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Collaboration Inquiry
Thread poster: Erzsébet Czopyk

Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
Aug 30, 2013

I received this e-mail few minutes ago from Bulgaria from a ProZ.com member.

Share with you as a sing of my protest as a translator, as a ProZ.com community member and a former moderator of the Hungarian community.


Read the text - I have no words left...

"We are currently launching a large long-term translation project from English to several languages, including Hungarian. We are recruiting teams of translators for each language who would be available on a continuous basis.

The subject field is agricultural machinery, construction machinery and forestry equipment. We prefer translators with technical education or proven technical background/experience, and reviewers with linguistic education.

The CAT tool required by our client for this project is Across which is free for translators and easy to use. We will arrange free Across online training sessions at some point in September.

The estimated word count for one year is several million words per language (up to 10 mln). The project will start in the beginning of October and we would like to select a potential team of translators and reviewers by next week, so your early reply to this email will be greatly appreciated. The testing phase is expected to take place in the second week of September, and the training phase - by the end of September.

Please note that this project has been awarded though a tender and our budget is quite tight. This means that translators will be selected on the basis of expertise, rates and test results. The rate we can offer is €0.02 per word for translation and €0.01 per source word for proofreading. The applicable CAT tool discounts (!!!!!!!) can be seen in the attached application form. If you are able to accept this rate, you will be among our preferred translators on an ongoing basis.


[Módosítva: 2013-08-30 15:54 GMT]

[Módosítva: 2013-08-30 15:54 GMT]


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Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:22
Member (2011)
Spanish to French
+ ...
The best answer? Aug 30, 2013

Just ignore them. If everybody did the same, they would end up in deep s....... and surely would think better next time.

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Ildiko Somogyi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:22
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Wowww! Aug 30, 2013

I graduated after 4 years in translation from the Middlesex University and thought it would be easier for me to get very well paid jobs. I have been working as a freelancer for a few years now for small amount of money and decided not to work for any of the agencies or other companies for the money they offered. Anyways, I decided to reply to you in this forum as I think the translation world would need a very well managed system in the future because it is just outrageous how, we translators, are treated financially. I had some strange offers in the past, and I wonder who got those underpaid jobs? Everyone can translate - this is what everybody thinks, but actually this is not true.
After reading your proz topic (Erzsebet) I am thinking who has the cheek to send such an email to a professional translator?


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
She is here Aug 30, 2013

among us, represents an agency.

[Módosítva: 2013-08-30 16:20 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The ratio between the two rates is telling Aug 30, 2013

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:
The rate we can offer is €0.02 per word for translation and €0.01 per source word for proofreading.

Once they get their lightly-edited machine translations from the "translators" (in quotes because they can't possibly be real professional translators), they'll give these texts to the proofreaders to sort out. They're paying the translators probably less than a quarter of a living wage (for my area of the world, anyway), but they're willing to push the boat out and pay proofreaders a whopping third of the market rate. They're clearly expecting those proofreaders to have their hands full, as it's normal to pay them a third of the translation rate per word.


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Sone-Ngole Alvin Ngole  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:22
English to French
+ ...
Whose CVs did they use for the tender? Aug 30, 2013

"Please note that this project has been awarded though a tender and our budget is quite tight..."

If these guys claim to have been awarded this project through a tender, it means they submitted proof of their professionalism.
They most probable included in their bid CVs of experienced/qualified translators.

Several times, we see job posts on our forums in line with this. They tell us they are bidding for so and so huge job and ask for CVs and rates. Nothing guarantees that those whose CVs were used will be awarded the job.

I generally do not respond to such job offers.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:22
English to German
+ ...
If you build it right, they will come Aug 30, 2013

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:

...

Please note that this project has been awarded though a tender and our budget is quite tight. This means that translators will be selected on the basis of expertise, rates and test results. The rate we can offer is €0.02 per word for translation and €0.01 per source word for proofreading. The applicable CAT tool discounts (!!!!!!!) can be seen in the attached application form. If you are able to accept this rate, you will be among our preferred translators on an ongoing basis.


Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Erzsébet, because it is important to educate newcomers to our profession about what is acceptable and what is utterly unacceptable. And to show these job posters that we are no fools.

In many cases, somebody will eventually work for unacceptable rates because they figure any job is better than none, which I don't agree with!

If you are new and are reading this, figure out what you need to earn as a translator, i.e. what you definitely deserve to make according to your education, skills, and experience, and then see if that EUR 0.02/word job will make that possible for you.

If you are inexperienced/new, you still deserve a rate adequate to the service you provide. Your clients (and that means "professional", "responsible" clients) will expect any translator to render an accurate and stylistically excellent translation. If you can provide that, you deserve an adequate rate, no matter how young or old you are, and no matter how long you have been a translator.

Based on what you figure you want to make per year, see how many words you have to translate per month at the rate of EUR .02/word with discounts!!!! (subtract at least 30% but it could be way more). Base it on a daily output of let's say 2000 words, which is reasonable, with additional time left over for reviewing and editing your work), and calculate how many words it would take you to get to that desired annual income. Then ask yourself if you really want to do that to yourself!! I don't think so!

