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Just another great offer (low rates)
Thread poster: Alex Lago

Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:44
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 11, 2011

Hi

Just got this fantastic offer (I really did get a laugh) from an agency in Coral Gables, Miami.

The subject of the email was: "Seeking English into Spanish (SPAIN) Translators"

and this was the text (I put the bold and underline emphasis in, it was not in the original):

XXXXXXXXX is seeking English into Spanish (SPAIN) linguists to join our Spanish (EU) translation team as preferred language vendors. Although these linguists will be added to our database for use on general projects that we receive from clients, our primary project involves the translation of a very large retail/apparel-related website that is about two million words long. That particular project should begin in around the first week of July.

Due to the amount of work that we would be supplying you with, we are offering $0.03 (USD) per target word for this project. You can expect to receive a large workflow on a daily basis for at least two months. After the initial translation of the website is completed, you will then be able to continue working on the maintenance of the website, as it will be continuously updated.

If this great opportunity is of interest to you, please let me know when you will be available to take our brief translation evaluation test. *** Also, please let me know if you have taken a test previously with our company *** Please confirm that you translate into Spanish (Castilian from Spain) – this is a requirement.

Look forward to hearing from you!

XXXX XXXX
Freelance Coordinator


This was my answer:

Hello XXXXX

Thank you for your offer, unfortunately your rate is so low it isn’t even worth thinking about, if these are the rates your company normally offers please remove me from your contact list as I do not want you wasting my time in the future.

Best regards
Alex Lago


Sometimes I try to educate them but this time I decided I would go for the no- subtlety approach

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2011-07-12 08:37 GMT]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:44
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Kudos Jul 11, 2011

The more I hear about--and directly receive--such insulting offers, the more I think that the "no subtlety" approach that Alex has employed here is the way to go. It only takes a couple of minutes of our time and, if enough people do it, it sends an unmistakable message that agencies who insist on offering such rock-bottom rates will find themselves forced to collaborate with mainly grossly unqualified pseudo-professionals.

I say "mainly" because--sadly--there are also qualified translators who, out of desperation and/or because of local market conditions, are willing to work for such rates.



[Edited at 2011-07-12 02:56 GMT]


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Nicolas Coyer  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 16:44
Spanish to French
+ ...
I think I know them Jul 11, 2011

I've also been contacted by them a while ago. They offered the fabulous rate of 0.05 $ per word!!! And, guess what? It's was a great opportunity too!
The usual promise of steady workload, yadiyadiyada.
After stating my rates, they insisted on me giving it a try at their rate. I didn't even bother answering. I had wasted too much time already with them.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:44
English to Croatian
+ ...
Manipulation in wording Jul 12, 2011

.. today, in a job ad, I just saw a phrase "friendly price", which they are looking for.

Does this mean that people working at decent rates are their enemies, i.e. not friendly?

It's unbelievable, but this phrase should be copyrighted and the author awarded: friendly price.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:44
English to Japanese
+ ...
Yeah, great opportunity ha ha Jul 12, 2011

Great opportunity for working like a slave for a few months?
If I were to be forced to work like a slave, I'd rather be in jail and get decently paid by Uncle Sam.

BTW, why are they paying you 'per target word' when the industry's norm is 'per source word' for Western languages?


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
It may sound unbelievable but... Jul 12, 2011

...some people accept these rates, whatever their reasons are. I have myself received more than once phone calls from Argentinians (and I live in the U.S.!) which offered their translation services for rates like 0.02 and 0.03USD per word. Since we are in a global economy, what is a bad rate for me may be a good rate for somebody else...

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:44
Italian to English
Local market conditions Jul 12, 2011

Robert Forstag wrote:

I say "mainly" because--sadly--there are also qualified translators who, out of desperation and/or because of local market conditions, are willing to work for such rates.



Normally, I bin offers that stipulate a rate in advance, mainly because I want to assess the project before quoting on it. Nowadays, Proz does a decent job of filtering out inappropriate communications but I did receive one recently that wanted a high-volume, short-deadline translation at the princely tariff of €0.03 per word.

The offer came from a BB-rated agency here in Northern Italy, not exactly the cheapest part of the world to live in, and to give Proz its due, the job posting features a warning that "the budget entered for this job is below the rates charged by at least 80% of ProZ.com members for this pair and currency".

The main point here, though, is that whatever you think of the offer, the fact that it arrived through Proz enabled me to get a clear idea of the job and the outsourcer's creditworthiness in a couple of mouse clicks. The translators who have applied may or may not be desperate but at least they will know what they are letting themselves in for!


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Andrea Piu  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:44
English to Italian
+ ...
same for Italian Jul 12, 2011

I received the same offer for the Italian language. The asked me to take an online test before five days and I am pretty sure we are talking about the same company.
Could be they want discounts for repetitions, fuzzies, etc. too? What about the amount that Paypal charges you? Or bank transfer from a U.S. bank to a European one?
They are only trying to earn as much as they can and, since this "great" offer is around from a couple of months, I think that translators are dropping them due to their working conditions and agreements (not only for rates).


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:44
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not unbelievable Jul 12, 2011

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

...some people accept these rates, whatever their reasons are. I have myself received more than once phone calls from Argentinians (and I live in the U.S.!) which offered their translation services for rates like 0.02 and 0.03USD per word. Since we are in a global economy, what is a bad rate for me may be a good rate for somebody else...


