Job posted with low rate
Thread poster: xxxmediamatrix
xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 15:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 4, 2008

XXX wrote on Sunday 3 February 2008 10:42, in an email sent via my Proz.com profile:

Subject: Tender POR>EN in the field communication

Hi,
I am XXX of YYY Ltd, a medium-size translation agency located in ZZZ.
For one of our customers, we have about 140 pages to translate from Portuguese into English until Saturday, February 9, 2008, EOB. The material is available.
The total budget for this job is US$1000, and the equivalent is US$0.03 per English word*.
If you are available for undertaking all or part of the job, please send your answer as well as your CV. Looking forward to your prompt answer.
Best regards,
XXX
YYY Ltd**

* (My bold and italics) So we assume YYY Ltd takes their agency cut and that leaves (let's be generous, eh?) USD 0.02/target word for the translator, right?
** Limited? - yes - very!

To which MediaMatrix promptly replied (as requested by XXX), in the hope snatching this precious job under the very the noses of dozens of Proz.com peers eager to win some much-needed bread-money:


Hi Roberto,

Your budget is much less than 10% of my normal rate of Eur 0.20/source word, which is willingly paid by my regular clients in the knowledge that they will get top-quality service from a media/communications specialist having over 30 years of relevant experience.

Feel free to contact me again - but only after you have informed your client of the prevailing conditions in this market and obtained their approval to pay a *minimum* of USD 12,000 for the job. Then, perhaps, we could look into the overheads relating, among other things, to the tight deadline.

The clock is ticking. The ball's in your court...

Regards,
MediaMatrix


No answer, came the stern reply.

MediaMatrix

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-02-04 13:15]


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Tatiana Lammers  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
same here if not worse Feb 4, 2008

Got this offer today:
170 pages book. 5 pages of test translation HAVE to be done for free and "in understandable for a common reader language" (the book is written for specialists in a certain field!). 5$ a page! Will pay after each 10 pages =)


That's what I consider a joke!


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 11:05
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Aww man.... Feb 4, 2008

and there I thought I was gonna get a "A priest walks into a bar..." joke!

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Payment in 60 or 90 days? Feb 4, 2008

Most of the urrrrgent! urrrrgent! jobs offer to pay in 60 days or beyond.



One of the possible stories goes like this:

The job was outsourced to someone who offered to do it quite cheaply. Too late, they realized no translator in this pair would be willing to work for such a low rate. So they found another outsourcer, one who was ready to do anything for some immediate cash:
"I'll take it! You pay 50% in advance and the remainder upon delivery, right? Hey, what was that language pair again?"
Now the deadline is approaching at warp speed, and the guy is desperate to find a translator for a patsy.


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Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 20:05
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Huge disbalances in per page rates Feb 4, 2008

Hey guys!

Don't know what rates they pay for your language pairs, but it seems to me that being native in Serbian (which is considered quite rare), is not well appreciated in terms of per word/page rates. Namely, when I asked for a quote from a London-based agecy (20,000 words from English into Serbian in 7 days time), I was shocked to receive a "generous" offer of 2,160 pounds! Yet, agencies don't pay the translators all that well.

In Serbia (maybe not the most fortunate benchmark), they would pay you as little as 0,015 EUR per word (if you're lucky).

It doesn't seem right! But there are people who work for much less - some colleagues of mine work for 4-5 EUR per page! It is outrageous, but still, the market dictates prices and you just can't beat the market.

I'm not talking about the quality of the translations, though.

Anyway, do you have any ideas how to change that?

Cheers!


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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
WE ARE THE MARKET Feb 4, 2008

cheddo wrote:

Hey guys!

Don't know what rates they pay for your language pairs, but it seems to me that being native in Serbian (which is considered quite rare), is not well appreciated in terms of per word/page rates. Namely, when I asked for a quote from a London-based agecy (20,000 words from English into Serbian in 7 days time), I was shocked to receive a "generous" offer of 2,160 pounds! Yet, agencies don't pay the translators all that well.



Cheddo, maybe you do deserve that amount if your combination is rare.

Being a translator and not an agency, though I wouldn't expect to pay the same to a translation English > Spanish, than , let's say, Urdu to Innuit, which I believe often is done via English, so there is semantic loss, higher price, etc.




In Serbia (maybe not the most fortunate benchmark), they would pay you as little as 0,015 EUR per word (if you're lucky).

It doesn't seem right! But there are people who work for much less - some colleagues of mine work for 4-5 EUR per page! It is outrageous, but still, the market dictates prices and you just can't beat the market.



Cheddo, YOU just like ME and everyone else, WE ARE part of the market.

If ALL translators with Serbian (or serbo-croat, I believe) were in a union, or association, you would all gain from it, as it is a quite small community I guess, and 'a secret and anonymous downwards atomisation' is what causes this 'free fall' rates.

Do you know what is the minimum wage? Do you think someone can pay you, let's say, 40 Euros a month in, for example, France?
That would a wild idea.
Put it that way

Here is Spain is around 600 Euros.
If there is a minimum rate for a contract job, why do we, translators and interpreters, have to earn less than, let's say, a cleaning person (with all due respect), and pay ourselves Social Security, equipment, courses, material, ADSL, computer, etc etc etc?




I'm not talking about the quality of the translations, though.



We'll time is quality, and If you get paid a miserable pittance, then you obviously cannot live from translating, thus it's not worth frying your brains in return of alms money.



Anyway, do you have any ideas how to change that?

Cheers!


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