Life as a freelance translator in China: Combat Cheating
Thread poster: Alan Wang

Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:28
English to Chinese
+ ...
Aug 27, 2008

I left the anonymous Company and became a freelance translator from the end of last year. Working at the average rate of 100 Yuan per thousand Chinese words, in a matter of 6 months I have translated close to a hundred and fifteen thousand Chinese characters, mostly in C-E direction.
The earnings are hardly impressive, besides the fact that during the time I was duped of my hard earned money by three cheaters out of altogether 15 business contacts. That makes one cheater in every five persons. I am not saying it is statistically and demographically true of China, but it should give some idea of what’s going on in the profession. To be precise, the cheaters have their degree of badness. The first cheater disappeared from my contact list almost as soon as I delivered the product, but she can’t help leave a plethora of footprints on the internet, so I traced her trail to her personal site, it was all music and innocent disclosures and friendly girlishness that almost makes a prince want to marry her, that is, before he discovers her pictures she tacked up in the site. (I loved the song on the site: There Were Roses - Cara Dillon). http://314691473.qzone.qq.com/blog/1208223419
The second cheater is more sophisticated on the matter of cheating, he knows how to cover his tracks, and I can’t find anything on the internet of him. He still appears from time to time on my qq list but would not make good of his renewed promises of soon giving me the translation fee, and after the Sichuan earthquake, he actually put on a caption beside his icon which reads: 为支持抗震救灾本公司将把翻译业务20%利润请客户直接汇到红十字会 (translation: To support earthquake relief, our company will ask our clients to send 20% of our earnings to the Red Cross). I don’t know if this masterpiece of advertisement brings a lot of business to him, but it is really touchingly deceptive.
The third one is a conscientious but perhaps less villainous cheater, she asks me to translate a small piece for trial but would not give me her information other than that she worked at an enterprise consultant. Since it’s only two hundred words, I translated, and she liked it that it is so far the best she got, with some protestation of being not entirely satisfied. Never heard of her since. I think she was probably working for some big international company, cozily tacked in her office and let others to do her job from time to time.
To be sure, the money, about 600 Yuan in total, defrauded is a small percentage of what I earned as a freelance translator, compared to the figure of hundreds of thousands by the once well-known, China’s so-called translation factory. The moral is that deception is an ongoing problem which most freelance translators in China have to deal with.


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QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
3个骗子 Aug 28, 2008

2个是女的。Interesting...

dumont wrote:

The first cheater disappeared from my contact list almost as soon as I delivered the product, but she can’t help leave a plethora of footprints on the internet...

The second cheater is more sophisticated on the matter of cheating, he knows how to cover his tracks...

The third one is a conscientious but perhaps less villainous cheater, she asks me to translate a small piece for trial ...


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:28
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
碰到不认识的 Aug 28, 2008

...找你,让对方先付钱,不付就不做。要么就付定金。

[Edited at 2008-08-28 12:15]


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Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:28
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for your comment Sep 1, 2008

I have a question: why both of you guys have a tick?

what kind of approval does it signify?


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:28
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
表示我们是实有其人 Sep 1, 2008

而不仅仅是虚拟网络上的符号:-D

How do I get my Identity Verified?
http://www.proz.com/faq/profile#how_to_idvid

dumont wrote:

I have a question: why both of you guys have a tick?

what kind of approval does it signify?


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Jason Young  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:28
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
碰到骗子许多回 Sep 2, 2008

从他们的信中我100%能断定他们是骗子,因此都婉言谢绝了。但有两次例外,我感觉他们象骗子(除E-MAIL地址外任何其他信息都不主动提供),但又拿不稳,我决定给他们做了。。。。。现在,这两个人分别是我最大的客户之一。就近三个月而言,我30%左右的收入都是来自他们。

所以,有时候很难讲。唯有看你愿不愿意搏一把。我有时这样安慰自己:反正除了脑细胞外,不会有其他方面的成本损失,做吧!


