first time translating; cliente requesting 116 pages in 2 weeks
Thread poster: efiorini
efiorini
Ecuador
Local time: 06:27
Spanish to English
Jun 23

Hello
I am just entering into translation work. I was approached by a person on my linkedin account (whom I don't personally know) who is requesting a translation of 116 pages, of fairly technical economic/social sci content, in 15 days. I don't have translation software on my computer.

is this a reasonable timeframe? Or typical? It seems like a quick turnaround, but I don't have that much experience so perhaps I'm seeing it as fast.

Also, should I negotiate for having a part of my payment up front, then some at 50% through, and then the rest at the end?

Many thanks on your thoughts
best
erin


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 08:27
SITE STAFF
First, do your risk management Jun 23

Hello Erin,

First of all (and I would advise to take this as a standard procedure) you should follow three steps when approached by an unknown player with a work proposal:


  1. Evaluate if it makes sense (your language pair, fields of expertise, reasonable deadline and rate). If not, just ignore.

  2. IF still interested, ask for verifiable contact information AND verify it until you are confident that you are dealing with the person or company they claim to be.

  3. IF confident of the identity of the player, verify credit worthiness by means of the Blue Board and other similar tools.



Regards,
Enrique


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:27
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
2 factors to be considered Jun 23

Hello Erin,

first, follow the steps Enrique has outlined for you. Unless you have verified information or know the requester personally, it is always risky to take on such a large project.

Second, 116 pages in 2 weeks can be reasonably accomplished, provided you are an expert in this subject field(s). It also depends on the line count per page, full or half lines. What will help you to estimate whether or not you can translate these pages is the word count. It also depends on how fast you can type and if you can devote some 8+ hours every day to this project.

Regards,
Thayenga


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:27
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another factor to be considered Jun 23

Never commit yourself to a job without seeing first the document to be translated! Select a page you consider difficult, translate it, see how long it takes and do your math…

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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:27
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
if it looks like a duck Jun 23

and quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it is probbaly a duck.

i.e. if you think this is a scam

(why should they choose you, how come this came in via Linked ,why do they have som much without even testing your skills..)

(especically if they agree with ay outlandish rate you give)

ed


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Edward Jun 23

Come now!

The party contacts you out of nowhere offering you a large and supposedly important project without asking for proof of verifiable experience or credentials, and when you have made it clear (I assume you don't misrepresent yourself on LinkedIn) that you have no experience whatsoever???

Just for fun, you might want to take up Edward's idea and tell this apparent fraudster that you really want to take on the project but that, after further consideration, you require a fee of XXX for the service (and double the previous amount).

Yet another idea (always recommendable when you are in doubt) is to check the IP location of the e-mail that was sent to you (if this is not possible on LinkedIn, then insist the party communicate with you by personal e-mail).

You might be surprised to find that the location is in Ghana or Nigeria.

The most likely scenario here is that a scammer has targeted you to work his scam precisely because of your inexperience.

[Edited at 2017-06-23 20:00 GMT]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:27
Member
English to French
What's in a page Jun 23

One.
Besides the useful comments above, may I add that I find it a bit bold to "enter the translation business" with a likely rather large amount of work as your first assignment.
Also ask yourself why an individual/company? would choose somebody without any translation experience for a rather large job. And if it's an individual, why would he shell out so much money on a translation for private purposes.

Two.
Unless you and your prospect mutually agree that a "page" is a 250-word unit or something, the number of words or characters, depending on language specificities, is ultimately what gives you an idea of the effort required.
A "page" in a brochure or report as such can contain 20 or 800 words, and the amount of time needed to translate it will obviously vary accordingly.
Therefore, depending on how filled the pages are, 116 pages could amount to 70+kwords, or more than a month's worth of full-time work. Maybe two.

Three.
As for "translation software", don't expect it to do the job for you. Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools and machine translation tools (like Google Translate) can perhaps help, but they're just tools.

Four.
Internet is full of scam artists looking to squeeze money out of gullible people, and translation is no exception. If you receive a cheque of twice the amount agreed on and are asked to remit the difference, it means you've been had!

