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ProZ.com outsourcing CPN members at 0.06€/w (Staff: ProZ.com is not an outsourcer, but a platform)
Thread poster: Neil Ashby

Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 22:18
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 30, 2013

Hi all,

I would like to bring to the attention of all "Pro"z Certified Pro Network (CPN) members some of the current practices of Proz and their affiliates.

ARE YOU ALL AWARE THAT: http://www.proz.com/faq/163672#163672

"An interface ("API" or Application programming interface) is being developed which allows clients to search for and contact ProZ.com members for paid work from their own translation platforms. In essence, this interface represents a potential additional channel of client contact for ProZ.com members. The interface is currently being tested with a limited group of volunteers. "

Agencies such as [A CERTAIN AGENCY] in France
(it is actually a 'translation broker', a Brazilian bikini shop and a real estate agency - please see the excellent discussion in Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=3415770&type=member&item=5793415625099464708&commentID=5823404425019957248&goback=.gmp_3415770&report.success=8ULbKyXO6NDvmoK7o030UNOYGZKrvdhBhypZ_w8EpQrrQI-BBjkmxwkEOwBjLE28YyDIxcyEO7_TA_giuRN#commentID_5823404425019957248 )
are using this "API" to advertise CPN services at 0.06€ / word (customer's end price) for all language pairs....if you are a CPN member you may appear in the database of [A CERTAIN AGENCY IN FRANCE]!!!!!!!!! [That depends on your rate and visibility settings, http://www.proz.com/?sp=settings_tpx_api#! - good luck finding that without this link!].

Of course this translation broker appears to have a great database of serious professional translators - with the added bonus of working for ~ 1/2 the ATA and EU recommended rates for Eurozone professional translators (0.10 € / word)......our good names and services maybe being used falsely and subsequently dragged through the mud.

Proz's professional guidelines for translation service providers includes the following:

"•set their rates at levels that allow them to deliver, on an ongoing basis, the quality levels that their clients require - ProZ.com global directory of translation services "

[http://www.proz.com/translation-center/overview/about/code]
- this would appear to contradict the price offered by their "API" partner [A CERTAIN AGENCY IN FRANCE] - 0.06€/WORD BEING THE PRICE PAID BY THE END CLIENT. Nobody can offer the quality levels that the client requires (the end client) at these rates - and Proz are promoting them.

This matter has been raised with Proz management 3 months ago - with no reply.

I for one am seriously considering next year's membership if all Proz do is offer my services cheaply, without my permission, are clearly not in favour of promoting good business practices.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 04:18
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
And? Dec 30, 2013

I had to reread the post three times because of the atrocious paragraph structure, and it still doesn't make any sense.

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Cetacea  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 22:18
English to German
+ ...
Seriously? Dec 30, 2013

Lincoln Hui wrote:
I had to reread the post three times because of the atrocious paragraph structure, and it still doesn't make any sense.


That's all you have to say about the subject raised by Neil Ashby? In my opinion, there is nothing atrocious about his paragraph structure, but rather about the fact that ProZ seems to not only condone rates of 0.06€ a word, but also make it much easier to extend such offers to its members.

But then, I haven't been a paying member anymore for several years now...

Edited to thank Neil for raising the subject. Thanks, Rachel, for reminding me.

[Edited at 2013-12-30 15:06 GMT]


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Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:18
French to English
+ ...
Thank you Neil Dec 30, 2013

~

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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:18
English to Polish
+ ...
Question Dec 30, 2013

Question is, does that agency actually list translators by name and surname on its website? Does it mention CPN next to its €0.06 rates on its website?

Because simply mining Proz.com's database with a crawler to expand their own database is not a problem. What would be a big problem would be someone using my name and surname to offer my services without my permission. A smaller problem would be associating €0.06 with CPN.


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Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 22:18
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Lukas Dec 30, 2013

Yes it mentions the CPN logo right next to the words "unique rate 0.06 € / word, all pairs"....try out the links which I rather conveniently provided.

And if you didn't 'unlist' [ http://www.proz.com/?sp=settings_tpx_api#! ] from the service then you may well be on the list. I haven't wanted to visit the actual "translation broker's" website (only the front page) because my virus-alert warns me not to!!!!

[Edited at 2013-12-30 15:22 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-12-30 15:23 GMT]


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Michal Fabian  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:18
Member (2012)
Dutch to Slovak
+ ...
This has caused quite a lot of commotion already Dec 30, 2013

See here: http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=3415770&type=member&item=5793415625099464708&qid=650dc3fc-3927-4144-9ba7-c55ac1a11650&trk=groups_most_popular-0-b-ttl&goback=.gmp_3415770

The fact that this "translation agency" is actually a bikini shop is just surreal. If ProZ wants to keep the last bits of their credibility, this is quite obviously not the way to go. Anybody from the ProZ staff care to comment?



