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Ridiculous rates
Thread poster: jaskol
jaskol
Local time: 21:23
English to Polish
Dec 28, 2012

One of recent job ads for English to German, English to Polish includes budget info: $0.025 USD to $0.03 USD per word (sic!). To my astonishment, they have collected 16 quotes in response. I can’t find the right words to describe such phenomena, but I’m sure of one thing – the situation is going to get worse and worse if the LSPs keep finding people ready to works for peanuts.

LET’S NOT REPLY TO SUCH CHEEKY OFFERS!!!


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:23
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Let's not worry Dec 30, 2012

Solution: No bid (of course).

Also:
Do not forget: Every buyer has a learning curve and those rates will probably not bring satisfaction to anyone involved so next time other rates will certainly be considered.

[Edited at 2012-12-30 11:29 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Now and then I reply... Dec 30, 2012

... strongly suggesting they use free online machine translation instead.

Considering the 'finished' jobs such agencies sometimes hire me (at much higher rates) to redo, fix, or otherwise salvage, it is a more intelligent option. If the end-client accepts that junk, their profit will be a bit higher; if they don't, there will be more money left in the budget to have it redone it properly.

I even published a comparison on this page. If what they see on the right column there is good enough for them, why waste money on amateurs?


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Educating the client is the only way to go Dec 30, 2012

Remember we are in this to make a living, and if we don't insist on viable rates, these jobs for peanuts will keep coming.

I am sometimes embarrassed about asking for a realistic rate for living in northern Europe when the client comes from countries where very few people have that kind of money, but I still have to pay my bills and taxes like everyone else. The tax man doesn't care if someone could live for a year in China on what I pay in tax for a month...

Even in cultures where bartering is the norm and buyers start by offering a low price, the bargaining should end at a reasonable level.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:23
Swedish to English
+ ...
Why would you feel embarrassed? Dec 30, 2012

Christine Andersen wrote:


I am sometimes embarrassed about asking for a realistic rate for living in northern Europe when the client comes from countries where very few people have that kind of money, but I still have to pay my bills and taxes like everyone else. .



Virtual all DK > EN assignments are likely to have originated in Denmark, or possibly another Scandinavian country. If an end client has bought into the idea that they can get cheaper translations by outsourcing to a "cheaper" country, they are the one with eggs on their face.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There are exceptions Dec 30, 2012

jaskol wrote:
LET’S NOT REPLY TO SUCH CHEEKY OFFERS!!!

As others have said, it's important to educate clients. Not systematically, but just occasionally I feel the need to speak my mind in response to one of these offers.

Hopefully, that's what all those 'quoters' were doing.


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George Hopkins
Local time: 21:23
Swedish to English
Yes Madeleine Dec 30, 2012

... the yolk will be on the end client. But will he realize it? How many end clients are capable of determining whether a translation is good or bad?

Does Proz ever do a quality check on translations produced through its services?


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:23
Italian to English
Scope of the site Dec 30, 2012

George Hopkins wrote:

Does Proz ever do a quality check on translations produced through its services?


That is not part of this site's objectives. See the mission statement: http://www.proz.com/about/

What it does do is to offer clients the benefit of its Certification process (namely the Certified Pro Network, which most certainly does include quality checks), as well as other indicators such as WWAs, Peer-judged Competitions and KudoZ points.

It also warns clients who post jobs with budgets at these rates about the likely outcome.

[Edited at 2012-12-30 14:21 GMT]


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:23
Swedish to English
+ ...
More omelette Dec 30, 2012

George Hopkins wrote:

... the yolk will be on the end client. But will he realize it? How many end clients are capable of determining whether a translation is good or bad?



If a company offers their services/products in a language which none of their staff can understand, they do deserve both the yolk and the albumen. For example, company A offers to sell you product X or service Y on a website translated into language B, but have no client services or similar who can understand and communicate with you in language B.

Private individuals are, of course, another issue.


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lisa kramer taruschio  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:23
Italian to English
Responsibility works both ways Dec 30, 2012

Those who offer work can also be to blame. I simply disregard offers where 1) length of text is not mentioned 2) deadline is not mentioned 3)range of rates is not given 4) no description of the work to be translated is provided. When there is no specification of these details, you can usually be sure you are dealing with someone who either doesn't know how to judge quality translation or just wants a cheap job. I am actually astounded at the carelessness with which many offerings of work are posted. This is a very capricious business with so many variables that you have to rely on experience and instinct when replying to these people. But don't sell yourself cheap.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:23
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Education and responses Dec 31, 2012

Sometimes I reply to these below the poverty line job offers with my rate. In most cases there's no reply. Only occationally does someone reply to my quote, stating that I am too expensive for them, but that they would settle for a "little higher" rate, e. g. instead of USD 0.02 they offer USD 0.025, presently EUR 0.013. And the Euros are what matter to me living in the E. C.

Educating the clients is a very difficult task because for as long as they can get the job done for an apple and an egg, why should they pay more? And their end client is also important in this "game", especially if no one speaks the target language. Then they simply accept the translation as "good". The perfect example for this "lack of knowledge" are manuals in various languages for e. g. electronic equipment. I often prefer to read the somewhat better English version to reading the German translation... unless I'm need of total confusion or a good laugh.

Obtaining rates one can actually live on can only be achieved if all translators accept only industry standard rates. This, however, is absolutely impossible for known reasons.

Personally, I have managed to convince two clients to accept my rates, and these are, of course, agencies. Direct clients are much more appreciative of our work.


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Marcelina Haftka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:23
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Can you go lower? Jan 24, 2013

One of today's job postings (in 3 language pairs):
Translation (incl. SEO) of around 130,000 words
Budget range? USD 300 to 500! Can you go lower?


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Elzbieta Petlicka  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:23
Danish to Polish
+ ...
I wanted to post a comment about this offer myself Jan 25, 2013

130,000 words for 300 to 500 USD gives... 0.0023 to 0.0038 $ per source word - which means that they pay 1 cent for 2-3 words. I know that translation in some language combinations is not paid very well, but I have never seen anything like that.
Oh, and the timeline is 1,5 months.
Unfortunately, they requested to be contacted via email, so we can't see if anyone applied.


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Bosnian
United States
Local time: 15:23
English to Bosnian
+ ...
I wanted to post a comment about this offer myself Jan 25, 2013

I am not as professional as some of you here but I was paid $15-$25 per page from 1997 until now or oral translation per hour for the same rate. So whatever number of words you can fit on that page....I would say average number per page would be 350-400 words. You can do the math. I can not imagine somebody spending hours of their time for nothing. Use your skill to your advantage...that's why you are in demand, because of your BRAINS-TONGUE-FINGERS.
We had a statement in my country: A person is worth as many people as many languages he/she speaks. If you want to let yourself be cheap workforce you can go for it....if you work in McDonalds you would be paid minimum wage of $8 per hour which is still more than what you would be paid doing these ridiculously cheap projects.


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:23
English to Polish
Educating them Jan 25, 2013

jaskol wrote:

One of recent job ads for English to German, English to Polish includes budget info: $0.025 USD to $0.03 USD per word (sic!). To my astonishment, they have collected 16 quotes in response. I can’t find the right words to describe such phenomena, but I’m sure of one thing – the situation is going to get worse and worse if the LSPs keep finding people ready to works for peanuts.

LET’S NOT REPLY TO SUCH CHEEKY OFFERS!!!


No one says the translators agreed to the proposed rates. One of the way to tell those posters how ridiculous their offers are is to tell them. Otherwise they might never get the point.


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