Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Competitive prices
Thread poster: James Calder

James Calder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:43
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 3, 2012

Yes, I know it's a free market, blah blah blah ... but I felt this email, which I received today from a Spanish agency I did some work for many moons ago, was worth sharing:

"Buenos días James,

Tenemos un número creciente de clientes que están recortando sus gastos y que como consecuencia de ello nos están pidiendo unos precios competitivos, por lo que estamos en un proceso de búsqueda de traductores con precios entre 0,025 y 0,035 euros por palabra.

Si te puede interesar trabajar con nosotros a estas tarifas, te agradecería que nos lo hicieses saber para contactarte cuando tengamos traducciones."


What struck me was not so much the dismal rate as the deceptive spin ("precios competitivos", "proceso de búsqueda", "Si te puede interesar").

How long before we start turning our hands to cleaning and painting and decorating instead, not that there's anything wrong that?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
You get what you pay for Mar 3, 2012

Or as they say over yonder, "Lo barato sale caro."

The British court system is learning this the hard way.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Hmmmm Mar 3, 2012

I was always under the impression that inflation increases prices. Perhaps this agency hasn't heard the news yet.

Just curious which quality they're expecting. Can't be very good at such prices.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let them compete... Mar 3, 2012

James Calder wrote:
Tenemos un número creciente de clientes que están recortando sus gastos y que como consecuencia de ello nos están pidiendo unos precios competitivos, por lo que estamos en un proceso de búsqueda de traductores con precios entre 0,025 y 0,035 euros por palabra.

Well, if agencies (particularly those in Andalusia) are pushing themselves to the limit to compete in recklessness against their agencies nearby, let them continue this path to self destruction: they are already ruined, and they haven't quite grasped why.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You are wrong Mar 3, 2012

Thayenga wrote:
Just curious which quality they're expecting. Can't be very good at such prices.

The funny fact is that they expect high quality for those rates.

I insist: those agencies are doomed. You just have to ask them how many people they are: in most cases, such agencies (especially in Andalusia) are 1-person firms, or 2 people at most, i.e. they are translators who got tired of translation because they were treated worse than cattle and decided to be the ones who treat translators like cattle. Quite a borderline sub-industry if you ask me!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:43
Portuguese to English
+ ...
One peanut or two? Mar 3, 2012

I love the fact that they even have a rate band - so would you like peanuts or peanuts?

I agree with Tomás, they're on a hiding to nothing. I suggest telling them they know where to reach you when they decide this new tactic hasn't worked.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Resonably allowed to expect. Mar 3, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thayenga wrote:
Just curious which quality they're expecting. Can't be very good at such prices.

The funny fact is that they expect high quality for those rates.

I insist: those agencies are doomed. You just have to ask them how many people they are: in most cases, such agencies (especially in Andalusia) are 1-person firms, or 2 people at most, i.e. they are translators who got tired of translation because they were treated worse than cattle and decided to be the ones who treat translators like cattle. Quite a borderline sub-industry if you ask me!


Thank you, Tomas, for pointing out this mistake. This happens when thinking two-lane style while taking a break from work.

What I meant was: If they are reasonable, they could not rightfully expect good quality.
And yes, I am aware of the (not really) funny fact that they do expect superb quality for, as we call it, an apple and an egg.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
Or former employees of large Mar 3, 2012

translation agencies and Translation Departments of big companies and state authorities. I know a lot of them and almost all are involved in current stupid price war that obviously exists in Slovakia for the last two years. I am already sick of hearing "We had to reduce our prices because...".


[quote]Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thayenga wrote:
i.e. they are translators who got tired of translation because they were treated worse than cattle and decided to be the ones who treat translators like cattle. Quite a borderline sub-industry if you ask me!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:43
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I suggest they use free online machine translation Mar 3, 2012

Whever I get an invitation to work for less than half my standard rate, I suggest they use free online machine translation. If their end-clent accepts that, they'll make a higher profit. If they don't. there will be more money left to afford a pro doing it properly.

Now and then a PM goes overboard on the cheap side, the end-client gets smart, and has someone in the target language country give it a once-over. The job gets rejected, and the PM gets desperate: they want me to 'fix' as much as possible of it, as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Most of the time, no salvaging is possible; the entire translation must be redone. The budget has already been depleted by wasting money in amateur work.

To illustrate, I'll quote just one most striking example of such cheap work, into English:
... nobody was aloud to enter ...

No, it was not a typo, as other instances of this outlandish past of the verb "to allow" were found elsewhere in this translation, amidst several zillion other mistakes in an appallingly bad writing style.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
For the God's sake! Mar 3, 2012

How can ANYBODY with at least high-school knowledge of English confuse allowed with aloud?! Even Italians (Italian colleagues forgive me) would have not made such a mistake. It resembles the English of Nigerian scam letters.

