International Translation Day 2018

Join ProZ.com/TV for a FREE event September 25-26th celebrating International Translation Day! 50+ hours of content, Chat, Live Q&A & more. Join 1,000's of linguists from around the globe as ProZ.com/TV celebrates International Translation Day.

Click for Full Participation

Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >
Changes to be made to the job posting system
Thread poster: David Russi

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 1, 2010

Finally something has happened! Thanks to all who generated and signed the petition!



(1) Changes to be made to the job posting system
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Certain changes will be made to the ProZ.com job posting system. These changes will:

1) emphasize that the translator is in the best position to determine the rates that s/he needs to charge to deliver the quality required in a given job, and

2) eliminate the potential for the ProZ.com job system to be used to "popularize" low rates.

For details, see: http://www.proz.com/about/ipetition


 

jacana54 (X)  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, thanks! Apr 1, 2010

David Russi wrote:
Finally something has happened! Thanks to all who generated and signed the petition!


icon_smile.gif


 

Ivette Camargo López  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
I concur, too Apr 1, 2010

Lucia Colombino wrote:

David Russi wrote:
Finally something has happened! Thanks to all who generated and signed the petition!


icon_smile.gif


Hi David, Luci,

I haven't been following much Proz.com and its forums lately, but I got word of the petition (which I have not seen, btw) and these job posting system changes through Twitter, and I find these changes (or what I have read so far) a significant and worth supporting step for the worldwide translator community here in Proz.com.

I just saw the video by Henry and it was interesting to hear/see him speak "live" about all this (on a joking note, somehow I felt that Henry looked like the "patriarch" of the worldwide translation community, he he he!).

Anyway, I am really glad Henry decided to listen more carefully this time to all these "complaints" about the job system and rates, because I think that if there is a translation-related website that can indirectly become a lobbyist/voice for the work quality of (freelance) translators worldwide that is certainly Proz.com, even though Henry seems to think that Proz.com is often overestimated in this respect. Remember, Henry, that nowadays a strong Internet presence like the one Proz.com has achieved can give a unique echo/power to people's issues.

Again, thanks to all those who signed the petition and raised this issue in a way that finally managed to convince Henry icon_smile.gif .

Thanks also to all those, former and current translators who (have) participate(d) in the Proz.com community, who in the past voiced similar requests, because I am sure their efforts have also contributed to the changes we are now seeing here in the Proz.com job system.

Kind regards,

Ivette
lapsustranslinguae.wordpress.com


 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:23
English to German
+ ...
Good move Apr 1, 2010

I'm glad to see the proposal to revert the quoting process to what it should be (fundamentally...).

A bit late, perhaps - almost four years after the proposal was put forward by moderators, back in May 2006 - but nevertheless welcome.

Regards,
Ralf


 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz (X)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:23
English to Polish
+ ...
okay, Apr 1, 2010

it's just that the prevailing message sounds like "we will do all we can to prop up prices in the job ads".

Doesn't sound very serious to me.

But let's see what happens. I may not completely agree with the logic of the changes, some of them being downright comical, but at the very least they are internally coherent...

Except for this one:

7. The prominence of the job posting system will be reduced overall, with higher priority given to the directory.

The directory has proven to be a much better source of new clients for professional translators.


Wait a second. Did I just read "it sucks so let's hide it"?


 

whither has fle
France
Local time: 16:23
French to English
Nice work, Henry Apr 1, 2010

Thanks Henry for all that information. Very interesting.

Looking forward to follow-up posts.

Nice work.


 

Miguel Garcia Lopez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:23
English to French
+ ...
Me too Apr 1, 2010

Me too, but unfortunately too late for many fellow translator, some of them former full members of Proz.com.
This petition started from a large audience of Italian translators.
Many of my fellow colleagues translating into Spanish will surely agree English to Spanish language pair has been the one suffering the most in rate reduction lately.

whither has fle wrote:



Thanks Henry for all that information. Very interesting.

Looking forward to follow-up posts.

Nice work.


 

Tracy Greenwood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:23
Japanese to English
Cautiously optimistic Apr 2, 2010

I have to thank my Italian friends for doing something.

I also have to say that within a day or two of signing up for ProZ, I more than made my membership fee back. I think I made $2000 that first week. I had just been laid off from my job in the IP department of an automotive company. I had many years of translation experience, and it was a no-brainer to start bidding on jobs. The difference is, translation quickly went form being supplemental income to my main source of income for a few months.

What I have seen is a race to the bottom over the last year. I have been doing feelance translation since 1995. I am also a licensed attorney with 10 years on the ground in Japan, a bachelors degree in Japanese, a bachelors degree in Asian studies, a Japanese assistant, and I am presently employed at a patent law firm. When we (my law firm) send a translation to an outside translator, we have paid as much as US$0.50 a word.

