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.02 Translation job sent through ProZ connect!
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 14, 2015

Just got this. Keep in mind that the agency has a "3" BlueBoard rating, you won't get paid for 45 days (if at all) AND you have to complete a test in order to be qualified to translate for .02 or edit for .01. They want to hire a translator, an editor AND a proofreader for .035 a word.

Who accepts this nonsense???? I guess they think three stupid people will somehow end up creating a good translation...

And don't forget the ubiquitous carrot at the end "there's more work to come...." (but only IF you qualify... - meaning you have a pulse, if not any brain cells).

I told them they are better off to put the text through Google Translate (because that's exactly what their cheap "translators" are going to do anyway).

"A new standard job has been posted at ProZ.com that might interest you. According to the information in your ProZ.com profile, you meet the preliminary eligibility requirements for this job.

Posted by:xxxxx
Title: English-Spanish Translators/Editors/Proofreaders
Description: We are currently sourcing experienced Translators, Editors and Proofreaders to handle a large portion of our Spanish (LatAm) - English (US) translation.

Fields:
Mining (machinery, safety, geology, human resources)
Legal (contracts)
Banking(Manuals, contracts)
Business/Commerce
Fishery (newsletters, market outlooks)


- Translation rate in USD 0.021
- Editing rate in USD 0.01
- Proofreading rate in USD 0.005

Payment cycle is 45 days after delivery.
We will ask you to complete a brief 500 word assessment (unpaid) prior to joining any of our projects.

If jobs are completed with quality we can offer future projects and considerable volume."

[Edited at 2015-01-14 16:06 GMT]


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
English to French
+ ...
Free-market concept, anyone? Jan 14, 2015

This is a free market (and, by all means, a US-based translator should be aware of the concept).

Free market means that anyone is free to offer any rate they want, and conversely anyone is free to refuse such rates, demand more, or even demand less.

Enough said.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:53
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Choose Jan 14, 2015

You can choose not to receive notification of offers if the rate is below a level that you set.

I never receive any at all because none of them ever reach the rate I've set !!!




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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:53
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The same here Jan 14, 2015

Hi

I saw something like that on job posting last week.
First they contacted me, I said i was available and they replied asking for quotes and CV. Then, they asked for a 250 test for client and added that it was a long project with more potential ones and I should review my quotes... I said not thank you.

This is a shame! If we begin working in such low price levels, it will become 'free jobs' in the end.

Hopefully many professionals do not accept that.



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Matthew Rubush
United States
Local time: 17:53
Italian to English
+ ...
Test Translations Jan 14, 2015

I am relatively new to this business. According to you all, are these sample test translations not worth it? I received an email yesterday with one of about 300 words, and I reasoned it would be similar to the time spent on a job interview. I have not completed this translation yet since there is no rush. I am interested in your thoughts on this as to whether I should complete it or not.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Notification Jan 14, 2015

Thanks Tom.

I did have the notification set to a high minimum (classic and turnkey) on the dashboard, but I still got the notification (or is there another box I need to check). At any rate, I just selected to receive no notifications because I never get anything interesting anyway.

[Update: I just found the Connect Jobs box - it's at the bottom of the dashboard. I turned those off too].

Tom in London wrote:

You can choose not to receive notification of offers if the rate is below a level that you set.

I never receive any at all because none of them ever reach the rate I've set !!!




[Edited at 2015-01-14 16:31 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
True Jan 14, 2015

And I am free to laugh at them.

JL01 wrote:

This is a free market (and, by all means, a US-based translator should be aware of the concept).

Free market means that anyone is free to offer any rate they want, and conversely anyone is free to refuse such rates, demand more, or even demand less.

Enough said.


[Edited at 2015-01-14 16:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-01-14 16:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-01-14 16:47 GMT]


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
English to French
+ ...
Different issue Jan 14, 2015

Matthew:

This really is a separate topic, which deserves its own thread. And, I'm sure, the issue has already been beaten to death many times. A little search of this forum should uncover said beatings.

Matthew Rubush wrote:

I am relatively new to this business. According to you all, are these sample test translations not worth it? I received an email yesterday with one of about 300 words, and I reasoned it would be similar to the time spent on a job interview. I have not completed this translation yet since there is no rush. I am interested in your thoughts on this as to whether I should complete it or not.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
English to German
+ ...
Bigger issue Jan 14, 2015

JL01 wrote:

This is a free market (and, by all means, a US-based translator should be aware of the concept).

Free market means that anyone is free to offer any rate they want, and conversely anyone is free to refuse such rates, demand more, or even demand less.

Enough said.


This only masks the bigger issue - that a) there are lots of unprofessional people out there, either offering or working for such or slightly higher rates, which doesn't do any of us any favors - (Client, thinking:"I can certainly get it cheaper from someone here"), b) that all of us are in some way connected to this (I won't get into details - you can figure that out yourself) and c) that it's simply not okay, not even in a free market.

So what I'm saying is it's not just about the freedom to choose what you charge, it's what the word "professional" or the concept of "professionalism" stands for, and what it is that a professional should and can do about it.


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
English to French
+ ...
wrong profession? Jan 14, 2015

had I known what I know now when I was young, I would have gone into plumbing or any similar trade rather than in a "knowledge profession" which anyone believes they can practice.

