Job posting - a near scam
Thread poster: traductorchile

traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 9, 2011

The following job has been posted at proz.com:http://www.proz.com/?sp=jobs&sp_mode=browse
by a member that proclaims she is a translator and has a proz.com professional profile.

A requirement for the job is a "short test".
First email sent by poster includes the "short test": 2 pages in jpg format, have to be processed by OCR. 1st page is easily read by the OCR, the 2nd page is gibberish. Total word count around 600 wds.
But, oh! surprise, in the mail she states the rates she will pay, at least it was before I started the test:
"The whole book has this structure, and each file is a page. There are different job possibilities depending on the amount you could translate. There are sections ranging from € 50 (50 pp. approx.) to € 170 (170 pp. approx.), and of course you could do more than one if you have the time."

In doubt if that meant € 50 to € 170 per page (about € 0,125 - 0,425 per word) or € 1 per page, I sent my doubt. What I got back was: "In the book there are sections from 50 pages (which are paid € 50) upto 170 pages (which are paid € 170). You could do several sections in order to make your work more profitable."

I am not native american or native british, but I believe I can express myself more clearly than that, unless, of course, the vagueness was intentional.

Confronted with this vague answer, the cheekiness of sending the text in images for me to process in OCR for a test that is quite above the usual that I accept, and still more, the perspective of receiving a fee of
€ 0.0025 per word that wasn't previously published in the job posting (by which I would have stayed clear of), I can't but consider this a scam. Coming from someone that says she is a translator, member of proz.com it gives me a double headache. What a waste!








[Edited at 2011-02-09 14:28 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Unfortunately Feb 9, 2011

traductorchile wrote:
...and still more, the perspective of receiving a fee of € 0.0025 per word that wasn't previously published in the job posting (by which I would have stayed clear of)...


Unfortunately this is the result of the activist actions of a bunch of over-sensitive ProZ.com members who couldn't deal emotionally with the sight of low rates, so they convinced ProZ.com to disallow job posters to include pricing information in jobs posts. This means that you and I can no longer tell whether a job pays €0.0025 or €0.25 per word without first investing a lot of time to engage and correspond with the job poster.

I don't think this is a scam, though. Scammers usually deliberately mislead -- this person you're dealing with is merely extremely vague.


[Edited at 2011-02-09 12:14 GMT]


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
posters can post their budget Feb 9, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

Unfortunately this is the result of the activist actions of a bunch of over-sensitive ProZ.com members who couldn't deal emotionally with the sight of low rates, so they convinced ProZ.com to disallow job posters to include pricing information in jobs posts. This means that you and I can no longer tell whether a job pays €0.0025 or €0.25 per word without first investing a lot of time to engage and correspond with the job poster.



Hi Samuel,

This is not quite right.

Posters certainly CAN post their offered rates. There is an option for that. I am not sure, though, if everybody can see them or it is an only-members feature. Maybe some staff/mod can clarify this issue.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
suspicious post Feb 9, 2011

Hi traductorchile,

I saw that ad yesterday and it is still posted on the home page.

It mentions "A short test translation is required. All work should be done in Microsoft Word. Fees will depend on the amount of work consigned." Something there turned my red light on.

Now you confirm the files ARE NOT Word files as she stated. And the statement that fees depended "on amount of work" is usually used by people who pay VERY cheap low peanuts sweatshop rates.

I also noticed the poster had a gmail email address (mmm....). She is not in the Blue Board. No feedbacks were included in her profile. So even though she is a proz "user", not a proz member, I smelled something fishy and did not reply to the post.

I am glad to confirm I didn`t waste my time. I am sorry you did.



[Edited at 2011-02-09 12:03 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Source format does not have to equal target format Feb 9, 2011

Walter Landesman wrote:
It mentions "All work should be done in Microsoft Word." ... Now you confirm the files ARE NOT Word files as she stated.


If I understand correctly, the outsourcer specified that the target files should be MS Word files. She does not seem to imply that the source format is also MS Word. Remember, the fact that the client wants MS Word for the target text does not mean that the source format will be MS Word.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
word files Feb 9, 2011

Ok, Samuel, you are right.

I just assumed it was .doc file back and forth. But that is not said in the post.

It seems - even though it does not say it either - that only the target files are .doc files.

[Edited at 2011-02-09 17:15 GMT]


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Word or Image Feb 9, 2011

The problem isn't so much if the source was Word or Jpg or XLS or timbuctú, the problem is she didn't state it outfront that one would have to do OCR work that can be more time consuming than translating (and in one case I discovered it was so I didn't follow) and not only wouldn`t she pay it but in appreciation for one's help she would pay a meagre 0,nothing.

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:19
French to German
+ ...
OCR as an additional request Feb 9, 2011

traductorchile wrote:

The problem isn't so much if the source was Word or Jpg or XLS or timbuctú, the problem is she didn't state it outfront that one would have to do OCR work that can be more time consuming than translating (and in one case I discovered it was so I didn't follow) and not only wouldn`t she pay it but in appreciation for one's help she would pay a meagre 0,nothing.


Yes, the general outlook at the job worsens a great deal - if possible, of course - when it is subject to preliminary OCR processing.

As per being allowed to state rates or not in job postings, my position is clear: this policy was implemented by ProZ.com to allow translators making quotes with their own prices rather than merely accepting the outsourcer's conditions.

And surprisingly enough, it works:

1° - either the outsourcer accepts my quote as is and gets back to me;

2° - my quote is rejected and hence the outsourcer doesn't (need to) contact me.

Simple as that.


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not only wouldn`t she pay Feb 9, 2011

BTW, just for the record, when I said "not only wouldn`t she pay" I meant she didn´t consider it, expressly, in her payment scheme, not that I told her she had to pay me extra for that.
Frankly, I'm not interested in haggling with someone that offers such low fees.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
OCR is your decision, and your own cost Feb 9, 2011

traductorchile wrote:
The problem is ... she didn't state it outfront that one would have to do OCR work ... and not only wouldn't she pay it but ...


I agree that it is useful if an outsourcer states the source file format, because it helps translators decide whether they are suitable for the job. However, I must add that doing OCR is entirely your own decision. The fact that most translators (here) translate by overtyping the text in an editable format doesn't mean that this is the only legitimate way of doing a translation.

Regardless of whether her rates are acceptable, I don't think that OCR or re-typing the source text (to get it into an editable format) is for the client's costs. The translator can use any of a variety of workflows to produce a translation -- some cheaper than others -- but ultmately the cost of getting the source file into a format that the translator prefers is the translator's own cost.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:19
French to German
+ ...
Clarification needed Feb 9, 2011

There seems to be a need for clarification, namely about the OCR part:

- 1° is this traductorchile's own choice or
- 2° a requirement from the outsourcer?


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Costs Feb 9, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

is the translator's own cost.



You are right Samuel, it has a cost. In business nothing is for free.


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Modern Translating and Consistency Feb 9, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

There seems to be a need for clarification, namely about the OCR part:

- 1° is this traductorchile's own choice or
- 2° a requirement from the outsourcer?


When you work on a long project, and 50 pages up and more coming can be considered long, consistency isn't an option. If you care about quality, it's a requirement. You can translate directly from the images, and gain consistency without CAT tools but it is less efficient and the risk of errors is much higher. In this case, I wouldn't call OCR or a transcription, a choice.


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