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New job - Great! 4.000.000 words...
Thread poster: Ligia Dias Costa

Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:50
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Nov 24, 2010

Just saw a job for 4.000.000 words posted here. Sent message. I was offered a rate of 0,02 usd per source word.

Changed a few words in skype with the person and tried to tell him/her the damage these jobs do to the market.

Finished with "Don't teach me what to do, prices here in India are like this..."

Back to work!

Ligia


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
I fully respect that but.. Nov 24, 2010

India isn't the entire world and not everyone should customize their price according to them.

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Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:50
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Actually... Nov 24, 2010

The person in question is contacting translators all around the world asking for rates of 0,02 usd!

Prices in India are like this because there are companies who agree to sell at those prices, am I right?


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
Broader issue.. Nov 24, 2010

Ligia Dias Costa wrote:
Prices in India are like this because there are companies who agree to sell at those prices, am I right?


The issue goes beyond that and we could talk about people in such countries getting used to work cheaply ( and live in poverty) for centuries, and someone taking advantage of this.

I once hired a very well-reputed web-hosting company ( won't mention their name which is very well branded and known around the Globe) to host and build my own website. I paid for everything upfront with a credit card, to find out later on the service was not what it promised to be ( not at all) and the entire website building was entrusted to a cheap freelancer in India. I could have hired one directly actually, at a much cheaper price. Extreme disappointment.



[Edited at 2010-11-24 11:40 GMT]


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:50
English to German
+ ...
Just have a look at their website (full of mistakes), Ligia, Nov 24, 2010

and you know what you get for those rates.

What bothers me most about it is the fact that members pay for a forum used by such agencies free of charge.


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Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:50
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Who is stronger? Nov 24, 2010

People like this, or the rest of us?

I keep wondering. You know, I always try to be positive and inform, inform, inform clients of rates, of quality demands, etc.

However, I sometimes wonder, who is wining. Those of us who struggle for better working conditions or those like this one:

0,02 is a slave rate - I said.
he/she replied: I know...

Gosh!

Ligia


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
A poll idea.. ( off-topic) Nov 24, 2010

I had an idea for a poll:

Would you agree to a 4- figure ProZ annual membership if that would enable strictly direct clients on ProZ, and completely discard the agencies? It makes sense, because even a $2000 membership would quickly pay off with only one project for a direct client.



[Edited at 2010-11-24 12:00 GMT]


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Vladimir Gurinenko
Local time: 23:50
Russian to English
+ ...
India is not alone :) Nov 24, 2010

The issue goes beyond that and we could talk about people in such countries getting used to work cheaply ( and live in poverty) for centuries, and someone taking advantage of this.


Here in Russia, it is also common for translation agencies to offer 2-2.5 cents per word; for outstanding-quality texts they would offer 3 cents, and that's about their best. They can even charge a "poor quality" fine, leaving you with just 1 cent out of the 2, and then resell that same text at 12-15 cents and even higher, especially if they add all those phantom "formatting" charges, etc. Not bad - 1000% plus profit!

Still, there are customers that pay good. So, let alone those meanies and keep looking for *your* customers. You'll find them, sooner or later.


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Sushan Harshe
India
Local time: 02:20
English to Hindi
+ ...
Cheeeeep rates and India Nov 24, 2010

Hi,

Recently this subject/topic/issue is very much in discussion. What Ligia is saying is true, the companies here, and there as well; are offering this type of rates to specifically Indian translators. Established setup's of EU and US are doing the same. So mainly translators from that region must understand it clearly that the Agencies in India are not responsible for lowering rates in the field. Ill is not here, check around keenly and you will find it in your neighborhood.

Ligia Dias Costa says,
Prices in India are like this because there are companies who agree to sell...


Look at what Lingua is saying is a kind of proof for, what I have expressed here.

Lingua 5B says,
I once hired a very well-reputed web-hosting company...


Please do not blame Indians for, what they are not responsible.

Regards,

Sushan


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trading places Nov 24, 2010

This is the wonderfully liberating nature of the Internet. Millions of Indians have been able to lift themselves out of poverty by combining the Internet with hard work and ingenuity. At the same time, millions of less ingenious westerners have started sinking into poverty by accepting traditional Indian wage rates.

