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What do you think about a 0,015USD rate??
Thread poster: Omar Lobao

Omar Lobao  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:59
Member (2009)
Italian to Portuguese
+ ...
Apr 4, 2016

This is the mail that i received from a Indian Company that posted a JOB in PROZ Automotive Translation on 2 Apr 2016!!

"Greetings from SS Prot***!

Attached is only the glossary that we have extracted from the total set of translation files (400,000 words approx) but the other files for translation will be in bilingual format in excel. Kindly go through the document and confirm the best cost for this long term project. Also let us know the version of the Trados software you are using and also your maximum daily output.

Note : Do not start translating unless we give you a written approval to go ahead.

After:

Hello,

Thank you for reverting back to us. Due to the large volume involved in this project we have a budget of USD 0.015 per word for this specific project. I can give you the maximum number of words that you will be able to take up from these files. All files are not like these terms but they are normal translation paragraphs in several cells. Do let me know if you are okay with the budget so that we could discuss further. Incase this budget doesn’t work for you, kindly excuse. Thanks in advance.


I repeat the last sentence: "Incase this budget doesn’t work for you, kindly excuse. Thanks in advance."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 13:59
English to Croatian
+ ...
Why do many agency PMs communicate in dreadful English? Apr 4, 2016

Aside the ridiculous rate issue...

OK, in writing, you will just laugh it off or get a headache from reading it. But there is one particular agency based in a country where English is spoken as a native language. They enjoy calling me by phone rather than emailing me when they have an offer (almost always ridiculous offers). Each time it's a different PM and each time it's a PM that has big troubles building a simple sentence in English and also following my English sentences (so I have to repeat each sentence 2-3 times like in a beginner English class). How do they select PMs, and is the minimum English standard even required? Or do they select them by the lowest bid (ie. if you want to work with us as a PM, send us your best rate?).


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Sounds like an April Fool Apr 4, 2016

Maybe they thought it was still 1 April. I'd have told them they were a day late.

[Edited at 2016-04-05 14:41 GMT]


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to French
+ ...
Sounds like a normal rate... Apr 4, 2016

... for an agency in India (or in Asia, for that matter).

Nothing new or original, unfortunately.


 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:59
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Does it really matter? Apr 4, 2016

Does it really matter what we think? Now I am in Portugal, so I think one way; if I moved back to Lithuania, I would think of the same differently, and if I moved to a country where a dollar buys 5x or 10x what we can buy in Europe for the same amount, I would think differently again.
I understand the first reaction of yours, I also used to feel the same. It happens, though, that the internet erased borders but not the economic differences between countries.


 

DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 12:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
No problem Apr 4, 2016

I once, out of pure curiosity, did a $14 job for an Indian company. Payment terms were on delivery in Paypal. Took about 3 hrs to do it to a professional level - fine, I knew that was the rate they were offering. Their PM communication was good and I did about another 1 hr making some changes they suggested.

Then payment terms suddenly turned into 60 days via an online system of theirs that would have cost me more than $14 worth of time. So I suggested they donate it to charity - and maybe they even did.


 

Slobodan Kozarčić  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 13:59
English to Serbian
+ ...
Peanuts Apr 4, 2016

Omar Lobao wrote:

This is the mail that i received from a Indian Company that posted a JOB in PROZ Automotive Translation on 2 Apr 2016!!

"Greetings from SS Prot***!

Attached is only the glossary that we have extracted from the total set of translation files (400,000 words approx) but the other files for translation will be in bilingual format in excel. Kindly go through the document and confirm the best cost for this long term project. Also let us know the version of the Trados software you are using and also your maximum daily output.

Note : Do not start translating unless we give you a written approval to go ahead.

After:

Hello,

Thank you for reverting back to us. Due to the large volume involved in this project we have a budget of USD 0.015 per word for this specific project. I can give you the maximum number of words that you will be able to take up from these files. All files are not like these terms but they are normal translation paragraphs in several cells. Do let me know if you are okay with the budget so that we could discuss further. Incase this budget doesn’t work for you, kindly excuse. Thanks in advance.


I repeat the last sentence: "Incase this budget doesn’t work for you, kindly excuse. Thanks in advance."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!



Yes, it's funny. But, then what would you say if someone offered you a price range from 0.005 to 0.008 euros per word for a TV movie translation (like it's sometimes the case in Serbia)? I not so kindly refused that offer, but there are people who actually work for those peanuts.

[Edited at 2016-04-04 23:50 GMT]


 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
I'd be happy to take the job Apr 5, 2016

Woops, thought you meant 0.15............
icon_wink.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Why? Because. Apr 5, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:
Why do many agency PMs communicate in dreadful English?


