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At least they are honest: "job is mainly for budding translators... rate... on lower side"
Thread poster: Henry Hinds

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 13, 2008

Seen in a recent offer:

"This job is mainly for budding translators of Spanish into English language-pair, as the rate being expected is quite on lower side. Therefore, established translators may not read on and apply."

It just goes on and on, doesn't it?

We can comment on it forever and I suppose it will never end.




[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-03-14 06:51]


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Nora Escoms  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Probably not Mar 13, 2008

I guess it will not end as long as there are "budding" translators who take such offers. At least they do admit it's low, instead of trying to persuade us that our rates are excessive... Did they say what the rate was?

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No rate Mar 13, 2008

No, no rate was stated, they just want "cheap", and they are apparently ready to take work that is worth every bit of that.

So what does the end client get out of it? Garbage.

What kind of an image does such a situation project of our profession? A very poor one.

It just illustrates how much farther we still need to go, but we'll continue trying.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not necessarily garbage ... Mar 13, 2008

Perhaps by "budding" they mean (or also include) translation students. Certainly the idea evoked by "budding" suggests promise or a process of formation/development.

No reason why such a person's work should be garbage and for all we know, they may get a budding genius who translates well and is willing to take on such a job for the experience, as a student.

Outsourcer matched the rate to the type of person they'd like to attract. Someone in the earlier stages of development as a translator - the site has a student section, after all.

Nothing wrong with it - when I started out as a trainee lawyer, for example, I earned very little. Like all my peers. It was par for the course. It is in most professions when you start out.





[Edited at 2008-03-13 21:55]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
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Frankly... Mar 13, 2008

I think what they want is someone who feels that his or her work is worth very little and will be willing to take very little for it. If they are lucky, they could get work from some "budding" genius who actually gives them something worthwhile.

If they are unlucky, they will get garbage.

Your definition of "budding" is encouraging, but I truly do not think it is theirs.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:19
English to German
+ ...
Exactly, Lawyer-Linguist. Mar 13, 2008

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Perhaps by "budding" they mean (or also include) translation students. Certainly the idea evoked by "budding" suggests promise or a process of formation/development.

No reason why such a person's work should be garbage and for all we know, they may get a budding genius who translates well and is willing to take on such a job for the experience, as a student.

Outsourcer matched the rate to the type of person they'd like to attract. Someone in the earlier stages of development as a translator - the site has a student section, after all.

Nothing wrong with it - when I started out as a trainee lawyer, for example, I earned very little. Like all my peers. It was par for the course. It is in most professions when you start out.




[Edited at 2008-03-13 21:55]



I agree in all regards.

If they would request, say, translators with a minimum of 5 years experience, a degree in translation, a PhD, Trados Certification plus a particular blood-type, then it would be a different story.

At least they are honest.

This would make a great poll: How much did you charge for your first job? Admit!

No translator was born as a full-fledged linguist.

Not every young translator delivers garbage.


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Nora Escoms  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not quite the same, I think Mar 13, 2008

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Nothing wrong with it - when I started out as a trainee lawyer, for example, I earned very little. Like all my peers. It was par for the course. It is in most professions when you start out.



[Edited at 2008-03-13 21:55]



You're right about this: maybe we all started out getting very low rates, but I believe there is a difference, and that's the market we're dealing with. When I graduated and started out as a translator 28 years ago, it was a rather limited market; you would work from home or in-house, but if you were a freelancer, jobs came to you either through people you knew or because you placed an ad somewhere, but there was no internet and no teleworking. If you charged low rates, it was only your problem. Now, the world is our market and I believe this is something that should be taught in translation schools, so that those budding translators will be aware of what to expect and how to respond. I know for a fact that many -not all, of course, but many- of those young professionals are able to produce good quality translations, so why should they undersell themselves and bring rates down in the process?

[Edited at 2008-03-13 23:00]


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 17:19
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Beginners vs seasoned linguists Mar 13, 2008

Who here can honestly say they earn the same today as they did when they first started (5, 10, 28 years ago?)

Seen in a recent offer:

"This job is mainly for budding translators of Spanish into English language-pair, as the rate being expected is quite on lower side. Therefore, established translators may not read on and apply."


Perhaps by "budding" they mean (or also include) translation students. Certainly the idea evoked by "budding" suggests promise or a process of formation/development.
Who can say that they have not improved one iota since their very first contract, 5, 10, 28 years ago?


It's absolutely impossible to expect that a 22-year-old new graduate would do as good a job, if not better, than a 50 year-old who's been doing it his/her whole professional life. Or is it? Hollywood would have you believe that women, particularly, when they're a lissome 22 years old, can be established international spies while holding a doctorate in biochemistry (because Scarlett Johanssen et. al. are so easy to cast in these roles - I think Angelina Jolie is already too old, according to Hollywood criteria). In real life??? No one was born with this knowledge, it's not intuitive, it takes time to acquire, and beginners need a chance too. They need to learn so they can pick up where we leave off.

I think what they want is someone who feels that his or her work is worth very little and will be willing to take very little for it. If they are lucky, they could get work from some "budding" genius who actually gives them something worthwhile.

If they are unlucky, they will get garbage.

Your definition of "budding" is encouraging, but I truly do not think it is theirs.


Who's to say what the requirements of that client were? If we force decades of experience (and the attendant rates) on these clients, we may lose quite a few. Not to mention the generation of graduates coming up -- do we tell them: No! you can't play until you're 50 years old! And somehow, by then, you must have acquired 32 years experience in translation (without competing with the old guard), and you must charge top rates from the very beginning!

