Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Where is professional translation going when you read job offers like this one?
Thread poster: milena ferrante

milena ferrante  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:53
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jun 18

HI

this is what I read on a job offer today on this Website:

"Our Key for Success is Low Prices with High Quality for Long Term Cooperations, so, read Translators, remember that we really need low prices for his quality standards in order to assure You a lot of work all over the year!"

You could tell me this is only 1 provider among many who are really professional, but it is not true. Actually, lately, it is the opposite.

I think there should be a sort of "site moderation" to avoid such agencies to post such messages here.

There are plenty of other sites where an agency with such requirements could post a message like this.

Or maybe am I the only one?

Just let me know and I will retire to a good place to mourn in silence.


Mirko Mainardi
Nathalie Bullen
Annamaria Sondrio
Yvonne Gallagher
Katalin Szilárd
Elena Sánchez-Pinto Hodgson
Doan Quang
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Well... Jun 18

It appears they don't pay their writers/HR staff much either, and they don't spend a cent on proofreading. So maybe their translators are the highest paid people thereicon_smile.gif .

Teresa Borges
Angie Garbarino
Michele Fauble
Hedwig Lugaro
Kelly Neudorfer
Doan Quang
 

Marissa Aguayo Gavilano  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2016)
English to Spanish
+ ...
judging by their name Jun 18

Judging by the name of the agency, they really want to "squeeze" all they can out of the translators.

 

Epameinondas Soufleros  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:53
Member (2008)
English to Greek
+ ...
Ditto Jun 18

What Sheila said.

This whole edifice of cheap and fast and underpaid translation with numerous unnecessary, parasitic middle-persons will eventually collapse.


Valérie Ourset
Elena Aclasto
Noni Gilbert
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:53
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Indeed Jun 19

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:

What Sheila said.

This whole edifice of cheap and fast and underpaid translation with numerous unnecessary, parasitic middle-persons will eventually collapse.


You're speaking my mind.

If they really, really want cheap and fast translations, well, Google Translate is completely free. And quality? Well, this type of agencies isn't really interested in quality, regardless of what their poorly written message claims.

There should indeed be a minimum rate in order to post jobs on ProZ.com. If the rate is too low, then the system simply won't accept the job post. This would eliminate a lot of bottom feeders.


Hans Lenting
Nathalie Bullen
Iris Schmerda
Adam Jarczyk
Mirko Mainardi
Yvonne Gallagher
José Henrique Lamensdorf
 

Emma Page
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Member (2017)
French to English
+ ...
It's a shame, but... Jun 19

This is what you get with public forums, anywhere in any topic. We are all free to refuse work from agencies with insulting rates, and should do so. If they can't find anyone decent to work for them, they will continue to produce sub-par work and eventually fail, or at the very least not be competing for the kind of jobs you and I want to take. As others have said in similar conversations, what is an insulting rate for me in the Southern UK (extremely high cost of living) may be a living wage in another country, so who am I to say what rate is worthy of a "ban" on posting? Ignore the bottom feeders and move along, I say.

Eva Stoppa
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly Jun 19

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:
This whole edifice of cheap and fast and underpaid translation with numerous unnecessary, parasitic middle-persons will eventually collapse.

I entirely agree. I have been in business for 24 years now and over the years I have seen many agencies of that kind disappear in a short time. Those who are still in business are those who managed to find and retain professionals by treating them as human being and not pieces of machinery.

Let us keep concentrating on agencies who treat us professionally, and let us make an effort to ignore those who don't!


Eva Stoppa
Noni Gilbert
Tradupro17
Elena Sánchez-Pinto Hodgson
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The big thing to remember is that we all agree here Jun 19

… This site is great for moral support and comfort when you need a shoulder to cry on, like when you see that kind of attitude. It is a very common type of advertising in many industries. "We're cheap, we're fast and really good!"

Luckily, that is not the whole story. Clients and customers know they have to look out - where are these cheapskates cutting corners? Sometimes the cheap products are good enough, but there is often a catch.

Proz.com can do very little about it, and you are preaching to the choir here. Luckily, there is also plenty of inspiration for better things on the site too.

Write back to the agency - as I do, when I can - that you already have plenty of work at higher rates, so why take a pay cut to work longer hours?

The only way to fight it is to advertise everywhere for quality, not necessarily quantity, and value for money. Search out the clients who know the cheap offers are too good to be true.
We have to make ourselves visible to potential clients and make them appreciate what we do.

We have to advertise our qualifications and not assume others know what translating actually involves. "Everyone can talk, everyone can English real good, so what's the big deal?" THAT is what we need to educate the public about.


José Henrique Lamensdorf
Adam Jarczyk
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
A different take Jun 19

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT wrote:
I entirely agree. I have been in business for 24 years now and over the years I have seen many agencies of that kind disappear in a short time. Those who are still in business are those who managed to find and retain professionals by treating them as human being and not pieces of machinery.


I have been in business for 25 years now and I have seen the exact opposite.

Time and time again I have seen those lovely boutique agencies - the ones run by translators that focused on quality and assigned jobs individually and paid fairly and on time - having to switch emphasis and focus on price in order to survive and/or having to sell out to the big boys.

As a result, I now work mainly for direct customers, which is a shame as I liked having a middle(wo)man.

In my opinion, however, this process is entirely inevitable and understandable. Nobody wants to pay more than they need to. Not everyone needs top quality. I don't get my furniture from local craftsmen; I go to IKEA. My car was made in a factory. Why should translation be any different?