Because more translators understand dreadful English than dreadful Somethingother.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 13:59
English to Croatian
+ ...
OK in writing I am used to it but... Apr 5, 2016

Samuel Murray wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:
Why do many agency PMs communicate in dreadful English?


Because more translators understand dreadful English than dreadful Somethingother.


I mentioned the weird case with UK based agency that obviously employs many different PMs (perhaps interns?), who change rapidly and can hardly speak any English. Honestly, when talking with them on the phone (and for some reason, it's their favorite means of communication), if my sentence expands further than three words, they start losing it. And then when I wait for them to build their sentence it takes several minutes, with me dropping in helping them out or it would take forever. I couldn't stop wondering - does someone really pay salaries to these people when they don't have even the basic skills? Perhaps they don't, they are just interns happy to get some experience and working for free or for a small fee (why would they be changing their "employees" every week then?).


 

Francisco ABREU  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:59
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Free market rules Apr 5, 2016

The fact that such a rate is being offered tells me there are people somewhere ready to work for that kind of money. I cherish the free market and I want to live under free market rules. If somebody is wrong here it's not the one who offers a low rate, but the one who eventually accepts it. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't even bother to look at a text for that rate, but that's me.

 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:59
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
And if Apr 5, 2016

Francisco ABREU wrote:

The fact that such a rate is being offered tells me there are people somewhere ready to work for that kind of money. I cherish the free market and I want to live under free market rules. If somebody is wrong here it's not the one who offers a low rate, but the one who eventually accepts it. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't even bother to look at a text for that rate, but that's me.


I absolutely endorse the approach except that the accepting translator is doing anything wrong.
If a 1-page (sic! one page) translation in that rate would cover you the domestic gas expense of an entire month (water heating not included, cooking only for 4-5 persons) would you not look at such offers? Purely curious.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Different countries Apr 5, 2016

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

I absolutely endorse the approach except that the accepting translator is doing anything wrong.
If a 1-page (sic! one page) translation in that rate would cover you the domestic gas expense of an entire month (water heating not included, cooking only for 4-5 persons) would you not look at such offers? Purely curious.


The problems arise when such agencies suggest such rates to translators in countries with much higher living costs that make such rate suggestions nonsensical and perhaps even insulting. They should know better, and it demonstrates a lack of tact and courtesy that they do it. Not many professionals like to be treated like a cheapskate, bottom-range amateur – which is what they would most likely be if they sold translations at that rate in a country with high living costs.

Try to walk into a nice restaurant in New York and ask if you can have a burger for 50 cents and see what they say. Oh, is that a problem? Because in [fill-in-Asian-town], they sell burgers for 50 cents in the street, so why can't you have it for that price in New York restaurant?


 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:59
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Exactly - different countries Apr 5, 2016

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

I absolutely endorse the approach except that the accepting translator is doing anything wrong.
If a 1-page (sic! one page) translation in that rate would cover you the domestic gas expense of an entire month (water heating not included, cooking only for 4-5 persons) would you not look at such offers? Purely curious.


The problems arise when such agencies suggest such rates to translators in countries with much higher living costs that make such rate suggestions nonsensical and perhaps even insulting. They should know better, and it demonstrates a lack of tact and courtesy that they do it. Not many professionals like to be treated like a cheapskate, bottom-range amateur – which is what they would most likely be if they sold translations at that rate in a country with high living costs.

Try to walk into a nice restaurant in New York and ask if you can have a burger for 50 cents and see what they say. Oh, is that a problem? Because in [fill-in-Asian-town], they sell burgers for 50 cents in the street, so why can't you have it for that price in New York restaurant?


Thomas, I don't need to go anywhere in New York or elswhere, I myself discard immediately any attempt to address to me with such rates. But the ones that can their gas monthly bills with 1-page work, in Europe by the way, don't. It's bad, very bad to me, bad to you, bad to other fellow translators in countries with higher costs of living, but do businesses have to care about that? The primary business goal is to generate profit which those agencies do. A harsh truth but do we have any remedy?


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
They are free to do it Apr 5, 2016

Nobody can prevent them from proposing such rates, just as nobody can prevent us from having only disdain for such charlatans.

So does it matter what we think?

Well, it may just help new translators settle in the right range and not to be tempted to accept such abusive rates out of lack of experience. All through school in many countries, young people are taught to do as they are told, so when they become freelancers, they have to make a conscious effort not to do everything people tell them to do. Some people find it difficult to say no or have been brought up to think it's bad manners to disappoint others, so they may end up being abused.


 
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