The result of that? Seasoned, experience translators have no basis on which to base their rates. If not maturity, knowledge and experience, then what?

Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to drive prices down (that's not to my advantage: I have three young children and two mortgages to pay. After all, I am 41 years old, not exactly ancient, but no spring chicken). But I remember when I was 22, had no kids and no mortgage, and had to get some experience. I cost the company a lot less in salary! Of course my performance was equal to that as well, and cost the company in terms of dealing with my inexperience. That's life! That's capitalism, and explains why we have Wal-Mart and K-Mart as well as high-end retailers. All in the same business? In a manner of speaking, yes. But with a different market.

This diatribe is not limited to the translation industry, folkZ - my second mortgage is for my husband's upholstery shop. His business has quadrupled in size, and his business's 10th anniversary was last month. Was he born knowing how to apply headliners or coil springs? Of course not. But his prices have risen in 10 years, and now the shop is being built. The price he charged for the first car interior he did - well, let's not go there. Let's just say that he's come a long way since then - but the owner of that first car has sent Johnothan's Upholstery lots of work over the past decade -

So let's give youth a chance.

Nancy


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:19
French to English
Since you asked Mar 13, 2008

And since I have become quite proud of the fact...
How much did you charge for your first job? Admit!



25 eurocents per word, in 2003.

I had done zip research into rates, and back when I did my Dip Trans, I had a vague recollection that 10p (approx 15 eurocents at the time) was the going rate back then (mid-90s).

So I added a bit to allow for inflation

It was a direct client who knew no better. Neither did I.

[Edited at 2008-03-13 23:44]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
Frankly, Part II ... Mar 14, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

I think what they want is someone who feels that his or her work is worth very little and will be willing to take very little for it. If they are lucky, they could get work from some "budding" genius who actually gives them something worthwhile.

If they are unlucky, they will get garbage.

Your definition of "budding" is encouraging, but I truly do not think it is theirs.



You've no idea what they want ... you're simply assuming you do ... probably influenced to some extent by the fact that this and other sites are littered with crappy job offers, granted.

This one is different, it's targeting a specific group. I'd rather see a student earning money for something relevant, even if it is for less, rather than flipping burgers.

Oh, and it's not my definition of budding, at all. That's simply a paraphrase of what's in the OED.



[Edited at 2008-03-14 00:59]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't know... Mar 14, 2008

"You've no idea what they want ... you're simply assuming you do ... probably influenced to some extent by the fact that this and other sites are littered with crappy job offers, granted."

You're right, I don't actually KNOW, but I have very good reason to BELIEVE that such is the case due to the influence you mention.

This one is different, it's targeting a specific group.

You're not right, you do not actually KNOW, nor have much reason to BELIEVE it.

C'mon, Lawyer, play the Devil's Advocate. You could even go for it yourself at US 0.01 per word and you're experienced. I'll bet they won't turn you down because of your experience, but they will jump at it for the price.

I have even thought of doing that myself sometime, not a big job, just a small one to see what happens. And I would actually do it and send it in just to see if they would even pay me at all.

Just to have fun, you understand.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:19
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You took my words Mar 14, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
At least they are honest.


That's the best of it. They might be paying 1-4¢/word and require nothing, while some outsourcers offer jobs in the very same price bracket demanding sine qua non a degree in translation, Trados with certification, 5 years' experience, thoroughly proofed final work, and so on.

It means that they are allowing generally bilingual people to dabble in translation, both sides compromising. Maybe they have plenty of qualified monoglots available to fix the text after it is translated. Who knows...


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
If that's you're idea of fun, go for it Mar 14, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

"You've no idea what they want ... you're simply assuming you do ... probably influenced to some extent by the fact that this and other sites are littered with crappy job offers, granted."

You're right, I don't actually KNOW, but I have very good reason to BELIEVE that such is the case due to the influence you mention.

This one is different, it's targeting a specific group.

You're not right, you do not actually KNOW, nor have much reason to BELIEVE it.

C'mon, Lawyer, play the Devil's Advocate. You could even go for it yourself at US 0.01 per word and you're experienced. I'll bet they won't turn you down because of your experience, but they will jump at it for the price.

I have even thought of doing that myself sometime, not a big job, just a small one to see what happens. And I would actually do it and send it in just to see if they would even pay me at all.

Just to have fun, you understand.


These guys have tried a new approach. If I was a newbie, I'd probably be grateful to see it, as it at least solves that chicken-and-the-egg situation of people always wanting experience from newcomers. There is no reason on the face of it to believe they're not bona fide, will not pay or will only get garbage.

Sometimes the less-favoured argument has to be pleaded just to try and counter all the constant cynicism. That's also something that just never seems to stop on this site. It's beginning to all sound like a broken record.






[Edited at 2008-03-14 13:20]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Broken Record Mar 14, 2008

Unfortunately it does sound like a broken record. Sometime ago I tried to get some response from oursourcers, agencies or whatever they are called to find out what their point of view would be, because here we only get one side.

Plenty of translators chimed in, but not a one from that other side.

So it appears to be a market where there is a lot missing; understanding and communication to say the least.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:19
English to French
+ ...
It seems budding translators are in demand Mar 14, 2008

Budding translators are more and more in demand. Experienced, professional translators are, on the other hand, more and more unpopular.

Does anybody know where I can take budding translation courses so I can realign my business on these new requirements? I am afraid if I keep collecting experience like I have been, I will soon be out of work...


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