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Mega Translation Agency owner buys 11.5 million dollar mansion
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:50
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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May 20, 2016

They allegedly pay translators .05 a word and apparently make millions:

https://nopeanuts.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/mega-translation-agencies-part-ii/

[Edited at 2016-05-20 18:43 GMT]


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
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So what? May 20, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:

They pay translators .05 a word and apparently make millions


That's capitalism, baby


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:50
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Change of perspective May 20, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:

They allegedly pay translators .05 a word and apparently make millions:



I would rephrase:

Freelance translators (who are NOT employees, hence they set their own rates) offer their services at 0.05 cents per word, thus contributing to the wealth of agency owners.

When I read posts of this nature, these words always come to mind:

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused.

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
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Rephrasing doesn't change reality... May 20, 2016

texjax DDS PhD wrote:

I would rephrase:

Freelance translators (who are NOT employees, hence they set their own rates) offer their services at 0.05 cents per word, thus contributing to the wealth of agency owners.

When I read posts of this nature, these words always come to mind:

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused.

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?


Songs aside, every single day new translators enter the industry and are "exposed" to similar offers, without knowing any better (or being acutely aware of it but not in a position to refuse or argue...).

Actually, reading your "Freelance translators (who are NOT employees, hence they set their own rates)", brought to mind an old meme in Italian that, roughly translated, goes like "and then the marmot wraps the chocolate"... - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gzew4u44kQ


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:50
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Spanish to Dutch
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Remember Brecht May 20, 2016

Just imagine it is war, but nobody goes (paraphrased by Bob Dylan: 'Where would Ceasar be without his army's').

In short, if everybody would refuse to work for this guy..........

Reality - He saw an oportunity, and many of us made it possible. Doesn't history (unfortunately) teach us?


[Edited at 2016-05-20 20:21 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-20 20:22 GMT]


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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:50
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English to German
Just another reminder that ... May 21, 2016

all these translators who accept such jobs are being exploited, and if there were no takers then these rates would soon disappear.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
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Hmm... May 21, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:
They allegedly pay translators .05 a word and apparently make millions.


This agency has never, ever paid me 0.05 per [weighted] word. Usually more than twice that.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
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TOPIC STARTER
That's interesting May 21, 2016

Now I genuinely wonder how that rumor got started. Perhaps it is your unique language pair that gives you a higher rate?

Samuel Murray wrote:

This agency has never, ever paid me 0.05 per [weighted] word. Usually more than twice that.


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:50
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I concur with Samuel May 21, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:

Now I genuinely wonder how that rumor got started. Perhaps it is your unique language pair that gives you a higher rate?

Samuel Murray wrote:

This agency has never, ever paid me 0.05 per [weighted] word. Usually more than twice that.


The few times I've worked for that agency I've also always got what I asked for... which is more than twice those 0.05/word. I work with them very seldom because they always try to get you to accept lower rates (though in my case the rate they propose is always quite a bit higher than 0.05/word) - but if you tell them that your rate is firm they either accept it, or go bother someone else.

As Texjax said: "Freelancers are NOT employees, hence they set their own rates".

What I suspect is that those 0.05 rates are paid to the kind of translator who clutters my inbox with messages such as "my rate is 0.0X, but I'm ready to lower it".


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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Wrong May 21, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
LegalTransform wrote:
They pay translators .05 a word and apparently make millions

That's capitalism, baby

You're completely wrong. Capitalism has nothing to do with this. In a communist system, translators would be paid even less... or wouldn't be paid at all!

If translators are really working for 5 cents for these people, it is their personal and direct responsibility, but there is also a component of cheekiness (or sheer deceit) on the part of bottom feeder agencies when they sell their services as top notch!

[Edited at 2016-05-21 19:08 GMT]


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:50
Russian to English
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Agencies should not set any rates May 22, 2016

Since they mostly work with freelancers, free professionals, they should ask them first what their rate is, and only then decide if they can afford it. Whenever agencies are trying to set rates, it looks very unprofessional. You do not set rates for freelancers. Maybe the owner did not pay cash for his mension, but got a mortgage rather, where you have to pay 1 million down. As to those people working for $0.05/word in high developed countries, well if they want to keep wasting their lives like that, and health plus deprive their families of basic items necessary for survival, let them do it. There are various fanatics everywhere.

[Edited at 2016-05-22 10:41 GMT]


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
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This is not a Communism vs. Capitalism argument... May 22, 2016

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
LegalTransform wrote:
They pay translators .05 a word and apparently make millions

That's capitalism, baby


You're completely wrong. Capitalism has nothing to do with this. In a communist system, translators would be paid even less... or wouldn't be paid at all!

If translators are really working for 5 cents for these people, it is their personal and direct responsibility, but there is also a component of cheekiness (or sheer deceit) on the part of bottom feeder agencies when they sell their services as top notch!

[Edited at 2016-05-21 19:08 GMT]


"Full Definition of capitalism
: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market" - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism

Those 5 cent rates are obviously the result of such a mechanism. They offer similar (or lower) rates and someone (more than just someone, I'd say...) accepts them, simple as that. This process is totally unmitigated by mechanisms that can be found in some fields and in countries that are far from being "communist", be they professional orders, minimum tariffs/wages, trade barriers, etc.

If we keep reading similar stories, about lowering rates (with or without CEOs of huge multinationals making millions on top of it), then I believe this ultimately goes to show what unregulated and globalized (or "wild", if you will) capitalism can, and usually will, result in. To quote Joseph Stiglitz: "the reason that the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is often not there".


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2G Trad  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:50
Member (2000)
English to Italian
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Sources May 22, 2016

LegalTransform:
Now I genuinely wonder how that rumor got started.

Maybe it's just a question of unreliable sources.

Cheers
Gianni


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:50
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English to German
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Nice May 25, 2016

Perhaps if I charged EUR 129.75 per source word, I could buy a nice villa. Or have no customers at all.

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Bruno Depascale  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:50
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English to Italian
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They behave in a very unprofessional manner May 25, 2016

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/301160-huge_translation_company.html

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