With the downturn in the economy, many people like myself, who were working for over US$100,000/yr a few years ago are now looking for supplemental income. Supply and demand. Rates go down.

It is now much more popular to study foreign languages. Through my work, I met a woman who has a Master's degree in Japanese and is fluent in Japanese in a small town working at a hotel front desk. This phenomenon is called "degree inflation." Now that there are more people with degrees in foreign languages, there are naturally more people who want to "try a little translating." Supply and demand. Prices go down.

Another problem is the outsourcers. Can't live with them, can't live without them.
There are two types of outsourcers. The completely unethical leeches, and the honest outsourcers. I have worked with both. The fly by night, unscrupulous outsourcers will eventually move on to something else. The real outsourcers will be around long after.

There is a REAL NEED for the good outsourcers. Don't get me wrong. I love working with them. They handle the hassles (I hate sales) and I just do the work. Also, large corporations just won't hire a solo translator. One cardinal rule of outsourcing a job is that you don't use somebody who is flying solo. What happens if they die or get sick? No kidding, it happens. So companies look for firms that have the most translators. That means, you create a web site and post a job, telling everybody they have to register to be considered. Now you have the appearance of a large, multinational firm.

Next, a lot of those who have no negotiation experience are now thrown in to the job pool. They need to feed the family, and will cut their rates a penny or two if asked.

Next, the less sophisticated, hungry new translators are ripe to be exploited by unethical outsourcers. With vague complaints about poor quality and threats to mark you as "willingness to work again - 0" these unscrupulous leeches will demand a discount after the work is delivered.

Finally, and since I have experience in a patent firm and I am a licensed attorney, I find this comical. I use the ProZ rss feed. I check it daily. When I see a J>E patent translation, I will submit a bid. However, I know of only a few translators with my qualifications here but there will be 25~30 quotes. Are there that many mechanical engineers with Japanese ability? I don't think so. And how many of them know the difference between a detailed specification and a set of claims? This is a very specialized skill. If you do not know what an independent claim is, or what antecedent basis is, don't submit a quote.

I think part of the fault lies squarely on our shoulders, too. Who, besides me, will admit to submitting a quote for something they weren't 100% qualified for? Sure, I have submitted quotes for sports translations and I have not been to the gym for years.

When the JET returnees and hostesses get full-time jobs, the dust will settle. Those who do this as a career will be able to make a living again. I might not even be here. My practice has picked up dramatically in the past few months.

Last word - when people no longer live based on fear, they will not have to slash rates. The fly by night outsourcers will go back to selling jewelry on the street, and the real outsourcers will have work for the real translators. You know, the ones who invested in SDL Trados.

Good luck to all of us.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:23
French to German
+ ...
(OT) What has any TEnT/CAT tool or piece of software... Apr 2, 2010

to do with translation skills or with the possibility of getting jobs? Just wondering...
Tracy Greenwood wrote:

Last word - when people no longer live based on fear, they will not have to slash rates. The fly by night outsourcers will go back to selling jewelry on the street, and the real outsourcers will have work for the real translators. You know, the ones who invested in SDL Trados.

Good luck to all of us.


[Edited at 2010-04-02 06:23 GMT]


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:23
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Not good enough... Apr 2, 2010

although rates won't be visible on the site, outsourcers are still permitted to specify their budget and "impose" rates, which is a market distortion... it just doesn't happen in any other industry... how many times do we need to repeat this? Translators set the rates, not the other way 'round... why is Proz.com allowing a system which goes against any business sense? And why doesn't Proz.com take the lead in bucketing this trend by reverting this bizarre and distorting mechanism? That would do a lot of good to Proz.com...

[Edited at 2010-04-02 12:08 GMT]


 

Tracy Greenwood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:23
Japanese to English
Repy to Laurent Apr 2, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

to do with translation skills or with the possibility of getting jobs? Just wondering...
Tracy Greenwood wrote:

Last word - when people no longer live based on fear, they will not have to slash rates. The fly by night outsourcers will go back to selling jewelry on the street, and the real outsourcers will have work for the real translators. You know, the ones who invested in SDL Trados.

Good luck to all of us.


[Edited at 2010-04-02 06:23 GMT]

Laurent,

If you read the job postings, some will specifically require SDL Trados. If you don't have it, don't waste your time on a quote.

But more importantly, my observation is that those who are committed to translation will keep working. Those who are just doing it to pick up a little extra cash will most likely not.

Those that are committed usually have a formal degree, join a professional organization, and invest in some tools of the trade. As you know, language is not something you just dabble in unless you are planning to take a 1 week vacation and just want to order a coffee in the local language.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:23
French to German
+ ...
Short reply... and no offence intended Apr 2, 2010

Tracy Greenwood wrote:
Laurent,

If you read the job postings, some will specifically require SDL Trados. If you don't have it, don't waste your time on a quote.


