Laughable job offer for ATA certified translators
Thread poster: Richard Hill

Richard Hill  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:11
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
Mar 21, 2013

Spanish to English with ATA certification required for 1 page translation
Job description:
I am looking for an ATA certified translator for Latin American Spanish to English for a 1 page birth certificate translation. One of the requirements is to provide a copy of the ATA certification, so I would need to receive a copy of the certification with the translation.
$0.04 USD to $0.06 USD per word

Would any self-respecting ATA certified translator respond to this laughable "job offer"? They got two responses one of which was me giving them a piece of my mind and I hope the other response was in the same vein.


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
I saw it too Mar 21, 2013

I saw that and laughed. If that's the benefit of ATA certification, I'll pass for now ^_^

 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
It seems to be the latest (laughable) trend Mar 21, 2013

Agencies ask for full qualifications, sample translations, recommendations, this, that or the other CAT tool, free test, etc. etc., all for some 500 word translation to be offered at 'your lowest possible rate'.
Smile half a sec and then hit 'delete.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:11
English to German
+ ...
PMs sometimes don't know better. Mar 21, 2013

Train them. They might appreciate that kick in terms of professionalism more than you might expect. You are dealing with kids, probably half your age. Most of them are eager to learn, because they are well aware of the tremendous fluctuation rate.

So, why don't you tell that young person that such personal documents require a flat fee, be it $25, $50, $75, or whatever?

Recently I had to seriously step on the toes of some new hire at one of my favorite agencies. He efficiently had combined five catchy headlines for a world market leader (serious snappy play on words, all headlines had to be approx. the same length and were supposed to be printed on banners in a sports stadium to be visible on national TV) in one .doc file and was totally proud to tell me that the 28 words would amount to:

FIVE DOLLARS.

I asked him if he had lost his marbles.


The young man doesn't work there any longer.

The agency has continued to be my largest client.



Please don't blame it on "the agencies"?


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:11
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Online verification Mar 21, 2013

rich. wrote:
I am looking for an ATA certified translator for Latin American Spanish to English for a 1 page birth certificate translation. One of the requirements is to provide a copy of the ATA certification, so I would need to receive a copy of the certification with the translation.
$0.04 USD to $0.06 USD per word

This looks to me like someone could be trying to forge a certification...

The certification status can be seen online in the ATA directory, so no need to ever send the actual certificate. Certified members have a seal bearing a number that can be used for customers to verify that the certification status is current.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:11
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Can ProZ.com help avoid this sort of thing? Mar 21, 2013

rich. wrote:
Spanish to English with ATA certification required for 1 page translation
...
$0.04 USD to $0.06 USD per word


I tend to assume good faith on the part of the client, and if I had to guess what had happened here, I'd speculate that the fault lies partly with the design of the ProZ.com jobs post form.

I think most of us would agree that a one-page certified translation would likely be charged at a flat rate and not a per-unit rate. Yet the ProZ.com jobs post form encourages jobs posters to think in terms of unit pricing. Here's what the outsourcer saw:



Note that the first option he is given is "[amount] to [amount] per word in [currency]". While it is possible for him to select "total" from the dropdown list instead of "word", I can understand that a PM who is confronted by this dialog might immediately ask himself "Hmm, what is the per-word rate we usually pay for this language combination for this type of end-client" and proceed to fill it in, not realising that a per-word rate is utterly unsuitable for his job.

I think that outsourcers should be encouraged to think firstly in terms of total budget and only secondly in terms of per-unit price. After all, this is a "budget" we're talking about, not a "rate".

I think the ProZ.com jobs post form should be redesigned to have two separate options here, namely "Total budget for the job" and "Budget per unit". The first option, "Total budget for the job" should be selected by default, but if the PM really wants to indicate a per-unit rate, he would then select the second option, "Budget per unit", where he can fill in a proposed per-unit rate.

It is not inconceivable that the PM in this case would not find it strange to pay e.g. USD 25 or even USD 50 for the one-page translation, but because he is forced by ProZ.com to think in terms of units instead of total budget, he mistakenly fills in his usual per-unit rate. The poor PM probably doesn't even know how many words there are in his source file (if it is a poorly scanned badly faxed PDF or TIFF file), so he's not going to mentally calculate the real per-word rate in this case.

What do you think?

Samuel

PS. As for gaining clients, I think you'll win more clients if you refer to the client's rate (in your quote to him) as a slip of the finger instead of a misguided attempt to pay peanuts.



[Edited at 2013-03-21 07:36 GMT]


 

Drew MacFadyen
SITE STAFF
Good suggestion Samuel Mar 21, 2013

Sam wrote
Note that the first option he is given is "[amount] to [amount] per word in [currency]". While it is possible for him to select "total" from the dropdown list instead of "word", I can understand that a PM who is confronted by this dialog might immediately ask himself "Hmm, what is the per-word rate we usually pay for this language combination for this type of end-client"


That is a good suggestion and observation Sam - thanks!

As noted in a forum post here - http://www.proz.com/topic/244214
ProZ.com developers are working on updating parts of the job post system and directory. While ProZ.com sourcing features are still the # 1 location for outsourcers to locate linguists - those services can still be improved. If anyone has additional suggestions please add them to the thread at http://www.proz.com/topic/244214

Perhaps breaking the options (per word/per job etc) out of a drop down box and in to an area where one picks the option would highlight the fact that there are options other than per word, irrespective of the default setting.

This has been added to the list of possible improvements. Thank you Samuel.

Regards,

Drew


 


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