Do you know any "instant translation job sites"?
Thread poster: Petra_44
Petra_44  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
English to German
+ ...
Sep 20, 2009

Hello everyone,

I'd like to know whether you know of any websites that post translation jobs which you can accept without quoting, once you have registered.

These are usually small jobs of maybe 20 to 1,000 words. And working like that fits in very well with my current life situation. I am a translator, but have begun to study history, so it's difficult for me to accept any large jobs at the moment. But these little jobs are just perfect.

I remember completing one of those 20-word-jobs while my sister was getting her children ready for a walk.

The problem is just that I have found only one website so far that pays ok. So I thought I'd ask whether you know any other websites like that.

I hope it's ok to ask that question.

Best wishes,

Petra


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Didier Caizergues
Local time: 11:26
English to French
+ ...
There's (supposedly)... Sep 20, 2009

... LanguageWire; I was in contact with them last Spring, and they were about to launch an instant translation platform accessible from a Web browser. Clients would submit their text to translate, and a real live translator would take charge, translate and send it back to the client. Billing and invoicing would be conducted directly by LanguageWire, and the translation was charged at a fixed-rate (20 euros, if memory serves).

I sent an email to my contact there this morning. I'll see how it develops and keep you appraised.

Schüss!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Possibilities Sep 20, 2009

Petra_44 wrote:
These are usually small jobs of maybe 20 to 1,000 words. And working like that fits in very well with my current life situation. I am a translator, but have begun to study history, so it's difficult for me to accept any large jobs at the moment. But these little jobs are just perfect.


Maybe you could try to translate books instead. Their rates are lower, as deadlines are longer, quite often of the when you are finished type. You'll be "loaded" with work all the time, no need to warm up with the subject, and you can advance one paragraph or ten pages at a time, at your choice.

Petra_44 wrote:
I remember completing one of those 20-word-jobs while my sister was getting her children ready for a walk.


The typical 20-word jobs I see on Proz demand Trados sine qua non (I can't see the point in doing so) and delivery within two hours. They usually pay USD 2-3 cents/word by check in 60-90 days.

Petra_44 wrote:
The problem is just that I have found only one website so far that pays ok. So I thought I'd ask whether you know any other websites like that.


If you have done more than one or two jobs for them already, try to become their #1 preferred translator in your pair. My guess is that you won't find another one like this.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:26
French to German
+ ...
More "instant translation" sites... Sep 20, 2009

Hi Petra and José,
this trend is not that new AFAIK, I can name two sites (one in France and one in Belgium) offering such swift translations but have no information about the payment practices of the people behind them so far. I don't find it worthwhile to work in a hurry for say 0.07 euro/SW (translation) or 0.023 euro/SW (proofreading). Furthermore, I find it hard to accept that translators with translation-related diplomas are paid more than translators with other diplomas but more experience. In my case, this would mean translating those texts that are thought for information only which, according to one of these websites, should result in a "pidgin" ("petit nègre"(*)) translation. Under these conditions, I prefer composing some musical loops for my own enjoyment.

(*) Important footnote: these are the very own words of the site owners...

[Edited at 2009-09-20 09:52 GMT]


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Petra_44  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My reply Sep 20, 2009

José, I would love to translate books. And I am convinced I could do better than many others - in fact, I've virtually stopped buying books other than in their original (English) version.

The problem is just how to get a book to translate. I've applied to a number of publishing houses already, and the answer usually was "we have enough translators already". They don't seem to care that they could get a much better translation of their book.

And whenever I ask anyone else how to become a literary translator, the answer usually is "well that's hard", followed by nothing else. I'm at a loss what to do any more.

Laurent, can you please name your pidgin translation EUR 0.07 Cent sites? I'd really appreciate it. This is precisely what I am looking for, and the rates are fine with me. I've kept track of my words per hour and the resulting hourly rate, and with that price, without any marketing and quoting, I'm ok.

