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Include country in community rates
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Mar 29, 2010

When viewing community rates, I think translators should also be able to see a break-down of rates per country. I realise that ProZ.com is an international board and that it facilitates international cooperation, but different countries tolerate different rates, and it is inaccurate to present a single average for community rates. Seeing the rates for different countries will also help some translators understand why the rates accepted by other translators differ so greatly from their own.

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:57
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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Not only country, but other criteria as well Mar 29, 2010

I agree that the current way "community rates" are calculated and presented is not very informative.

It would be much more useful and helpful if the rates could be shown as different statistics.
I wrote a detailed reply to another thread a week or so ago, here is the link:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/160451-questions_concerning_how_much_to_charge-page3.html#1351171

Katalin


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:57
Spanish to English
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Which country? Mar 30, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

When viewing community rates, I think translators should also be able to see a break-down of rates per country.


A substantial number of professional translators, having made an 'honest living' for many years in country 'X' now live in country 'Y' where translation rates are typically (much) lower. For example, 'typical' rates in the country I now live in are barely 25% of those considered 'barely acceptable' in the countries I lived and worked in during the previous 30 years.

I expect to be paid 'European' rates for my work, because I'm selling a product based on European experience, qualifications and values - and end-product quality. And I'm selling that product, principally, to European (or international) organizations. I see no reason why I should accept 'Latin American' rates for the same product, merely because I'm now living in the southern hemisphere.

Of course, Samuel, if you think I should be paid Swiss or Belgian rates when working for Latin American clients, then I can but agree with youicon_smile.gif

MediaMatrix


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
On Katalin's criteria Mar 30, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
It would be much more useful and helpful if the rates could be shown as different statistics.
I wrote a detailed reply to another thread a week or so ago...


Your list is:

Show aggregate average rates for
O - everybody (if this is selected, the other choices are disabled)
O - non-paying users
O - paying members
O - people with at least ____ years of experience (number of years can be selected)
O - people with a verified credential
O - members with ProZ-Pro certification (if this is selected, "non-paying users" is disabled)


I'm a little concerned that too many different tiers may be counter-productive and may result in meaningless classification. But... your list is very similar to an idea, namely that ProZ.com should tell us how the community rate is calculated, and that ProZ.com should give greater weight to the reported rates of certain types of members.

The types I thought about were people with more years of experience (the assumption is that newbie translators don't know what to charge), people who are paying [freelance] members (the assumption is that if you can afford the ProZ.com fee, you are not a kitchen table translator), people with a verified credential (the assumption is that people with credentials typically get credentials because they want to charge higher rates), and people who have updated their profiles recently or regularly (this is to remove the data from people who created profiles, filled in random rates, and then left again).


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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TOPIC STARTER
@MediaMatrix Mar 30, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:
A substantial number of professional translators, having made an 'honest living' for many years in country 'X' now live in country 'Y' where translation rates are typically (much) lower.


I recognise that this happens, but I do not believe that it applies to a "substantial" number of translators. There is very little reason to believe that most translators are non-local translators (i.e. that most translators work for clients who are outside the countries where the live).

In fact, I believe it would be far more common for translators to work for local clients (possible exceptions being countries with no translation market at all and countries from which large numbers of people have (for reasons of war or displacement) become expatriates in other, richer countries).

I see no reason why I should accept 'Latin American' rates [from European clients] for the same product, merely because I'm now living in the southern hemisphere.


I recognise this principle and I have taken it into account specifically in one of my own little rates surveys in the past. The question is whether the client's country or the translator's country should be the measuring standard. But this question is only an issue for non-local-only translators or expatriate translators. And I do not believe most translators are of that type.

I also acknowledge that different types of jobs get different rates, and that it is difficult to quantify whether a job is an "easy" or "difficult" one (so as to determine whether the generalist or specialist rate averages should be taken into account). But I don't think we should say (and I don't believe you're saying it) that "the system can't be perfected, therefore it should not be improved".


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
@Samuel - Please don't mis-quote me Mar 30, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:
mediamatrix wrote:
I see no reason why I should accept 'Latin American' rates [from European clients] for the same product, merely because I'm now living in the southern hemisphere.


That is not what I wrote and by editing my post you have distorted the meaning.

