Offer of the week
Thread poster: Alan Corbo, CT

Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 16:29
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 1, 2012

Received today... What's happening to the world when rates like this are offered (and there are translators who accept them)? Just why??


Dear Colleague,

Thank you for your interest in working with XXX.

We have recently won a large government contract and are now seeking linguists who can translate Spanish medical and legal documents into English.

We estimate that the project will extend over a period of years with batches due from selected translators on a monthly basis.

Because this is a government contract, please be advised that you will be expected to pass a federal security clearance. Additionally, you must reside within the United States and you must be either a United States citizen or be able to demonstrate legal authorization to work in the United States.

Also, as this is a competitive government contract, rates will be in the range of $0.020 - 0.025 per target word.

If you are a qualified independent contractor, please respond to the following questions and directives:

1. What are your primary areas of expertise?
2. Do you work with any CAT tools, such as Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast, etc.? If so,
please list them and the versions you currently use.
3. Are you a full-time or part-time translator? What is your general availability?
4. What is your current phone number?
5. Please provide us with a current resume or CV.


You can learn more about our company by going to our website at XXX

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

XXX


 

Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Member (2007)
Russian to English
+ ...
well, well, well... May 1, 2012

Alan Corbo wrote:

Received today... What's happening to the world when rates like this are offered (and there are translators who accept them)? Just why??


Dear Colleague,

Thank you for your interest in working with XXX.

We have recently won a large government contract and are now seeking linguists who can translate Spanish medical and legal documents into English.

We estimate that the project will extend over a period of years with batches due from selected translators on a monthly basis.

Because this is a government contract, please be advised that you will be expected to pass a federal security clearance. Additionally, you must reside within the United States and you must be either a United States citizen or be able to demonstrate legal authorization to work in the United States.

Also, as this is a competitive government contract, rates will be in the range of $0.020 - 0.025 per target word.

If you are a qualified independent contractor, please respond to the following questions and directives:

1. What are your primary areas of expertise?
2. Do you work with any CAT tools, such as Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast, etc.? If so,
please list them and the versions you currently use.
3. Are you a full-time or part-time translator? What is your general availability?
4. What is your current phone number?
5. Please provide us with a current resume or CV.


You can learn more about our company by going to our website at XXX

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

XXX



Please note that they pay per target word... so I think you can still make pretty good money on them. icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2012-05-01 20:46 GMT]


 

Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:29
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Once again May 1, 2012

Then, there will be someone out there who falls for for it.
Others would have to pay for proofreading?

ES


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:29
English to French
+ ...
Not for reading May 1, 2012

Several years ago, I bid on asimilar US Federal Govt contract. I did not win and, when remarking that, at the rate offered by the winner, there was no way, no how, to deliver quality translation, received this answer: "This is not a translation to be used. There was a call for bids because the law forces the government to do it. This is a translation to stay on a shelf, no one will ever look at it."

I see that, most likely, things have not changed.


 

Maria Ramon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:29
Dutch to English
+ ...
There go the tax dollars again! May 2, 2012

And that is another way the government wastes our tax dollars!

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:29
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
When I read... May 2, 2012

Alan Corbo wrote:
We have recently won a large government contract...

When I read these words... I do not keep reading. These "marketing techniques", i.e. selling the work to the translator instead of properly selling the service to the customer, are very revealing and can't lead to anything positive in the long run.


 

Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 20:29
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
Yeah! May 2, 2012

I have already seen and produced translations (the client was one big bank), where I was very suspicious of the same fate (no one will read them), but nobody admitted it directly.


JL01 wrote:

Several years ago, I bid on asimilar US Federal Govt contract. I did not win and, when remarking that, at the rate offered by the winner, there was no way, no how, to deliver quality translation, received this answer: "This is not a translation to be used. There was a call for bids because the law forces the government to do it. This is a translation to stay on a shelf, no one will ever look at it."

I see that, most likely, things have not changed.


 

Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 20:29
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
And what difference it makes? May 2, 2012

Maybe 10% or 15%, if you are very lucky. So, the rate would increase to USD 0,023 - USD 0,028, at most. American dolars, not Euros! Still peanuts and insulting offer, in my opinion.


Alexander Onishko wrote:

Please note that they pay per target word... so I think you can still make pretty good money on them. icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2012-05-01 20:46 GMT]


[Edited at 2012-05-02 21:47 GMT]


 

kchansen
Local time: 20:29
English to Danish
Oh dear, oh dear ... May 2, 2012

If I cared to reply to such an "offer", which I normally don't, I would say something like "I'm sorry but I am not qualified to work at such rates!", with an added comment that I knew of this excellent colleague named "Google Translate" whose prices are very "competitive". Moreover, he delivers exactly the "quality" this client is looking for. The only problem would be passing the government's security check.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Then why not use MT? May 2, 2012

JL01 wrote:

"... This is a translation to stay on a shelf, no one will ever look at it."



Nowadays, why not use MT if it is really not going to be used?
That must be the sort of thing MT is for...

Then either save the taxpyers' money, or spend them on paying a realistic rate where a real translation will be needed.

We need to stand fast and stop competing with MT, because it's a losing battle. But for a long while yet there WILL be jobs where humans are needed, and we must educate clients about them.

Getting a translator to gist the text and produce an abstract is another option. It would often be enough, and save some time (= money), though not always as much as the client hopes!


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:29
Member
English to French
Into English May 2, 2012

Quoting by target word is an advantage for the agency, because I reckon Spanish uses more words than English to say the same thing.
It's not because it is "Target" that it is a better deal. It depends on the language pair and direction.

In euros, it is therefore probably in the range of 0.010-0.015 per source word.

There is no reason to tempt people more than necessary into thinking that the rate per source word is higher than per target!

Philippe


 


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