I had to reread the post three times because of the atrocious paragraph structure, and it still doesn't make any sense.

Right. Anything relevant to bring to the topic, by any chance?


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Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 22:18
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Lincoln Dec 30, 2013

I can see you are a very........erm, which parts are you having trouble with?

Sorry if it's disorganised, I was collecting information from about 4 websites. Maybe if it appears not to make sense to you but it does to everyone else then there could be an underlying factor involved.....

Thanks for your support comrade, together we shall bring down the bad practices!

[Edited at 2013-12-30 15:35 GMT]


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 22:18
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Michal Dec 30, 2013

They will only reply to tell you that (non)Proz is "a platform and not an outsourcer" however they are perfectly happy to sell our hard work, good name, and marketing to the highest/lowest bidder (the bikini-selling translation broker). And, of course, to take a few from you in the mean time for the pleasure......win/win take a commission from the buyer, the seller and the twenty-seven layers of middle-men in between. Proz are doing ZERO to eradicate the middle-man (which surely should be one of their purposes from both freelance translators and end clients' points of view).

Thank you for your support, I'm waiting for someone with time plus the business and computer acumen to start a real TRANSLATOR'S WEBSITE - BY THE TRANSLATORS AND TRULY FOR THE TRANSLATORS, promoting awareness of our work with end clients, doing away with unnecessary middle-men, "recommending" (apparently in our industry price-fixing would be illegal although it occurs in every other industry) industry standard prices regardless of translator's residence, etc.....there's is still room for agencies and PMs, but real agencies that care about quality, returning clients and avoiding deaths and accidents due to substandard translations.

[Edited at 2013-12-30 17:33 GMT]


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maierservices  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:18
English to German
+ ...
Thanks for sharing your thoughts - here are mine Dec 30, 2013

Hi Neil,

before reading the following text I expressly refer to the freedom of speech principle laid down in various jurisdictions, including the Constitution of the United States and that of my home country.

I was a paying member and even Certified PRO for some years, having high hopes at the beginning that proz.com (according to their own claim) was a good and valuable tool for language professionals. However, disappointment came soon and I finally stopped membership altogether in 2013, exactly because of the cheap-bargain rate pricing policy allowed and promoted via proz.com. In all these years I wrote numerous replys, applied for many jobs offered, sent CVs, called people up, tried to collect Kudoz points etc. but never managed to climb up the Kudoz ladder, win a serious client or decently paid job although I hold a degree in translation, have an abundance of credentials and more than 26 years experience as a language professional.

Instead I learned that people posting jobs for translators and interpreters on proz are obviously looking for the cheapest price rather than quality, experience, dedication and/or honesty, while unqualified and semi-professional self-declared translators or interpreters are encouraged to enter the market and in doing so strive to sell at (also obviously) any price. Translation for USD 0.03 per word? No problem. Editing and proofreading for USD 0.01 per word? Welcome. Just post it on proz. Thousands of translators and interpreters are anxiously waiting for you, just fix your price and let them run after the carot. - This, however, is not how the real language service market works and sorry, but I live and have to pay my dues in a Western European country and have to survive in a Western market. In addition, I invested in many years of professional academic education and on-going training to become the higly-qualified expert I am.

For my part I cannot see "professionalism" in what proz.com claims is a "platform for language professionals". In my eyes its claims to be able to show how to become a "language professional" and teach virtually everyone to be one are misleading. I booked some of the webinars - each of them wasn't scratching more than just the surface, not to speak of any in-depth knowledge of certain subjects or markets. It's obviously all about selling services, memberhips and webinars. The fact that different markets and countries require different approaches and that professional or academic language education of at least B.A. level is required to become a qualified language expert is completely ignored - instead it's purported that with some very basic knowledge you are already a "big professional". Well, the work of such "experts" used to land on my desk quite frequently because clients think they can make a good bargain by buying as cheap as possible at first and then taking a real expert's know-how and knowledge to brush up the poor result and/or clean up the mess. I also stopped taking on such jobs - why should I support a cheap-price profit policy of platforms, agencies and other middle-men and/or bad translators who undermine rates and markets?

In my opinion platforms like proz.com earn a profit at the expense of real markets and decent educated translators/interpreters, thus contributing to potentially destroying them. They may called it "competition" but in my opinion this is not a true competition. Why? Let me give you an example: Each of us has two hands but only a few can play piano. And from those being able to play piano, only some can play it well or very well. And from those only a handful may be called masters and even less of these will ever become a second Rubinstein. If you were asked to categorize these piano players - how many of these you would actually allocate to the "master players" team and why? Now what about professionalism and expertise of other artists like translators and interpreters?