I wrote:

I expect to be paid 'European' rates for my work, because I'm selling a product based on European experience, qualifications and values - and end-product quality. And I'm selling that product, principally, to European (or international) organizations. I see no reason why I should accept 'Latin American' rates for the same product, merely because I'm now living in the southern hemisphere.


That means I apply 'European' rates to some clients in Latin America - in particular those forming part of the global business economy such as companies in the telecoms, media and entertainment businesses, i.e. clients who come looking for me not because I live in a (supposedly) low-cost economy but because I have relevant experience in the international arena. The only concessions I make to the local economy are in respect of 'local people', and in most cases they get translations for free or, at most, a bottle of wine.

MediaMatrix


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:57
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Weigthed average is counterproductive Mar 31, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

I'm a little concerned that too many different tiers may be counter-productive and may result in meaningless classification.


Samuel, these are not tiers. These are selection criteria, just like in the directory.
You tick the boxes you want, the system searches for translators meeting the criteria and displays the rate statistics for that group (average target, number of people in the group, numbers or graph whatever).
The criteria list was only a sample, to illustrate the idea - appropriate language pair and field of specialty would of course be included.

But... your list is very similar to an idea, namely that ProZ.com should tell us how the community rate is calculated, and that ProZ.com should give greater weight to the reported rates of certain types of members.


I am not going to analyze your suggestion for weights, and if we are lucky, nobody will (as it will inevitable lead to the "why paying members are more important/worthy/reliable/accurate whatever type of endless discussions).

I don't think the real-time statistics display that I was trying to describe is similar to a weighted average concept. The idea of the weighted average does not improve the current "throw everything in the bowl" average. In some sense, it is counterproductive, as it would still be just one figure, without showing the possible differences between beginner translators and others with many years of experience, or translators with or without credentials, etc. That type of information would be more useful, more educational, then a weighted average, no matter how the weights are assigned. With the selectable criteria, I could decide what I see important (where I put the weight).

Katalin

[Edited at 2010-03-31 02:44 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
On a single, weighted community rate Mar 31, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
The idea of the weighted average does not improve the current "throw everything in the bowl" average. In some sense, it is counterproductive, as it would still be just one figure, without showing the possible differences between beginner translators and others with many years of experience, or translators with or without credentials, etc.


True. But... simpler systems are easier to work with. The more complex a system, the more potentially accurate it is, but also the more difficult it is to use it or integrate it with other systems. The advantage of a single weighted community rate is that the rate can be used elsewhere in the ProZ.com systems for comparative purposes.

I agree, however, that it would be useful for users to be able to see the community's rates in the way that you suggest, i.e. with varying criteria.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@MediaMatrix Mar 31, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:
That is not what I wrote and by editing my post you have distorted the meaning.


If I misquoted you, it would be because I misunderstood what you meant. Not editing the quote would not have change the way I interpreted the quote.icon_smile.gif

I wrote:
... And I'm selling that product, principally, to European (or international) organizations. ...

That means I apply 'European' rates to some clients in Latin America - in particular those forming part of the global business economy ... i.e. clients who come looking for me ... because I have relevant experience in the international arena.


Okay... I think I now see what you meant. When you wrote "European organisations", you meant "clients that are local but who do business with entities in Europe (and elsewhere)", is that right? Or did you mean "clients who are local but who are affiliated to or are local branches of entities in Europe (and elsewhere)"?

Anyway, your point is made -- simply adding countries to the community rate criteria is simplistic at best.

The only concessions I make to the local economy are in respect of 'local people', and in most cases they get translations for free or, at most, a bottle of wine.


Would you say that the local economy has a translation market (i.e. one that would sustain full-time translators)?


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
@Samuel: Please read the words as written... Mar 31, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:
Okay... I think I now see what you meant. When you wrote "European organisations", you meant "clients that are local but who do business with entities in Europe (and elsewhere)", is that right? ...


No, I wrote, and meant: "... I'm selling that product, principally, to European (or international) organizations."

Samuel Murray wrote:
... Or did you mean "clients who are local but who are affiliated to or are local branches of entities in Europe (and elsewhere)"?


That's not what I wrote or meant either.

What I meant, and which is abundantly clear from what I wrote on the lines, as distinct from what you want to read between the lines, is that my clients are international organizations (commercial and public-sector), based mostly in Europe, who are doing business in markets where my languages are relevant (i.e., maybe my local market, maybe not). Actually, I have never worked for any business or organization based in Chile, nor for any international organization via its local subsidiary.