This is why I do not bother quoting on Trados jobs anymore, especially when degressive sliding scales are "demanded" by outsourcers. 90% of my clients (direct clients and agencies) do not care about the CAT tool(s) I use as long as the job delivered is up to their quality standards.
And yes, I advised one direct client who thought there was no way of translating INDD files -except using InDesign itself; I told him that TagEditor could process INX files...

Tracy Greenwood wrote:
But more importantly, my observation is that those who are committed to translation will keep working. Those who are just doing it to pick up a little extra cash will most likely not.


Indeed.

Tracy Greenwood wrote:
Those that are committed usually have a formal degree, join a professional organization, and invest in some tools of the trade. As you know, language is not something you just dabble in unless you are planning to take a 1 week vacation and just want to order a coffee in the local language.


I spent some 4.5 years at university.

I am member of an international translators' association.

My investments in those tools (+ hardware + firmware + digital security) as per today amount to some 4,500 EUR... and counting.

So far, so good... but still my point of view stands: there is no correlation between owning a given tool and being a "good translator": some of the best translators I know are not even interested in themicon_wink.gif...

[Edited at 2010-04-02 20:18 GMT]


 

Andreas Berger  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:23
English to German
Legal status of the profession Apr 2, 2010

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

although rates won't be visible on the site, outsourcers are still permitted to specify their budget and "impose" rates, which is a market distortion... it just doesn't happen in any other industry... how many times do we need to repeat this? Translators set the rates, not the other way 'round... why is Proz.com allowing a system which goes against any business sense? And why doesn't Proz.com take the lead in bucketing this trend by reverting this bizarre and distorting mechanism? That would do a lot of good to Proz.com...

[Edited at 2010-04-02 12:08 GMT]


Dear Giovanni,
as much as I'd like to be on your side here, we have to remember the major differences to those 'other industries'.
Unlike some freelancers, such as physicians, attorneys, architects etc. etc., the profession of 'freelance translator' is not protected by law (though perhaps different between countries).

Hence our legal status is at least ambiguous, somwhere between 'vendor' and 'part timer', but in effect entitles us to no more than suggesting prices, not dictating them as some other freelancing professions can. And, sadly but consequently, clients are thus entitled to suggest tariffs/budgets with their job posting.
Rather, it seems to me that we need a more legally binding definition of our professional status - something that sadly cannot be provided by ProZ.com but only by local authorities!

I hate having to negotiate prices almost every day, as I guess we all do, but given the above we may have to go along with it for another while...


 

Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:23
Italian to English
+ ...
Maybe I'm not understanding yoiu, but... Apr 3, 2010

Andreas Berger wrote:
...
Unlike some freelancers, such as physicians, attorneys, architects etc. etc., the profession of 'freelance translator' is not protected by law (though perhaps different between countries).

Hence our legal status is at least ambiguous, somwhere between 'vendor' and 'part timer', but in effect entitles us to no more than suggesting prices, not dictating them as some other freelancing professions can
...

My profession is absolutely as protected by law as any other profession. Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean.

As far as "suggesting prices", do you honestly believe that physicians, attorneys, architects, etc. don't also "suggest prices"?

I can easily walk down the street in any city and compare the rates of all these professions, and come up with vastly different pricing between the practitioners of each profession. It's no different than what we are and have been doing. We set our prices, some of us considerably higher or lower than others.

R.
==


 

José Carlos Ribeiro  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:23
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Supply vs Demand is still the driving law for prices/rates Apr 3, 2010

First of all, I am a Pro member and have been a professional freelance translator since 1995.
My rates were quite low, when I started, but my work was also equivalent. I had to climb a learning curve, which took a couple of years and a post-grad course in translation upon my Engineering degree.
I do not belive in prices being *set* for any good or service. Until a better system arises, supply vs demand is still the prevailing law in the market.
What happens with ProZ posting system is that, in order to *help* translators, outsourcers may specify several criteria to *narrow* the search for a translator, but translators have very few criteria to specify willingness to receive requests. Because of that, outsourcers get a misleading idea that they will reach a huge number of potential providers when they intend to pay low rates. It so happens because that specific criterium does not exist in translators willingness to receive requests.
ProZ should allow ME, as a service provider, to specify the criteria for accepting a request for quote. Minimum rate, payment term, potential job, pro-bono, fields, pairs, etc.
When preparing a request, the outsourcer should visualize what percentage of ProZ translators that request would reach. They could then change their criteria in order to attain a reasonable share.
To me, this means I will not need to negotiate unrealistic rates and also that whenever I received a ProZ job post I WOULD surely open and read it.
Both serious outsourcers and professional translators would benefit from something like this, and ProZ would again become a place to connect us.
Sure there will remain low-end outsourcers and hungry translators and they would still use and benefit from ProZ, but their influence would not harm the professional part as much, not anymore.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >


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


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

Changes to be made to the job posting system

Advanced search






Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



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