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We need a tool and a system: proposal to create a cooperative of freelance translators
Thread poster: Felipe Gútiez

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:24
German to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 16, 2008

Hi, some of you have already read posts about global memories, virtual cooperatives, the way translators are tricked by agencies and explosion of translation needs due to more needs for existing users, outsourcing in big companies and institutions (The EU plan to outsource 50% of its translation work), and lot of new players looking for cheap translation services/good translation services/top translation services.

I am sure that in the knowledge-based economy a cooperative/collaborative/online way of living (not only working) will soon widespread.

My proposal is to create a cooperative of freelance translators, first with the top-rated ones and then with the rest.

I am looking for a tool/system available in the market that could suit the needs of this cooperative.
What do you think of MemoQ? Déjà Vu? Across? Trados? TinyMemory?
Is there any top translator interested in this kind of global cooperative?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-09-16 12:51]


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:24
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
difficult, but not impossible Sep 16, 2008

Hi there Filipe,

OK I agree: 24 hour community, global economy, round the clock translation, virtual communities - this is all going to grow and expand....

So, some clients will need 24 hour, standby service from translators and might even be willing to pay for it.
But selecting even a few specialist in your specific field, with round the clock time zone coverage is difficult at best (in my case I would need native Dutch IT expertsm who provide very similar services, use the same style and work for the same rate).

Of course we are all very capable, highly specialized, professional individuals with our own private working hours, reference materials, and way of looking at things...
(not to mention other clients, invoicing methods, different countries of residence, tax laws, living standards, etc etc)

So even in a small expert area there will be huge difference around the world !!
Looking for a tool to consolidate this will be difficult at best, but how to make sure each individual translator will provide constant excellent and uniform quality is something completely different, not to mention "who gets the job" (your guy in Australia working in the evenings, or the Indian contact working mornings?? ). Then who will bill what to whom if you work round the clock (and round the globe)...

That's what agencies are for. If you have a cooperative of translators, it will create a lot of overhead which is probably hard to convert into profits...
And how will you market those to potential clients?
How will you guarantee quality and professionalism?
When is somebody a top-rated freelance professional?
Who will pay you for the time you spend keeping the engine running?
(it starts to sound like a global agency already)

You are probably better of with a couple of backup translators / proofreaders in your area...

Good idea, but as an alternative to "translation agencies" this is probably not the best way to provide cheaper and better services.


...
my 2cts
Ed Vreeburg
Translate.ED
French/English -> Dutch
IT specialist


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:24
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Will need to develop it based on your ideas Sep 16, 2008

The tool: You will need to develop it.

I think most of us have sketched such a system in the past. I used to spend quite a while on it, but keep postponing it for later, less-busy time.

My advice is that you define your plans thoroughly and then go find a development team, a bank, an ISP, and a team that can make it all a reality. And of course please count on me as a translator!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:24
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I still don't understand... Sep 16, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
My proposal is to create a cooperative of freelance translators, first with the top-rated ones and then with the rest.


You're using the word "cooperative" as if it has one meaning only, or as if everyone here knows what you mean by it. But I'm afraid I don't get it. What would translators do in such a cooperative, how would they benefit from it, how would clients benefit from it, and what would translators' relationship with clients, colleagues and the cooperative be?


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:24
English to Spanish
Please clarify Sep 16, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:

My proposal is to create a cooperative of freelance translators, first with the top-rated ones and then with the rest.

I am looking for a tool/system available in the market that could suit the needs of this cooperative.
What do you think of MemoQ? Déjà Vu? Across? Trados? TinyMemory?
Is there any top translator interested in this kind of global cooperative?



What I don't understand is what do you consider a "top translator" to be and how will you determine who fits your bill??

You are appealing directly to "top translators" with your final question... is anyone who answers "I am interestied, please pick me" automatically one?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:24
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I don't think it is necessary to clarify Sep 16, 2008

Andrea Riffo wrote:
Felipe Gútiez wrote:
1. ...first with the top-rated ones and then with the rest.
2 ... Is there any top translator interested in this kind of global cooperative?

What I don't understand is what do you consider a "top translator" to be and how will you determine who fits your bill?


Well, for #1 I don't think it is necessary to clarify right now, because one can always decide what qualifies as a top translator in the cooperative at the time that translators get recruited.

As for #2, if the shoe fits, put it on. It it don't, then don't


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:24
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You have to think free, just think free Sep 16, 2008

Edward Vreeburg wrote:

Hi there Filipe,

OK I agree: 24 hour community, global economy, round the clock translation, virtual communities - this is all going to grow and expand....

So, some clients will need 24 hour, standby service from translators and might even be willing to pay for it.
But selecting even a few specialist in your specific field, with round the clock time zone coverage is difficult at best (in my case I would need native Dutch IT expertsm who provide very similar services, use the same style and work for the same rate).

