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Not sure what to do....
Thread poster: Klaus Dorn
Klaus Dorn
Local time: 10:38
German to English
+ ...
Apr 19, 2003

OK, so far I\'ve only had relatively small translation jobs not exceeding 20.000 words. So, I have no experience with really \"big stuff\".



Recently, a job was posted on ProZ, which asked for the translation of 7 books from English into German. The rate offered for this work was EUR 0.01 per source word. Some collegues on here commented in some forum postings about the mediocre price and questioned the subject, which is basically 1 or 2 Russian scientists trying to prove, that everything that was written prior to the 14th century has in fact been written much, much later and all of mankind has been \"had\"....



I wasn\'t too concerned with the subject or the opinions voiced therein, I decided to go for it, because the time given for the entire project was 18 months and upon my questioning, the poster replied, that a 10% pre-payment as well as regular payments (2-weekly) would be part of the deal. I live in Turkey, so EUR 20.000 for 1 1/2 years would actually do nicely, even bearing in mind, that I\'d have to translate appprox. 3-4000 words a day, every day for 18 months.



So I posted a bid, upon which I received 4 pages of test translation. I returned the test and also asked for raising the fee to EUR 0.015. Now, the poster says, they like my test translation, but they are \"still not quite sure\" as to whether I should be the chosen one and have asked me to do a second test translation, this time paid (at the rate of EUR 0.015) - only the test translation is 60 pages or 37.000 words and they have given me 18 days to complete it. The test translation is a complete document, dealing with a particular subject, it\'s not an extract of something bigger for all I can tell. They also sent a contract, which contains the following clause:



\"Client\'s withholds payment for delivery if: he finds more than 1 spelling, grammar, style error on every 1000 words and/or corruption of the original text meaning; loss of complete phrases or key words.



Translator makes all corrections free of charge within latest 3 working days and represents the translation.\"



Basically, I\'ve got a funny feeling (once again) and I wonder, whether I could get any proof, the seven books actually exist and there is a feasible chance of getting the job or whether someone is looking for a cheap way to get a 60-page document translated.



Please, tell me, what do you think and what can I do to be sure this is not a hoax?



Thanks to all suggestions...







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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:38
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
A test is a test Apr 20, 2003

Dear Klaus



I understand that when you know you\'re going to translate one book (not necessarily seven), you might accept a low rate (I\'m not going to talk about this point).

You have to balance the time it will take to you and the fact that you\'ll have a guarantee of work.



But a test is a test. It shouldn\'t be four pages (for the first one) and it shouldn\'t be paid as the whole book (for the second one).



And I wouldn\'t go farther. And I\'d follow my (your) feelings.


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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:38
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Get out while the going is good Apr 20, 2003

This definitely has a funny smell about it, and I feel very strongly that they will take the slightest opportunity to avoid paying for these pages that they are now asking you to translate.



I would certainly get out while the going is good, and put down the extremely long \"sample\" that you have translated to experience.



Personally, in view of the rate quoted for the whole job, I would never have given this job a second glance, but I appreciate that everybody\'s circumstances are different in this regard. Having said that, I would NEVER do any sample consiting of more than 300 words for free and I think that this whole job offer is extremely dubious and that you should follow your instincts and cut your losses now.


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xxxmedical
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with Claudia Apr 20, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-04-20 13:33, c.iglesias wrote:

Dear Klaus



I understand that when you know you\'re going to translate one book (not necessarily seven), you might accept a low rate (I\'m not going to talk about this point).

You have to balance the time it will take to you and the fact that you\'ll have a guarantee of work.



But a test is a test. It shouldn\'t be four pages (for the first one) and it shouldn\'t be paid as the whole book (for the second one).



And I wouldn\'t go farther. And I\'d follow my (your) feelings.



I really do not understand why they need a so long test,and the condition to be paid are clear for me, they do not want to pay. But it is my own opinion. Sincerely I will not take that job because all is very strange.

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:38
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
No one makes no mistakes Apr 20, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-04-19 22:02, kaypeedee wrote:

...



\"Client\'s withholds payment for delivery if: he finds more than 1 spelling, grammar, style error on every 1000 words and/or corruption of the original text meaning; loss of complete phrases or key words.



Translator makes all corrections free of charge within latest 3 working days and represents the translation.\"



...





A statistical paga contains something about 250 words, so they say if they find ONE mistake every FOUR pages, they won´t pay. So the will pay never. It is almost impossible to deliver a translation without any \"stylistical\" errors, as language is not mathematics, where 2 times 2 is 4 in Germany, Poland, UK and elswhere. Language is a very personal issue. What I like must not necessary be liked by others. And your customer WILL find errors on every page, if they let proof read the text by another translator, and (s)he will be allowed to make stylistical changes.



I would NEVER accept such conditions.



Have a nice Easter everrybody

Jerzy

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TRANSRAPID  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
German to English
Hi Apr 20, 2003

What an incredible story!

The whole business sounds very suspicious to me, and, the clause regarding non-payment of translater should certain error\'s be found within the translation (in particular regarding something so ambigious as to whether meanings have been changed!, i.e. they could withold payment on the grounds that meaning has been changed without this actually being the case and you could do little about it) would be more than enough for me to put the brakes on!



The only thing you could do to gain more information about the respective agency would be to see whether it\'s listed in the list of reputable translation agencies (which can be found somewhere on the web ... though haven\'t got the address).



So, just to contribute my two pennies worth: I would not do that test translation - apart from sounding suspicious, the rate and deadline is rediculus.



