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bidding for jobs - any tips?
Thread poster: Rebekka Groß

Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:16
English to German
Jul 4, 2001

Can anybody give me any tips for bidding for jobs advertised on ProZ?



Today, a job posting was made by Didier Fourcot, TRANSLATION for a 75K translation project English-German and English-Swedish. No bids are to be entered after the 6th of July.



First of all, there is no contact e-mail address, postal address, company name or phone number. Should I be suspicious of such job postings? And how can I find out more about the company?



Secondly, on the place a bid page, it said that the outsourcer\'s deadline is 5 pm on the 6th of July which would indicate that the job needs to be split between quite a few translators. Or have I got this wrong?



I would really appreciate your help on how to deal with job offerings on this web site. Thanks very much in advance.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:16
French to English
Jul 4, 2001

Hello Sparkie,



Didier probably did not think it was necessary to provide any further information as he is a member of this site :



Username = DFourcot.



Here\'s his profile page :



http://www.proz.com/v3/index.php3?sp=partprof&sid=&eid_s=13497


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:16
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 4, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-07-04 13:13, sparkie wrote:

Can anybody give me any tips for bidding for jobs advertised on ProZ?



...snip...



...there is no contact e-mail address, postal address, company name or phone number. Should I be suspicious of such job postings? And how can I find out more about the company?







And you are not the only translator puzzled by such job adverts.



See the hot topic \"Improvements to \"outsourcer\'s section\"

and you will read discontent and suggestions about the current jobs postings system.

Your example is just one more example of what we have been complaining about.



The current system is definitely \'sub-standard\'.

Add your opinions to the suggestions already put forward there.



I would say simply that an agency that wants to appear professional should prepare a well presented posting, or at least give their name and contact details openly.



Be very suspicious about such \'mistery\' postings, and you will never be much wrong.







[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-07-04 16:33 ]

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xxxeurotransl
German to English
+ ...
Jul 4, 2001

Always use your common sense - as nikscot said in the other forum, only deal with those people and agencies that you would also deal with in \"real\" life. If something smells fishy, go with your instincts and simply stay away from any \"mysterious\" outsourcers.



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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 20:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 4, 2001

This is a great dilemma. I am also at loss sometimes.I think there is no way out of this anonymity.

Telef


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xxxivw
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Jul 5, 2001

Dear Pro\'s @ ProZ:



Being relatively new to this message board, please forgive me if I bring up something that has already been discussed here.



Is it true that several companies, even the most prestigious ones, sometimes use naive translators who (in hopes of a tempting project opportunity) would translate a so-called \"sample text\" just to realize later on that they\'ve been used? That jobs are split into paragraphs by certain \"agencies\" ((criminals?!)) and sent out to different online tr. communities, and the free work of the victims is eventually put together and sold to the \"end-consumer\"?



If this is the case: is there any way to stop them from doing so?



Share you experience, please.



P.S. One of the recent examples, posted on ProZ on June 21, is below:



\"Looking for English to Hungarian translator

English > Hungarian

We are looking for English to Hungarian translator with experience in electronics. Please send your CV to Vladimir Dorofeev jobs@metaphraseis.com in the body of an email message (attachments will be ignored). Please indicate your translation rate per source word in USA.

Thank you,

Vladimir Dorofeev

www.metaphraseis.com

Sample text (Bidders must translate)

1. Adjust computer resolution.....\"


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xxxeurotransl
German to English
+ ...
Jul 6, 2001

I am sorry to say so, but this thing does happen - and even more often than you\'d think.



What to do? As I said earlier, use common sense and don\'t forget: if something looks too good to be true, then it most likely is.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:16
SITE FOUNDER
Jul 6, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-07-05 16:56, ivw wrote:

Dear Pro\'s @ ProZ:



Being relatively new to this message board, please forgive me if I bring up something that has already been discussed here.



Is it true that several companies, even the most prestigious ones, sometimes use naive translators who (in hopes of a tempting project opportunity) would translate a so-called \"sample text\" just to realize later on that they\'ve been used? That jobs are split into paragraphs by certain \"agencies\" ((criminals?!)) and sent out to different online tr. communities, and the free work of the victims is eventually put together and sold to the \"end-consumer\"?



If this is the case: is there any way to stop them from doing so?



Share you experience, please.





I have heard \"urban legends\" regarding agencies that sew together samples to deliver to a client. However, I have come across any myself, and have not seen any here at ProZ.



It seems to me that coordinating a project like that would be very difficult, or nearly impossible, given the fact that only a fraction of those who are given a sample test return it. I can imagine a shady agency getting this \"bright idea\", but it is difficult to imagine that the practice could continue for long. It just wouldn\'t work.



If anyone has proof otherwise, please present it here!



As for excerpts, like the one you reference, we encourage them, but limit the length to 100 words. As a translator, I always want to see a representative part of the text before deciding whether or not to take the job (it was actually a freelancer\'s suggestion to implement this feature!)



