Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4 5 6] >
Enough is enough
Thread poster: Nikki Scott-Despaigne

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
French to English
Aug 13, 2015

I have been on ProZ since 2003. That's 12 years. ProZ has made some serious attempts and moves to improve the quality of the job posting system. For most European-based translators working under a legal structure and paying social charges, nothing has changed.

You know, translation is a business for specialists. Whatever qualifications we hold, paper diplomas (certifying a certain type and level of education) and/or experience and knowledge (acquired through professional and personal experience), I still never cease to be amazed at the rates expected and the excuses put forward by those who post so-called jobs on this site.

Even prepared to make a compromise, even playing the game and setting a rate at half my break-even rate, I have never one single time been successful at obtaining a job through the system. I have a fair number of qualifications, a faire bit of knowledge and experience and know how to track down information. I also know I'm not infallible and that there are many who are others who are better, just as there are those who are worse.

Over time, I have reached the following conclusions:
- rates expected are insultingly low and simply suicidal for most European based linguists
- job posters expect increasingly long lists of (epxensive) tools
- arguing precision and consistency for the client, job posters use CAT tools as a means of imposing various perentage rates of reduction, according to the number of repetitions

Unfortunately, nothing new. I find that in spite of the seriously noble intent and genuine efforts made by the ProZ team, many translators in a large part of Europe at least, simply cannot hope to compete for jobs posted here.

Further, not only are the extremely costly CAT tools something I refuse to acquire, the same is true of the ProZ "member" status. The former requires initial outlay which you may consider is recovered in the number of jobs you can compete for. When I take into consideration the % reduction expected, it's not possible. The latter again requires outlay to compete for low-rated jobs.

No thanks.

EDited to add that I have been on ProZ since 2000!



[Edited at 2015-08-14 01:19 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:19
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Clients find you Aug 13, 2015

Or they don't.

Responding to posted ads is one way to find jobs, but being found by clients through the directory provides a much higher ROI.

Despite your high qualifications, you have no KudoZ points and no paid membership. That is the reason you don't get as many jobs as you deserve.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Nikki has Kudoz points Aug 13, 2015

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

Despite your high qualifications, you have no KudoZ points and no paid membership. That is the reason you don't get as many jobs as you deserve.


They are clearly listed on her Profile page: PRO-level points: 4812. She must have many non-pro points as well as she is always happy to help no matter what the level of question.

And fwiw, Kudoz point nowadays mean less than they once did. Many simple questions are posted as "pro", meaning 'cheap' pro points are earned and on some pairs (one or two of mine at least), there is massive 'pal-voting' where pals all back one another and/or diss other (valid) answers just to discredit them. One has to take current Kudoz points with a grain of salt. Especially since a great many genuine pros no longer bother 'helping' the many askers who are clearly out of their depth, so much so that they don't really know the right answer when they see it and don't understand any intricate explanations provided.
Using the number of Kudoz points to judge someone's worth is absolutely the wrong way to go, imo.

[Edited at 2015-08-13 18:57 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:19
German to Swedish
+ ...
Pricing Aug 13, 2015

CAT tools may be slow, buggy and look like a visit to the early 1990s, but the price is about the same as many professional-level applications: around $1,000.

On the other hand, in my other pro-level applications I never get to see error messages like "Method or operation not implemented", "An unspecified error occurred", "SelectedTab Cannot be Set Before the Pane Has Been Added to a Panes Collection" or "Object Reference not set to an instance of an object".

[Bearbeitet am 2015-08-13 19:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
4812 Aug 13, 2015

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:



Despite your high qualifications, you have no KudoZ


She has 4812 KudoZ points (clearly visible on her profile). How many paying members have more that that?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:19
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Apologies Aug 13, 2015

I'm sorry, Nikki, I did not notice that you do have lots of KudoZ points. I'm used to seeing them in the bottom right-hand corner of the profile, not in the 'Standardized info' section.

You have 158 French-English KudoZ points in one of your areas of specialization, 'Ships, Sailing, Maritime.' You're number 3 overall in this area, but as a non-paying member you have very little visibility. If you paid for membership, you would actually be #1 on the first page where the paying members are listed. If there's *any* demand at all from French to English in this area, you would get the lion's share of contacts from potential clients finding you through the directory -- without ever doing any active marketing like responding to job ads.

[Edited at 2015-08-13 19:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:19
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
The more points you have, the more it makes sense to pay Aug 13, 2015

Merab Dekano wrote:

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

Despite your high qualifications, you have no KudoZ


She has 4812 KudoZ points (clearly visible on her profile). How many paying members have more that that?


