Parlam
Thread poster: Robert Rietvelt

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Jul 4, 2017

I received a mail from an organistaion called Parlam: 'The new marketplace for translators is NOW LIVE!'

Does anybody knows them?


 

fbbest  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:28
English to Italian
+ ...
LinkedIn Jul 5, 2017

Hi,

I have never heard about this agency.

See linkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/company/parlamsoftware

Kind Regards,

FB


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The dice are certainly loaded Jul 5, 2017

From their FAQ on the client side:
When the translator delivers the translated files, you can request as many reviews as you like. The translator will receive your instructions and make the requested changes. When you are satisfied, you can accept the translation. The contract is then considered closed and the translator receives payment.

So whatever you quoted that would give you a reasonable payment per hour of your time gets whittled down and down on the client's say-so.

The platform takes 10% of the payment - that's 10% of the whole payment, not after a certain part gets "discounted", which is also possible after discussions between the client and the platform. It doesn't say anything about the translator having any say in awarding a discount or not.

The client leaves 1-5 stars and a comment as feedback on the translator. There's absolutely nothing said about us being able to leave feedback about clients. We'll probably get paid - if everyone agrees that a good job was done - but there's more to a business relationship than that.

On the plus side, they don't talk about how we freelancers can "make money from home". Does that infuriate everyone, or am I just being a grumpy old freelance translator?


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Sheila Jul 5, 2017

Hi Sheila,

"' ....or am I just being a grumpy old freelance translator?'

Maybe you are (:-), but I also think you hit the nail on the head, Parlam has a curious smell to it.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:28
Member
English to French
A new trend? Jul 5, 2017

This new (next-gen) type of agency seems to become more and more common.
It feels like an empty office with a machine in the middle that took over conventional manned operations. A machine that flashes LEDs and talks to itself. With corpses all around.

Even with agencies that have some kind of human interaction with translators at the beginning, we know that some of them end up as a mere "portal" from the translators' perspective, with automated e-mail offers, POs, invoicing and admin. Human interaction may be limited to when there's a problem.
But I believe those agencies have teams of human sales people who actually do the leg work to secure customers.

With the e-agencies, I can't help wondering if there is any face-to-face interaction between sales people and customers or if it's just contextualised machine-made social media marketing made up by big computers that brings in customers. Maybe the human touch is only joint-venture investors. And little hands for programming.

Anyway, all of this sounds very yuk to me and I'm not ready to do business with a machine on a daily basis just yet.
Then again, I'm not a Millennial, but a grumpy old freelance translator.

Philippe


 

Maria Da Glória
Brazil
Local time: 18:28
French to Portuguese
+ ...
feedback, Jul 5, 2017

Yes, I've heard of Parlam, I've sent CV but never gave a feedback,

 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Probably, but hopefully not Jul 5, 2017

Philippe Etienne wrote:

This new (next-gen) type of agency seems to become more and more common.
It feels like an empty office with a machine in the middle that took over conventional manned operations. A machine that flashes LEDs and talks to itself. With corpses all around.

Even with agencies that have some kind of human interaction with translators at the beginning, we know that some of them end up as a mere "portal" from the translators' perspective, with automated e-mail offers, POs, invoicing and admin. Human interaction may be limited to when there's a problem.
But I believe those agencies have teams of human sales people who actually do the leg work to secure customers.

With the e-agencies, I can't help wondering if there is any face-to-face interaction between sales people and customers or if it's just contextualised machine-made social media marketing made up by big computers that brings in customers. Maybe the human touch is only joint-venture investors. And little hands for programming.

Anyway, all of this sounds very yuk to me and I'm not ready to do business with a machine on a daily basis just yet.
Then again, I'm not a Millennial, but a grumpy old freelance translator.

Philippe


I totally agree. With a lot of agencies I have got the feeling that I am communicating with a machine, and if I do have a question, it sometimes is hard work to find somebody of flesh and blood.

On the other hand, he/she who is without sin, throws the first stone. Half of the world population is only communicating with his/her smartphone.


 
solving doubts Aug 3, 2017

Hi all,

My name is Xavier Casals and I’m the CEO at Parlam. I’d like to thank you for this thread and also take the opportunity to answer your comments and explain what we do at Parlam.

First of all, we are not an agency but a marketplace and we put in direct contact freelance translators, like you, with clients around the world.

