Can and should we have a new warning about low rates stated on the job board?
Thread poster: Bernhard Sulzer

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Sep 22

Hello,

I hardly apply for projects posted on the job board and don't receive many inquiries through profile find, but I check the board's job posts often to learn about new developments.
Recently I noticed that posters' rates or rate ranges between 7 and 8 Euro Cents no longer get the site's notification attached to it that 80 percent of the translators who report their rates through their profiles charge more.
I would like to know what percentage charges more than 7 or
... See more
Hello,

I hardly apply for projects posted on the job board and don't receive many inquiries through profile find, but I check the board's job posts often to learn about new developments.
Recently I noticed that posters' rates or rate ranges between 7 and 8 Euro Cents no longer get the site's notification attached to it that 80 percent of the translators who report their rates through their profiles charge more.
I would like to know what percentage charges more than 7 or 8 Euro Cents because it will inform me about where the rates are heading which I consider important for grasping the big picture regarding our industry.
It doesn't help if I know that 80 percent charge more than 4 or 5 Euro Cents because it doesn't really show the actual trend.

Comments by colleagues and staff are appreciated.
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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Warning for which number when range is given? Sep 22

It seems the warning might be tied to the higher number when a range is posted.
because two days ago, this price range did not get the warning:


€0.06 EUR to €0.08 EUR per word
(€480.00 EUR to €640.00 EUR estimated total)

I can't imagine it isn't more than 80% of translators charging more than 6 Euro Cents.

A clarification from staff would be helpful.
Thanks.

[Edited at 2019-09-22 16:22 GMT]



... See more
It seems the warning might be tied to the higher number when a range is posted.
because two days ago, this price range did not get the warning:


€0.06 EUR to €0.08 EUR per word
(€480.00 EUR to €640.00 EUR estimated total)

I can't imagine it isn't more than 80% of translators charging more than 6 Euro Cents.

A clarification from staff would be helpful.
Thanks.

[Edited at 2019-09-22 16:22 GMT]




[Edited at 2019-09-23 13:26 GMT]
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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lower, lower it goes Sep 23

Add-on:

It seems I was wrong. It's not MORE THAN 80% of translators* charging more than 6.5 Euro Cents. Here's another recent example WITHOUT THE 80% WARNING:

"€0.06 EUR to €0.065 EUR per word
....: € 0.065 per source word for translation (base rate) and € 0.025 for proofreading; translation and proofreading of the variations are set at 40% of the base rate

Estimation in your preferred currency (using today's conversion rate):
$0.
... See more
Add-on:

It seems I was wrong. It's not MORE THAN 80% of translators* charging more than 6.5 Euro Cents. Here's another recent example WITHOUT THE 80% WARNING:

"€0.06 EUR to €0.065 EUR per word
....: € 0.065 per source word for translation (base rate) and € 0.025 for proofreading; translation and proofreading of the variations are set at 40% of the base rate

Estimation in your preferred currency (using today's conversion rate):
$0.066 USD to $0.072 USD per word"

*translators who report their rates on Proz.com

[Edited at 2019-09-23 13:29 GMT]
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Informed decision Sep 23

Bernhard, as far as (1) ProZ partners with agencies [middlemen], (2) offering membership to freelancers and (3) providing services to a few end clients, so what exactly those lacking warnings might mean to the parties? Less costs, more gains!

If a [self-employed] free*lancer (a) considers himself not a business [not an equal biz party], tackling with "translation" only, (b) has no idea how to run it properly, (c) humbly accepts unfavorable terms, and (d) still cannot realize that "d
... See more
Bernhard, as far as (1) ProZ partners with agencies [middlemen], (2) offering membership to freelancers and (3) providing services to a few end clients, so what exactly those lacking warnings might mean to the parties? Less costs, more gains!

If a [self-employed] free*lancer (a) considers himself not a business [not an equal biz party], tackling with "translation" only, (b) has no idea how to run it properly, (c) humbly accepts unfavorable terms, and (d) still cannot realize that "discount grid" easily makes promised "$0.10/word" as "0.01/word net" or even lower, (e) yet he does agree, THEN I also see no good reason not to let him bottom-feeder.

While such a filter/warning may be useful for sensible businessmen from developed countries, most agencies deliberately aim at needies accepting low rates and bad terms, why? No skies falling, no global warnings.
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Jocelin Meunier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:40
English to French
There shouldn't be a warning Sep 24

It would be best if clients and agencies simply couldn't post any kind of job if the rate they offer is below a fair minimum.

Camille Beaupin
Carolina Finley
Tradupro17
Chris Pr
Terry Costin
Kuochoe Nikoi
Daryo
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The warning is a warning in a larger sense Sep 24

Jocelin Meunier wrote:

It would be best if clients and agencies simply couldn't post any kind of job if the rate they offer is below a fair minimum.


Thanks for your comments Jocelin.

Yes, colleagues have asked for that in the past - but many reject it because they do not want to have a minimum instated that will then be treated like the maximum. I think the warnings serve a purpose, namely to see where this site is heading. Quite important for me in order to decide to remain on this site or not.

I think my main problem with no proper warning coming from Proz.com is that the worse the rates get on the job board, the less represented I feel through my profile and by Proz.com, being lumped together with individuals who treat our profession like *#@5$3 (IMHO).