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:50
French to German
+ ...
Preventing abuse... the legal way! Nov 24, 2010

Lingua 5B wrote:

I once hired a very well-reputed web-hosting company ( won't mention their name which is very well branded and known around the Globe) to host and build my own website. I paid for everything upfront with a credit card, to find out later on the service was not what it promised to be ( not at all) and the entire website building was entrusted to a cheap freelancer in India. I could have hired one directly actually, at a much cheaper price. Extreme disappointment.


The same happens all the time in the provision of translation services, indeed.

It seems that corporate end clients are getting more and more aware of what really happens behind the honourable facade of some agencies.

So why don't they negotiate a contract which would stipulate, for example and among others, that they want to know the translators hired by the agency by their names, that they demand full transparency on rates and margins and/or that any documented use of MT or MT post-editing will be subject to penalties, said penalties being secured by an escrow deposit made by the agency? And so on, there are nearly limitless possibilities.

We often complain that our activity is not regulated in a specific way. But we forget that the laws of most countries can protect both the end client and the translator from unscrupulous intermediaries. What is missing is the courage to adapt them to translation contracts.

Believe me, as soon as some intermediaries will see that they will be held liable for all their shortcomings on a civil, professional, financial and penal level, they won't be so eager anymore to offer rock-bottom rates to big corporations.

[Modifié le 2010-11-24 12:17 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
I don't think this is true :) Nov 24, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:

This is the wonderfully liberating nature of the Internet. Millions of Indians have been able to lift themselves out of poverty by combining the Internet with hard work and ingenuity. At the same time, millions of less ingenious westerners have started sinking into poverty by accepting traditional Indian wage rates.


True or False?

Well, IMO, false goes for both statements, because they actually didn't lift themselves out of poverty at all, considering the rates. As for the second statement, westerners who happen to accept such rates are usually people to whom freelancing is not the only source of income.

[Edited at 2010-11-24 12:20 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
Exactely.. Nov 24, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

The same happens all the time in the provision of translation services, indeed.

It seems that corporate end clients are getting more and more aware of what really happens behind the honourable facade of some agencies.

So why don't they negotiate a contract which would stipulate, for example and among others, that they want to know the translators hired by the agency by their names, that they demand full transparency on rates and margins and/or that any documented use of MT or MT post-editing will be subject to penalties, said penalties being secured by an escrow deposit made by the agency? And so on, there are nearly limitless possibilities.

We often complain that our activity is not regulated in a specific way. But we forget that the laws of most countries can protect both the end client and the translator from unscrupulous agencies.


I must admit I have been caught by the same psychological effect like direct clients probably are, which is I trusted a well-reputed, well-known web hosting company to securely build my website ( I was ready to pay a higher price just to get this). The service however didn't include majority of the things it promised to give, the communication was slow, and the website looked bad. Then I realized this company is using cheap freelancers to do the job. I just read between the lines.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:50
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Playing Devil's Advocate Nov 24, 2010

Ligia Dias Costa wrote:
The person in question is contacting translators all around the world asking for rates of 0,02 usd!

Prices in India are like this because there are companies who agree to sell at those prices, am I right?


Of course, it's just as easy on the Internet to target the world as to target one country nowadays - but I expect they're expecting to give the job to someone in India, simply because other countries' residents demand higher rates. I don't see this necessarily as exploitation, more as a symptom of equal access to jobs on a world scale when the world itself varies so much from country to country. Having said that, many people do make a killing out of it, there are problems with pricing structures in the translating industry and I do wish we could find a solution!

There is much talk of exploitation in India and I'm certain that still exists. However, is it so bad for India that so many companies are relocating there? I imagine the standard of living in India is rising all the time, and rising rather fast. With my European-average rate of 0.10 €, I can buy a loaf of bread (a baguette) with the income from translating 10 words (income, not profit). How much does a loaf of bread cost in India? I doubt that it's the equivalent of a euro. To look at it from a completely different point of view, why should a resident of India be in a position to buy a whole meal when I can only buy a loaf of bread?

Perhaps some locals could comment on the facts?


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
It's not only the food. Nov 24, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Perhaps some locals could comment on the facts?


I'd also like India residents to answer this, as they are most relevant for the answer.

From what I've read about the standard of living in India, some services are totally on a low-end, for example infrastructural, sanitary, etc.. No funds, etc.. It's a broader picture of standard of life, not only the food.

[Edited at 2010-11-24 12:28 GMT]


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