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Quality of job offers and bids
Thread poster: Alison Schwitzgebel

Alison Schwitzgebel
Local time: 04:11
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Jan 5, 2002

I am posting this on behalf of Hans Pich, who posted this topic on the German language forum a while ago. Many translators felt that it was a topic of sufficient merit to warrant being posted in English.

As Mr. Pich\'s English is not good enough to translate his posting into English himself. This is why I have taken the liberty of making rough translation of it for him as it is an important topic, and ought to be given a deal of thought.


I have posted several jobs on Proz, and I’ve also posted bids myself. Time and time over I find myself amazed at the miserable quality of the bids (and the calls for bids posted by others)

The following points in particular give me cause for concern:

The calls for bids that are posted often contain very little detail on the scope of the job, the type of work, software to be used and text difficulty. This really is a sad state of affairs.

In spite of this, however, translators bid using fixed prices – and how they arrive at these prices remains a mystery to me (e.g. 50 pages of text for EUR xxx.74).

It is often the case that translators post bids stating a price per word, with no information as to what this is based on (source text, target text?) and with no information on translation memory use.

The translators just don’t seem to care if they will be dealing with a list of individual terms or a piece of flowing prose. The job posters also don’t seem to care if the translation memory they get back can actually be used or if they get back a load of rubbish. Not one single bidder has ever asked me for a look at the document to be translated. No translator has ever asked me for information on the type of text, if specific terminology is prescribed or if there are any other peculiarities. No bidder has ever asked me any questions.

That is why I have to ask myself if these points are perhaps so trivial that it doesn’t matter an iota how difficult the work is, or do the bidders adjust their quality to meet the price and difficulty of the work? (lots of effort at a low price = poor quality).

For me as a bidder, this “ignorance” on the part of the other bidders is particularly annoying as I don’t even have a chance with my bids – because I don’t just want to offer any old price, but one which is reasonable given the amount of effort and the customer’s requirements.

That’s why I would be particularly happy if anyone had any practical ideas that would improve the job posting system and allow the quality of bids and offers to increase. Why? Because I think that a service like translating isn’t as easy to buy as just buying some milk at the supermarket.

Kind regards,

Hans Pich\"

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