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How much for part of 24,000 words?
Thread poster: John Rawlins

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 11, 2010

I received a Proz.com Connect! job offer today that simply said:

"We need to translate about 24,000 words from ES into EN for this monday. Would you be available to undertake a certain amount of this job? How many words? Which is your rate per word?"

Is it possible to respond intelligently to such a request?


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 12:16
German to Serbian
+ ...
Of course NOT Feb 11, 2010

That's nothing.

The other day I got following request, paraphrasing:

Would you be able to interpret for us in the period from X to Y. What is your price for this job?

In the signature, there was nothing but the sender's first name ( no last name, address or location, type of business, NADA).

icon_lol.gif


 

NMR (X)
France
Local time: 12:16
French to Dutch
+ ...
Worse: Feb 11, 2010

Those translation jobs for which there is no text. "How much are you going to charge?" "Can I have the text please?" "It should be around xxxx words, but we cannot show it to you because the text hasn't yet been written".icon_smile.gif)

 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 12:16
German to Serbian
+ ...
Laughs Feb 11, 2010

NMR wrote:

Those translation jobs for which there is no text. "How much are you going to charge?" "Can I have the text please?" "It should be around xxxx words, but we cannot show it to you because the text hasn't yet been written".icon_smile.gif)


Ha ha, this cracked me up.

What do you charge for the envisioned text I have in mind and imagination but not in reality?


 

Franco Cappelletti (X)
Local time: 12:16
English to German
+ ...
That's nothing! Feb 11, 2010

I've actually experienced worse things (and I am not making this one up now):

Client: Hi, we need a contract translated - what is your price?

Me: Well, can you send me the file, so I can give you a quote?

Client: No, our client forbids this owing to confidentiality reasons.

Me: Fine, so how many words or characters is the translation, and what subject matter?

Client: Sorry, but we cannot tell you owing to confidentiality reasons, so - what is your price?

Me: Well, by when would you need the translation?

Client: We don't know, we haven't received the file yet. So - what is your price? And - can you sign an NDA first?

This HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED to me more than once. For crying out loud...




[Edited at 2010-02-11 21:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-02-11 21:56 GMT]


 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ignore Feb 11, 2010

I usually ignore those jobs.

When you get one like that go straight to the Blue Board to check them out.


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:16
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Idle speculation Feb 11, 2010

I wonder if there will ever be one wanting the translation back before the text is written.

 

RichardDeegan
Local time: 05:16
Spanish to English
How 'bout Feb 12, 2010

For part of 24,000 words, my rate is 0.xx for the front part of words, and 0.yy for the back part of words.
...and for that interpretation job you asked me about without indicating the location, time, date, facilities, topic, breaks or number of hours needed, my rate is 0.zz per syllable.
Hopefully this clarifies things for you, and look forward to hearing back from you.


 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:16
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Walmart Feb 12, 2010

A guy goes to Walmart

- I would like to buy an appliance. How much is it?

- What kind of applicance sir? We have refrigerators, televisions, VCRs,...

- I can't tell you that. My client wants to keep it confidential. So, how much is it?

...


 

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A big surprise Feb 12, 2010

Thank you all for your answers.

I believe the most intelligent response is not to answer this sort of request. Nevertheless, I did reply with a short note asking the 'agency' for a sample of the text and an indication of the format.

Surprise..... no reply.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:16
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Why not give an intelligent answer? Feb 12, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:
I received a Proz.com Connect! job offer today that simply said:
We need to translate about 24,000 words from ES into EN for this monday. Would you be available to undertake a certain amount of this job? How many words? Which is your rate per word?


Is it possible that the person who sent it had assumed that his contact details etc would automatically be sent along with the message (by the Connect! system)?

I don't understand why it is so hard to give an intelligent answer to this request. Tell the prospective client what your usual rate for general translation is, and how much text of a general translation you can generally translate in the given time. Unless you're a complete newbie translator, you should be able to give estimates.

Also, it is part of a translator's job to tell prospective clients what kind of information they require of them -- so why not simply tell this person what other information you need?


 

Grayson Morr (X)  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:16
Dutch to English
I agree with Samuel Feb 12, 2010

I think it's a perfectly reasonable request, and you can give the general information Samuel mentioned in a reply, also noting that this is just informative and not a binding quote - you will need to see the text to give them that.

 

Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 12:16
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Agree with Samuel Feb 12, 2010

Otherwise, just ignore the request.

 

Ronald van der Linden (X)
Mexico
Local time: 05:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
I don't really see an issue Feb 12, 2010

When receiving a Proz Connect job, obviously you are within the selection criteria, otherwise you wouldn't receive the notification.

I agree that more information could be added, to have more context. But, I think you can easily provide details regarding price and volume based on experience. Unless, you charge differently according to the subject.

Even with the information provided, as little as it may seem, you could still deduct that you would most likely have to work over the weekend, as the deadline is a Monday. So, if you have weekend charges, you can add them in your response.

It is also unlikely to be a translation that needs to be done by a court translator, again as it is a job for the weekend.

Finally, I do reply to these kinds of adds, because sometimes the agency doesn't even know the content. So, you state your price and volume, a nice price as you'll be working over the weekend, and not too much volume as you don't know what it is really about. You always need to wait and see what the text really is about.

The other day I received a part of 2500 words to translate for a business related document, and I was given a few pages with specific legal paragraphs, so I returned the assignment as I'm not good in translating legal stuff. A waste of time? Maybe, but you gained another contact, that could serve you in the future. And returning a project because you don't feel qualified for the job, earns respect.

Btw, loved the Walmart jokeicon_smile.gif

Enjoy the weekend


 

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A split jury Feb 12, 2010

We have a split jury on this question. Some of you share my opinion that blind bidding is probably a waste of time, but some of you feel this is a reasonable manner for an agency to identify potential providers.

I'd like to thank everyone for their contribution.

Have a good weekend (or a profitable one anyway).


 
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