I've got no problem with people accepting these rates, I can't force anyone to offer a rate, everyone is free to set their own rates, hey for all I know there might be really good translators in Spain (where I live and the cost of living I have to deal with) who are willing to accept these rates, that's up to them.

Obviously if people keep offering jobs at these rates its because eventually they find someone willing to do the job and who knows it might even be better than I would do, I've no way of knowing (though I doubt it very much).

It's not a question of people accepting these rates, its a question of the agency thinking that they can send me an unsolicited email telling me they have great opportunity which in no way can be considered a great opportunity regardless of who you are and what your rates are:

- If you are among the x% of translators who normally work at this rate (which I hope is a low percentage of translators but how can I know) then all this job gives you is maybe the chance of steady work for a couple of months, which OK might sound good but is far from being a great opportunity.

- If you are among the x% of translators whose rates are above this then there is no way you can consider this a great opportunity either.

- So the only people who might consider this a great opportunity are people who work for less than 0.02/0.03 per word, which I don't know how many there are, there might be thousands, but I hope not. And come on let's face it anyone who works for less than 0.02 is 1) an idiot because they could be making a lot more money (unless they are totally incompetent) and 2) someone who will think any job is a great opportunity.

So what gave me the laugh and made me post this was the agency saying this was a great opportunity, not the rate unfortunately I have seen these rates often and I'm sure I will continue to do so, but it's not often they get called a great opportunity.


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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:44
English to German
+ ...
Do such "invitation to project" senders really think... Jul 12, 2011

Do such "invitation to project" senders really think this is for sure the place where they will find a 20/7-translator (20/7 is 4 hours of sleep since anyway bored by sleeping and not needing a free day, who does anyway), that one famous translator living on a ice floe and connecting to the net via telepathy? I do not uderstand such people, seriously. What do they exactly want, what, who are they searching for when they send such invitations to tree population and ice floe occupants around?

And which outsourcing step is this, then? 6th? 7th? Or just the imaginative agency that simply jumps over the other outsourcing steps in order to collect the nice coins that were laying inbetween?




[Edited at 2011-07-12 15:14 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I simply do not consider anything below 0.10 EURO per source word. Jul 12, 2011

I think we need to make the rates we WILL work for more visible.

I live in Denmark, and simply cannot earn a realistic living at a lower rate.

If it is a large job that means I might have to turn down offers from regular clients, then I want a considerably higher rate, because all my regular clients pay more.

And why should I work for EUR 0.10 while I turn down offers at 0.13 per word?

Admittedly Scandinavian words are expensive, because 1000 Danish words translate into 1200 English words or more. I don't know what the English-to-Spanish ratio is, but I have to live with the Scandinavian tax system and cost of living.

I'm not complaining, but those are the facts of life in this corner of Europe.


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juanpablosans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends on the country Jul 12, 2011

I suppose if you are from Zimbawe, that offer is something you would never get in your country. If you are a Venezuelan, that's the price I normally give my clients (so, I would not work for that, as I'd rather have my clients in Venezuela). If you are European or American that offer is an insult.

In my case, as I am starting and I need to save up money to register in Proz.com and other websites, I have accepted 0.05/word works, and also because it double what I would earn in Venezuela for the same job. So, it depends on the country.


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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:44
English to German
+ ...
Not sure whether it's that simple Jul 12, 2011

Juan p.: Not sure. Listen, even the translator in Zimbabwe will have to be online in case translating today. Additionally, even the translator in Zimbabwe will use a computer. Probably there will be some licences needed in case he offers intersting language pairs and offers them also to clients who expect licences. Even the translator in Zimbabwe will have to think about the future of his children. Or his own holidays now and then. Etc.

Not sure, whether for the translator in Zimbabwe the rate will be that much interesting when he finds out that his language pair is interesting for better paying clients. Who are also online.

Sure, basically I agree. Sure, there is no way to calculate rates without taking living costs in a country into account. But I am definitely not sure whether 0.03 USD is acceptable anywhere on this planet - with the exeption of erm tree occupants.

But probably this should be answered by a translator from Zimbabwe. In case you stumble upon this thread once, dear translator from Zimbabwe: please tell us what you think about this.



[Edited at 2011-07-12 21:18 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:44
English to German
+ ...
The translator from Zimbabwe Jul 12, 2011

apk12 wrote:

But probably this should be answered by a translator from Zimbabwe. In case you stumble upon this thread once, dear translator from Zimbabwe: please tell us what you think about this.


... will probably tell you that he has to pay for PCs, software and especially CAT-tools just as much as everyone else in the world.


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Ivana Bojcic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Member (2011)
German to Croatian
+ ...
Another victim of friendly offers Jul 13, 2011

Lingua 5B wrote:


.. today, in a job ad, I just saw a phrase "friendly price", which they are looking for.

Does this mean that people working at decent rates are their enemies, i.e. not friendly?

It's unbelievable, but this phrase should be copyrighted and the author awarded: friendly price.




---

Now, I think these situations are really getting out of the limits lately and I think we should all expose the names of those companies or do anything else to stop them disrespecting translators and translating.

[Edited at 2011-07-13 01:33 GMT]


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