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Exceedingly low rate even for large-volume job
Thread poster: xxxtr.
xxxtr.
Local time: 07:17
English to Italian
Feb 28, 2004

Hi all,

I'm not sure if I should post this as I really don't want to open up the classic can of worms of low translation rates, but take a look at this job posting:

http://www.proz.com/job/50796

4000 pages (1000000 words) at 5.00 USD per page [ TOTAL: 20000.00 USD ]

That makes 0.02 USD per word.

They justify that by the fact it's a large volume project involving many repetitions.

("Then you can take a vacation with 10000 USD or so...")

I don't even know what to say. I'd just like to ask, is this kind of rate acceptable for job postings here? Is there any standard or monitoring for exceedingly low rates, or is it all left to the individual translators themselves to decide if they're going to take such a job posting seriously or not?


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:17
English to German
+ ...
This has been discussed many times... Feb 28, 2004

Hi "traweb",
You're not opening a can of worms at all, as this topic has been discussed on numerous occasions - just enter "low rate(s)" in the forum search.

To answer your question, ProZ.com does not impose any minimum (or maximum) rate at all: remember that the site is a venue that is not party to any transaction. Also, you should bear in mind that not all jobs passed through ProZ.com are actually posted on the site, but are also assigned directly, via the directory.

Best regards, Ralf


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Ballistic  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 07:17
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Disgrace Feb 28, 2004

It's bloody ridiculous, a disgrace to our profession and a discredit to this website. Job postings and agencies offering such low rates ought to be banned, free market or not.

I believe there is only one possible solution though : to completely ignore them.

Have a nice and relaxing weekend.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:17
English to German
+ ...
...and how exactly do you think this can (or should) be achieved? Feb 28, 2004

Hi "ballistic",
It's bloody ridiculous, a disgrace to our profession and a discredit to this website. Job postings and agencies offering such low rates ought to be banned, free market or not.

Er... any suggestions as to how this could (in fact, should) be done? Who's going to define what a "bloody ridiculous" rate is? I just had a look at "Traweb"'s profile, as well as at yours - frankly, I find the rates shown there way too low. But why would I even think of preventing you from offering them?

I believe there is only one possible solution though : to completely ignore them.

Exactly.

Have a good one - Ralf


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:17
Spanish to English
And he wants Trados! Feb 28, 2004

I'd be very surprised if this person does get any replies. The whole strikes me as so unrealistic, that I can see a thousand things going wrong and an extremely dissatisfied client.
I don't have Trados, but can you undertake to do 50 pages a day, seven days a week for three months, even assuming you don't have regular clients to attend to at the same time? And all this, and the investment in Trados, for peanuts?
I'm not criticizing ProZ though. I just think his wonderful money-making scheme is going to be a complete fiasco.


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Claudio Nasso  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:17
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I agree Feb 28, 2004

I agree with you all. This is really a shame!!

We are discussing the same topic in the Italian forum and there are many colleagues that are shouting "SHAME!!!!":
http://www.proz.com/topic/18729
http://www.proz.com/topic/18848

But, as I have stated in the Italian forum, the embarassment is not only coming from us, but also from some serious job posters that are perceiving Proz.com community as an arena without any "ethical rule".

Claudio


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bergazy  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 07:17
Croatian to Italian
+ ...
Shame on him! Feb 28, 2004

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi \"ballistic\",
It\'s bloody ridiculous, a disgrace to our profession and a discredit to this website. Job postings and agencies offering such low rates ought to be banned, free market or not.

Er... any suggestions as to how this could (in fact, should) be done? Who\'s going to define what a \"bloody ridiculous\" rate is? I just had a look at \"Traweb\"\'s profile, as well as at yours - frankly, I find the rates shown there way too low. But why would I even think of preventing you from offering them?

I believe there is only one possible solution though : to completely ignore them.

Exactly.

Have a good one - Ralf


Dear Ralf
everything you\'ve said is legal but \"legality\"& \"justice\" should be brought together, not separated.