The 20-word jobs on ProZ.com sound like fun
No, seriously: I like 20-word jobs, if I can get them without quoting and without having to worry about payment. You just take a look at the sentence, and if a translation starts to form, you click "accept", and if it doesn't because you can't relate to the subject at all or because it's dreadfully written, you have a cup of tea instead and do nothing.

I don't feel that I work in a hurry when doing instant translations. If I don't have the time, or if the job isn't right for me, I don't take it.

Best wishes,

Petra


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Translating books Sep 20, 2009

Petra_44 wrote:
José, I would love to translate books. And I am convinced I could do better than many others - in fact, I've virtually stopped buying books other than in their original (English) version.

The problem is just how to get a book to translate. I've applied to a number of publishing houses already, and the answer usually was "we have enough translators already". They don't seem to care that they could get a much better translation of their book.

And whenever I ask anyone else how to become a literary translator, the answer usually is "well that's hard", followed by nothing else. I'm at a loss what to do any more.


Yes, it is hard to get "in" and, from the book translators I know, it's impossible to get "out", once you got started.

Most of the (not so many) books I translated were in some way connected to the training videos I translated (another area hard to get in/out).

Book publishers, of course, will look for the cheapest translator they can find that will do an acceptable job. Unless it's self- or vanity-publishing funded by the author, or digital POD, they have a huge investment before the book hits the market, and there is only so much they can cut in paper, printing, and binding costs. So, if they could get a decent translation for free, it would be quite justifiable.

Amazingly enough, book publishers are the only translation clients who have solid reasons for low rates, short delivery and long payment terms, but they don't do it. Many of them pay the translator partly up-front, often midway, and usually COD.

Maybe the underlying reason is some kind of "insurance". Again, unless it's POD, a bad translation may send so many thousand finished copies straight to paper recycling.

If you can't make it with established conventional book publishers, try other ways. Is any successful writer a friend of yours? Maybe they'd like to work out a deal to have their book published in another language. Try the vanity press web sites. Imagine this: a foreign self-made millionaire got his memories vanity-published. Maybe s/he'll want them published in their original language too, so their family members who stayed in the home country may read them too. (Just an idea, can't give you additional details because of NDAs - it's not in my language pair anyway, I only did the DTP.)

Once you are "in", if your work is good and your rates acceptable, people will actually want you to do it. The first step is gaining exposure.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:26
French to German
+ ...
Did this... Sep 20, 2009

Petra_44 wrote:

Laurent, can you please name your pidgin translation EUR 0.07 Cent sites? ....
Best wishes,

Petra


and am still waiting for the ProZ.com server to send me a copy of the messages I sent you. Please let me know if you received anything. Else you can contact me via the e-mail address displayed on www.krauland.tel


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:26
Flemish to English
+ ...
Superfluous luxury Sep 20, 2009

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Furthermore, I find it hard to accept that translators with translation-related diplomas are paid more than translators with other diplomas but more experience. In my case, this would mean translating those texts that are thought for information only which, according to one of these websites, should result in a "pidgin" ("petit nègre"(*)) translation. Under these conditions, I prefer composing some musical loops for my own enjoyment.

(*) Important footnote: these are the very own words of the site owners...

[Edited at 2009-09-20 09:52 GMT]


Why, of course, according to the majority of translators on the normal translator websites (P.A,Tc, et.al) it goes without saying that to be a translator, translation-related diplomas, type ETI, ESIT and ISIT are a "luxury item". Learning by doing is better.


[Edited at 2009-09-20 12:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-09-20 12:39 GMT]


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CapitalTyping
Local time: 12:26
English to French
+ ...
Translation Sites Sep 29, 2009

I haven't run into any of the sites posted above, but what I have done quite a bit with is e-lance. I know you have to quote for jobs on it, but there are quite a few jobs that post to the site that have the option for extended periods of work. Maybe that is something you could look into also?

Hope that helps!

Suz


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