Best of luck!







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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
must be a hoax .. Apr 20, 2003

.. perfectly consistent with contents and terms

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xxxxxxkutay
Turkish to English
+ ...
0.01(5) Apr 20, 2003

I am not in a position to suggest something professional, but the \"suicide\" may be an alternative rather than accepting a job at 0.01(5). It may be useful to get opinions of your colleagues from Turkey.







Quote:


On 2003-04-19 22:02, kaypeedee wrote:

OK, so far I\'ve only had relatively small translation jobs not exceeding 20.000 words. So, I have no experience with really \"big stuff\".



Recently, a job was posted on ProZ, which asked for the translation of 7 books from English into German. The rate offered for this work was EUR 0.01 per source word. Some collegues on here commented in some forum postings about the mediocre price and questioned the subject, which is basically 1 or 2 Russian scientists trying to prove, that everything that was written prior to the 14th century has in fact been written much, much later and all of mankind has been \"had\"....



I wasn\'t too concerned with the subject or the opinions voiced therein, I decided to go for it, because the time given for the entire project was 18 months and upon my questioning, the poster replied, that a 10% pre-payment as well as regular payments (2-weekly) would be part of the deal. I live in Turkey, so EUR 20.000 for 1 1/2 years would actually do nicely, even bearing in mind, that I\'d have to translate appprox. 3-4000 words a day, every day for 18 months.



So I posted a bid, upon which I received 4 pages of test translation. I returned the test and also asked for raising the fee to EUR 0.015. Now, the poster says, they like my test translation, but they are \"still not quite sure\" as to whether I should be the chosen one and have asked me to do a second test translation, this time paid (at the rate of EUR 0.015) - only the test translation is 60 pages or 37.000 words and they have given me 18 days to complete it. The test translation is a complete document, dealing with a particular subject, it\'s not an extract of something bigger for all I can tell. They also sent a contract, which contains the following clause:



\"Client\'s withholds payment for delivery if: he finds more than 1 spelling, grammar, style error on every 1000 words and/or corruption of the original text meaning; loss of complete phrases or key words.



Translator makes all corrections free of charge within latest 3 working days and represents the translation.\"



Basically, I\'ve got a funny feeling (once again) and I wonder, whether I could get any proof, the seven books actually exist and there is a feasible chance of getting the job or whether someone is looking for a cheap way to get a 60-page document translated.



Please, tell me, what do you think and what can I do to be sure this is not a hoax?



Thanks to all suggestions...









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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
Dutch to English
+ ...
It sounds very much like a con job! Apr 20, 2003

I would be very careful. If the issue is style, you will never win. In my experience, the rate for typos and such is 1% of a document. This would be 10 words per 1000 and not just 1. The only way to ensure you can deliver a typo-free document is if you have it proofread and, frankly, the offered payment will not stretch to this. This would still not resolve the style issue. The customer would have to provide clear guidelines or you should agree on a style guide that is available (i.e. from the EU or another source).



The initial test translation was, in my opinion, already excessive and, therefore, I would not do a second even when they offer to pay.



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Céline Graciet
Local time: 08:38
English to French
Don't do it! Apr 20, 2003

Klaus, if that isn\'t a con, I don\'t know what is. There is no way that they will ever pay you. Call me cynical, but these guys are clearly looking for a free translation.



Good luck, let us know what you decided to do



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Rishi Miranhshah  Identity Verified
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Two things Apr 20, 2003

First, I\'m not suspicious of their intentions. I\'m convinced.



Second, why should you be interested in bonded labor for a whole 18 months. If you give these 18 months to yourself instead of them, I\'m sure you can establish yourself as a good translator with much better rates.



Thanks.


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 09:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
steer clear Apr 20, 2003

I agree with the other comments, and with your instincts. I think you should quit while you\'re ahead.



Good luck

Cindy


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Echo the views above Apr 20, 2003

I would echo the views above.



Also, it does sound like the Russ>Eng \"revision\" of a 7 volume work advertized as 1.7, 2 & 3 million words, depending on when it was being advertized (in Proz & elsewhere), at this price, and on the same subject - which there was a widespread and critical correspondence about in the Russian forum -which might be of interest to anyone who hasn\'t seen it. Many of the postings were in English and a forum search using the keyword \"outrageous\" goes straight to it.....



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Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:38
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
It seems highly suspicious to me Apr 21, 2003

I wouldn\'t want to get involved in a project with these conditions. It sounds very much like the project discussed on the Russian forum in early March - opened by Dan Brennan.



http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&topic_id=9073&forum_id=30



In any case, I think it sounds like they are offering an excessively low rate and demanding far too much. Moreover, the unpaid test translation was, in my opinion, way too long. The clause re. not paying if there is more than 1 mistake (typos, grammar or style) per 1000 words is the cherry on the cake. It sounds like a great way to avoid paying.



I would be very wary, Klaus.



Good luck,





Sheila



[ This Message was edited by: SJH on 2003-04-21 00:07]


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Klaus Dorn
Local time: 10:38
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many, many thanks to all of you... Apr 21, 2003

Having thankfully received all the comments made by yourselves, I\'ve come to the conclusion, that my doubts were not unfounded and will inform the poster tonight, that I will not proceed any further, unless the conditions are changed drastically (which I doubt).



Once again, ProZ has been an invaluable source of information for me and as soon as I get my PayPal subscription sorted out (another problem, living in Turkey), I will upgrade to Platinum membership. That\'s a promise!


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