New website offering online real-time human translation services - what do you think?
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:13
English to French
+ ...
Aug 17, 2009

I got an e-mail today from one of the many translation portals. In it, someone advertises a new translation portal. I thought I would share this with you--I don't know what to think, so your opinions are most welcome.

This is how it supposedly works (I changed the company's name to 'xyz' in order to abide by the rules):

Dear translator,

xyz.com is a new-born website offering online in real time human translation services. We are currently in the process of creating our pool of qualified translators to be added into our database.

How does it work?
* Translators register at xyz.com. Applicants are reviewed by the administrator. Verified translators may start taking jobs.
* Client post their translation requests online at xyz.com. All translators who meet the requirements automatically receive a notification email of a new open project.
* The first translator to accept a translation is the one to do it. After the project is completed and the client approves the translation, the translator's account is credited with the relevant amount of word.
* Clients rate the translator's work. Highest rated translators are the first to receive notification emails of new open projects.
* Translators choose when to withdraw their word credits by converting word credits to cash. Payments are only made by PayPal.

Who can apply?
* All qualified translators.
* All translators interested in working in an online environment.
* All translators that are keen on implementing new technologies of project management in the translation industry.

What are the benefits?
* Work from home.
* Flexible working hours--you decide when to work.
* User-friendly environment.
* No project managers and no negotiations.
* Best payment terms--no 30 days from the date of invoicing.

How to apply for this job?
Please do not submit application by email. If you are interested, please go to xyz.com and fill in our Freelance application form.

xyz.com Team


So, I have a few issues with this.

First off, applications are reviewed by the administrator, and this person supposedly decides whether you are good enough for them or not. Who this administrator is and whether they are even qualified to do their own job is a mystery.

Then, the translator gets paid AFTER the client has approved the job. Pardon me? So, if the client doesn't approve the job, you don't get paid?

Translators don't quote on jobs. It seems the price of the job is predetermined by some unknown entity. You don't earn money, you earn what they call word credits. This is a tough one. How can I do my bookeping in accordance with the local laws if I can't even invoice anyone to begin with? Also, accounting usually works with amounts of money, not with word credits. Also, if you earn word credits, I take it all jobs have the same per word rate, right? So, we can assume that translating a few chat strings should come at the same per word rate as translating national defence protocols. Right?

Payments are only made by PayPal. Frankly, I don't take kindly to people who want to force me to pay a percentage of my earnings precisely in order to get paid.

All qualified translators can apply. And what is a qualified translator? Who knows. They ain't telling... Translators interested in working in an online environment should apply. And what is that online environment? Pray tell! I suspect there is some kind of online CAT tool involved. You bet I am going to require extremely specific details before even touching that application form.

And then, the benefits (warning: lots of sarcasm here). Work from home--gee whiz, that's new! Flexible working hours--oh my! Can't wait to put my hands on that! Who on Earth has ever heard of a translator having the privilege to work flexible hours?!? Not me, good sir, you can bet! User friendly environment--the umpteenth user friendly environment for me. How much will I be paid to learn to use it? Mystery. No project managers and no negotiations. Sweet! Nobody to communicate with is the most awesomest news ever--no need to worry about ambiguities anymore! And no negotations--yay! That is really the best news. Negotiations are so out of fashion--who cares for that? Best payment terms. So far, we know that we don't negotiate, payments are only made by PayPal and are conditional to the client's approval of the job. Sounds like the most incrediblest payment term scheme!

But wait, there's more!

I visited the site in question, just for the heck of it. Here is what it says on the application welcome screen:
You are not allowed to post any contact information on xyz.com according to our Terms & Conditions except for the fields explicitly indicated.

Priority is given to applicants who have:
- An active ProZ.com account featuring at least 1 "Willingness to Work Again"
- At least 2 years of experience as professional translator (ProZ.com membership will be taken as reference, unless otherwise documented)
- Capacity to negotiate and make written agreements in English

This is really the fun part, eh? I will pass on commenting the last quoted bit. I am all ears!icon_biggrin.gif

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-08-17 11:35 GMT]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-08-17 11:35 GMT]


 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:13
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Not a portal, it's an agency Aug 17, 2009

"The first translator to accept a translation is the one to do it. After the project is completed and the client approves the translation, the translator's account is credited with the relevant amount of word."

This is NOT a "portal". It's an Agency.


An active ProZ.com account featuring at least 1 "Willingness to Work Again"

Are they affiliated with proz? Is this an automatic online agency established by proz?




[Edited at 2009-08-17 11:14 GMT]


 

Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 22:13
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fixed rate Aug 17, 2009

There are many new similar sites coming up these days.

You forgot to mention in this case that according to the Terms of Agreement, the client is charged a fixed rate, Euros 0.06 per source words. And the provider (the translator) is also paid a fixed rate of E 0.04 per word. Good bussines for site owner.

Do not lose your time. In this case, I read, I deleted. And back to work.


 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:13
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Who changed the title? Aug 17, 2009

...the title of this thread was different this morning. Now it's much more "flattering" for this "translation portal". Now it says "real-time human translation services", which is an advertising statement.

This portal is nothing more than an online agency.

Question to the moderator and the staff: Is this site sponsored by or affiliated with Proz in any way?

Why was the title of the thread changed to an advertising statement? ("real-time human translation services" is an advertising message).


 

Gabriela Mejías  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's not in "Recent topics" either... Aug 18, 2009

I can't find it in the section "Recent topics in translation forums" of the homepage either...

It IS recent, since Viktoria started it yesterday.

[Edited at 2009-08-18 02:20 GMT]


 

Jared Tabor
Local time: 22:13
SITE STAFF
Side note on forum thread titles and homepage status Aug 18, 2009

Hello all,

Sorry for continuing with the off-topic, but since it has been asked here I'll answer here. There are two FAQs which explain both forum thread title editing and homepage featuring of threads, http://www.proz.com/faq/3079#3079 and http://www.proz.com/faq/3094#3094 respectively.

Jared


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:13
German to English
+ ...
Exactly Aug 18, 2009

Walter Landesman wrote:

Do not lose your time. In this case, I read, I deleted. And back to work.



 

Travelin Ann  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
French to English
+ ...
I do participate with one company Aug 25, 2009

I have worked with one company with a similar setup, but not this one.

The pay is not great, but it has given me a little work, and just gave me a great project.

The one I work with does not use a CAT tool or machine translation.


 


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