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Hilarious job offer
Thread poster: svenfrade

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:22
French to German
+ ...
May 23, 2013

I don't usually complain about low rates and just tend to ignore ridiculous offers, but this princely offer really takes the cake:

"Great work opportunity. Low difficulty texts describing tourist destinations worldwide. You will be asked to work Monday to Friday with daily deliveries and a production rate of 2,750 words per day (70% are descriptions, 30% are summaries of the descriptions). 3-week trial period is offered expandable to ten weeks. Good chances to get more work.

Note: an updated CV is required in order to be considered."

That's 0.018 € per source word. Incredible. Now that's what I call a great work opportunity indeed.
"Good chances to get more work". Well, I don't think I'd like any of this to start with, thank you very much. Actually, I can hardly believe this is serious.


 

Maria Arruti  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:22
Member (2012)
French to Spanish
+ ...
Thought it was a mistake May 23, 2013

I've seen the same job offer and thought that there must be something wrong. I couldn't imagine that it was meant seriously.

 

ABCText  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:22
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Just wanted to post this one as well... May 23, 2013

... you have been quicker. Simply impertinent!

 

Assia SANLIS  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:22
English to French
Shocking! May 23, 2013

This offer is indeed quite shocking!!!
we should maybe suggest to work for free!!


 

Sian Cooper  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:22
French to English
+ ...
Trouble is... it's not funny! May 23, 2013

Competition is so fierce, times are so hard - desperate people are accepting desperate rates and taking whatever sort of work they can find, where they can find it. Of course, the job will be filled by a bank of non-native translators using MT and producing, let's say, less than optimal work.

I was chatting with a colleague translator/agency in Brazil recently. He told me he knows people who are translating (proper human translation) for 0.02 US cents a word. I certainly find that every Spanish job rate I'm offered is considerably lower (by about 0.02 to 0.03€/word) than any French work. If you don't want it, they can easily go elsewhere. I personally do not get enough work to refuse them (I have a set limit I will not go under, but I don't tell them that!).

Even though I do believe that we are worth more than that, we (as an industry) may need to accept that the automation of translation (MTs and TMs), plus the massive ease of availability of an online workforce, plus the almost global financial crisis, have changed the translation world. We might just have to accept lower prices if want GOOD translation to survive. Still, how low is low, how low is humiliating and not enough to survive? I don't live in a cheap country!

[Edited at 2013-05-23 11:40 GMT]


 

Camila Gough
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I want to find it funny May 23, 2013

... but I can't. €50 per day is just offensive. And the poster isn't from India or China or wherever these ridiculous ads normally come from - he's in freakin' Australia!

 

Apollonas
Local time: 17:22
Greek to English
+ ...
how low to go? May 23, 2013

I reckon if I have to go lower thant 3,5 eurocents for average el-en work thats when I change job. If we destroy the market we do it for everyone, including ourselves. Sian, if people are happy with autotranslations they can be my guest and will get what they deserve. Unfortunately the eurocrisis imposed on the Greek world in particular has really devastated this market from 12eurocpw a couple of years ago to 2c wholesale, 3,5c retail. I reckon for a 'hilarious job offer' give them their money's worth with a hilarious autotranslate.
Remember, we are not 'translators' we are dignified human beings doing what serves our society and ourselves. If there is no win-win, no go. At worst we may need to translate part time, andd who knows what doors will open once one surfs the top of the wave instead of resisting and getting dumped?


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Easy jobs May 23, 2013

Alarm bells always go off in my head when a customer tells me the work is not difficult. I am the translator, so I should be the judge of that. What they really mean is 'we don't want to pay very much for this work'.
My bottom line is: if I would earn more stacking shelves in the local supermarket, then the rate is too low and I don't accept it.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
"Easy" gets my goat, too May 23, 2013

Helen Hagon wrote:
Alarm bells always go off in my head when a customer tells me the work is not difficult. I am the translator, so I should be the judge of that. What they really mean is 'we don't want to pay very much for this work'.

"Difficult" = "I can't understand this in my own language, so how on earth can anyone translate it?"
"Easy" = "I can understand this perfectly, and I speak another language a little - I could translate it".

It's understandable when you hear it from people outside the industry, but frustrating in the extreme when it's perpetuated by those within. Outsourcers should know enough about our job to realise that tourism translations (for example) can't just use the most common TL equivalents for SL terms. If they want the translator to come up with the best way of imparting the same message in the TL, in the appropriate register, which often requires major restructuring as well as inspiration, they should understand that this will take both time and skill. How many of us have found that reading a translated menu can kill any appetite you had in a second? Sometimes, it's actually more appealing if it's crazily literal, like Rusty Cuttlefishicon_wink.gif for the French Midi dish Seiche à la Rouille, than if it's just mundane, as in boring old Pork Stew with Beans for the Cassoulet served in a gourmet restaurant.

