Idea: Display community rates next to job offers
Thread poster: Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:33
English to Polish
+ ...
Jun 25, 2013

Background: The immediate impulse came from this thread.

It is understandable that the staff of a portal that enables job posting and quoting really can't turn into a rates police. Much has to be left to the judgement of those who post and quote for jobs.

This said, we can't really ignore the downward trend in translation rates. Not only the rates per se, but an overall tendency towards poor job quality.

What did the first liberals say? Something to the effect that democracy, capitalism or whatever else it is, can't really work without education. Education is a long-term thing, but education can also consist in well-timed, appropriately positioned reminders.

Also, in this context, it might be worth noting that a reminder which is not human-operated but rather spawned by a procedure in the source code and operates on variables is much more non-intrusive and hands-off than anything that involves human staff.

A somewhat important psychological angle here is that people theoretically might know about the community rates function, but the reality is that just because they know doesn't yet mean they'll consciously bear it in mind. Besides, even smart people rarely operate at the top of their smarts, especially in life matters. Besides, humans are visual.

So: How about putting a script in the code that retrieves and displays the average community rate for that particular pair next to a job posting? Not a: 'warning! the rate offered for this job is low compared to (...)' etc. kind of thing, but just a piece of reference data sitting comfortably there in close neighbourhood to where the rate for the particular job is being displayed.

Example:

English to French translation of medical documentation. We only accept native speakers with medical degrees having lived in a source language country for at least 10 years. Only the best candidates will be contacted. We offer €0.01 per word for this job.

[white 'i' in a blue circle icon] Average community rate for [language pair query] in [discipline query] is [rate query].

Thus no comment is being made on the job per se, but some things that need to be said are said.

[Edited at 2013-06-25 06:53 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-06-25 06:53 GMT]


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Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:33
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Good Idea Jun 25, 2013

Especially for job posters who are genuinely ignorant of average translation rates.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
This might drive rates down further Jun 25, 2013

[quote]Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:
[white 'i' in a blue circle icon] Average community rate for [language pair query] in [discipline query] is
uery].


Don't you think that more than half of the translators will quote lower than the community rate, if they are reminded of the community rate, to stand a greater chance of being chosen for the job?


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:33
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Who knows Jun 25, 2013

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:
[white 'i' in a blue circle icon] Average community rate for [language pair query] in [discipline query] is
uery].


Don't you think that more than half of the translators will quote lower than the community rate, if they are reminded of the community rate, to stand a greater chance of being chosen for the job?


Who knows. Good question, Samuel. I hadn't thought about that. Still, those who'd be charging more than the community average, shouldn't they be savvy enough not to fall for that?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:33
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Good idea Jun 25, 2013

I don't think the idea falls over on the grounds of translators undercutting the community rates - if they're going to do it, they're going to do it. All you can do is educate, not force people to quote decent rates. I agree with you, Łukasz, that the type of message you suggest is informational without seeming confrontational.

Of course, the job wording that you give as an example would be totally against the rules here on ProZ.com nowadays. Posters aren't allowed to quote a rate at all in the text, although they can state their budget in the area provided. I thought that budget box was only visible to paying members who choose to see it, but reading the FAQ I see that any logged-on user can choose to see it when quoting. That box would be the place to put the rates.

I can see 2 practical problems, which no doubt have solutions.
1) Often, potential and even actual jobs involve multiple pairs, and it would be a little unwieldy to list them all.
2) Rate data are collected in both EUR and USD - which currency would be displayed?

NOTE TO PROZ.COM STAFF: Please, please sort out the link to the community rates! The screen we're first presented with should be listed as "My rates compared to the community" or something similar. You have to click a second time to see the community rates for all pairs. And please change the URL of that second screen - these are NOT "employers rates". That's an extremely unfortunate word choice.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:33
Russian to English
+ ...
I am not sure if this is a good idea or not -- not sure yet Jun 25, 2013

however I have a suggested hourly rate for the job offer you quoted, or made up.


English to French translation of medical documentation. We only accept native speakers with medical degrees having lived in a source language country for at least 10 years. Only the best candidates will be contacted. We offer €0.01 per word for this job.

($500/hr) They also did not state native speakers of which language -- everybody is a native speaker of some language, or languages. Do they need regular doctors, or suregons? Should they live in any a particular region or even town of the source language?


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:33
English to German
+ ...
Not sure... Jun 26, 2013

If any "job" that requires highly specialized pros at ridiculous rates is offered, said highly specialized pros will roll on the floor in laughter.

I just checked the "community rates" for the rather expensive language pair ENG>GER.
Cardiology? $ 9 - 12 cents. Marketing? $ 9 -12 cents. Nuclear Engineering? $ 9 - 12 cents.

I have no idea where the "community rates" for this language pair came from, maybe the result from some random survey among German translators vacationing in tents on a beach in a country where bongs / hookahs are part of your luggage.

Despite all good intentions, the idea might backfire by creating a false perception of "going rates".

I do, however, strongly support any automatic mechanism that will prohibit the placement of any job ad that does not adhere to at least the minimum community rate for any specific language pair.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:33
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
They're legit, Nicole Jun 26, 2013

Those rates are simply the average of the ones shown, or input but hidden, on profiles here on the site.

They're statistics i.e. open to debate, but they're within the realms of possibility (for most of us, anyway), which is one step up from some of the ludicrous offers we get.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:33
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Now that makes me think about something Jun 26, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

If any "job" that requires highly specialized pros at ridiculous rates is offered, said highly specialized pros will roll on the floor in laughter.

I just checked the "community rates" for the rather expensive language pair ENG>GER.
Cardiology? $ 9 - 12 cents. Marketing? $ 9 -12 cents. Nuclear Engineering? $ 9 - 12 cents.

I have no idea where the "community rates" for this language pair came from, maybe the result from some random survey among German translators vacationing in tents on a beach in a country where bongs / hookahs are part of your luggage.

Despite all good intentions, the idea might backfire by creating a false perception of "going rates".

I do, however, strongly support any automatic mechanism that will prohibit the placement of any job ad that does not adhere to at least the minimum community rate for any specific language pair.


In addition to the quoters, I suppose the posters of jobs might be shown some statistical information before posting. For example: 'The minimum community rate for [Pair, Field] is X, basing on information entered by users in their profiles. Are you sure you wish to offer Y?' Or: 'The average community rate for [Pair, Field] is X, basing on information entered by users in their profiles. Please note that the statistical average by definition does not account for any particular depth of expertise or specialisation that may be required.'


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