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Productivity: Translate 10 thousand words per day is possible? (No Cat Tools involved)
Thread poster: Evelyn de Almeida

Evelyn de Almeida
Brazil
Local time: 15:11
Member (Apr 2018)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Aug 1

Hey guys!

I hope this message finds everybody well. An Indian translation agency asked me if I could reconsider my rates (they were too hight to the agency) and they looking for co-operation because they need translators who can handle more than 10 thousand words per day.

This message was a kind of awkward for me, not because they would like cheaper rates, but because they expect a translator deliver more than 10 thousand words per day. Is that possible? It seems they expect translator do that from scratch and no memories provided.

[Editada em 2018-08-01 12:37 GMT]


Yong Joo Yoon
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:11
Member (2008)
Italian to English
NObody Aug 1

No human being can translate 10,000 words per day. MT could do it but the quality would be terrible and it would be need to corrected.

Teresa Borges
Walter Landesman
Evelyn de Almeida
Axelle H.
Harry Blake Paz Bonzano
Jennifer Bovell
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:11
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
How on earth can anyone? Aug 1

How on earth can anyone translate 10K per day, with or without TM? The mind boggles. This is the fault of some translators (just a few but we'v had posts with this) who profess they can do it. Unimaginable! And they cannot do it for just one one day let alone one day after another.

Walter Landesman
Evelyn de Almeida
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:11
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
The age of mass production Aug 1

Has translation become mass production too? sometimes I barely manage 1000 words in one day if the source text is poorly written, translated from another language or needs a lot of research before. How on earth can anyone commit to translating 10k and per day?

Evelyn de Almeida
Liviu-Lee Roth
Tom in London
Valérie Ourset
Alison Jenner
Jennifer Bovell
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:11
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Teamwork? Aug 1

I could translate 10,000 words a day, they'd just have to all be sameicon_biggrin.gif

Are you sure they don't mean that they're looking for a team of translators to handle that volume?

Other than than, I would just forget about that agency, it sounds like they just want translator sweat shops. Translation is not an industry, it's a profession. We have to maintain a sense of dignity and refuse to work for taskmasters.


Josephine Cassar
Dan Lucas
Michele Fauble
Tom in London
Yolanda Broad
Ricardo Suin
Alison Jenner
 

Natasha Ziada  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 04:11
English to Dutch
+ ...
Too many red flags Aug 1

Regardless of the (im)possibility of handling 10,000 words a day, this agency sounds like one I would avoid at all costs. Delete and move on to greener pasturesicon_smile.gif

Teresa Borges
Walter Landesman
Josephine Cassar
Evelyn de Almeida
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Michele Fauble
Tom in London
 

Daniel Frisano
Monaco
Local time: 20:11
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes Aug 1

Yes, it is.

10k (English, French, Spanish...) words in one day with few/no repetitions, no tools other than a text editor + obvious reference resources, translation + two rounds of proofreading, impeccable results. It can be done.

I wouldn't rule out 12k or so, if it fits particularly well. Example: 2pm till reasonable bedtime for translation, 9am-2pm the following day for proofreading. Not every day for sure.

[Edited at 2018-08-01 15:31 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No way! Aug 1

Though I’ve received CVs from people (I wouldn’t call them translators) who claim to translate circa 300,000 words per month. They went straight to the bin, I’m afraid.

Tom in London
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:11
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Disengage Aug 1

Evelyn de Almeida wrote:
This message was a kind of awkward for me, not because they would like cheaper rates, but because they expect a translator deliver more than 10 thousand words per day. Is that possible?

If you deal with agencies from certain countries, you are highly unlikely to be either treated or paid fairly, and you will have almost no recourse if things go wrong. Don't get involved. Walk away.

I think 10,000 words would be beyond the vast majority of people, including myself. I myself have translated significantly more than that number of Japanese characters in a single 24-hour period. That was probably equivalent to about 8,000 English words, but it was very much an act of desperation after suffering a series of minor disasters that blew a very full and tightly planned schedule out of the water. It was also an exhausting experience, and possible only because I knew the project subject matter inside and out. I was using a CAT tool, but there wasn't much leverage to be gained from the TM. And 10,000 words would be 25% more again...

Clearly, tackling very high numbers like this should only ever be attempted in extremis, and absolutely not as a matter of course. I would say that sustaining a few thousand words a day (Two? Three?) for material you know and understand well would be reasonable. Only you can accurately gauge your capacity, and acquiring that awareness takes time.

More to the point, no client has the right to tell you how many words a day you should be translating. You agree rates, a delivery format and a deadline - that's all you have to do. That these jokers are suggesting you must output a figure as absurdly high as 10,000 words is an unambiguous signal that they are exploitative, unrealistic and care nothing for quality. It is entirely possible that you would be expected to edit the output of machine translation into a semblance of a decent translation.