I'm well aware of how difficult jargon-rich technical translations are - I've been persuaded to do a few in my time and I've almost always regretted it - but not all non-technical translations fall into the "easy" category; far from it. We all need to keep up the battle to educate our potential clients, though a lot of what we say is going to fall on deaf ears.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:22
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Translations for tourism should fall in the transcreation category. May 23, 2013

I recently did a job for a restaurant where I could have translated the blurb literally as "come and sample our fine snails, plates of 12 or 6" but since I had budgeted for transcreation, I actually put something on the lines of "You can't say you've been to Burgundy if you haven't sampled our snails: there's a plate of six for the squeamish or a dozen if you dare".

€50 would be nearer my rate per hour for the hard thinking I put into it, wielding my knowledge of the customer, French cuisine and British attitudes to food.


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 19:52
English to Hindi
+ ...
That is a fatalistic attitude to take.... May 23, 2013

Sian Cooper wrote:

Even though I do believe that we are worth more than that, we (as an industry) may need to accept that the automation of translation (MTs and TMs), plus the massive ease of availability of an online workforce, plus the almost global financial crisis, have changed the translation world. We might just have to accept lower prices if want GOOD translation to survive. Still, how low is low, how low is humiliating and not enough to survive? I don't live in a cheap country!

[Edited at 2013-05-23 11:40 GMT]


MTs and TMs and penny a word translators can be a threat only to those operating at the lower, non-quality-conscious levels of the industry.

The situation is not so bad at the higher echelons where quality and professionalism are valued. You still can ask a price and get it.

Accepting lower prices may help GOOD translation to survive but will be fatal to GOOD translators.

The problem is we translators do not have a world wide lobby or even a professional body educating people and potential clients about the importance of a good translation. People and clients have to learn this by trial and error and by making terrible and costly mistakes. If we had a professional body representing us, it could have played the role of educating the public about good translation, and how it can be fostered by paying decent amounts for this service.

The existing bodies like proz.com are shared bodies for both translators and their clients, so they can't take an unequivocally pro-translator stance and work for the benefit of translators exclusively. So they do a balancing act, and often fall between two stools, serving neither the translator or the agencies.

When I think of other professions, doctors, lawyers, chartered accounts and the like, I see that they all have powerful professional bodies promoting the interests of their profession.

In our case, even the existence of a profession like translation is under question, and of course we don't have any professional body to stand up for us.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
€50 per hour would be appreciated May 23, 2013

Texte Style wrote:
€50 would be nearer my rate per hour for the hard thinking I put into it, wielding my knowledge of the customer, French cuisine and British attitudes to food.

You really get clients to pay that?icon_eek.gif My experience is with agencies who insist that it's "only" tourism, hospitality etc. so low budget, and direct clients who will pay me a little more than they pay one of their minions who studied English at school, but nowhere near that much more.


 

NataliaAnne  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:22
Portuguese to English
Also annoyed by "easy" May 23, 2013

It really annoys me when it’s assumed that tourism texts are ‘easy’. I inevitably spend hours researching exactly what type of lacquer was the rage in the particular period, what type of motifs royalty used to decorate their stirrups and what the correct terms are for styles of plinth.

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:22
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
nearer ;-) May 23, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Texte Style wrote:
€50 would be nearer my rate per hour for the hard thinking I put into it, wielding my knowledge of the customer, French cuisine and British attitudes to food.

You really get clients to pay that?icon_eek.gif My experience is with agencies who insist that it's "only" tourism, hospitality etc. so low budget, and direct clients who will pay me a little more than they pay one of their minions who studied English at school, but nowhere near that much more.


I said "nearer"icon_wink.gif

When I do advertising, that is what I aim for, and sometimes get. Not necessarily in tourism. I have come up against the same arguments as you, believe me.

I counter it by saying that the client is offering a fantastic service and the translation really should reflect that. Doesn't wash with agencies, but direct clients buy into it.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:22
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I agree! May 23, 2013

NataliaAnne wrote:

It really annoys me when it’s assumed that tourism texts are ‘easy’. I inevitably spend hours researching exactly what type of lacquer was the rage in the particular period, what type of motifs royalty used to decorate their stirrups and what the correct terms are for styles of plinth.


It's simultaneously what makes it so interesting, and what makes it so time-consuming.
Plinths - been there, done that!


 
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