Of course we are all very capable, highly specialized, professional individuals with our own private working hours, reference materials, and way of looking at things...
(not to mention other clients, invoicing methods, different countries of residence, tax laws, living standards, etc etc)

So even in a small expert area there will be huge difference around the world !!
Looking for a tool to consolidate this will be difficult at best, but how to make sure each individual translator will provide constant excellent and uniform quality is something completely different, not to mention "who gets the job" (your guy in Australia working in the evenings, or the Indian contact working mornings?? ). Then who will bill what to whom if you work round the clock (and round the globe)...

That's what agencies are for. If you have a cooperative of translators, it will create a lot of overhead which is probably hard to convert into profits...
And how will you market those to potential clients?
How will you guarantee quality and professionalism?
When is somebody a top-rated freelance professional?
Who will pay you for the time you spend keeping the engine running?
(it starts to sound like a global agency already)

You are probably better of with a couple of backup translators / proofreaders in your area...

Good idea, but as an alternative to "translation agencies" this is probably not the best way to provide cheaper and better services.


...
my 2cts
Ed Vreeburg
Translate.ED
French/English -> Dutch
IT specialist


If you pay 6000 Euros for just becoming part of a cooperative your are probably interested in translation.
Quality check will be the first question I will put in the ideas wall. Thank you very much for showing the problem.

I LOVE BRAINSTORMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:24
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Of course, I count on you Sep 16, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

The tool: You will need to develop it.

I think most of us have sketched such a system in the past. I used to spend quite a while on it, but keep postponing it for later, less-busy time.

My advice is that you define your plans thoroughly and then go find a development team, a bank, an ISP, and a team that can make it all a reality. And of course please count on me as a translator!


Your critical questions have teached me a lot. Thank you very much Tomás.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:24
English to Spanish
I disagree Sep 16, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

Well, for #1 I don't think it is necessary to clarify right now, because one can always decide what qualifies as a top translator in the cooperative at the time that translators get recruited.



I think it is necessary and important to clarify, because:

(a) He is explicitly adressing "top translators" in his question,
(b) "Top translators" have come up over and over again in the threads related to his ideas, yet he has yet to give a clear answer on this point.




Samuel Murray wrote:
As for #2, if the shoe fits, put it on. It it don't, then don't



Outstanding quality evaluation system. Thank you, Samuel.

[Edited at 2008-09-16 18:33]


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:24
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It is open, not yet definitely defined Sep 16, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
My proposal is to create a cooperative of freelance translators, first with the top-rated ones and then with the rest.


You're using the word "cooperative" as if it has one meaning only, or as if everyone here knows what you mean by it. But I'm afraid I don't get it. What would translators do in such a cooperative, how would they benefit from it, how would clients benefit from it, and what would translators' relationship with clients, colleagues and the cooperative be?


Just give your wish.

I want the best brains of the world in this cooperative, working together for good translations.


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:24
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
From mouth to ear (de boca a oreja) Sep 16, 2008

Andrea Riffo wrote:

Felipe Gútiez wrote:

My proposal is to create a cooperative of freelance translators, first with the top-rated ones and then with the rest.

I am looking for a tool/system available in the market that could suit the needs of this cooperative.
What do you think of MemoQ? Déjà Vu? Across? Trados? TinyMemory?
Is there any top translator interested in this kind of global cooperative?



What I don't understand is what do you consider a "top translator" to be and how will you determine who fits your bill??

You are appealing directly to "top translators" with your final question... is anyone who answers "I am interestied, please pick me" automatically one?


I think each top translator knows at least one more top translator.

This is called the tam-tam system.
With Internet you can have a list of 2000 in a couple of minutes.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 16:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
A question: Sep 16, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
...
I want the best brains of the world in this cooperative, working together for good translations.
...


What makes you think you would qualify for entry into this elite/elitist cooperative, Felipe?

MediaMatrix


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:24
English to German
+ ...
Houston, we have a problem Sep 16, 2008

Top translators are usually booked up to their eyeballs and have to fend off jobs right and left. Marketing efforts are minimal because they get recommended faster than they can handle their projects.

Top translators also have brains.

Which is why no top translators would be gaga enough to pay Euro 6000.00 because they "are interested in translation".




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Gisela Greenlee  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:24
German to English
+ ...
Oh no! Sep 16, 2008

Nicole, I was hoping you could help me with a loan so I would have a shot at joining this elite cooperative and get out from under working for agencies that cheat me! But you don't sound like you're going to join, so does that mean you won't lend me the money?

Desperate in Austin


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:24
French to English
Perception Sep 16, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Which is why no top translators would be gaga enough to pay Euro 6000.00 because they "are interested in translation".

Hmmm.
Is it me, or does every thread Felipe starts ask us to reach for our chequebooks before the bottom of the first page?


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