I thought that I have already seen every mistake that can be done in a translation, but this one is out of scale.

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Whever I get an invitation to work for less than half my standard rate, I suggest they use free online machine translation. If their end-clent accepts that, they'll make a higher profit. If they don't. there will be more money left to afford a pro doing it properly.

Now and then a PM goes overboard on the cheap side, the end-client gets smart, and has someone in the target language country give it a once-over. The job gets rejected, and the PM gets desperate: they want me to 'fix' as much as possible of it, as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Most of the time, no salvaging is possible; the entire translation must be redone. The budget has already been depleted by wasting money in amateur work.

To illustrate, I'll quote just one most striking example of such cheap work, into English:
... nobody was aloud to enter ...

No, it was not a typo, as other instances of this outlandish past of the verb "to allow" were found elsewhere in this translation, amidst several zillion other mistakes in an appallingly bad writing style.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Thank you, but... Mar 3, 2012

[quote]Vladimír Hoffman wrote:

translation agencies and Translation Departments of big companies and state authorities. I know a lot of them and almost all are involved in current stupid price war that obviously exists in Slovakia for the last two years. I am already sick of hearing "We had to reduce our prices because...".


Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thayenga wrote:
i.e. they are translators who got tired of translation because they were treated worse than cattle and decided to be the ones who treat translators like cattle. Quite a borderline sub-industry if you ask me!


That was Tomas' quote, not mine.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
Oh, I am SO sorry! Mar 3, 2012

I really didn't want to misquote you.:-))

[quote]Thayenga wrote:

Vladimír Hoffman wrote:

translation agencies and Translation Departments of big companies and state authorities. I know a lot of them and almost all are involved in current stupid price war that obviously exists in Slovakia for the last two years. I am already sick of hearing "We had to reduce our prices because...".


Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thayenga wrote:
i.e. they are translators who got tired of translation because they were treated worse than cattle and decided to be the ones who treat translators like cattle. Quite a borderline sub-industry if you ask me!


That was Tomas' quote, not mine.


[Edited at 2012-03-03 15:08 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:43
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@ Vladimir Mar 3, 2012

Vladimír Hoffman wrote:
How can ANYBODY with at least high-school knowledge of English confuse allowed with aloud?! Even Italians (Italian colleagues forgive me) would have not made such a mistake. It resembles the English of Nigerian scam letters.


That "aloud" is a nibble from the tip of the iceberg I've seen in cheap translations. Google Translate would never make such a mistake, in spite of all the others it will indeed.

What still amazes me is that all such cases I've had so far came from the UK. Maybe this is expected in translations done in the Far East, but not in Europe, so in the latter case they get rejected.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
:) Mar 3, 2012

[quote]Vladimír Hoffman wrote:

I really didn't want to misquote you.:-))

Thayenga wrote:

Vladimír Hoffman wrote:

translation agencies and Translation Departments of big companies and state authorities. I know a lot of them and almost all are involved in current stupid price war that obviously exists in Slovakia for the last two years. I am already sick of hearing "We had to reduce our prices because...".


Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thayenga wrote:
i.e. they are translators who got tired of translation because they were treated worse than cattle and decided to be the ones who treat translators like cattle. Quite a borderline sub-industry if you ask me!


That was Tomas' quote, not mine.


[Edited at 2012-03-03 15:08 GMT]


No worries.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:43
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
It seems as if an agency Mar 3, 2012

used to hire unemplyed foreign workers with knowledge of source language as only qualification. Confusing aloud with allowed indicates that a man who made the translation (I deny to call him translator) knew the verb only in spoken form, as pronounciation of both words is same. Moreover, no one on the earth even took the trouble to open and quickly review it before sending the work to the end client.

BUT, as generally well known, the most frequent language worldwide is incorrect English, I checked the phrase and the results are quite surprising:
http://www.google.sk/search?q="is%20aloud%20to%20enter"&hl=sk&sourceid=gd&rlz=1Q1GGLD_enSK408SK408

If Google uses these sites as source for their "marvellous" software, then we have not fear of being replaced by computers in the near future.

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Vladimír Hoffman wrote:
How can ANYBODY with at least high-school knowledge of English confuse allowed with aloud?! Even Italians (Italian colleagues forgive me) would have not made such a mistake. It resembles the English of Nigerian scam letters.


That "aloud" is a nibble from the tip of the iceberg I've seen in cheap translations. Google Translate would never make such a mistake, in spite of all the others it will indeed.

What still amazes me is that all such cases I've had so far came from the UK. Maybe this is expected in translations done in the Far East, but not in Europe, so in the latter case they get rejected.


[Edited at 2012-03-03 22:23 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-03-04 08:11 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Competitive prices

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search