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Why allow low price agencies access to Proz?
Thread poster: Thomas Loob

Thomas Loob  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 21:41
Member
English to Swedish
+ ...
Dec 14, 2010

Hello!
I wonder why Proz allows translation agencies from you know which countries access to the database of experienced and quality translators?
I just got an offer with the demand of experience and high quality at a ridicolous price.
There is a minimum rate per word to sustain oneself in a Western country if one pays taxes, rent and all other costs. Why let people like this come and poison the market?
Happy holidays to all of you!


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 01:41
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My situation Dec 14, 2010

I am contacted by low price agencies everyday. I wonder how long I can insist on declining the jobs: from both firms of Western and Asian countries. I know this contact will gradually destroy our professional practices.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:41
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Low Prices Dec 14, 2010

I think the assumption might be that ProZ translators will not pay attention to such low prices anyhow, and those agencies will eventually be eliminated from the market.

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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 20:41
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
The answer is pretty simple, I'd say Dec 14, 2010

... because many accept or offer those rates.

There wouldn't be any market if offer didn't meet demand somewhere, don't you think?

We live in a free market and as independent entrepreneurs may still ignore offers we consider inadequate.

Still, you'll surprised to find out how many offers coming from the supposedly well-paying Countries could be considered sub-standard by some, so please do not apply simple maths principles to Countries and rates, i.e. Country X = low rate (low for whom then?) and Country Y = high rate.

Plus, there are some price-fixing issues to be thrown into the caldron

Simply ignore those offers, wasting nerves over those offers doesn't really lead anywhere. Sometimes a counteroffer is possible, sometimes there is no room for that, so be it.

Giuliana


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Thomas Loob  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 21:41
Member
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Free market? Dec 14, 2010

If we don't care about them, why let them in?
There are obviously people that accept these prices and I suspect that we don't compete on equal terms. Competition on equal terms is a concept of the same importance as the "free market".


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 20:41
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Because some care... Dec 14, 2010

reasons may vary from being unaware of better rates to fears of not getting any work at all. The same reason for which, especially at the early stage of recession, many accepted rate drops. It's easy to say "refuse it", but if you have no work and bills to pay or client X makes up a substantial part of your turnover, you do think it over a little bit before you say, sorry no way.

"Fair conditions" is quite a wide concept, understood differently by people, and the market is populated with lower or higher offers, some under-cutting. If governments couldn't rule those out in other sectors, how could we do that in our? Do not misunderstand me, I'd love to have my standard rate (which, in turn, might be too low for some people) or a higher one as a fix standard, but it seems that I can't have it, so I move over and ignore what I consider not appealing.

Giuliana


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly Dec 14, 2010

Giuliana Buscaglione wrote:
We live in a free market and as independent entrepreneurs may still ignore offers we consider inadequate.

Exactly. It is as simple as that: just reject any proposal that does not suit your prices or way of working, and let others decide for themselves.


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Thomas Loob  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 21:41
Member
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Google Dec 14, 2010

Maybe a concerted effort from all translators to run all low-cost jobs through google translator, insist on immediate payment might set the score right. (Some actually use google transl to do their jobs I have noticed).
The "free market" is where you divide and conquer, if people stick together it wouldn't be possible to such an extent.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
YOU may not care about them Dec 14, 2010

Thomas Loob wrote:
If we don't care about them, why let them in?
There are obviously people that accept these prices and I suspect that we don't compete on equal terms. Competition on equal terms is a concept of the same importance as the "free market".

Translation is a free market so far, and I love it that way. By proving that I deliver a better service, I can keep an adequate rate level. And I understand that it is your situation too. In fact, I value people who have ridiculous rates and fail to offer the same service I offer, since their failures and shortcomings are my best advertising for the future!

You may not care about low-payers, but other people might be interested.


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:41
Romanian to English
+ ...
Standards Dec 14, 2010

Thomas Loob wrote:

Maybe a concerted effort from all translators to run all low-cost jobs through google translator, insist on immediate payment might set the score right. (Some actually use google transl to do their jobs I have noticed).
The "free market" is where you divide and conquer, if people stick together it wouldn't be possible to such an extent.