Don't kid yourself. A professional rate is way higher than what is proposed in this example provided by Erzsébet.

No one who makes translating his/her profession deserves the @*^!# offered by unscrupulous shysters.

Talking about this is important all around, for translators as well as clients who might think that EUR 0.05/word must then be a good rate. No, it is not, far, far from it.
And the "professional clients" know it.
But ignoring it is not going to make these clowns go away! You can decide to ignore the offer, yes, but I am always happy when someone takes the opportunity and talks about it (thank you, Erzsébet!) so that as many people as possible learn about these crooked practices and that there's no chance that even one of us thinks these practices are acceptable!

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that jobs based on bids are some of the worst jobs around.

Just put together a good website, a good profile, concentrating on some of the unique experience and education you have. "If you build it (right), they will come!"

Bernhard

[Edited at 2013-08-30 20:20 GMT]


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My answer Aug 30, 2013

Maybe unprofessional, but TRULY FROM MY HEART

Please note that this project has been awarded though a tender and our budget is quite tight. This means that translators will be selected on the basis of expertise, rates and test results. The rate we can offer is €0.02 per word for translation and €0.01 per source word for proofreading?????? The applicable CAT tool discounts??? can be seen in the attached application form.

hahaha maybe I shall pay you for my own work?????? 0.02 per source word minus CAT discount????? What are yoou think am I a slave???I still do not lost my mind !!!

Ridiculous, shameful, humiliating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I started my carreer 20 years ago and even having no translatron certificate as a student earned 0.05 eucent per source word in 1992!!!!
0.02???? You guys are kidding. In my country anything goverment-realated business is dirty but I see you looking for some translators for suicidal price…..

Wish you do not find any.


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 00:22
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
:) Aug 30, 2013

http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_theory_and_practice/255362-need_some_advice_on_very_generous_translation_job_offers.html#2191045

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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
almost falled from my chair Aug 31, 2013




Dear Marius, your answer is hilarious! If you do not keep the rights, may I use this as a template (boilerplate answer) for future low-budget and tender participation-objected project inquiries?


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A smile a day... Aug 31, 2013

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:

Please note that this project has been awarded though a tender and our budget is quite tight. This means that translators will be selected on the basis of expertise, rates and test results. The rate we can offer is €0.02 per word for translation and €0.01 per source word for proofreading. The applicable CAT tool discounts (!!!!!!!) can be seen in the attached application form. If you are able to accept this rate, you will be among our preferred translators on an ongoing basis.


[Módosítva: 2013-08-30 15:54 GMT]

[Módosítva: 2013-08-30 15:54 GMT]


Well, if they are that poor, maybe they should file for bancrupcy.

What exactly would be their discount rate? 50 - 100%? I wonder what they dream of at night? That the translators/proof-readers pay them for the "privilege" of working for such an agency? After all, these "donations" would be tax deductible.

I hope you filed it where it belongs: File 13.

@ MariusV
Your reply is fantastic! Congratulations on your perfect conception of how to respond to such generous offers.

[Edited at 2013-08-31 07:31 GMT]


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
??? Aug 31, 2013

What the file 13 means?
Something close to Trash folder?

[Módosítva: 2013-08-31 07:28 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
File 13 Aug 31, 2013

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:

What the file 13 means?
Something close to Trash folder?

[Módosítva: 2013-08-31 07:28 GMT]


This is what we called the electronic and "physical" trash bin back when I used to work with the US Air Force. Some phrases will simply stick.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
:) Aug 31, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:
The rate we can offer is €0.02 per word for translation and €0.01 per source word for proofreading.

Once they get their lightly-edited machine translations from the "translators" (in quotes because they can't possibly be real professional translators), they'll give these texts to the proofreaders to sort out. They're paying the translators probably less than a quarter of a living wage (for my area of the world, anyway), but they're willing to push the boat out and pay proofreaders a whopping third of the market rate. They're clearly expecting those proofreaders to have their hands full, as it's normal to pay them a third of the translation rate per word.


Well, let's say a proof-reader would lower her-/himself to such poor standards (which I seriously doubt!), then they could do just that for the generous payment of EUR 0.01: proof-read. They correct only typos (EUR 0.01/word doesn't merit additional "steps"), whether the sentences make any sense or not, whether syntax and gramma are completely off and against all rules or halfway decent.

Then let the agency stand out with its brilliant, ready-to-print translation.

Sorry for such sarcasm, but there is no other way to deal with such "out-of-this-world" agencies.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
still thinking Aug 31, 2013

and cannot decide to turn to ProZ.com staff to exclude such member from community. I think she does not deserve the title "colleague" anymore, regardless their BB profile entries. And still do not know whether I have the right to publish her name or not. At least I have a very strong desire to do so.

[Módosítva: 2013-08-31 09:06 GMT]


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