Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
A superb EN>RU job...for $0.009/word
Thread poster: Michael Marcoux

Michael Marcoux  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:06
Russian to English
+ ...
May 26, 2016

I was talking with a friend who works at a Russian branch of KPMG the other day. She said she needed 75,000 words of some business text translated from English to Russian over the weekend. Since my native language is English and I only work in the opposite direction I declined.

When I asked her on Monday if anyone had taken the job she excitedly informed me that not only had an agency completed it on time, but they did it...for $0.009 per word. I get that the ruble has plummeted against the dollar and whatnot, but that seemed like a ridiculous rate. I had always written off offers like that, assuming that people who work for those rates were probably throwing texts through GT and post-editing them, but she said the agency did a superb job, and that everyone in her firm was very satisfied with the translation. I don't know if anyone checked for accuracy in house, but it at least read well.

I don't even know what to say at this point. I always assumed that quality would allow me to set myself apart, but at this point I feel like packing my bags up and getting another profession. How do these people even do it?...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tell her... May 26, 2016

that sounds wonderful and ask her for the name of the agency. It's possible that the agency offered/promised to pay the translators (assuming there are multiple translators to get the job done that fast) a decent rate with no intention of actually paying them. Thus, they were able to provide a 75,000 word translation at 675.00.


Michael Marcoux wrote:

I was talking with a friend who works at a Russian branch of KPMG the other day. She said she needed 75,000 words of some business text translated from English to Russian over the weekend. Since my native language is English and I only work in the opposite direction I declined.

When I asked her on Monday if anyone had taken the job she excitedly informed me that not only had an agency completed it on time, but they did it...for $0.009 per word. I get that the ruble has plummeted against the dollar and whatnot, but that seemed like a ridiculous rate. I had always written off offers like that, assuming that people who work for those rates were probably throwing texts through GT and post-editing them, but she said the agency did a superb job, and that everyone in her firm was very satisfied with the translation. I don't know if anyone checked for accuracy in house, but it at least read well.

I don't even know what to say at this point. I always assumed that quality would allow me to set myself apart, but at this point I feel like packing my bags up and getting another profession. How do these people even do it?...


[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:09 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-26 23:57 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I think May 26, 2016

she must have got the decimal point in the wrong place and it was 0.09. Or they used Google Translate.

Seventy-five thousand words would require about ten translators, each prepared to sacrifice two long days for a total of around $32 (assuming the agency charged a 100% markup).

And she says the whole job is superb - but if you're using that many translators, there will always be one or two who let the side down.

[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:48 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:50 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Marcoux  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:06
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nope. May 26, 2016

She told me they paid $675 for the whole thing. Crazy.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Marcoux  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:06
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well.. May 26, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:

It's possible that the agency offered/promised to pay the translators (assuming there are multiple translators to get the job done that fast) a decent rate with no intention of actually paying them.





I hadn't even thought of that. But if it's a fly-by-night agency, I don't know how they found people to take on work that fast. It's as much of a risk working with translators for agencies as it is the other way around.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Editing May 26, 2016

Michael Marcoux wrote:

I was talking with a friend who works at a Russian branch of KPMG the other day. She said she needed 75,000 words of some business text translated from English to Russian over the weekend. Since my native language is English and I only work in the opposite direction I declined.

When I asked her on Monday if anyone had taken the job she excitedly informed me that not only had an agency completed it on time, but they did it...for $0.009 per word. I get that the ruble has plummeted against the dollar and whatnot, but that seemed like a ridiculous rate. I had always written off offers like that, assuming that people who work for those rates were probably throwing texts through GT and post-editing them, but she said the agency did a superb job, and that everyone in her firm was very satisfied with the translation. I don't know if anyone checked for accuracy in house, but it at least read well.

I don't even know what to say at this point. I always assumed that quality would allow me to set myself apart, but at this point I feel like packing my bags up and getting another profession. How do these people even do it?...


And that would be a nightmare to edit (ten translators = ten different versions).

I too think it was 0.09, not 0.009.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:06
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
:-( May 26, 2016

Michael Marcoux wrote:

When I asked her on Monday if anyone had taken the job she excitedly informed me that not only had an agency completed it on time, but they did it...for $0.009 per word (and I maybe that even included proofreading...).
...
I don't even know what to say at this point. I always assumed that quality would allow me to set myself apart, but at this point I feel like packing my bags up and getting another profession. How do these people even do it?...


Wow, that must be a new all-time low... A rush job, over the weekend, completed by an agency at $ .009 per word (and maybe that even included proofreading)...

