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Working for free!?
Thread poster: ilehmann

ilehmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:30
English to German
Mar 16, 2011

Hi

I was approached today by an agency through ProZ to proofread a short text for free. Are they completely out of their mind? Do they think I'm a charity? This might be acceptable for a long-time client but definitely not for a company I have neved worked for.

Sorry, just letting off steam.

Regards, Ilona


 

xxxIPtranslate
Brazil
English to Dutch
+ ...
Same here Mar 16, 2011

Ilona Brophy-Lehmann wrote:

Hi

I was approached today by an agency through ProZ to proofread a short text for free. Are they completely out of their mind? Do they think I'm a charity? This might be acceptable for a long-time client but definitely not for a company I have neved worked for.

Sorry, just letting off steam.

Regards, Ilona


You are not the only one, Ilona. Same happened here last week, but with a "small translation". I am getting very disappointed with what people think they can do and what they permit themselves. Why do I bother try to do things correctly, when the rest of the world seems to think of only one thing.....taking advantage of the others.

Also just letting of steam.....


 

Kate Chaffer
Italy
Local time: 20:30
Member (2009)
Italian to English
I bet they found someone Mar 16, 2011

The sad thing is that they probably managed to find someone to do it for free in the end. Did they mention something about this small job leading on to other paying jobs in the future? Someone will have taken the opportunity thinking that it could lead to paid work.

 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 18:30
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Feel free to ignore them Mar 16, 2011

Either ignore them or send back a short e-mail with your proofreading rates. Either way you'll never hear from them again, problem solved.

 

Holly Nathan  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:30
Italian to English
hairdresser? Mar 16, 2011

Can I do that with my hairdresser and gyno then, do you think?

[Edited at 2011-03-16 16:08 GMT]


 

Ghislaine van der Burgt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with Holly! Mar 16, 2011

She mirrored my sentiments exactly. I don't ask a plasterer to just 'fix a small patch' in my kitchen for free, why are translators any different?
Things like this make me furious and cause me to feel quite alone behind my computer: no one in their right mind would walk into an office and say: could you just type this up for me for free? (Not the right analogy, but you get my drift)


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:30
German to Serbian
+ ...
Unfortunately, this is true. Mar 16, 2011

Kate Chaffer wrote:

The sad thing is that they probably managed to find someone to do it for free in the end. Did they mention something about this small job leading on to other paying jobs in the future? Someone will have taken the opportunity thinking that it could lead to paid work.


And these kinds of things are legally called scam.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:30
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Nothing wrong with it Mar 16, 2011

Ilona Brophy-Lehmann wrote:
I was approached today by an agency through ProZ to proofread a short text for free. Are they completely out of their mind? Do they think I'm a charity?


Surely there is nothing wrong with asking. What's the worst that could happen? The translation could say "no".


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:30
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Yes, there are some people out there... Mar 16, 2011

...who try doing this, and apparently there are some who fall for it. Otherwise, the scammers would not be able to continue.
Last August I received an email from a person from a company with an "utopistic" name.
It took me a while to find any contact info for them, it turns out the guy is in Egypt.
Anyway, he wanted a free translation of a short text.
Here is what I wrote to him:
Dear XYZ,
I am not sure why you think it is a good idea to expect me to translate this as a "favor"?
I am not saying I never give freebies to my clients, because I do, after we had an established a business relationship, and had a good few paid jobs completed to mutual satisfaction.
You are sending me an email out of the blue, without proper company information - even your website does not contain any official address, why do you think I would jump on the opportunity to work for free for somebody I don't even know?

Besides, this particular sentence seems to be an addition to an existing manual, which means proper translation requires consistency with the existing terminology.
For starters, it is very important to know whether the menu items shown in blue have been localized or not, and if they are localized, what is their existing translation?
Without this information, how do you expect anybody to provide a proper translation?
This is why this job is not a good fit for a "favor" - because even though it seems it can be done in a few minutes, one would have to spend time on asking these questions.

So, if you have the answer (regarding the existing translation of the blue colored terms) or if you can provide the rest of the translated manual as a reference, I will be glad to do this translation for you, for XXX....

Let me know if you are still interested.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yeah! Mar 16, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:
Ilona Brophy-Lehmann wrote:
I was approached today by an agency through ProZ to proofread a short text for free. Are they completely out of their mind? Do they think I'm a charity?

Surely there is nothing wrong with asking. What's the worst that could happen? The translation could say "no".

Absolutely!icon_smile.gif


 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:30
English to Polish
+ ...
wow Mar 16, 2011

It's interesting that we deny a free translation of a sentence, yet are willing to spend (presumably) much more time educating a wannabe client for free.

[Edited at 2011-03-16 17:31 GMT]


 

Michael Lourenço Leite
Brazil
Local time: 15:30
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No way Mar 16, 2011

I think we should not do a free review even for a long-term client. I was paid to review very short texts and even to translate four words. A good client would not require that. I guess we are the ones who should say "I am nor charging it as it is so short". Once I did this, and the agency said they would pay as the client wanted to pay for the few words.

 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:30
English to Czech
+ ...
It's not all about time Mar 16, 2011

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz wrote:

It's interesting that we deny a free translation of a sentence, yet are willing to spend (presumably) much more time educating a wannabe client for free.


The real problem behind all this is how little respect and recognition translators gain; much less than hairdressers, it seems. The annoying this is not that I simply delete messages like this, but the fact that somebody even dares to send similar requests.

[Upraveno: 2011-03-16 19:58 GMT]


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:30
German to Serbian
+ ...
Hairdressers Mar 16, 2011

Has anyone here ever got a promotional haircut for free? As this would be an equivalent of free translation tests.

I know I haven't.


 

Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Australia
Local time: 04:30
English
+ ...
ahem Mar 16, 2011

Lingua 5B wrote:


Has anyone here ever got a promotional haircut for free? As this would be an equivalent of free translation tests.

I know I haven't.


(very quietly) Actually, yes, I have. Many of them, in fact. When I was a very poor student, I would seek out hairdressers who were looking for models (trade shows, hair colour demonstrations, awards, apprentices' exams, etc.) and get free cuts and colour. It's pot luck sometimes, but I did end up with much more varied and interesting hair than I would have otherwise. Often got a small compensation or at meal tooicon_smile.gif

But back to the topic - no way I'd do a freebie job for an agency. For a friend or "a good cause", perhaps, but not for someone who will resell it and make money from it. This is business, after all.


 
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