This is advice for our children, assuming of course that toilet unclogging still can't be outsourced to wherever thirty years down the line.


Bernhard Sulzer wrote a lot of stuff that is right, but that I will snip


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
(Un)disintermediation Jan 14, 2015

Unfortunately, even trades such as plumbing and locksmiths are not immune to the effects of "intermediation". The last time I called a plumbing company, they sent out a "representative" who quoted me a price (it quickly became clear that this person - who was impeccably dressed - had only limited knowledge of plumbing) and then they hired a plumber (who has his own plumbing business, but not the scope of the advertising budget available to what I found out was just an agency - they don't tell you this up front of course).

Same thing with painting companies - the big players are all agencies that outsource the work to smaller painters/painting companies. Locksmiths too work with agencies.

Most of the service companies that have big ads in the yellow pages or big websites don't offer the services themselves, but subcontract the work (and the subcontractor subsequently is only paid half as much).

People are more willing to trust WORLDWIDE PAINTING SERVICES and REDCAP PLUMBERS than Joe's Painting Inc. or Mike's Plumbing, even though they may get worse service because even though the same professional comes to their house, that person is only paid half as much. In the case of RedCap, all they do is switch hats (literally) before they come to the door.

I recently paid a painting company $4,000 to paint the inside of my house and I found out that the painters who did all the work only received $1,200.


JL01 wrote:

had I known what I know now when I was young, I would have gone into plumbing or any similar trade rather than in a "knowledge profession" which anyone believes they can practice.

This is advice for our children, assuming of course that toilet unclogging still can't be outsourced to wherever thirty years down the line.





[Edited at 2015-01-14 19:03 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Matthew Jan 14, 2015

Matthew Rubush wrote:
According to you all, are these sample test translations not worth it?


Different translators have different opinions about that. If you look at the corresponding article on the ProZwiki, you'll see how successive editors tried to swing the article's message to their own ideology... strongly in favour, strongly against, and anywhere inbetween.

Jeff's gripe is not with the test translation, but with the extremely low rate. I'm not sure if Jeff is opposed to doing the test translation in this case, but I can tell you that if I were a client that offered a low rate such as this, I would also have required a test translation, because offers this low will attract all manner of amateurs and tricksters.

A 500-word test will take up to an hour to complete, and even if this was a paid test, you'd get only USD 10 for it, according to the offered rate.

I received an email yesterday with one of about 300 words, and I reasoned it would be similar to the time spent on a job interview.


That is a favourable way of looking at it, yes. You could also reason that the test translation is paid from your own marketing budget.

I am interested in your thoughts on this as to whether I should complete it or not.


You're a new translator who's trying to break into the market. Ask what rate they offer, and if it is acceptable, then... do the free test.


[Edited at 2015-01-14 18:50 GMT]


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:53
Member
Italian to English
"Good rate"... Jan 14, 2015

JL01 wrote:

This is a free market (and, by all means, a US-based translator should be aware of the concept).



I constantly hear this argument in "favour" of low rates, or at least in defence of posting them. But I ask myself, is there anywhere in the world where $0.02 per source word is a "good" rate? (I suspect not). I know there are countries where people live on less than a dollar a day. But this does not mean they should.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another perspective Jan 14, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

And don't forget the ubiquitous carrot at the end "there's more work to come...." (but only IF you qualify... - meaning you have a pulse, if not any brain cells).


It should read: "but only IF you have survived the winter". Must be a typo, because:

0.02 x 2000 = $40 (provided you will have a constant work and can do 2k words a day)
$40 x 25 = $1000 (provided you work 25 days a month)

And the outcome is:

$1000 gross in the US / Western Europe / Japan / South Korea / Australia, etc.: the translator did not survive the winter.

$1000 gross is Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, Russia, etc.: the translator enjoyed one of the best winters of their life.

This is a global business and the world is far from being a perfect place. Rather, it is a "market place".


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It's a completely different way of thinking Jan 14, 2015

A translator in the US/Western Europe... would see:

IF:
.02 a word = $1000 gross in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, Russia, etc.: the translator enjoyed one of the best winters of their life.

THEN:
.10 a word = $5000 gross in Eastern Europe, Latin America...: the translator lives a luxurious life, can buy a house for his/her family, send kids to school, donate to charities, help other people in the community, build a home, retire early.

= Five times as much money for five times less work.

If it truly is a global business as you say, then not charging .10 or even .15 a word because it's too much money in the local currency doesn't make sense. If you can't charge .15 a word, then it really isn't a global economy. Although one could (theoretically) survive in those countries for .02 a word, if you could charge more, why wouldn't you? If it's a global business, then a translator could work only for companies in Western countries, become rich and retire, rather than slaving away for years at a subsistence level.

Why does everything need to shift toward the lowest common denominator instead of the other way around?


Merab Dekano wrote:


And the outcome is:

$1000 gross in the US / Western Europe / Japan / South Korea / Australia, etc.: the translator did not survive the winter.

$1000 gross is Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, Russia, etc.: the translator enjoyed one of the best winters of their life.

This is a global business and the world is far from being a perfect place. Rather, it is a "market place".



[Edited at 2015-01-14 20:34 GMT]


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