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Unbelievably low rate
Thread poster: Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 07:53
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Oct 9, 2012

OK, I normally try to not comment too much on the rates discussions, but today I received a request for a medical German to English translation at 0.02USD/word! This is the lowest rate I've ever seen - completely unjustified. I wouldn't even accept that rate for checking!
Anyone seen anything this ridiculously low? I am sincerely hoping nobody accepts rates this low!!


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Move on Oct 9, 2012

Delete. Next, please.

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Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 13:53
Member (2012)
English to Indonesian
That is bull Oct 10, 2012

Simply bull. I hope you gave them some good kick in the butt.

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Enrico C - ECLC  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 14:53
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
Asian companies Oct 10, 2012

Sarai Pahla wrote:

OK, I normally try to not comment too much on the rates discussions, but today I received a request for a medical German to English translation at 0.02USD/word! This is the lowest rate I've ever seen - completely unjustified. I wouldn't even accept that rate for checking!
Anyone seen anything this ridiculously low? I am sincerely hoping nobody accepts rates this low!!


I am Taiwan based and i get regular requests for huge jobs (15.000/50.000 words) by local companies or direct customers offering even less and often in Chinglish (Which to me deserves a status of separate language since it uses chinese syntax/grammar rules and english words). I have recently received an offer through an intermediary (whom i guess wanted to fill her wallet with my sweat), offering me 0,0001 Euro (note the amount of zeroes after the comma) per source word, promising they'd send even more after. I not so kindly refused to do the job. Other companies (India, China etc.) do that too pretty frequently. As i said, these companies should learn to respect MIN RATES and translators should simply refuse these rates. I also happen to have companies that, whatever low rate you ask, they will ask for less. I tested a few companies on purpose. You ask 0,07 and they try to get 0,05. You offer 0,05 and they will try to drop to 0,03. I didn't try to offer lower rates, but i am sure that if you offer 0,03 they will head to 0,01 and some will ask you to work for free too sooner or later.
Truth is there should be a blacklist of companies offering those rates. So the market knows how much they exploit people and how they make money. It's a much needed measure.

[Edited at 2012-10-10 04:11 GMT]


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James_xia  Identity Verified
China
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
A little surprise Oct 10, 2012

I used to think that only the Chinese market goes that far in quoting. It's somewhat incredible to hear that the German > English pair would come down to a level as low as 0.02 USD/word, especially when this rate was quoted to an experienced translator. Looking at this rate is not getting me laugh, but speechless only.

Yes, the value of translation is not likely to be respected by all the outsourcers. However, it's our own clear sense to follow it as a basis rule, no matter the rate is higher or lower depending on different requirements, never allowing it to be reduced to a level close to zero.

After all, our work is time-consuming and should first be respected by ourselves.

Enrico C - ECLC wrote:

Sarai Pahla wrote:

OK, I normally try to not comment too much on the rates discussions, but today I received a request for a medical German to English translation at 0.02USD/word! This is the lowest rate I've ever seen - completely unjustified. I wouldn't even accept that rate for checking!
Anyone seen anything this ridiculously low? I am sincerely hoping nobody accepts rates this low!!


I am Taiwan based and i get regular requests for huge jobs (15.000/50.000 words) by local companies or direct customers offering even less and often in Chinglish (Which to me deserves a status of separate language since it uses chinese syntax/grammar rules and english words). I have recently received an offer through an intermediary (whom i guess wanted to fill her wallet with my sweat), offering me 0,0001 Euro (note the amount of zeroes after the comma) per source word, promising they'd send even more after. I not so kindly refused to do the job. Other companies (India, China etc.) do that too pretty frequently. As i said, these companies should learn to respect MIN RATES and translators should simply refuse these rates. I also happen to have companies that, whatever low rate you ask, they will ask for less. I tested a few companies on purpose. You ask 0,07 and they try to get 0,05. You offer 0,05 and they will try to drop to 0,03. I didn't try to offer lower rates, but i am sure that if you offer 0,03 they will head to 0,01 and some will ask you to work for free too sooner or later.
Truth is there should be a blacklist of companies offering those rates. So the market knows how much they exploit people and how they make money. It's a much needed measure.

[Edited at 2012-10-10 04:11 GMT]


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abufaraz
Pakistan
Local time: 11:53
English to Urdu
+ ...
Large Subtiltling Project Oct 10, 2012

I received a large subtitling project which was also published on Proz a couple of weeks before. The agency (from India) gave the rates for this task as $ 5000 for 2500 pages (in order to make them attractive for the translators) and lured the bidder that it was a regular project running for about one year. I thought to accept it at first but when I made calculations, the end rate came out to be a little more than half a cent.

I simply declined the project.


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:53
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
And the problem is... Oct 10, 2012

THERE ARE STILL "TRANSLATORS" HERE WHO ACCEPT SUCH RATES
(and use Kudoz for every difficult word or expression they don't know)

With computers and internet access so widespread and poverty and misery everywhere, anybody can become a translator and enjoy the fruits of a helpful translator community.

If they can make 100 USD/month on such projects, they make a descent living in some countries.

Since Proz has no interest of refusing these"agencies" or "translators" we have to keep posting their shamefull practices here and everywhere else.

For medical : people's lives are at stake !!! The Medical industry should wake up and see that a cost reduction of 0,10 USD/ word on a translated text is not worth taking the risk of using incompetent translators....

AND we should stop helping them for Kudoz-points!! Why dig your own grave????