I'm starting to share your worries...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:06
English to Croatian
+ ...
Synchronization. May 26, 2016

philgoddard wrote:

she must have got the decimal point in the wrong place and it was 0.09. Or they used Google Translate.

Seventy-five thousand words would require about ten translators, each prepared to sacrifice two long days for a total of around $32 (assuming the agency charged a 100% markup).

And she says the whole job is superb - but if you're using that many translators, there will always be one or two who let the side down.

[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:48 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:50 GMT]


How would you expect 10 random translators to synchronize that fast? 75k word file requires you to dig dipper into the file, get familiar with the writing style, the introduction to end structure, and much more; it's one huge file whose integrity will be seriously jeopardized this way.

The weirdest part, out of all the other absurdities in this scenario, is the tone in which she said it, it sounds like she is very proud of it?



[Edited at 2016-05-26 19:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Marcoux  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:06
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Right? May 26, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Oh GOD This is SO Boring. Please Kill Me, that must be a new all-time low... A rush job, over the weekend, completed by an agency at $ .009 per word (and maybe that even included proofreading)...

I'm starting to share your worries...


Normally I shun these sorts of discussions and tend to write off translators who complain about low rates all the time - there are tons of good paying clients who can recognize quality, right?

But the thing is - the translation was done for KPMG. So if something looked wrong in the documents, or if the translator used terms that made no sense, or if it just plain didn't add up, they would notice. I asked my contact, and she said the whole thing was superb. I have no reason to think she would lie to me, especially since I don't work in the pair she requested.

Insane. I just want to know how they did it. Unless they got some auctioneer who had mad conference interpreting skills to read it off into dragon dictation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:06
English to Croatian
+ ...
Writers and their reviewers. May 26, 2016

Professional writers carefully choose their reviewers (not online, in real life) and then build their relationship with them for years and years. Getting familiar with each other's thinking, writing and expression style.

But no, 10 translators found randomly on the web, just get together and do a "superb" job in three days. Well, I don't think so.

[Edited at 2016-05-27 07:19 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 16:06
Russian to English
+ ...
There are no miracles - not even in Mother Russia May 26, 2016

Insane. I just want to know how they did it.


They didn't. This just doesn't compute. Ergo, what you've been told isn't true - either it wasn't superb, or the rate was different, or the word count. Or maybe it never happened at all. I wouldn't worry too much about it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:06
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Not boring at all... May 26, 2016

Michael Marcoux wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Oh GOD This is SO Boring. Please Kill Me, that must be a new all-time low... A rush job, over the weekend, completed by an agency at $ .009 per word (and maybe that even included proofreading)...

I'm starting to share your worries...


Thanks for the edit, I guess... but I honestly found that "worrying" (especially if the quality was "superb", as you wrote)......

[Modificato alle 2016-05-26 19:20 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Marcoux  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:06
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oops! May 26, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Michael Marcoux wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Oh GOD This is SO Boring. Please Kill Me, that must be a new all-time low... A rush job, over the weekend, completed by an agency at $ .009 per word (and maybe that even included proofreading)...

I'm starting to share your worries...


Thanks for the edit, I guess... but I honestly found that "worrying"...


OH! So sorry about that. I recently installed a chrome app called downworthy on that gets rid of clickbait-like words. I didn't realize it auto-edited your words when I quoted you...

Fun app, though...http://downworthy.snipe.net/


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:06
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Well... May 26, 2016

Michael Marcoux wrote:

OH! So sorry about that. I recently installed a chrome app called downworthy on that gets rid of clickbait-like words. I didn't realize it auto-edited your words when I quoted you...

Fun app, though...http://downworthy.snipe.net/


Hope you're not using that together with web-based CAT tools, though...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Slobodan Kozarčić  Identity Verified
Serbia
English to Serbian
+ ...
Not possible May 26, 2016

philgoddard wrote:

she must have got the decimal point in the wrong place and it was 0.09. Or they used Google Translate.

Seventy-five thousand words would require about ten translators, each prepared to sacrifice two long days for a total of around $32 (assuming the agency charged a 100% markup).

And she says the whole job is superb - but if you're using that many translators, there will always be one or two who let the side down.

[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:48 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-26 18:50 GMT]


It took me 30 days to translate 70,000 words novel from English to Serbian, and another 4 days, after a month pause, for final proofreading, after two other editors did a lousy job (they "corrected" correct things), and got paid 0.016 euros per word in Serbia where the translators were always underpaid. And I am a fast translator.


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 »

A superb EN>RU job...for $0.009/word

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



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