So, instead of investing in a new proz membership fee, I decided to invest this amount in this year's ATA conference and ITI or ATICOM/BDUE on-site seminars in Germany and the UK. Because that's where the REAL PROFESSIONAL are - in dedicated professional associations and industry organisations where just paying a fee isn't enough for becoming a member!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Neil, and all the best for 2014.
With kind regards, Beate

Beate


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 04:18
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Are you a man, or a clockwork doll? Dec 30, 2013

So, just what exactly does this API that the opening post has so kindly highlighted in ALL CAPS got to do with this agency, and how you managed to go from there to the fantastic claim of PROZ OUTSOURCING CPN MEMBERS AT 0.06€ /WORD, also kindly highlighted in ALL CAPS? Since Cetacea and Michal Fabian claim to have read the opening post, care to explain what the relationship is, considering that all it does is basically replicate the function of the directory search?

How do you make claim that this agency is ProZ's "API partner"? Did this agency contact you through this API? How is that any different from the agency doing a directory search and sending an email through your profile? Is that PROZ OUTSOURCING CPN MEMBERS AT 0.06€ /WORD too? Are you aware agencies cannot contact you through this system if the rate that they're offering is lower that what you list in your profile, which makes it harder, not easier, for companies offering low rates to contact you? What is this, blaming other people for the fact that you refuse to list your minimum rates in your profile?


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Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 22:18
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lincoln Dec 30, 2013

I'll thank you not to get personal or start throwing insults.

Proz are directly or indirectly advocating the service of "0.06€/word unique price for all pairs" - that's my main problem. As many ppl. are commenting they were not aware of this "service" which one has to opt out of. Most of us are bothered by being associated with a less-than-professional agency.
I never claimed that this BROKER is a Proz API partner - but they are! Proz have authorised them to use the PCN logo, they have a list of PCN members who are willing to work at these rates, Proz were told about the site 3 months (see the linkedin discussion I mentioned at the start.....in fact see and read all of the links I gave at the start, they include the full picture) and have done little to stop the association which in my book means they endorse the association and the rate of 0.06€ / word.

Why I am bothering?!?? if you can't see the wood for the trees then that's your problem.
Good luck with your job application for PRoz.....


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Neil Dec 30, 2013

Neil Ashby, PhD in Chemistry wrote:
Are you aware [of this?]
An interface ("API" or Application programming interface) is being developed which allows clients to search for and contact ProZ.com members for paid work from their own translation platforms.
http://www.proz.com/faq/163672


No, I was not aware of it, but I see nothing wrong with it. I do believe that the opt-out procedure should be more visible (you gave the link, but I have no idea how I would otherwise get to that page). The API enables clients to search the ProZ.com directory via their own systems and to contact translators directly. No information is shared with those clients that isn't already visible in the public view of your profile page. It can only benefit translators.

Please see the excellent discussion in Linkedin...


The discussion is only visible to LinkedIn members who are also members of the group where this discussion was posted. I have no idea what the agency's name is that you're referring to.

Agencies such as a certain agency in France (it is actually a 'translation broker') ... are using this API to advertise CPN services at 0.06€ / word (customer's end price) for all language pairs.


Well, since the API is set to search the directory, I wonder if the agency's use of the API filters out translators whose profile pages state that their rates are higher than EUR 0.06. Perhaps a ProZ.com staff member can answer that question for us.

...if you are a CPN member you may appear in the database of [that agency].


If I understand the API correctly, your details aren't shared with the agency at all. The agency's web site allows its visitors to search the ProZ.com directory via the agency's web site.

Of course this translation broker appears to have a great database of serious professional translators - with the added bonus of working for [0.06 € / word]... our good names and services maybe being used falsely and subsequently dragged through the mud.


Yes, the fact that it would appear to visitors of that agency web site that the agency has access to a large number of vetted or qualified translators is one of the advantages of this service for the agency. However, unless your name is mentioned on the agency's web site, your name is not dragged through the mud. And CPN membership does not require a certain minimum rate.

I for one am seriously considering next year's membership if all Proz do is offer my services cheaply, without my permission...


You created a ProZ.com profile page voluntarily. By doing so, you authorised ProZ.com do do certain things with your data. Do you know what those things are? Do you know what you authorised ProZ.com to do with the data that you submitted yourself?


[Edited at 2013-12-30 17:04 GMT]


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