Marko


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:17
English to German
+ ...
I don't get your point Feb 28, 2004

Marko,
TBH I don't get your point here. Where does the concept of "justice" come in?

Nobody is forced to accept a job at that price level, so if one chooses to ignore it, where's the problem? OTOH if someone is happy with that price, on what grounds are we (or ProZ.com) supposed to stop him or her? Who decides what price is "acceptable", if not each individual entrepreneur?

If you accept the notion of being a free entrepreneur in a free market, the decision is yours: accept the offer (for that's what it is), or decline/ignore it.

Best regards, Ralf


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Thierry thierry_lafaye
Spain
Local time: 07:17
English to French
+ ...
Agree and even I (a new comer) know it Feb 28, 2004

It is fairly obvious that this is an attempt to only try their luck to see if they'll get any reply. Seems to be working and this is the scary thing.

As a new comer with 0 customer for the moment (well, in a couple of weeks, I'm not going to stress too much just yet) and without reading so much in the past week about the good practices in the profession and what makes actually sense behing the obvious, would have made me jump on it at first to be very honest (well, not really because I don't have Trados but for an equivalent offer), seeing only that at least it's a customer with finally a bit of money at the end of the mission... I wouldn't have seen that actually such customers tend to be the most problematic ones, not willing to pay as I've seen so much evidence that such practices lead very often to bad quality, disapproval from the customer, therefore problems in paying the invoice we issue, worse is even possible, etc...

But though this is extremely low, I kinda understand some of the people jumping to it, even though it is indeed sad to contemplate this.


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Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 07:17
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
I agree with Ralf Feb 28, 2004

If there are such low rates- just blame the translators themselves who take theses jobs. But are they to be blamed... In some countries, this is enough to live a few day and people want to work.
If the rate is not fine for you, just ignore it.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:17
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
I just tracked the job offer Feb 28, 2004

I followed the link in the first posting and then onto the offerer's website.
http://www.translation-server.com/uk/fees.htm
His own rates are 14 to 17 euro/cartella (250 words). Seems like a hefty difference compared to about 4 euro/250 words (with the dollar so low).
To be fair to him, it says he offers discounts on large quantities.
If there are people out there willing to give up one-fourth of their year to this specialized job at that rate, hey, they're welcome to it.
But don't forget: ya gotta pay taxes on that too!

[Edited at 2004-02-28 14:13]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
It is in our own hands Feb 28, 2004

To accept or decline such an offer.
Discussing this matter again and again and critisizing such low rates is not the way.
Only not accepting such jobs can help.

No one critisizes Daewoo for selling it´s cars much cheaper then Mercedes does. And even on the same quality level (if we assume, Mercedes HAS better quality...) there are major price differences. So will it be in translation business either. If you don´t like the offered price, don´t accept.

Regards
Jerzy


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Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:17
Member
Italian to French
+ ...
Division and crosslight Feb 28, 2004

Hi,

One idea could be to mark each job as 1st division job or 2nd division job (as for soccer, but there's probably something else which fit better in english culture) and to associate a crosslight (red, yellow, green) depending on the price. It could be dissuasive. What do you think about ?

Jean-Marie


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mrippa  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:17
English to Italian
Of course is on our hands... Feb 28, 2004

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

It is in our own hands
To accept or decline such an offer.
Jerzy


But a marketplace where both jobs offers and the professionality of translators accepting such offers is going cheaper and cheaper every day, is of no interest for me and for many fellow translators. Despite the job area, Proz still will be a good place for meeting.

Regards


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
DANGER! DANGER! BEWARE OF LARGE JOBS Feb 28, 2004

10,000 words at 0.08 USD
30,000 words at 0.07 USD
50,000 words at 0.06 USD
100,000 words at 0.04 USD

By the time they honor us with more words, are we in danger of HAVING TO PAY to translate?....

I am really scared. I'd better accept small jobs, just in case...

Au

Special cheers to those who offer this insulting mathematical reasoning to reach the Argentine (Bolivian, Indian, Russian, etc.) translators profitting from our special and always unpredictable X-rates (=economies).



[Edited at 2004-02-28 15:15]


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