I've just apologized for failing to notice that.

But that's exactly the reason. Few paying members have amassed that many points, and that is exactly why paying for membership makes sense for Nikki.

Disclaimer: I'm not being paid to promote ProZ.com membership or ProZ.com. The above is based solely on my personal experience and observations from being part of this site for the last 11 years.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:19
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It's never enough Aug 13, 2015

Hi Nikki,


there are times everyone has got reasons to stop and reflect on the things they have made so far, but not to end up when there are still many things/options on the go.


I have been on Proz for 4 years and at first my impression was that it was again paying for something else and not getting any benefits and it was indeed, but that was mostly on y side. I subscribed and expected things would happen, I am not saying this is your case. The idea is just to illustrate how we expect life to be; and after sometime, during a training session, I found out that the idea is not simply to be born; we gotta walk, move, talk, travel, meet, speak, walk the talk, study, specialize, value ourselves, etc. To curt the long story short:

I had tiny jobs, small jobs, loads of agencies offering peanuts (some I refused, I had some 'bread' at home and I could refuse it, others I accepted and felt very frustrated, that reminded me of my University project, based on the life of a professional translator, where I pointed out how competition can turn into an unfair and nasty breadwinning thing).

I still work for agencies on a negotiable basis and have got my prime clients (70%) found me on Proz. I am not a propaganda guy here.

I have a friend in Scotland that once said:

"Wow! This is a massive website (Proz)", and after sometime I got it right. Someone, anywhere in the world, will soon look for translators specialized in any field and your profile won't be found.

Don't give up!




Direct link Reply with quote
 

cecilea7
United States
Local time: 09:19
Member (2010)
Portuguese to French
+ ...
Things you can do... Aug 13, 2015

Get Pro certified, for more exposure (Pro network), you can also use Wordfast anywhere which is free and very accessible to CAT Tools neophytes. Increase your feedback by doing a few pro bono translations and ask for feedback in exchange. Do not lower your rates, be patient it's worth it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
You make a valid point about the job postings, but... Aug 13, 2015

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Further, not only are the extremely costly CAT tools something I refuse to acquire...



I personally find that approach outdated with potential to affect your incoming workload as the future progresses. But of course, you are free not to invest if you so desire. It's just that from your post, I get the impression that you only view CAT tools as a means for clients to exploit translators out of cold hard cash. From my perspective, however, I find that they do indeed increase productivity and are a useful bargaining chip when a client wishes to try their luck at renegotiating rates.

Of course, some clients want to use their CAT analyses to exploit you, but I just don't work with those ones. I treat the analyses like I treat my base rate: I do not allow my clients to set my base rate, and I don't allow them to set my match discounts either.

But anyway, with regard to ProZ and the job postings, I never even cast an eye on those. I use ProZ purely as a means to increase my visibility and my credibility as an established translator, and indeed since becoming a paying member and a certified pro, my visibility has increased significantly and I have received a number of new clients as a result of my membership on ProZ -- but never through the job postings, those posts are an absolute joke and I will continue to wonder why any self-respecting professional even bothers with those.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
my 2 devalued euro cents: get a CAT tool + pay for membership Aug 13, 2015

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I have been on ProZ since 2003. That's 12 years. ProZ has made some serious attempts and moves to improve the quality of the job posting system. For most European-based translators working under a legal structure and paying social charges, nothing has changed.

You know, translation is a business for specialists. Whatever qualifications we hold, paper diplomas (certifying a certain type and level of education) and/or experience and knowledge (acquired through professional and personal experience), I still never cease to be amazed at the rates expected and the excuses put forward by those who post so-called jobs on this site.

Even prepared to make a compromise, even playing the game and setting a rate at half my break-even rate, I have never one single time been successful at obtaining a job through the system. I have a fair number of qualifications, a faire bit of knowledge and experience and know how to track down information. I also know I'm not infallible and that there are many who are others who are better, just as there are those who are worse.

Over time, I have reached the following conclusions:
- rates expected are insultingly low and simply suicidal for most European based linguists
- job posters expect increasingly long lists of (epxensive) tools
- arguing precision and consistency for the client, job posters use CAT tools as a means of imposing various perentage rates of reduction, according to the number of repetitions

Unfortunately, nothing new. I find that in spite of the seriously noble intent and genuine efforts made by the ProZ team, many translators in a large part of Europe at least, simply cannot hope to compete for jobs posted here.