So take heart, take care, and don't deal with clients that make outrageous demands. It is not a sign that they have high standards. It's a sign that they are toxic partners.

Regards,
Dan


Evelyn de Almeida
Walter Landesman
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Tradupro17
Teresa Borges
Michele Fauble
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:11
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Well, well Aug 1

Teresa Borges wrote:

Though I’ve received CVs from people (I wouldn’t call them translators) who claim to translate circa 300,000 words per month. They went straight to the bin, I’m afraid.

True and I am not surprised when I see a job for translation of a children's book with rates of €0.017-€0.034 per word and there are already 10 quotes submitted for this! People should just ignore such posts or emails whether they are about low rates, impossible deadlines, 60 days+ from EOM if you please, etc. Enough said, back to work


Evelyn de Almeida
Walter Landesman
Natalia Pedrosa
Vladimir Filipenko
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

William Bowley
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
+ ...
possible but unfeasible Aug 1

Anything like this is possible, but obviously not feasible when working at any sort of remotely respectable level of quality and thoroughness.

The internet is full of clients wanting 'perfect', 'expert' and 'amazing' quality translations with unbelievable, or even insane requirements, such as translating 10-15k overnight, or paying $0.01 per word, and so on.

These people quite simply appear to want something for (next-to-)nothing, or have never seen the phrase "if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys"!


Natalia Pedrosa
neilmac
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Evelyn de Almeida
Brazil
Local time: 15:11
Member (Apr 2018)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Believe me, they meant it! Aug 1

Kay Denney wrote:


I could translate 10,000 words a day, they'd just have to all be sameicon_biggrin.gif

Are you sure they don't mean that they're looking for a team of translators to handle that volume?

Other than than, I would just forget about that agency, it sounds like they just want translator sweat shops. Translation is not an industry, it's a profession. We have to maintain a sense of dignity and refuse to work for taskmasters.



The e-mail says "We are looking to create a team for each language-pair who can handle a total of more than 10000 words per day, therefore we are expecting your co-operation."

And you are right, I will forget about that agency.

Thanks a lot!


 

Evelyn de Almeida
Brazil
Local time: 15:11
Member (Apr 2018)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
wise words Aug 1

Dan [/quote]
More to the point, no client has the right to tell you how many words a day you should be translating. You agree rates, a delivery format and a deadline - that's all you have to do. That these jokers are suggesting you must output a figure as absurdly high as 10,000 words is an unambiguous signal that they are exploitative, unrealistic and care nothing for quality. It is entirely possible that you would be expected to edit the output of machine translation into a semblance of a decent translation.

So take heart, take care, and don't deal with clients that make outrageous demands. It is not a sign that they have high standards. It's a sign that they are toxic partners.

Regards,
Dan [/quote]

I've never thought from this point of view. Wow, this is so true! Thanks a lot!

[Editada em 2018-08-01 14:20 GMT]

[Editada em 2018-08-01 14:22 GMT]


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:11
Member
English to Italian
There's no I in TEAM Aug 1

Evelyn de Almeida wrote:

The e-mail says "We are looking to create a team for each language-pair who can handle a total of more than 10000 words per day, therefore we are expecting your co-operation."


So, they are looking to set up A TEAM that can handle A TOTAL OF 10k+ words per day, not individual translators who can handle 10k+ each...

Tell them how many words you can handle per day and see where that goes... although something tells me they wouldn't be offering anything higher than 4/5 USD cents per word...


Tina Vonhof
Josephine Cassar
Teresa Borges
Tom in London
Hedwig Lugaro
Amel Abdullah
neilmac
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 12:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Marco is right Aug 1

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Evelyn de Almeida wrote:

The e-mail says "We are looking to create a team for each language-pair who can handle a total of more than 10000 words per day, therefore we are expecting your co-operation."


So, they are looking to set up A TEAM that can handle A TOTAL OF 10k+ words per day, not individual translators who can handle 10k+ each...

Tell them how many words you can handle per day and see where that goes... although something tells me they wouldn't be offering anything higher than 4/5 USD cents per word...


Indeed, that's what it says. Nevertheless I would not recommend working for this company for the reasons Dan has mentioned. Being a freelance translator is not just about accepting every job that comes along; that way you could get burnt out very quickly. It's about building up a clientèle that has the same quality standards as you do, that pays you what you're worth, and that is rewarding to work with.


[Edited at 2018-08-01 15:11 GMT]


Josephine Cassar
Evelyn de Almeida
Teresa Borges
Natalia Pedrosa
Maria Eriksson
 
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