===
my 2 cts
Ed

[Edited at 2012-10-10 08:12 GMT]


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Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 07:53
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
Although Chinesse and Indian agencies Oct 10, 2012

are infamous for low rates, I recently received offer of 2 US cents per word from Irish-based company (I don't call them agency as their core business is different and they only have a translation division). When I politely wrote to the lady that she surely mistyped the amount because last time I had worked for equivalent of 2 US cents was in previous century, she raised the rate to 3 eurocents (still terribly low).

Just ignore them, there is no other way.

I got same
James_xia wrote:

I used to think that only the Chinese market goes that far in quoting. It's somewhat incredible to hear that the German > English pair would come down to a level as low as 0.02 USD/word, especially when this rate was quoted to an experienced translator. Looking at this rate is not getting me laugh, but speechless only.



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Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 07:53
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
Hi Sarah, Oct 10, 2012

wellcome to Proz! You are the Sarai Palah who held very interesting discussion thread about daily translation capacity on LinkedIn, aren't you?:-)

Sarai Pahla wrote:

OK, I normally try to not comment too much on the rates discussions, but today I received a request for a medical German to English translation at 0.02USD/word! This is the lowest rate I've ever seen - completely unjustified. I wouldn't even accept that rate for checking!
Anyone seen anything this ridiculously low? I am sincerely hoping nobody accepts rates this low!!


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:53
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
USD 0.02 minus PayPal or bank fees Oct 10, 2012

It is not only the shameful low rates of USD 0.02 or EUR 0.02 per source word, but these agency furthermore refuse to pay any banking/PayPal fees and don't even lose one minute of sleep over payment terms of 45 - 65 days.

Although this might be acceptable for translators working in countries with extremely low costs of living - and 60 days is "normal" in Asia (I was told), after all fees have been deducted the translator not only ends up working for " a third zero" such as US/EUR 0.0095 (or so) but has also provided the client, usually an agency, with a 60+ days' free loan, and, oftentimes, they have to keep revising their translations, of course, free of any additional charges.

I agree that ProZ should not permit outsourcers to offer such low rates on the job board. Surely there must be a way to keep these "cheaper than cheapest" agencies off the job board.

Despite the fact that especially new-to-the-profession volleagues rather accept low rates than no income, they should always bear in mind that they had spent years on their education, too much money, time and efforts invested to then end up working for half a peanut.

Usually I delete these kind of jobs, but once in a while I reply stating my rate and send them my T & C for reference. And, amazing!, some even replied that I'd either accept their rates and payment terms or they will find someone else who will be happy to work for them.

Needless to say, I silently pronounced my sincere condolences to the translator while hitting "delete".


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Caroline Grenache  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:53
English to French
+ ...
@Enrico Oct 10, 2012

There is actually such a group on LinkedIn called "Unacceptable Translation Rates Naming & Shaming Group":

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Unacceptable-Translation-Rates-Naming-Shaming-3415770/about

I haven't had the time to check it out myself, but it might be worth having a look at...

[Edited at 2012-10-10 13:11 GMT]


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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:53
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Low rates? How about working for free? Oct 10, 2012

Also available on ProZ.com! A day or two ago, I checked up on a new KudoZ Asker after having answered a question and found he was registered as a basic user of the site and (full marks for honesty) described himself not as a translator, but as an "end user". I hid my answer and posted a note in the Discussion section to say why and that the site is for translators helping translators, not for clients to get free translations. Shortly after, he posted another question. I posted a similar Discussion note and contacted a moderator to alert them to this abuse of KudoZ.

Surprise, surprise: I found my discussion notes and also a note to me saying "well spotted" from another translator on the same discussion board had been removed by the moderators and I didn't even get the courtesy of a reply to my email to the moderator.

So, if ProZ.com, via KudoZ, is in the game of providing free translations, it seems some of those bottom-of-the-barrel agencies haven't yet heard the good news.

That is not the first time I have had a similar experience and while I respect other translators who use the site, I am seriously considering that I should not be putting any more money in the ProZ coffers by attending conferences or renewing my membership.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
KudoZ is not only for translators Oct 10, 2012

B D Finch wrote:
I hid my answer and posted a note in the Discussion section to say why and that the site is for translators helping translators, not for clients to get free translations.


If I understand the rules of KudoZ correctly, any member of the public may ask a question. You can ask more questions per day if you are registered, but you can also ask without being registered.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Low rate Oct 10, 2012

If access to the KudoZ database were suddenly closed to members only (including searches), not only would memberships in ProZ quadruple, there would be a significant drop in the number of zombie and sub-prime "translators" lurking around, resulting in more work for the 30-35% who are real translators.

All it will take is for one serious accident to happen as a result of a .02 "translation" and herds of "translators" will find themselves unable to find work. We will all be so busy that we will dream about the days when we used to be able to sleep and rates will double overnight.

[Edited at 2012-10-10 14:42 GMT]


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Enrico C - ECLC  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 14:53
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
I meant something different. Oct 10, 2012

Caroline Grenache wrote:

There is actually such a group on LinkedIn called "Unacceptable Translation Rates Naming & Shaming Group":

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Unacceptable-Translation-Rates-Naming-Shaming-3415770/about

I haven't had the time to check it out myself, but it might be worth having a look at...

[Edited at 2012-10-10 13:11 GMT]


Hi Caroline,

What i actually meant is that if no one can stop these companies from offering these rates, then there should be an OFFICIAL list of "non compliant" companies that apply such rates. That list should be known at a global level, maintained by some supranational organisation OR, at a national level, maintained by a network of translators/interpreters organizations. This way, you scan the list to see if a prospect shows in it (through a search box) and if it's there you simply refuse any offer, tout court. On a side note, i think companies offering these rates, regardless of their geographical position, are on the edge of illegality. How can you trust a company paying people like that?


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