Globalization is driving the rates down (we all know that!), but is Proz partially responsible?
Thread poster: Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:07
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Jul 3, 2002

As we all know - and we have discussed this before - globalization is driving the rates down in many countries, i.e. United States, UK, Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Canada. Many agencies and direct outsourcers in these countries go to less expensive nations to outsource and save money. This is also probably due to the impact of September 11 and the slowdown which has forced companies to reduce their budgets. In return, the translation markets in the above \"rich\" countries get even more depressed, because the \"dumping\" affects the \"internal\" translators, who are forced to lower their rates. Lower rates mean less quality from the internal translators, who need to increase their turnover to make enough money. Quality from \"external\" translator is almost invariably lower than that from \"internal\" translator. The reason is simple: their knowledge of the source language is not always up to scratch. The result is a general drop in quality.

Now, is Proz - as an open Internet portal and part of the Internet/communication revolution - partially responsible for this? I would like to know your opinion.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:07
Italian to English
Rates can go up as well as down Jul 3, 2002

Hi Giovanni,

I don\'t think it\'s the fault of Henry, or Tim Berners-Lee, or any of the other people who facilitate communication.

Globalisation is just a fact of life we have to live with, albeit one that has shifted a lot of goalposts.

Initially, as you say, the effect on the translation market has been to put downward pressure on rates in traditionally expensive countries but the process cannot go on forever. Even the least discriminating customer has a minimum acceptable level of quality. It follows that the logical step for the translator is to specialise and target quality-sensitive market niches.

Remember globalisation is not just about rates. Increasingly, customers can compare your quality, not just your prices, with the best in the world. Which is what they all expect but are not all prepared to pay for.

Here\'s a little story. My rates might raise few eyebrows in the UK or the US but they are high for Italy. A few years ago, one publisher decided he could get cheaper translations elsewhere (he was, of course, absolutely right). This spring, though, he was back with an international project where quality, which his new translators were apparently unable to deliver, was of the essence. And I am more than happy to work with him again, now that he is focusing on quality and has a very clear idea of what wants.

\"Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis\", or as they say nowadays, \"go with the flow\".



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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 19:07
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
I don't think that is responsible Jul 3, 2002

Rather, the site reflects the general trend. Lexi-tech receives on average 10-15 CVs per day, from lower rates countries. We do not have to solicit them. I prefer to hire through, because I know the translators here and I like to manage the bids from a single page.

And off the topic. It is 8 am in Ottawa and it is already 35 degrees.


paola l m

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 19:07
rates = money = money matters Jul 3, 2002

Topics related to money belong in \"money matters\"

I\'m moving this.

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Globalization is driving the rates down (we all know that!), but is Proz partially responsible?

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