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 03:28
English to Chinese
+ ...
合作诚意表现在正常的商洽程序上 Sep 2, 2008

Jason Young wrote:

从他们的信中我100%能断定他们是骗子,因此都婉言谢绝了。但有两次例外,我感觉他们象骗子(除E-MAIL地址外任何其他信息都不主动提供),但又拿不稳,我决定给他们做了。。。。。现在,这两个人分别是我最大的客户之一。就近三个月而言,我30%左右的收入都是来自他们。

所以,有时候很难讲。唯有看你愿不愿意搏一把。我有时这样安慰自己:反正除了脑细胞外,不会有其他方面的成本损失,做吧!


大多数的翻译从业人员都知道要爱惜自己的羽毛,不会轻易坑人,也不会轻易让别人坑。不过,从我离开学校、研究机构和受雇的公司,自行从商后,发现翻译这个行业比任何其它行业都需要讲关系、看情面。因此,合作诚意的表现更形重要。

初次接触,你不认识对方,对方不认识你,凭什么要人家相信你,或凭什么相信别人?但合作事宜总有个开始的规矩吧。那么,正常的商洽程序就成了判断双方诚意的基准。

别人有权利向你询价,你有权利回应或不回应。你若不回应,不一定往后没有其它的合作可能。你若回应,也不一定接受任务。关于正常的商洽程序,我以往已经说过许多,在此不赘述。但需要强调的是,躲躲藏藏的询价者会比较容易受到怀疑,摆姿态的翻译者会比较不受到询价客户的青睐。那些清清楚楚说出来意,表明身份、提供查证参考材料的人,在商洽过程中比较容易得到信任。那些表现得对别人极度不信任,自己又表现得猥猥琐琐的人,比较不容易受到信任。不过,这不一定不能达成合作,只是比较困难些而已。我见过的人当中有些很不可思议,什么关系都还没建立,就先把别人当成骗子损了一顿,那当然什么合作关系都甭想建立了。

昨夜有一位年轻人在MSN上要求加入联系名单。我看他诚意,便准了。然后与他聊了几分钟,他立即把身份履历和以往翻译过的东西做了交代。我虽然没有完全查证,但说明了我这里的英文稿件不多,能照顾到他的地方不会很多,顶多给他一些拓市的建议,希望他多多拓展其他客户。然后对他以往的翻译做了小小的批评,他自己也说他参加翻译比赛落选,我却看出他的能力,批评他也没有让他产生反感,反倒是他自己提出修正的看法。因此,我觉得孺子可教,今晨便将昨天夜里客户传来的一个项目交给他过目。他要求的价钱是谦虚的价钱,我打算主动加上两美分给他。告诉他,今天下午会和客户敲定,再请他动手做。他一看文本,立即发来以往做过的类似稿件;我的判断没错,他确实能做,即使不是掷地有声的文学著作,已经达到文本使用目的,还需要他三头六臂、十八般武艺都行吗?这两千五客户准下来的话,我不让他做,自己都会觉得不好意思。

每个人都有可能成为骗子,每个骗子也都有可能成为你的衣食父母;如果不是这样,这世间哪来的共犯结构和一切的商务关系?重点是:不要先从门缝里瞧人,否则原本不是骗子的,不坑你也会觉得过意不去,非得向你证实全世界都是骗子不可!


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Alvin Liu  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:28
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
风险与机遇并存 Sep 3, 2008

Jason Young wrote:

从他们的信中我100%能断定他们是骗子,因此都婉言谢绝了。但有两次例外,我感觉他们象骗子(除E-MAIL地址外任何其他信息都不主动提供),但又拿不稳,我决定给他们做了。。。。。现在,这两个人分别是我最大的客户之一。就近三个月而言,我30%左右的收入都是来自他们。

所以,有时候很难讲。唯有看你愿不愿意搏一把。我有时这样安慰自己:反正除了脑细胞外,不会有其他方面的成本损失,做吧!


就看自己能承受多少风险了。


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Shouguang Cao
China
Local time: 03:28
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
全球化 Sep 3, 2008

翻译是最具全球化特色的行业之一吧。译者不分国界,客户不分国界,骗子也全球化,不分国界了。

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