Dan Lucas
 

milena ferrante  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:53
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So do you suggest to work "to" prices? Jun 19

So we should work according to prices...

If rate is low then you don't care, if price is fair then you care?

I find it difficult to adopt that approach since I can't stand work done quickly and badly.

Or I should start to study a language which is well paid. -:). I am considering it.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Does not work Jun 19

milena ferrante wrote:
If rate is low then you don't care, if price is fair then you care?

I do not think this is possible: professionals usually work within a rather narrow "range of quality" and it would be difficult to work under that range, I would say. If we did, we would probably feel that our work "is not right" and we would not feel happy when paid for it, not even if badly paid.icon_smile.gif


Katalin Szilárd
Robert Forstag
GermanLaw1
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Lost hope and street musicians Jun 19

Thayenga wrote:

If they really, really want cheap and fast translations, well, Google Translate is completely free. And quality? Well, this type of agencies isn't really interested in quality, regardless of what their poorly written message claims.


I thought that when free online machine translation asymptotically evolved to its current stage, this would wipe off cheap translation mongers from the marketplace. Well, it didn't!

My take is that people crave for a human scapegoat they can BLAME for slipshod quality. This translation into Sloboviak was done by a native Slobovian - born, raised, and living in Slivovitz, the country capital. If their educational system isn't worth one rasbucknik, I can't help it.

(Reference: https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/slobbovia.htm )

However anyone blaming Google Translate for that same low quality would be considered insane. That's how the worst (sic!) of both worlds came to be: PEMT. The PEMT-or gets the blame.

Thayenga wrote:

There should indeed be a minimum rate in order to post jobs on ProZ.com. If the rate is too low, then the system simply won't accept the job post. This would eliminate a lot of bottom feeders.


There is no way to draw the line on what is "too low" a rate.

While 1¢/word may be an acceptable rate for some simple text ES > EN translation to be done in India or China, 12¢/word may be not enough to get some complex nuclear medicine apparatus instructions translated DE > EN in Western Europe.

Back to the OP, considering local interest rates, while an "adequate" rate could be perfectly acceptable by a professional translator in Switzerland for payment in 60 days, the very same rate would be way too low for a translator in Brazil or Argentina, exclusively on account of the extended payment term; that same rate would be okay there if paid COD.

Most scroogey outsourcers hire translators as if these were street musicians. It goes like this:
C'mon, pal! You play really good. Come with me, play at my daughter's wedding tonight, and I'll pay you $10, about two months from now. That's better than all the pennies you're getting here.

If the wedding will be at the local barn, groom held at gunpoint because he got the bride knocked up, it's okay. This musical performance is equivalent to the translation I found in the instructions leaflet for a 99¢ gizmo: "If diplay go blind, you may meet dead battery. Replace it anew."

However if the wedding will be a ritzy ceremony at the Grand Hall, it would be a shame to have a bum and his squeezebox for music. I saw a comparable situation upon retranslating from scratch the a large corporation's Ethics Manual, of which 15,000 copies were to be printed in full color. Fortunately, that company's WHQ got wise, and asked the local subsidiary about the first translation they received, as it was worse that free MT.

So it's a matter of matching, there is no standard "too low" nor "too high"; too many variables are at play. The most essential duty of a translation Project Manager is to find the right translator for the job at hand, and pay them as much and as quickly as it costs to get them. It is NOT - like many like to think - finding the cheapest one available, and then force them into accepting payment far into the future.


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Member (2004)
English to Italian
My opinion... Jun 19

the market is too segmented and globalised to adopt a blanket approach. If you work and behave professionally, have the right qualifications and put enough effort in continuous professional development, you will find good clients. But it doesn't stop here. Keep working hard to support your relationship, helping them with their business, working as equals, not as antagonists. I personally ignore bottom-feeders. I have no inclination to educate, because it's a waste of time. These people have chosen a particular business model and they are not to abandon it. Educating your peers and students is where the heart should be... the situation really is too complex to generalise...

[Edited at 2018-06-19 11:51 GMT]


Iris Schmerda
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Just so Jun 19

Chris S wrote:
In my opinion, however, this process is entirely inevitable and understandable. Nobody wants to pay more than they need to. Not everyone needs top quality. I don't get my furniture from local craftsmen; I go to IKEA. My car was made in a factory. Why should translation be any different?

Agree. We do pick and choose when we buy goods, according to what we think it worth spending money on. Maybe Chris buys cheap furniture from IKEA - and I have quite a bit here myself - but I suspect he wouldn't buy a cheap no-brand mountain bike or components off Ebay. It all depends where your priorities lie. Same goes for translation. Not every job requires the translators that the client thinks of as delivering the best quality, at probably the highest price. Clients have different requirements for different documents at different times.

Dan


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Member (2004)
English to Italian
yes... Jun 19

Dan Lucas wrote:
Clients have different requirements for different documents at different times.


some agencies have admitted it to me... they have different translators for different clients and jobs... some are paid better than others... it's all very fluid... icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2018-06-19 12:07 GMT]


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Where is professional translation going when you read job offers like this one?

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 only €435 / $519
Get the cheapest prices for SDL Trados Studio 2017 on ProZ.com

Join this translator’s group buy brought to you by ProZ.com and buy SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance for only €435 / $519 / £345 / ¥63000 You will also receive FREE access to Studio 2019 when released.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search