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That is not a joke!
Thread poster: Levan Namoradze

Levan Namoradze  Identity Verified
Georgia
Local time: 16:35
Member (2005)
English to Georgian
+ ...
Nov 23, 2006

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, a company has sent a message to me via the ProZ.com Premium Jobs system. They proposed the subtitling project and offered $100 for subtitling a movie from start to finish in ANY language (47 min) and $90 for another one (42 min). I do know what the free market is, but...

On my mind, the Proz staff (which is truly doing well) shall provide all potential employers with some clarification that this is website of professionals. I mean just in few words. Otherwise, we will get such “jobs” more in the future.

Kind regards,

Levan


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 19:35
English to Indonesian
+ ...
That is the problem, Levan Nov 23, 2006

As far as I know, ProZ.com just provides us with tools to network and to promote our services. There is no intervention at all in terms of rates setting. It fully depends on individual translators in facing their prospective clients.
Thus, it is not surprising to hear such ridiculous job offer as you said.
I think there should be a convenient mechanism to protect us from unreasonable offers.


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Carmen Hernaiz
Spain
Local time: 14:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
The joke, the fares, the unfair... Nov 23, 2006

I think they may send the same massage to so many members, to see if someone accepts. And believe me, someone will.
I know we did write a lot about fares and people accepting very very low fares. Maybe there is nothing Proz.com can do to avoid this kind of unfair competition, but there is a way Proz.com can force the potential job posters to unveil the amount they are up to pay to the translator.

Carmen


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Olivia MAHÉ  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:35
English to French
+ ...
No doubt Nov 23, 2006

Carmen Hernaiz wrote:

I think they may send the same massage to so many members, to see if someone accepts. And believe me, someone will.

Carmen


No doubt, someone will!

Rates in the subtitling industry go down because serious companies can't sustain the competition with low cost ones, which have dozens of would-be subtitlers at their disposal, so much fascinated by the wonderful world of subtitling that they are willing to accept anything in order to enter it...

Noone cares about quality, anyway.


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Agnieszka Gordon Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:35
English to Polish
+ ...
That is not a joke Nov 23, 2006

Olivia MAHÉ wrote:

Carmen Hernaiz wrote:

I think they may send the same massage to so many members, to see if someone accepts. And believe me, someone will.

Carmen


No doubt, someone will!

Rates in the subtitling industry go down because serious companies can't sustain the competition with low cost ones, which have dozens of would-be subtitlers at their disposal, so much fascinated by the wonderful world of subtitling that they are willing to accept anything in order to enter it...

Noone cares about quality, anyway.


That's absolutely right...Someone accepts the low rate and then we watch the film and see how bad the subtitling is...I have seen films where the meaning was completely different from original one...must have been non professional who had done it. Sad but true
The same happens for translation, I had agencies proposing me funny money for technical translation. They will always try and I am sure someone accepted it. That's why the agencies often choose to set up in India - cheap workforce is the priority, not the quality itself.
Aga


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Carmen Hernaiz
Spain
Local time: 14:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lets ask Proz.com to help on this Nov 23, 2006

We can write a letter in all the languages we have here in the site, asking translators to beg to Proz team for help.
We only need the site to force the job posters to put the amount they are up to pay.
No more "give your best rates"
I think is better if they give us their best offer.

Who wants to be into this?

Carmen


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:35
Italian to English
+ ...
They're already trying to address the issue: Nov 23, 2006

http://www.proz.com/topic/58926

"Several improvements were made in the jobs area, such as showing aggregate rates information to jobs posters when they are about to post a job at rates below the average site minimum."

I don't think they're prepared (or possibly legally permitted) to do much more than that.