Indeed there are differences in standards and costs. There are countries where a EUR 1000 gross income is sufficient (or even way above the average), covering rent, costs, food, clothes, etc. Divide that in 22 working days, that in 5 pages a day (to take a relaxed amount), and see why some people charge ridiculous rates. That being the market, they will not get much higher rates in their country (or in a neighboring country, for that matter). Naturally, if you want a luxurious life in such states, you'll have to charge much more
Standards should be defined also on a national level, not just by comparison to other countries - that being said, I do see offensively low prices (both offered and charged) even compared to the standards of living in that country (mine).


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:41
Italian to English
If you're in a hole, why keep digging? Dec 14, 2010

Thomas Loob wrote:

Maybe a concerted effort from all translators to run all low-cost jobs through google translator, insist on immediate payment might set the score right. (Some actually use google transl to do their jobs I have noticed).
The "free market" is where you divide and conquer, if people stick together it wouldn't be possible to such an extent.


If you find yourself competing on price, you're never going to win: Google will always be cheaper

Change your business model and specialise in what you are seriously good at (ie the things you do better than most other translators). Make a name for yourself and get the customers, direct and top-end agencies, coming to you.

And remember that Proz is much more useful as a platform for gaining visibility than it is as a source of work.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 21:41
Turkish to English
+ ...
Why allow low quality translators access to Proz? Dec 14, 2010

One may just as well ask the above question, especially after seeing some of the ludicrous answers proposed to Kudoz questions. Proz is a place at which any outsourcer at all may post any job they so wish, and any person in the world may create an account and claim to be a translator from and to any language they so desire. That is the nature of the beast.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A change to the better Dec 14, 2010

Tim Drayton wrote:
Why allow low quality translators access to Proz?One may just as well ask the above question, especially after seeing some of the ludicrous answers proposed to Kudoz questions. Proz is a place at which any outsourcer at all may post any job they so wish, and any person in the world may create an account and claim to be a translator from and to any language they so desire. That is the nature of the beast.

I think that it is good that low-cost outsourcers and translators access and use Proz.com. This way, they conscious agencies and conscious translators can teach them the fact that it is possible to sell translations correctly to end customers and enjoy a more healthy business and funds to keep investing and improve.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:41
French to German
+ ...
Call it "a venue", call it "a marketplace",... Dec 14, 2010

call it a day - and move on!

To add my 2 cents to Tim's and Tomás' posts, one thing I can say is that the low level of expertise displayed in many terminology areas here, there and elsewhere should make wonder any serious outsourcer about the translators to whom they assign jobs.

And I won't even mention those who think that CAT tools are derivatives of MT engines.

Likes attract and find likes. There is nothing to add.

[Modifié le 2010-12-14 11:12 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:41
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What's low price? Dec 14, 2010

Some people in this world are just plain stupid. They pay for things they can get for free. If you are at a water springs resort, why would you buy bottled mineral water, if - for very sensible economical reasons - it's the very same that comes from any tap in that town?

Translation agencies hiring at, say, US 6¢/word or less, should know that they'll get about the same quality level from Google Translate, which is free, and provides immediate delivery.

Translators whose deliverables are not worth that much, so they have to fight for price in that price range (under 6¢), should find some other trade to earn a living. Of course, they can study more to reach a higher level, but they must have their way to prevent starvation in the meantime.

Proz cannot judge what is low price. It's a free market for both smart and dumb people, vendors and clients alike. Proz makes an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff with its PRO-tag. However it's still optional to apply for such a tag, though it requires full membership. So not having a PRO-tag doesn't necessarily mean that a translator is 'bad'. At its best, it's possible to say that a translator having a PRO-tag should be good enough.

Then there are the fuzzy-match discounts. A PT-DE colleague put it brilliantly:
Does a partially bald man get a discount on the haircut?

So it's a matter of respect and alertness, not of blocking anyone's access to the marketplace. If business is not worthwhile on their terms and deliverables, natural selection should weed them out, as the name says, naturally.

[Edited at 2010-12-14 12:01 GMT]


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