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Off topic: Fun fail: Another plea from a dying penny agency
Thread poster: Emal Ghamsharick

Emal Ghamsharick  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:16
English to German
+ ...
Apr 22, 2015

Another web agency ready to be eaten by Lionbridge?

[ICanLowerPrice newsletter] Your duties as an ICanLowerPrice translator
Dear translators,

We have more than 500 translators collaborating with us to create and deliver top notch translations. However, we have received some concerning feedback from clients regarding deadlines and quality.

This is a serious issue since high quality and meeting deadlines have always been our first priority. When translators fail to achieve this, they lose clients, and this leads to less translation jobs. Consequently, this brings bad publicity to ICanLowerPrice, and we finally end up losing our clients’ trust.

This is why we would like to remind you about your duties as a translator at ICanLowerPrice:


Full newsletter here


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
English Apr 22, 2015

Emal Ghamsharick wrote:

Another web agency ready to be eaten by Lionbridge?

[ICanLowerPrice newsletter] Your duties as an ICanLowerPrice translator
Dear translators,

We have more than 500 translators collaborating with us to create and deliver top notch translations. However, we have received some concerning feedback from clients regarding deadlines and quality.

This is a serious issue since high quality and meeting deadlines have always been our first priority. When translators fail to achieve this, they lose clients, and this leads to less translation jobs. Consequently, this brings bad publicity to ICanLowerPrice, and we finally end up losing our clients’ trust.

This is why we would like to remind you about your duties as a translator at ICanLowerPrice:


Full newsletter here


Those people ought to be ashamed of themselves; they can't even write good English but seem to believe they are entitled to criticise the linguistic abilities of others ! For example: what is a "less translation job"? What is "concerning feedback"?

[Edited at 2015-04-22 06:56 GMT]


 

Grace Shalhoub  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:16
French to English
+ ...
Franglais Apr 22, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Emal Ghamsharick wrote:

Another web agency ready to be eaten by Lionbridge?

[ICanLowerPrice newsletter] Your duties as an ICanLowerPrice translator
Dear translators,

We have more than 500 translators collaborating with us to create and deliver top notch translations. However, we have received some concerning feedback from clients regarding deadlines and quality.

This is a serious issue since high quality and meeting deadlines have always been our first priority. When translators fail to achieve this, they lose clients, and this leads to less translation jobs. Consequently, this brings bad publicity to ICanLowerPrice, and we finally end up losing our clients’ trust.

This is why we would like to remind you about your duties as a translator at ICanLowerPrice:


Full newsletter here


Those people ought to be ashamed of themselves; they can't even write good English but seem to believe they are entitled to criticise the linguistic abilities of others ! For example: what is a "less translation job"? What is "concerning feedback"?

[Edited at 2015-04-22 06:56 GMT]


probably written by a French nativeicon_smile.gif


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The old adage - fast, cheap or good - but maximum two at a time Apr 22, 2015

Never mind their English, though if they paid one of their English specialists to write it properly, it would make a better impression.

As it is, low price is their selling point, and if they are selling translations cheaply and want them fast, then they have to take what they can get.

It is simply a matter of deciding which sector of the market you want to serve, and choosing a strategy. There IS a segment where speed is most important, formatting is basic and you can turn a blind eye to the odd typo. The text is here today and mulched tomorrow, but someone needs a translation on the spot.

Subtitling live discussions for broadcasting is an example - and then even the typos are frowned on! There is practically no margin for error.

In fact that kind of 'interpreting in writing' calls for preparation and is very tiring, so it takes as much time altogether as producing a polished translation. No way is it going to be cheap if the translator is properly paid.

Good translations take time, and sorting out less-than-good translations takes even longer.

Translators worth their salt find better-paying clients who appreciate their work, and move on. I've been there and done it myself!


 

Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:16
Portuguese to English
+ ...
fast+cheap necessitates volume, inevitably hinders quality Apr 22, 2015

Please, do not overload yourself with too many projects if you won’t be capable of submitting good quality translations within the deadline.


Hello! If you pay slave wages, your translators must take on more work to make their rent, utilities bills, feed themselves, etc.


And right after this, they include a bullet point emphasizing the importance of meeting deadlines...

facepalm...

