It would be interesting to know the selection criteria applied by outsourcers
Thread poster: alvanice

alvanice
Local time: 21:10
Member
English to French
+ ...
Oct 14, 2005

When we quote for a job, and I've seen that for most common pairs of languages the number of quoters is quite high (and I'm just talking of Platinum members), it'll be interesting to know at least what selection criteria (country of residence, years of experience, background, areas of expertise, price, deadline...) the outsourcer has applied to award the job. Why don't we get an information just to know where the unsuccessful quoters were in comparison with the fortunate quoter. Thank you for considering this important topic.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:10
English to German
+ ...
Moving the thread... Oct 14, 2005

...to ProZ.com Job systems.

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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
my personal opinion Oct 14, 2005

alvanice wrote:

When we quote for a job, and I've seen that for most common pairs of languages the number of quoters is quite high (and I'm just talking of Platinum members), it'll be interesting to know at least what selection criteria (country of residence, years of experience, background, areas of expertise, price, deadline...) the outsourcer has applied to award the job. Why don't we get an information just to know where the unsuccessful quoters were in comparison with the fortunate quoter. Thank you for considering this important topic.


I may be wrong, but the impression I have is that the person offering/promising the most but costing the least is often awarded the job.


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:10
English to German
+ ...
.. Oct 14, 2005

writeaway wrote:
I may be wrong, but the impression I have is that the person offering/promising the most but costing the least is often awarded the job.



Well, it's an impression. I too think that some sort of "statistics" would help us to find out whether this is really true or not. Why not?

Sonja


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 21:10
German
+ ...
I can't speak for everybody... Oct 14, 2005

...but we usually write up very detailed requirements when we post a job.

A large number of applicants fail to meet these requirements in the first place (e.g. non-native speakers, no CAT tool etc.)

Another large group does not manage to file a quote that is
a) answering ALL of the questions posed in the job posting, like Trados matrix or relevant experience and
b) free from hair-raising mistakes like wild grammar mistakes, omitted/jumbled letters and so forth. If you'd like us to entrust you with a complex translation project, please be so kind and spell-check your quote before submitting. View it as a confidence building measure.

And then, there's the sample translation: Due to the extreme brevity of the text outsourcers can post as sample, it is often extremely hard to find THE best sample translation among several. But there can be only one and a choice has to be made somehow, so the one that appeals to us most is likely to "win the prize."

HTH,
Benjamin

P.S.: I share your suspicion about most jobs being awarded to the person who promises to do mostest for the leastest...


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 20:10
Not always about the money... Oct 14, 2005

The last time I outsourced a job on Proz, (it was one of those 5pm last resort things), I selected a translator who lived in the States, on account of the time difference.
I did not want a European-based translator staying up all night doing a 2000-word text that had to be delivered first thing in the morning.

O.


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Ravindra Godbole  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 00:40
Member (2002)
English to Marathi
+ ...
It;s very true Oct 14, 2005

I very much agree with alvanices views.This will help us to know where we stand in the so called rat race.

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Michaela Müller
Germany
Local time: 21:10
English to German
+ ...
Not only rates, but ... Oct 14, 2005

... professional behaviour is a key issue, at least for me. The last two times I had to outsource sth. on ProZ.com, I took into account (not necessarily in this order, but altogether):
- the speed of answers,
- the ability to give only/at least the required information (a good test to see if people are reliable or not, I think)
- the quality of a short sample translation of 1 sentence (I did request this because I didn't know the source language involved)
- the rate given in the form I requested
- education and qualification

With one job, I explicitly requested only native speakers of a certain language, but then also non-natives offered their services (e.g. for German-English proofreading, German or Austrian natives bid for the job, telling me how good their English was. Maybe true, but I wasn't looking for Germans because I'm also a German and wouldn't have to outsource this if I could do it, too.).

And you won't believe it but there also applied a person who neither had the source nor the target language as his native language, and the only info he sent was about the ways I can pay him.

Anyway, you can also make a wrong decision and pick a translator who seems to be very professional and in the end doesn't even manage to use the spell check and suddenly gives a different name and country he/she is based in.
By the way, I chose this translator although she was by far the most expensive, but she was the first to answer, gave all info I requested, and delivered the sample translation with good quality.

[This is just some personal information in case there will be no statistics.]

Michaela

[Edited at 2005-10-14 12:27]


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xxxPuicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Swedish to English
Outsourcer guide Oct 14, 2005

Related to the criteria for choice of translator is surely the track record of a translator in work done through Proz. I think all Proz translators should have a set of figures assigned to their profiles reflecting fee, number of jobs done through Proz and feedback from outsourcers. In this way, an outsourcer can get a fairly well balanced view of prospective translators and avoid the kind of experience Michaela describes.
Mike


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 21:10
not just an impression... Oct 14, 2005

writeaway wrote:
I may be wrong, but the impression I have is that the person offering/promising the most but costing the least is often awarded the job.


amen ! or rather:
df


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Momoka  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:10
Japanese to Spanish
+ ...
Feedback Oct 15, 2005

As a translator, I've always wanted some feedback from my clients, and as a member of Proz, the same from outsourcers. I'm always happy to read comments (few as they are) from outsourcers in the forums, since these will for sure help me/(us?) do better jobs. Not meaning to hijack the thread, thanks to Tectranslate, Orla and Michaela for their feedback.

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:10
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Interesting topic Oct 15, 2005

I think that we all have something to learn about this.

I have outsourced jobs on behalf of BeTranslated, an association of translators that offers what an agency can offer.
Sometimes we have a job, so we know how much the client is willing to pay, and we know how much we can pay the translator. In that case our job offer states how much we pay and everything is clear from start.

Sometimes we receive particular requests for which we have to look for the translator who has all the skills to handle it. In that case we describe the job and the conditions and ask for how much the translator would do that job. Then, for chosing, we look first at the skills and then at the price. We propose a quote to the client who will have the last word (accept or refuse).

I think that both ways are acceptable, either the translator says his rate or answers only if he considers that the proposed rate is fine.
I agree on the fact that some outsourcers must look only at the rate, but not all of them. I remember one for which we had to bid via e-mails stating the price in the subject line, I imagine that they didn't waste time on some bids

I have noticed in my calls for translators several points that have already been mentionned.

- people don't meet the requirements. Usually I'm not very selective at first, but if I ask for a native, even if the translator has spent three months (yes!) in Germany, it can't work.

- a small paragraph to translate can also be very interesting. I even had the case of two sentences for which only one out of six translations was correct (proofread by four translators). I also had an answer saying that the translator had no time to waste on free translations. I decided that I had no time to waste looking at her CV. This was about the same paragraph all the others had translated.
And I hate those agencies that answer that they will forward the test translation to their translator.

- Time zone can be important. We have a new client whose assignments are always urgent.

- I won't say that it could be a reason for disregarding their bid, but I don't like those who paste a CV instead of sending a personal message explaining and summarizing why they can handle that job.

- This is very important: when you bid via Proz.com, at the end you have to check which information you want to be visible. If you don't check the e-mail address the outsourcer won't be able to contact you but via your profile. I think that we all should always facilitate the contact with the outsourcer.


Claudia


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:10
French to German
+ ...
That one's easy... Oct 16, 2005

Claudia Iglesias wrote:
I remember one [outsourcer] for which we had to bid via e-mails stating the price in the subject line


Outlook is specially equipped for responding to invitations of that kind. They have even provided a special button for it. It's a black cross. You select the invitation in the inbox overview and then hit that button. This will provide the correct reaction, no matter what your specific rates and terms are. It works like magic - at least to me.

P.

[Edited at 2005-10-16 21:01]


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