -> Lingala 3 pages
Posted by (company): Ace Language Services
Posted by (name): Gerry O'Donnell
* The poster indicated that this is non-profit work.
URL: http://www.proz.com/job/41352
------------


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Karl Supierz  Identity Verified
Dominican Republic
Local time: 13:47
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lingala is spoken in Congo Kinshasa (former Zaire) Aug 17, 2003

"
Michael Bastin wrote:
What is strange as that I don't even know where Lingala is spoken, and I can't explain why I got this as I only translate t"o French.
"

The funny thing is that I have been raised in this Central Africa country, but hardly understand and speak Lingala.

To answer to Ralf, I know proz is not responsible for the low rates, but as most of the people say, it does nothing in order to prevent them. It shoul be so easy to put a limit (for instance prevent to offer less than EURO OR US$ 0.05 or 0.06). Ralf, don't tell me you never saw the topics about these ridiculous rates (0.03/word or even less). As long as Proz will accept this, of course, the customers will try to find translators working for peanuts ! I know proz is a commercial enterprise, but it should be logical with itself and not trying to make belief people that platinum translators are better than others (within a year or two, being platinum will means NOTHING, you'll ave to pay for "super extra gold platinum" in order the possible clients believe you're the best.

Regarding the price to be platinum, here is what a translator wrote to my e-mail address : "I am
a third World Country Member ( India) and cannot afford to
pay $200 to be a Platinum Member. My question is if I did manage to collect these dollars by careful budgeting and manage to become a Platinum, would I get any assignments to cover the $200 and to get jobs ? This is a question which has been plaguing me from the time I joined ProZ.com. around a month ago.". So when people say that third world translators are happy to work at low rates, let me laugh !! It is the same to say that people in Africa don't need money because they prefer to eat manioc or cassava than fine cooking. I have quite the feeling that they would be happy to apply for decent rates and to eat and to live the same way we do in Europe or in the US.And don't tell me that customers located in those countries cannot afford to pay these rates : I have been living many years in a very poor country and these companies make A LOT of money, paying peanuts to they local employees.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:47
English to German
+ ...
How to regulate a non-regulated market Aug 17, 2003

First of all, thanks to Claudia for identifying these jobs; I have contacted the outsourcer and have asked to substantiate the not-for-profit status indicated.

Karl:
To answer to Ralf, I know proz is not responsible for the low rates, but as most of the people say, it does nothing in order to prevent them. It shoul be so easy to put a limit (for instance prevent to offer less than EURO OR US$ 0.05 or 0.06). Ralf, don't tell me you never saw the topics about these ridiculous rates (0.03/word or even less).

Of course I have seen them, and participated in many related discussions. There are, however, some misconceptions in the suggestion that ProZ.com "should not tolerate" low rates:

The free market works both ways: if we expect all countries around the world to open their markets, we need to accept the implicit commercial threat that competing with a lower cost base carries. Leaving aside the legal implications of an enforced minimum price level (...ever heard about price fixing? Not just in the US, but just as well in the European Union...), who are we to tell a colleague somewhere in the world that he/she is not allowed to accept a job at EUR 0.05 (which, given the cost of living in the respective country, might be a reasonable income)? Whose authority is it to say what a reasonable price level means?

As long as Proz will accept this, of course, the customers will try to find translators working for peanuts !

Let's assume ProZ.com had the legal means of enforcing a minimum price level - do you think the kind of outsourcer looking for someone to work at 1 or 2 cents would suddenly stop scavenging? It wouldn't happen on ProZ.com, of course, but that doesn't mean this market segment would suddenly cease to exist.

I know proz is a commercial enterprise, but it should be logical with itself and not trying to make belief people that platinum translators are better than others (within a year or two, being platinum will means NOTHING, you'll ave to pay for "super extra gold platinum" in order the possible clients believe you're the best.

Tell me where ProZ.com states that Platinum members are better translators, and I will pick up the phone and ask Henry to remove that.

Regarding the price to be platinum, here is what a translator wrote to my e-mail address : "I am a third World Country Member ( India) and cannot afford to pay $200 to be a Platinum Member.

Whatever that member wrote to you - the first-time Platinum fee for non-EU members is USD 120, not 200.

For an alternative point of view from India, have a look at Narasimhan's posting in this thread.

Regards, Ralf

[Edited at 2003-08-17 12:10]


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:17
English to Tamil
+ ...
Thanks Ralf for mentioning my thread Aug 18, 2003

You could have knocked me down with a feather! I was just reading the postings in this thread when a cross reference is given to my posting in another thread.
Having expressed thanks let me again request Proz.com people do something about the default setting. At least give it in the respective languages instead of just in English as I saw it sometime back. Now I am unable to see the French/German versions and I have forgotten how I did it earlier. If you have already done the needful in the respective language versions, I have nothing more to say on that subject. Let me repeat. Favoring Platinum members for job posting is fully alright. Just call a spade a spade. You are after all a commercial site.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:47
English to German
+ ...
For the record... Aug 18, 2003

I just closed the two job postings concerned because the outsourcer failed to confirm non-profit status.

Ralf


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