[Edited at 2015-04-22 10:20 GMT]


 

Emal Ghamsharick  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:16
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Better boycott Apr 22, 2015

I'm suspect they're facing bankruptcy. So all my unfortunate colleagues who slave for them, better settle your accounts and get out.

 

Bo Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 21:16
Member (2014)
English to Chinese
+ ...
ICanLowerPrice Apr 22, 2015

Yes, they can lower the price as much as they want. At the same time, they also lowered the drive of their 500 translators to improve quality. Even worse, most serious customers frown at the unprofessional name, and stay away from them. They will end up with losing good customers and translators little by little, piece by piece.

 

Fiona Gonçalves  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:16
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I liked the bits about... Apr 22, 2015

"...provides proofs of machine translation..." and "...you risk yourself to refund the payment you earned..."

icon_smile.gif


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:16
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thank you for posting this. Apr 22, 2015

I'm working on a rush project, but I just wanted to thank you for posting this. Wish there were a like button.

 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:16
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Article from the same blog about another penny company in trouble: Apr 22, 2015

https://noordertranslation.wordpress.com/page/2/

 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:16
Spanish to French
+ ...
With such a company name... Apr 23, 2015

I wouldn't even give them a second of my precious time!

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wrong analysis Apr 23, 2015

In my opinion, the company's analysis of the situation is quite wrong: they should ask themselves why their translators cannot supply the quality they expect. The answer is obvious: they failed to find and retain good professionals. The reasons can be manifold, but from their advertising it looks like they mostly care about the "price" and not quality.

I am yet to see a low-pay-have-thousands-of-translators agency that admits that they compete on price and not quality. At first, most customers of such businesses believe they are getting excellent translations and a true bargain, but sooner or later they realise what they were getting in reality. The end result is the situation described by the OP.

[Edited at 2015-04-23 06:22 GMT]


 

Emal Ghamsharick  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:16
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
More penny pinchers Apr 23, 2015

Japanese crowd translation startup Gengo claims they sold around 3.8m words last quarter. At a word price of USD 0.06 that's between 230.000 and 304.000 of quarterly sales. They pay about half of that to translators (word price around USD 0.03).

So their monthly sales after purchasing expenses are around USD 50,000 (USD 600,000 p.a.). From that they still have to pay staff, etc., so they're probably not enormously profitable.

Now they might have long-term contracts, which guarantee additional income, but I don't see why a TL buyer would do that, considering there are plenty of agencies selling the same product. I haven't seen them announce any life-saving business partnerships.

Google's partner for "crowdsourced" translation is Translated.net (Italy; same shitty price, shittier technology, but hey, they're partners of Google). AFAIK, Gengo mostly sells to fragmented online retailers, who in turn all have to compete against "ebayZon".

Google itself invests little in crows translation; their Translation Toolkit and their machine translation haven't evolved much in recent years, so they prefer to buy instead of make this service.

Now Gengo just got USD 5.4M in round C funding. They do have an "interesting model", i.e. they're smart skimming our wages, but I don't see how they want to get more out of a business.

Maybe once they go public, Gengo can start paying their translators in stocks; they won't be worth more than their avg. word price.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Not that lucrative Apr 23, 2015

Emal Ghamsharick wrote:
So their monthly sales after purchasing expenses are around USD 50,000 (USD 600,000 p.a.). From that they still have to pay staff, etc., so they're probably not enormously profitable.

Shared between several people that's not much at all, especially if they're based in Tokyo (they may not be).

I'm guessing the payday-enabling exit strategy is to be acquired by a larger company looking to get into the translation game, but they need to get some scale to look attractive to a prospective buyer. The latest round of funding is probably earmarked for putting in place the infrastructure to allow such growth.

Dan


 

Maria Kopnitsky  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2011)
Bengali to Chamorro
+ ...
Let's keep the discussion within site rules Apr 23, 2015

Hello everyone,

Just a reminder that outsourcers may not be discussed specifically in the forums, and that discussion of sites offering competing services is prohibited throughout the site.

For more information, please see forum rule 8, http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/8#8 , and general rule 3, http://www.proz.com/siterules/general/3#3

Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Best regards,

Maria


 
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Fun fail: Another plea from a dying penny agency

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