Freelance job offer
Thread poster: Kaileena

Kaileena
Spain
Local time: 07:43
Jul 9

Hi,

I was contacted today about a freelance job by a translation company.

I'd basically work as a freelancer translator doing translation from English to German. These translation documents could be about various topics of the European Institutions (decision and regulations going from agriculture to legal matter, from Human rights to fishery, etc.), which can be from a couple of pages to 10-20 at a hourly rate of 20 euros.

Would it be worth to give it a shot? I've already got a full-time job but wouldn't mind to do something that is related to my studies even if it's part-time but I haven't been in the translation business for a while and would be interested in other people's opinion about this offer.

Thank youicon_smile.gif!


 

Miranda Drew  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:43
Italian to English
Freelancers are not paid by the hour Jul 9

If you're a freelancer, you should be paid by word, not by hour. Many agencies try to convince translators into this kind of arrangement, which ends of benefiting the agency and not benefiting the translator at all. You should be paid by word/line.

Valérie Ourset
Siontrans
De'Yonko Thomas
Regina Boltz
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:43
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
legal status Jul 9

Are you allowed to just start doing translations like that in Spain, without having set yourself up officially as a freelancer?

Valérie Ourset
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:43
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some things to consider Jul 9

Kaileena wrote:
These translation documents could be about various topics of the European Institutions (decision and regulations going from agriculture to legal matter, from Human rights to fishery, etc.)

So is the end client a department of the EU? It sounds as though they'd be official translations, so they'd need to comply with all the usual EU styles, termbases etc. They also need to be done by someone with all the required credentials, etc. What has your client said about that?

at a hourly rate of 20 euros.

As has been mentioned that's a highly unusual (although not unheard of) method of charging. Who would determine how long a particular translation would take? Would you be provided with enormous TMs to hopefully increase your seed (unless the TMs include MT-sourced units icon_frown.gif )? If you end up getting paid €20 per hour, do you consider that a fair rate? It seems that you live in Spain and have a full-time job. If you also work as an autónomo you'll need to start paying the relevant social contributions on top, which start at just €50 per month but soon rise to nearly €300 a month, so take that into account. You'll also need to register for VAT. You'll probably need (or at least want) to pay an expert to make sure your tax accounts are in order.

I was contacted today about a freelance job by a translation company.

Did this contact seem at all strange to you? I'm not saying it is, but it might be some sort of scam. Did they contact you out of the blue?


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:43
Member
English to Italian
Low Jul 9

IMO that's too low. However, why don't you find out how much you would have to pay in taxes (and other expenses), do the math and compare what you get with what you think your time is worth...

It also sounds weird that an agency should propose an hourly rate for translation... unless they also tell you how many words they expect you to translate per hour (I know it sounds absurd, but I've refused a few offers like that).


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:43
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It looks like a scam Jul 9

It’s either a full blown scam or a dodgy proposal at best. As far as know all translation services provided by an external service provider are always paid by the EU institutions per standard page (1,500 characters) and never by the hour and in 2015 the price for DE-EN ranged from 23 to 44 EUR/page (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/omnibus_15_2015.pdf).

James Heppe-Smith
Joe France
Valérie Ourset
Kelly Neudorfer
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 00:43
English to Russian
+ ...
Did you get it through Proz? Jul 9

If so, how do they even know that English is one of your languages, working or otherwise? You don't mention it in the profile.

Offers in pairs of languages, one of which a freelancer does not even speak or, at least, muster professionally (what else is there to assume from your profile?), and an infinite range of more or less general subjects to make it look easy ring a very loud bell. The texts of this nature can be found on the Internet in tens of thousands, so the initial assignment may look legitimate, followed by a fraudulent check aka "overpayment" .

Also, just think - why would a serious customer, without any further ado, pick a freelancer with your experience as shown in your profile for a continuous flow of EU-level documents? I'm sure that the experienced colleagues can sing you a chapter and a verse on all kinds of certifications and acronyms, not to mention a relevant portfolio, that must be attached to the EU language providers. Please don't be offended, just ask yourself this very simple and logical question without being partial or taking it personally.

Respectfully,
Irina


Edited for typos


[Edited at 2018-07-09 15:34 GMT]

Kaileena,

I feel compelled to emphasize once again that I have neither a right nor a slightest intention to undermine or doubt your skills - I am only looking at the information available to us and a potential real customer, and deriving from it. My logic tells me that the whole thing looks shady and I seem to be in a good company on that.

[Edited at 2018-07-09 17:37 GMT]


James Heppe-Smith
Teresa Borges
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
peMT? Jul 9

A profile on one site (like ProZ) is nor the profile on the other portal, so it's no factor.
As far as many "EU" documents are but rather sloppy post-edited MT, it might be the case with hourly rates. Be careful!

Anyway, without a real PO/contract it often appears as a futile job or a naughty fraud.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:43
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
False positive in many cases Jul 10

DZiW wrote:
Anyway, without a real PO/contract it often appears as a futile job or a naughty fraud.

Of course a job without a PO or contract can be a scam. But I'd just like to point out that in 20 years as a freelancer I've never been scammed and yet I've only ever signed a handful of contracts, and very few of my clients have ever suggested sending a PO. On several occasions I've exchanged emails with a client and seen the file, so I've collected and recorded all the details, only to be sent a PO with a lower word count or rate. For example, 2993 words becomes 2933, or the total due suffers the same "typo" -- always a mistake, of course ... it makes you wonder icon_frown.gif . So I'd really rather do the checking job once and get down to work, than have to do it twice.


Kay Denney
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 23:43
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Questions Jul 10

I think you should ask yourself some questions first: What do you know about this company? How did they find you? Why would they contact you when there is zero information in your profile? Why would they trust you to deal with what looks like fairly important and specialized EU documents? To me, this job offer sounds fishy and I think you need to do your homework before you even consider it.

Assuming this company checks out and you have the necessary skills and specialized knowledge to do the job, are you sure you can handle this project in addition to your full-time job?


Teresa Borges
Kay Denney
 


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