Samuel Murray asked:
Would you say that the local economy has a translation market (i.e. one that would sustain full-time translators)?


If, by 'local' you mean 'national', then yes, there is a market that would (does) sustain full-time translators - at least those working in certain fields of specialization related to the national economy. But, as explained earlier, I do not work in that market - I merely live in it.

Considering 'local' in its literal sense of 'in my home town', then there most certainly is not 'a market that would sustain full-time translators' - even for very generalist topics. Despite this being a tourism growth area, there is no perception of the need for inter-language communication in this town where, AFAIK, I am the only native English-speaker in a population of over 10 thousand, and only a very tiny handful of townspeople are capable of communicating in English (or any other foreign language) even at a very basic level.

MediaMatrix


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@MediaMatrix Mar 31, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:
What I meant ... is that my clients are international organizations (commercial and public-sector), based mostly in Europe, who are doing business in markets where my languages are relevant ...


That was how I had originally interpreted your words, and I don't understand how the meaning of the above is different from the meaning in the way I originally quoted you, which was:

I see no reason why I should accept 'Latin American' rates [from European clients] for the same product, merely because I'm now living in the southern hemisphere.

But id doesn't matter -- I think I now understand what you meant.

But, as explained earlier, I do not work in that market - I merely live in it.


Do you have much contact with translators who live in the same country as you do (what I called "local" translators and what you might call "national" translators), and if so, is it your impression that most of them do most of their work for international clients? I'm trying to find out if in your experience a sizeable number of translators who live in one country actually work for clients in other countries. Or would you say that is likely to be more the exception?


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
@Samuel Mar 31, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Do you have much contact with translators who live in the same country as you do (what I called "local" translators and what you might call "national" translators)...


No. I've only once been in contact with a colleague based in Chile - and on that occasion I was the end-client.

Samuel Murray wrote:
I'm trying to find out if in your experience a sizeable number of translators who live in one country actually work for clients in other countries. Or would you say that is likely to be more the exception?


I suggest you would do better to start a fresh thread designed to gather such information (or a poll, here or elsewhere), and get data from a range of countries and hopefully a significant number of translators.

I would guess that the number of translators who live in one country but actually work for clients in other countries is probably far greater than you seem to think.

MediaMatrix


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:57
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Integrate? Comparison? No! Mar 31, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:
True. But... simpler systems are easier to work with.


Yes, may be easier to work with, but is that the most important goal? Even if "easier" means less accurate (or plain meaningless, or even misleading in some cases)?

The more complex a system, the more potentially accurate it is,


We need to find a balance between ease of use and accuracy of results.


but also the more difficult it is to use it or integrate it with other systems. The advantage of a single weighted community rate is that the rate can be used elsewhere in the ProZ.com systems for comparative purposes.


Wow, wow, wow, this is an entirely different topic. In this thread we are not talking about integrating the community rate statistics with other parts of ProZ, or using them for comparison in the system. We are talking about the statistics themselves, the way the information is presented on its own, for informational purposes, for HUMAN interpretation, which should be based on various circumstances.

Katalin


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Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Strongly agree with Katalin Apr 2, 2010

I strongly agree with Katalin.
I think a cruel lack of context makes the community rates statistics as they are are meaningless (I would even say frustratingly meaningless), and I would like to suggest a couple of extra criteria which I believe would be meaningful. As it has already being said, the user could select the criteria which are meaningful to him or her.

Other criteria that I would find meaningful:

- "Country of origin"

vs

- "Country of residence".

- Target language = Native language >>> This criteria would be particularly interesting combined with the "Country of residence" criteria. I have received a few letters from translators who live in developping countries and offer to work for me at ridiculously low rates in my main pair (JP>FR), without being a native of either language. Strangely, none of these introduction emails were written in French.





[Modifié le 2010-04-02 12:00 GMT]


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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:57
English to French
+ ...
One of the most essential categories does not appear! Apr 2, 2010

Hi,
For me, one of the most key categories is "specialty". That is what makes the biggest difference, certainly more than a ProZ certification!
And it seems you all forgot that.
An exclusively legal, exclusively patent, exclusively medical, etc. specialized translator will not ask for the same rates than a more diversified one. Because it represents a narrower market segment, years of studies and/or years of experience.
I think it should be taken into account in the statistical analysis.

Happy Easter to all of you !
Catherine


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