Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Translation agency does not confirm minimum rate before test is completed - is it worth it?
Thread poster: Sergei Nikolenko

Sergei Nikolenko  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:11
English to Russian
Oct 15, 2009

Hi all,

I would be interested in your opinion about the following situation.

I replied to a post by a translation agency and stated my minimum rate. They sent me a test (in different topics so, taken altogether, it is quite long) + a detailed form to fill out. When I asked them if they will be able to match my minimum rate (provided my test is approved) they replied saying that they cannot discuss rates before the test is done and the form is filled out. More than that, they confessed that they would choose the best translators with the best rate offer.

Now, it would take around half a day to do the test and complete the form and I am wondering if it is worthwhile to deal with such an agency? I feel rather uncomfortable with their attitude...

What do you think?

[Edited at 2009-10-15 18:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-10-15 18:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-10-15 19:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:11
English to German
+ ...
No Oct 15, 2009

Don't waste your time.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:11
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Be frank, confirm that they are willing to use your base rate Oct 15, 2009

I have had this situation a couple of times in the past.

In these cases, I feel it is in the best interest of both parties to confirm your absolute minimum rate before proceeding with the test. If you ask the agency before doing the test and they confirm that your minimum rate is something they could work with, then do the test and everybody is happy. And if they tell you upfront that your minimum rate is impossible to meet, then thank them for the opportunity and tell them that you will be happy to cooperate with them if the budget for similar jobs improves in the future.

It does not make any sense for you to do the test before confirming this, as it will be frustrating for you (you would have worked half a day for nothing) and for them (they spent time and resources evaluating a translator they cannot use).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Karletto
English to Slovenian
+ ...
there must be a rate! Oct 15, 2009

basic parts of a contract are:
- infos about the seller/ employer (name, adress..)
- infos about the buyer/ employee (name, adress..)
- details of the job (description, numbers of words, deadline...)
- price (per word/ job/ barrel/ whatever..)
- date and place
- signatures of both parties

Of course if you want to settle the price before you send translationed text or before you even touch the job, it is your choice.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:11
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Simple policy Oct 15, 2009

I don't do any (unpaid) tests before making sure the customer can afford me. What would be the point?...

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marina Aleyeva  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 06:11
English to Russian
+ ...
No Oct 15, 2009

It's been my experience that an agency that sends a test without confirming your rate (especially when you clearly asked them to do so) will come back praising your translation but offering peanuts.

[Edited at 2009-10-15 23:53 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely not! Oct 15, 2009

You could be wasting your time, you should know ahead of time if they will pay your regular rate once you pass the test or they will offer you half of what you consider your work is worth.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 23:11
Russian to English
+ ...
When there's a doubt, there's no doubt Oct 16, 2009

Don't bother.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Frank Hansen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Member (2006)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, dont be nice Oct 16, 2009

There are so many agencies out there with people who never did any translations themselves, often because they dont know how. They dont understand that the agency is earning a commission and the translator is doing the job. My advice is to never cut prices and never do anything unless paid for, instead cut your personal budget and wait for agencies that pay well and understand and appreciate all the hard work you are doing for them. I think you will be quite surprised to see what happens if you get a little tough. Good luck:-)
-frank


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yossi Rozenman  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 06:11
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Don't fall into that trap Oct 16, 2009

If they don't want to agree on prices, there must be a reason.

Use your imagination...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:11
French to German
+ ...
The reason... Oct 16, 2009

Yossi Rozenman wrote:

If they don't want to agree on prices, there must be a reason.

Use your imagination...

being that a written answer is binding and that they fear losing control.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:11
English to German
+ ...
No Oct 16, 2009

I think your gut feeling is right.
If they can't even answer a simple question for free, why should you bother and work hours for them without the slightest guarantee?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
No chance Oct 16, 2009

Don't waste your time. If they cannot confirm it before, they (most likely) cannot afford you. I would politely write to them and briefly explain that I don't take tests unless a minimum rate has been agreed in advance. And that I don't want to waste my or their time.

Personally, I don’t take tests for free anymore.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marjolein Verhulsdonck-Roest
Netherlands
Local time: 05:11
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I've been there Oct 16, 2009

Marina Aleyeva wrote:

It's been my experience that an agency that sends a test without confirming your rate (especially when you clearly asked them to do so) will come back praising your translation but offering peanuts.

[Edited at 2009-10-15 23:53 GMT]


Even less than peanuts:
Yes, they confirmed that my usual rate was no problem, so I did the test and filled in some forms etc etc. The translation was deemed 'up to standard' (of course), but I still have to see the first project from them...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
French to English
Too long Oct 16, 2009

Sergei Nikolenko wrote:

Now, it would take around half a day to do the test and complete the form and I am wondering if it is worthwhile to deal with such an agency? I feel rather uncomfortable with their attitude...


I have nothing against free tests (http://www.cbavington.com/Thoughts/FreeTests.shtml) but there is a limit, I feel, to how much unpaid time it is reasonable to expect people to devote to initial contact and assessment. For me, that limit is about an hour. And leaving free tests aside, it does seem to be a common experience that the more information you are asked for, the less your chances of ever getting work.

And as has been pointed out, if they can't afford you, what's the point.... ?
(For balance, of course, they might be thinking "let's see what he's worth before we decide on a rate".)

I feel your relationship has already started on the wrong foot, which may be a bad sign.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Translation agency does not confirm minimum rate before test is completed - is it worth it?

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search