Good luck,
Philippe

Edit: Sorry for repeating what's already been written. I shouldn't leave posts unfinished for too long.

[Edited at 2017-06-23 14:50 GMT]


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efiorini
Ecuador
Local time: 06:27
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
very helpful insights Jun 23

these are all very helpful insights. i thank you all kindly for your quick replies. taking them all into consideration

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:27
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Scam Centre Jun 23

Please check out the ProZ.com Scam Centre before you go any further. And follow its link to the Wiki article on Risk Management. You may well find aspects of this job that you recognise there. If it is a scam then it will be designed (now that they're getting cannier) to be just doable if you get working flat out very soon. They don't want you doing all the risk checks.

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LAURA TAPIA ESCOBAR  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
EMERGENCY PROFESSIONALS... Jun 26

I don't believe in emergency Jobs, it is too much for so Little time!!

First see the document, with no 'pending files' to be added as you start the job, that means what you quoted for is what you are getting done.

Then the conditions, I would set my conditions,

Then payment received upfront, 80% ahead, and confirmed in my own account.

If someone goes up to this point, then It is serious, otherwise, just reject it, its not going to work.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Payment upfront" is not enough Jun 26

LAURA TAPIA ESCOBAR wrote:

I don't believe in emergency Jobs, it is too much for so Little time!!

First see the document, with no 'pending files' to be added as you start the job, that means what you quoted for is what you are getting done.

Then the conditions, I would set my conditions,

Then payment received upfront, 80% ahead, and confirmed in my own account.

If someone goes up to this point, then It is serious, otherwise, just reject it, its not going to work.


The problem with demanding "payment upfront" is that it plays into the hands of the scammers, who will very happily pay you upfront - in a check for double the amount you agreed to do the work for - followed by an urgent request for you to send them the difference in a wire or bank transfer.

You cash the check, think everything is good, and then are informed by your bank about a week later that the check has bounced.

This is the way the scam works. So demanding payment upfront is not enough. It has to be *verified payment upfront* via Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal, or some similar verifiable and foolproof method.

If you demand payment by one of these means, scammers will either stop contacting you or initially agree - and then later inform you that some problem came up with the transfer and that they have to send a check (and maybe throw in that their mother is dying of cancer or their home is being foreclosed on in order to play on your sympathies).

Anyway, I will take this opportunity to restate my opinion that there is nearly zero probability that the offer mentioned in the OP here is *not* a scam.

[Edited at 2017-06-26 13:40 GMT]


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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:27
Serbian to English
+ ...
simple Jun 27

efiorini wrote:


Hello
I am just entering into translation work. I was approached by a person on my linkedin account (whom I don't personally know) who is requesting a translation of 116 pages, of fairly technical economic/social sci content, in 15 days. I don't have translation software on my computer.

is this a reasonable timeframe? Or typical? It seems like a quick turnaround, but I don't have that much experience so perhaps I'm seeing it as fast.

Also, should I negotiate for having a part of my payment up front, then some at 50% through, and then the rest at the end?

Many thanks on your thoughts
best
erin


You have to give them the benefit of the doubt - even if you are "beginner" you might have a specialisation difficult to find, it might be a genuine request - but they also have to understand your point of view - why would you in effect be giving an unsecured loan to someone you don't know at all?

- talk to this person over a phone (not VOIP) [that weeds out a lot of undesirables]

- ask for the file is some simple editable format - like a Word .doc file (no scanned pictures of the text).

- check the text - can you do it in time, are you happy with the fee offered?

- ask for 100% payment in advance ONLY by bank transfer or some other method than gives definitely cleared funds that CAN NOT be latter cancelled (beware of Paypal - unscrupulous buyers can and do claim "delivery not received" or "inadequate quality of services" etc, and by default Paypal will side with the buyer!)

BTW it's perfectly feasible to translate without using any CAT tool.

The obvious thing: if they want to send you an "over-payment" in whichever form don't waste any more time - just cut the losses and move on.


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