Also, I believe it is fair for agencies to use a short excerpt to gauge a freelancer\'s expertise in the field at hand.



Some freelancers object to the practice in principle...and that is fine. Faced with an \"upload translated sample text here\" box, they instead upload past work, just a portion of the translated excerpt, or a note regarding their personal policy on excerpts.



In short, the choice is yours.

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:16
SITE FOUNDER
Jul 6, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-07-06 08:58, Henry wrote:

Quote:


On 2001-07-05 16:56, ivw wrote:

Dear Pro\'s @ ProZ:



Being relatively new to this message board, please forgive me if I bring up something that has already been discussed here.



Is it true that several companies, even the most prestigious ones, sometimes use naive translators who (in hopes of a tempting project opportunity) would translate a so-called \"sample text\" just to realize later on that they\'ve been used? That jobs are split into paragraphs by certain \"agencies\" ((criminals?!)) and sent out to different online tr. communities, and the free work of the victims is eventually put together and sold to the \"end-consumer\"?



If this is the case: is there any way to stop them from doing so?



Share you experience, please.





I have heard stories of agencies that sew together samples to deliver to a client. However, I have not come across any myself, and have not seen any here at ProZ.



It seems to me that coordinating a project like that would be very difficult, or nearly impossible, given the fact that only a fraction of those who are given a sample test return it. I can imagine a shady agency getting this \"bright idea\", but it is difficult to imagine that the practice could continue for long. It just wouldn\'t work.



If anyone has proof otherwise, please present it here!



As for excerpts, like the one you reference, we encourage them, but limit the length to 100 words. As a translator, I always want to see a representative part of the text before deciding whether or not to take the job (it was actually a freelancer\'s suggestion to implement this feature!)



Also, I believe it is fair for agencies to use a short excerpt to gauge a freelancer\'s expertise in the field at hand.



Some freelancers object to the practice in principle...and that is fine. Faced with an \"upload translated sample text here\" box, they instead upload past work, just a portion of the translated excerpt, or a note regarding their personal policy on excerpts.



In short, the choice is yours.



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Blanca Rodr�guez
Local time: 17:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 22, 2001

In reference to this topic, I would like to suggest anyone interested to pay a visit to the EXCELLENT website of Chantal Wildford (http://www.linguabase.com/default.html). The tips section is an eye-opener and not only for beginners!

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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 20:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 25, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-07-22 03:06, bl.rod wrote:

In reference to this topic, I would like to suggest anyone interested to pay a visit to the EXCELLENT website of Chantal Wildford (http://www.linguabase.com/default.html). The tips section is an eye-opener and not only for beginners!





It is a very nice site. It has very good tips. It is worth giving a look.

telef

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:16
French to English
Aug 24, 2001

On bidding.



After having submlitted one or two bids in the past for jobs on this site, I dropped the idea as most were agencies wanting to fill their files and always complained about pricing.



I know rates are off limits here - I understand why - each country has such differing requirements. A translator in country A can afford to do a job for XX whereas in country B the same translar could not afford to get out of bed in the morning for that price! There are tons of other reasons too.



However, one current job posting inspired me particularly. I ran against my principle of bidding on a job where the samples are public. Believe me if you want to, but I deliberately did not look at the samples put in by fellow PROZ members, so as not to be influenced by their suggestions. This had to come from me! Much of what others have said about bidding is oh so true!



1 - Strangely enough, after my posting, one or two subsequent postings \"picked up on\" one or two of the same ideas - a pure conincidence? No indication is given of time/date of postings. However, platinum members who post late get to the top of the list : pay your money, take your choice.



That\'s the picky thing I had to say about others\' postings.



2 - Now comes the client education bit. One posting is offering a finger-licking rate - half waht some of us have offered to do the job for - and the client still has enough audacity to ask for a discount!



Forget it!!!



Yes, unfortunately clients want to have their cake and eat it. Unfortunately in France, compulsory contributions to state pensions and medical cover funds make running any business a very expensive affair indeed and these charges have to be reflected in pricing otherwise we work for a loss. So be it. But I feel quite outraged at a client not having understood just how little the chap in question is offering to do the job for, in European terms anyway. The same client sent me a private mail asking if I could bring my rate down a little, but I was already not far from break-even rate, so he won\'t be coming back to me for more I\'m afraid.



Thanks - feel better now!











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Hans-Bertil Karlsson
Sweden
Local time: 17:16
Norwegian to Swedish
+ ...
Aug 25, 2001

[quote]

P.S. One of the recent examples, posted on ProZ on June 21, is below:



\"Looking for English to Hungarian translator

English > Hungarian

We are looking for English to Hungarian translator with experience in electronics. Please send your CV to Vladimir Dorofeev jobs@metaphraseis.com in the body of an email message (attachments will be ignored). Please indicate your translation rate per source word in USA.

Thank you,

Vladimir Dorofeev



In this case you might be wrong. I have been working for Vladimir for a while, and so far he has paid. Very very small jobs, but he has a very cumbersome client...



Hans


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