Further, not only are the extremely costly CAT tools something I refuse to acquire, the same is true of the ProZ "member" status. The former requires initial outlay which you may consider is recovered in the number of jobs you can compete for. When I take into consideration the % reduction expected, it's not possible. The latter again requires outlay to compete for low-rated jobs.

No thanks.



There are very cheap CAT tools out there, some of which are also very good. Mine, e.g., cost me only €200, which I usually earn back with one or two little jobs obtained via Proz. I think refusing to use one will not do you any favours these days. Note that I am not saying that you wouldn’t be able to find work via the site without one, just that it would help.

And as someone already mentioned, I think you'd zoom straight to the top of the list (that clients use to find us) if you paid for membership (given the large amount of KudoZ points you have).

So my advice would be:

(1) get a CAT tool
(2) pay for membership

I am usually contacted around 4-5 times a day these days via the site. A lot of it's of course garbage, but I have found some very good clients here.

Michael


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2012)
French to English
Nikki Scott-Despaigne Aug 13, 2015

When you post, people take notice. I certainly do! I don't have anything near your knowledge or expertise, so I hesitate to comment, but...

I attended a ProZ webinar some time ago, about how to be successful in getting work through this site. I can't even remember the title of the course now, unfortunately, but it seemed to come from a reputable person. I was particularly struck by one of the things they said during this presentation: that there is no point whatsoever in applying for any of the jobs advertised on the ProZ jobs boards, because the people who advertise there are only looking for translators who will work for the very lowest rates. According to this person, the only way to find reasonably-paid work on ProZ is to get a good profile and wait for the clients to come to you.

It makes you wonder...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Nikki got a point Aug 13, 2015

Although I don't totally agree with her (I do find occasional a client, and clients are finding me through Proz), the "cheap" jobs offered on Proz do irritate me.

I thought Proz was a portal for professionals in the translation industry, not for moonshiners and cheap "BS" agencies. Build in a minimum level, so that not every fool who think he/she is a translator or an agency who is out to "rob" you has access to it.

Lets bring this platform back to where it was intended for: For professionals!

Now I hear all of you thinking, "what is or when are you a professional?" That is the question!

In my book when you, as a translator, make a living out of it and ask realistic rates, not prices that ruin the market. As an agency, when you offer reasonable prices and look for quality instead of the cheapest option, which brings me back to the beginning of this sentence.

It is all in the eyes of the beholder, but these are my thougts.

[Edited at 2015-08-13 19:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-08-13 19:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-08-13 19:46 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rasmus Drews  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
Member (2011)
English to Danish
+ ...
Business expenses Aug 13, 2015

You're running a business and you don't expect any expenses to be involved? A 1 year Proz.com membership will set you maybe back half a day's income (if you're in the EU). A Trados license will set you back a few days. But it's all tax deductible...

As for CAT tools, I find it only logical that the clients should not have to pay 100% for repetitions.

That said, I have found some great clients on Proz, but haven't had any capacity for new clients in the last few years, so the quality of clients might have changed...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Was is the keyword and imo there is no going back Aug 13, 2015

Robert Rietvelt wrote:


I thought Proz was a portal for professionals in the translation industry, not for moonshiners and cheap "BS" agencies. Built in a minimum level, so that not every fool who think he/she is a translator or an agency who is out to "rob" you has access to it.

Lets bring this platform back to where it was intended for: For professionals!



When I joined Proz in 2002, I discovered a site for pro translators. People were very enthusiastic and proud about their very own site (until Proz, translating from home was a very isolated job) and defended it against wannabee or lazy translators who bothered others with terms found in any dictionary. Comments like "this is a site for pros", "someone please by xx a dictionary for Christmas", "give the job to someone who can actually do it" etc were common. That was Proz.
But times have changed and sometime in 2005/2006, Proz moved the goalposts and became a site "with" pro translators and not a site exclusively "for" pros. It was a super business move because membership numbers have exploded ever since the rulez forbid any comment at all about a term posted, about a (wrong) answer chosen, about a misleading glossary entry etc. Want to be a translator? Simple. Sign up on Proz and it's a done deal. List whatever native language(s) you wish, invent a glorious profile page: no rules against lying. Just do it.
I don't see any restrictions or serious qualifications being introduced. Proz is a huge and very successful commercial enterprise that exists and lives from the www. It's true that since the shift in emphasis, a lot of early members have left or no longer participate. But the membership vacuum has been filled by newbies and others who want to start working in translation. And Proz is the place to start.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4 5 6] >


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


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

Enough is enough

Advanced search






LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



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