Opposite to what an agency does - hide your talent behind the agency name - we help you to gain visibility and reputation. We are not new in the translation sector considering that since 2010 we develop TMS software for big companies.

Two years ago, we detected two problems that were holding your business back and that’s why we decided to create this marketplace:

• Freelance translators like you often don’t have an easy way to find clients from all over the world and there is also always a risk of not being paid.
• Clients, on the other hand, they are afraid to work with strangers and also remotely, even if they know that the best translators are the ones who translate into the language spoken in their home country.


At Parlam we bring security to both parties. We offer a platform that translators can use to find new clients that otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Also, clients and translators will be in direct contact and Parlam will intervene if one of the parties asks so. Finally, at Parlam you’ll get the opportunity to grow your reputation thanks to your client’s feedback.

Our goal is to keep improving our platform following yours and your client’s suggestions.
In answer to this thread’s doubts about Parlam, I can say that we are already working on getting the translator the opportunity to write a feedback to the client. Also, our fee will be drastically reduced if a translator will be continuously working with a client.

Finally, we are definitely not a machine and there are some lovely people working behind the scene to make sure that every connection goes smoothly. We understand your concern about a client asking for a not justified review and we can assure that we’ll not allow such behaviors and we’ll treat every case with attention it needs.

I’d personally like to invite you to join Parlam (www.parlam.com). At the end, join in it’s free and you don’t have anything to lose if you open this new channel to find more clients.  

Thank you very much.

My best regards,

Xavier


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Please consider not squashing that post Aug 3, 2017

Please, moderators or staff, consider reinstating that post. Surely a party whose business is being questioned should have the right to defend itself. That's way different from advertising (well, apart from one line of the post).

 
Thank you Sheila Aug 7, 2017

Thank you Sheila, for the best post of the whole ProZ forum.


Sheila Wilson wrote:

Please, moderators or staff, consider reinstating that post. Surely a party whose business is being questioned should have the right to defend itself. That's way different from advertising (well, apart from one line of the post).


 

Viviane Marx  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Sheila! Aug 7, 2017

You took the words out of my mouth!
Thanks


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Anybody working with Parlam yet? Nov 16, 2017

I know who they are by now, but I still don't know what to think about them. See this sentence to the client:

'Accept the Translation: Revise the translation and, if you are not happy, request as many reviews as you like. You can send instructions to the translator and ask certain changes. Once you are satisfied with the final version, accept the translation to allow the translator to receive the payment.'

I smell a possibility of abuse! Is it just my nose?


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
French to English
Never heard of Parlam Nov 17, 2017

I had not heard of Parlam until I saw this post (16 November 2017). At least the CEO has actually taken a stand and explained what his business does. To us thereafter to see if we think it works in a way that we are comfortable with.

I do not usually feel that comfortable with this sort of arrangement as the payment terms seem unusual. One of the most basic elements of any contract for the provision of services is that the following are established before anyone starts the work:
- the provider undertakes to provide a service, and in return
- the client undertakes to pay the agreed amount.

I might try it out for fun, but I would not want to risk taking on a big job in case the client reviews the finished piece a million times to pay a pittance. Sounds like it is destined to shoot itself in the foot. Also, some clients know whether they are getting good quality work in return, but a number do not. Then there are those who will "correct" to use terms, expressions and phrases that no native speaker of the target text would ever use.

[Edited at 2017-11-17 02:48 GMT]


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
French to English
Parlam - signing up. Nov 17, 2017

First step, first question. In the signing up process, for translators, I see this:

"Create your free translator account.

If you need to hire a translator, create your account here."

Hang on a minute. If I'm signing up as a translator, why would I need to hire a translator? Is there a mistake here?

In order to be paid, they need my IBAN number. I honestly don't like leaving my IBAN on the web when I know nothing about the company. Forget it.

[Edited at 2017-11-17 03:10 GMT]


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good point Nov 21, 2017

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I might try it out for fun, but I would not want to risk taking on a big job in case the client reviews the finished piece a million times to pay a pittance. Sounds like it is destined to shoot itself in the foot. Also, some clients know whether they are getting good quality work in return, but a number do not. Then there are those who will "correct" to use terms, expressions and phrases that no native speaker of the target text would ever use.

[Edited at 2017-11-17 02:48 GMT]


Exactly the possibility of abuse I am smelling.


 


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