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albie
Local time: 15:35
English to Russian
Most of us are reality- blind or pretend they do not uderstand what is going on Nov 23, 2006

Batono Levan,
Writing Your letter to forum, You certainly were aware, that plenty of colleagues will do this job for even smaller money. If far more than a half of the colleagues are ready to cope with this offer, why should those stingy filmakers offer more?
I would not be suprised that even cheap rates of the majority of translators will soon be underbeaten by Chinese, Indian, Mongolian (whoever)- russian interpreters. They work 6 days a week, 10 hrs a day just for USD200! I carefully keep a backpack with a label Made in USA (for 15 years) and pair of trousers- Made in Austria. I should not tell You where the most of my haberdashery is made, should I? the same is with translations. I am sure that a market will pleasantly quaff lower rates, whatever we think of it.
Don't tell them how to make Saperavi
they will imitate it anyway...


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:35
English to French
+ ...
agree with albie Nov 23, 2006

I am living in the US, so I also suffer from this. But I won't blame someone who earns USD 150 in a month as a bilingual secretary/assistant in some country, and takes a job like this one for USD 100 that she/he can make in a much shorter time.
So, if the company is willing to risk the quality paying so little, well. It's their reputation. We can see many horrible translations on cheap gadgets, but not very often on a box of a big-brand cereal, and less in a scientific publication.
Let us look for other jobs, and be happy that some people are able to have a better life than they otherwise would, by taking this kind of jobs.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:35
English to French
+ ...
I made a suggestion on this some time ago Nov 23, 2006

Carmen Hernaiz wrote:

I think they may send the same massage to so many members, to see if someone accepts. And believe me, someone will.

Carmen


I have suggested that batch mailing users or members or whatever their names are right now should be totally disabled, precisely because many agencies use this to fish for "cheap" translators. Another thing that hurst the market. I also don't see why an outsourcer should be allowed to batch-mail us - they have the job board for that. Not only that, but lately, the batch messages I got didn't mention anymore that the message was sent to 100 ProZ members - so there's no way to know really if the mail is addressed directly to me or if they are making a general call for quotes - more fishing. Outrageous!

Personally, when I receive such messages in my inbox, I treat them as spam - that is what they are, really.


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 15:35
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
I wonder why? Nov 23, 2006

Olivia MAHÉ wrote:

Rates in the subtitling industry go down because serious companies can't sustain the competition with low cost ones...



This actually makes me wonder - why does a serious company (in fact one from the category "good name to have in your CV") pays miserable rates and that seems to be their practice all over the world? Judging from their turn-around at least in this region I wouldnt say they are the poorest of them all...


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:35
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
We’re in a global market Nov 23, 2006

I have received the same message and just ignored it as soon as I saw the price offered. I think we’d better not do anything to avoid this type of messages because they help us assess the market. Low rate does not always mean low quality. Often low rate may just mean excellent translation done by a translator living in an underdeveloped country, and high rate may mean a poor translation done by someone living in a developed country. This is not always true, but this often is the case. We’re a unique community, which unites countries having different levels of economic development, democracy, etc. On the one hand this makes us unsafe, because there is no national government to protect the rights of the citizens. But on the other hand this is an opportunity to work in a really global market.

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Olivia MAHÉ  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:35
English to French
+ ...
A bad joke, I'd say Nov 23, 2006

bramasole wrote:

This actually makes me wonder - why does a serious company (in fact one from the category "good name to have in your CV") pays miserable rates and that seems to be their practice all over the world? Judging from their turn-around at least in this region I wouldnt say they are the poorest of them all...


Sorry Bramasole, I don't get it. To me "serious company" is not synonymous with "famous company", a serious one should be quality-oriented and cannot propose miserable rates to its collaborators.

The problem is that the customers' profits are huge while the subtitlers ("serious" and improvised ones) are poorer and poorer...

Anyway, it seems that "famous" subtitling companies prefer incompetent newbies to experts, because the newbie is in any case happy to gain experience and because in the end few persons are able to distinguish good subtitles from bad ones...


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Sylvano
Local time: 14:35
English to French
We want a name! Nov 23, 2006

Which company is that?

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:35
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
No names please Nov 23, 2006

Sylvano wrote:
Which company is that?


Hi Sylvano,

sorry but the forum rules expressely forbid to discuss specific outsourcers, for obvious reasons.

The forum participants can bring forward and analyse any issue, which is helpful for all readers to know better the market and its various facets, and the names really are not even necessary.

bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2006-11-23 23:00]


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