Let's not forget, we support the WHOLE site with our membership.
I probably said this before and people pointed out that they're not worried or affected by all this. Well, my perspective is different..


[Edited at 2019-09-24 13:59 GMT]


Paul Knox
 

Jocelin Meunier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:40
English to French
True Sep 24

Bernhard Sulzer wrote: a minimum instated that will then be treated like the maximum


I have seen this from an agency a year ago. They went from EN->FR subtitling being minimum 8$ per minute to 3$ per minute (their excuse being "to increase productivity" when everyone could clearly read "we want more money for us, who don't do the actual job"). Surprising noone, the projects proposed on the board since then stayed at 3$, even if they can propose more.

However, I think this is different with ProZ. It's true, the minimum would be considered the absolute maximum from clients and they wouldn't go beyond, that much is to be expected. But when the current maximum doesn't even come close to the minimum rates what do we have to lose?
For the last three years or so, the maximum I saw was 0.08$ per word. I can't count the number of times I finally got an answer and turned it down because they expected me to accept 0.04$ per word or even less.
I also believe that this might serve as an incentive for clients to finally have some regards for quality, instead of simply going for the cheaper bidder. When you have to pay a fair rate, you want to have actual professionals.

That being said and to stay in the topic at hand, yeah, a better warning would be great. Most of the time, the rate isn't even mentionned. Translators would save a lot of time if the rates were always mentionned (and they should be) and if the warning could tell them at a glance if it is worth it or not.
Plus, I think it could help newcomers to see what is considered an acceptable rate.


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:40
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Professional job board Sep 24

I think we need two job boards. Rename the currently existing one The Bargain Basement (which it is, in my view). Give us a new Professional Job Board where bargain basement rates are not allowed.

Tradupro17
writeaway
Chris Pr
Nikolay Novitskiy
Terry Costin
IrinaN
Ivana UK
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
All we need then is clients posting on the professional board Sep 27

Michele Fauble wrote:

I think we need two job boards. Rename the currently existing one The Bargain Basement (which it is, in my view). Give us a new Professional Job Board where bargain basement rates are not allowed.


... but it's not very likely if they can get what they want for cheap on the next page as long as that page (cheap job board) exists. The trend is obviously continuing without any reaction from this site. Just saying. See below.

Another even lower example for legal translations, English to German, lots of words (between 50 -80,000), at least a few years experience requested with no "more than 80% of translators charge more" warning:

"Budget and payment details: (altered where possible to protect the poster and job ID)
Hide / show
$0.055 USD to $0.06 USD per word
($3,850.00 USD to $4,200.00 USD estimated total)
Payment (... more than 40 days) days after date of invoice.
(You can see this because you meet the requirements for this job)
Note: There is no obligation to quote within the given budget range."


PS: A thought on "There is no obligation to quote within the given budget range:"
What do you think will happen if you quote outside the given budget range?!


... and, of course, people are quoting

[Edited at 2019-09-27 12:58 GMT]


Paul Knox
Thayenga
Daryo
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Imo people are just looking at the end amount Oct 5

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:


...
"Budget and payment details: (altered where possible to protect the poster and job ID)
Hide / show
$0.055 USD to $0.06 USD per word
($3,850.00 USD to $4,200.00 USD estimated total)
Payment (... more than 40 days) days after date of invoice.
(You can see this because you meet the requirements for this job)
Note: There is no obligation to quote within the given budget range."

... and, of course, people are quoting



Yes, quoting even if the rate is ridiculous.
CHEAP is the word of the day. Hopefully the agency/client will receive a translation that is commensurate with the rate offered.
This is Proz as it is today. I don't see the site doing much if anything about low-ball offers. Some of them are even posted by business members.
As long as the rates are clearly posted, it's just up to the individual translators to decide if they can live with earning 50% or less of what they have been earning up to now for the same work.


 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's very simple Oct 8

Just make the deal with the ones you want to make a deal with. There's no reason to get tied up in knots over it.

Kevin Fulton
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Where are they? Oct 8

Edward Potter wrote:

Just make the deal with the ones you want to make a deal with. There's no reason to get tied up in knots over it.


Certainly not here - from my point of view.
But you're right, there's no longer a need to get tied up in knots over it. I don't see a change of the current trend on job boards or action preventing it here.

PS: .... talking about it hopefully reveals the bigger picture. Those low-ball offers and deals are just not right. So for what it's worth, talking about it might educate someone new. Just don't do it!
Translations done right must have their fair price.

[Edited at 2019-10-09 00:03 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Strange glimmer of hope Oct 9

writeaway wrote:

Yes, quoting even if the rate is ridiculous.
CHEAP is the word of the day. Hopefully the agency/client will receive a translation that is commensurate with the rate offered.
This is Proz as it is today. I don't see the site doing much if anything about low-ball offers. Some of them are even posted by business members.
As long as the rates are clearly posted, it's just up to the individual translators to decide if they can live with earning 50% or less of what they have been earning up to now for the same work.


I often see a correlation between cheap offers and horrible Blueboard ratings. And we read more and more about non-payment issues and scams in these forums.
So if that is part of the trend, at least many ridiculous offers are tied to big disappointments when it comes to waiting for payment.


 


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