Fictitious job posting; did you ever see such an offer on
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:18
Flemish to English
+ ...
Aug 16, 2009

A fictitious job posting:

Language: French>English or English into Spanisch or German into English (normal Western European languages).

Volume and pricing:
20000 words
at 0.20 EUR per word [ TOTAL: 4.000 EUR ]
Payment method: Online via PayPal, Moneybookers, bank-transfer
Payment upon delivery.
Use of Trados/Sdlx required (We do not ask for discounts)

A question to all and especially those who have been on this site for as long as it exists :
Did you ever see such an offer on

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-08-16 21:07 GMT]


Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Sorry, I am not available Aug 16, 2009

I am busy with some ongoing projects. Moreover, I use Deja Vu, and charge higher for Trados projects.


Michael Mestre
Local time: 03:18
English to French
+ ...
This is not fiction Aug 16, 2009

Williamson, this is not fiction : this is the price paid to agencies for quality, specialized work.

You do the math : a specialized translator (electronics, engineering, medical documents,...) can be paid €0.10 per source word, and it is not rare for agencies to pocket half of the final price.
As for the volume, a team is sometimes formed to tackle big projects (user manuals for instance) but if an individual translator can do it by himself then why not ?
(20 000 words is about one week of intensive work if you are very familiar with the subject).

As for "no discounts", clients know (or at least should know) that cutting costs on translation ends up costing more in the end - I am just guessing here, but it seems to me that it costs much less to translate a technical manual than to write it.

The "fiction" aspect is to expect seeing such offers often on the bidding system : most of what you see is for rush, or underpaid, or unpriced projects (the latter implying that they are ready to pay the market price).


Peter Manda (X)
Local time: 21:18
German to English
+ ...
for someone starting out Aug 16, 2009

When I see prices like that, I don't assume the agency wants quality. I think they just want "a translation"; but then, why don't they just use Google translate? It's free ...


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:18
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
There seems to be some confusion. Aug 16, 2009

If we are talking about .02 euros per word, there is currently a job posted for 33,000 words F>E at US .02 cents per word and that requests absolute error-free perfection.

If we are talking about .20 euros per word, this is not at all unreasonable and quite commonplace. Several translation agencies in the U.S. regularly bill clients anywhere from US$ .20 to .30 a word. If an individual (non agency) were to post a job, they would probably not post a price, but ask how much the translation would cost. This is the reason why you hardly ever see these kinds of rates posted. The client is willing to pay .25 a word, but then someone comes along and stupidly and selfishly bids .03.

[Edited at 2009-08-16 14:20 GMT]


madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:18
Swedish to English
+ ...
Decimal point Aug 16, 2009

Selcuk wrote>

Sorry, I am not available

Peter wrote:

When I see prices like that, I don't assume the agency wants quality.

I think you might have unintentionally moved the decimal point inn your mind, maybe out of habit as 0.02 is more usual than 0.20 in proz postings. I assume Williamson used the term "fictitious" to indicate how extremely rare these kind of postings are on proz.

Michael wrote>

a specialized translator (electronics, engineering, medical documents,...) can be paid €0.10 per source word

It obviousily depends on language pair, but any qualified specialist accepting a rate of €0.10 doesn't appear to know the value of their skills and knowledge. My rate for general translation usually starts at £0.10-12 and this is for agencies who are expected to provide external proofing.


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 19:18
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Wishful thinking? Aug 16, 2009

Never seen anything like it,


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I haven't, but... Aug 16, 2009

Williamson wrote:
Did you ever see such an offer on

No, I haven't, but I have been contacted by new clients who found my details at who ended up paying me my usual rate for medium to large jobs.


David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
Interesting Aug 16, 2009

I have never seen such a quote on ProZ, but admittedly I turned off all job communications because I refused to waste my time looking at insulting offers.

That said, it interesting to see that people's expectations of the site have lead them to misinterpret an attractive rate for the very bad one they are used to seeing on the site.

Speaks volumes about the bidding market...


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:18
English to German
+ ...
Good jobs will never advertised in public. The recipients are handpicked. Aug 16, 2009

Something I was taught 25 years ago in my profession and which is still valid today. What is so exotic with such rates?


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