Can we turn this job board note around and correct it?!
Thread poster: Bernhard Sulzer

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:28
English to German
+ ...
Jun 29, 2014

Could staff please turn this message appearing with job posts around a bit and fix it; it makes it sound "stronger"; or at least add the information (see below) to make it more correct:

Instead of:

"The budget entered for this job is below the rates charged by at least 80% of ProZ.com members for this pair and currency."

Make it:

"At least 80% of ProZ.com members reporting their rates to Proz.com for this pair and currency charge higher rates than the budget entered for this job."

That addition of the information - reporting their rates to Proz.com - is important because many professional members do not report their rates to Proz.com but they do charge much higher, i.e. professional rates.

Case in point - a recent job from the job board - for which it could probably or exactly (if Proz.com would or could calculate it) say:

(At least) 90%* of ProZ.com members reporting their rates to Proz.com for this pair and currency charge higher rates than the budget entered for this job.
*This is an arbitrary number I picked - but there is probably a way to determine what percentage would be the correct percentage for every job posted on the job board. I understand that it's not easy if the poster lists a range like below - but with ranges I believe we all know what rate the poster would really like to pay. But I'm not saying that's always true.

I changed the text a little to protect the posters, but this is it in a nutshell:

Languages: English to German

4 quick reference manuals, about 5000 words

$0.03 USD to $0.055 USD per word

Payment method: To be agreed
Payment 30 days after date of delivery.

Will assign in two days, format must be perfect, two-day turn-around needed
-------------------------------------------

Staff could also add to this and every other job post:

Please go to the Wiki page and translation rates page listed below and read them carefully before you accept any assignments.

http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Determining_your_rates_and_fees_as_a_translator

http://search.proz.com/employers/rates
Please note the following disclaimer on the translation rate page:
"This page lists the average rates reported by ProZ.com's community of freelance translators and translation companies. Please be aware that this data does not necessarily reflect the average of rates actually charged and paid for real-world projects."

One could add to this: ... charged by translators and paid by clients for real-world projects."
-------------------------------------------

A few more thoughts (only my own!):

As far as the disclaimer above is concerned, let me explain that this means that rates/payments are either higher or lower. It does not mean that it should be construed as a recommendation to charge even lower rates ( -- which agencies might want you to do) than those listed on that page. My own recommendation is: Never charge less than the "standard" rate listed there. Let me say that I wouldn't call these rates "standard" rates; I would instead call them "minimum" rates because a) I don't support the idea of "standard rates" in the first place as in "I always charge that same rate no matter how difficult the text is, how long it is, when I have to deliver it, etc." and b) from my point of view, the "standard rates" listed there are already very low and I can't at all recommend charging lower rates although the page does list even lower rates - what they call "minimum" rates.

My recommendation when I see a job posted like the example I gave above is this:

Just don't do it!

[Edited at 2014-06-29 03:31 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Higher and lower Jun 29, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Make it:
At least 80% of ProZ.com members reporting their rates to Proz.com for this pair and currency charge higher rates than the budget entered for this job.


Or simply:
The budget entered for this job is below the rates listed by at least 80% of ProZ.com members for this pair and currency.

...many professional members do not report their rates to Proz.com but they do charge much higher, i.e. professional rates.


Some (many? who knows?) professional members also charge lower than the rates that they list or report.

(At least) 90%* of ProZ.com members reporting their rates to Proz.com for this pair and currency charge higher rates than the budget entered for this job. ... *This is an arbitrary number I picked...


Yes, because ProZ.com only ever says "at least 80%", even if you put in a very low number. The purpose of the percentage is not to enable job posters to set their rates at a certain percentage, but rather it is meant as a generic warning when a certain threshold is reached (80%).

You can half-post a job and draw your own conclusions. For example, if you try submitting an English-German job where the proposed rate is USD 0.01 per word, then 300 notifications will be sent (180 of them who actually charge less than that and 120 of them who charge more, but want to see lower-paying jobs too). Even if you increase the rate to even USD 0.05 per word, the numbers of notifications don't change (and neither does the warning).

Here's how the numbers go up for higher maximum rates (from USD 0.01 to...):

* USD 0.01 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.02 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.03 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.04 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.05 per word: 305 notifications, of which 115 charge more
* USD 0.06 per word: 320 notifications, of which 110 charge more
* USD 0.07 per word: 330 notifications, of which 95 charge more
* USD 0.08 per word: 340 notifications, of which 90 charge more
* USD 0.09 per word: 365 notifications, of which 70 charge more
* USD 0.10 per word: 395 notifications, of which 50 charge more
* USD 0.11 per word: 405 notifications, of which 45 charge more
* USD 0.12 per word: 450 notifications, of which 25 charge more
* USD 0.13 per word: 475 notifications, of which 10 charge more

The 80% warning showed only up to USD 0.05 per word.

What struck me is how, at first glance, it appears as if many translators are satisfied with less than USD 0.01 per word (180 of them!). But perhaps this count also includes people who did not enter any rates at all, and still asked to be included in job offer notifications.

$0.03 USD to $0.055 USD per word


For this language combination, that rate would give you 305 notifications, of which 115 charge more, and no 80% warning.

Perhaps you should lobby for two warnings... one at 80% and one at 60%.

Staff could also add to this and every other job post:
Please go to the Wiki page and translation rates page listed below and read them carefully before you accept any assignments.


Such a warning would only work for translators who have the curious habit of reading every word on a web page that they visit. There are actually such people (not only translators). I'm not one of them. Such a warning would be lost on me -- at most I'd read the first two or three words before my brain says "no, irrelevant to the task at hand" and move my eyes down the page.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:28
Russian to English
+ ...
Or perhaps: Jun 29, 2014

The budget entered for this job is below any decency. Just kidding--maybe not 100% kidding.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Pointless - jobs now seem to be posted just because outsourcers are in the market for cheap Jun 29, 2014

Bidding for jobs on Proz is something I'll never ever do again. I am ashamed to admit that I posted a bid on a job the other day and am still kicking myself for having been so stupid.
Nowadays, jobs posted on Proz are there in the hope of finding the lowest possible rate and for no other reason. If the rates are not listed and one clicks on the option to have the rates sent, this never happens. If the rates are posted and they are so low as to be amusing, this is not a deterrent and people bid anyway.
Change the wording any way you wish - imo, it won't change a thing.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:28
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A little discussion might go a long way Jun 29, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Make it:
At least 80% of ProZ.com members reporting their rates to Proz.com for this pair and currency charge higher rates than the budget entered for this job.


Or simply:
The budget entered for this job is below the rates listed by at least 80% of ProZ.com members for this pair and currency.


I would prefer a solution that starts with"At least 80%" -in your face so to speak.

Samuel Murray wrote:
Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
...many professional members do not report their rates to Proz.com but they do charge much higher, i.e. professional rates.


Some (many? who knows?) professional members also charge lower than the rates that they list or report.


They might well be doing that, but if they charge rates for translating that are lower than the "standard"and "minimum"rates published on the Proz.com translation rates page, I couldn't agree that they are "professionals" - just my opinion.

Samuel Murray wrote:
Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

(At least) 90%* of ProZ.com members reporting their rates to Proz.com for this pair and currency charge higher rates than the budget entered for this job. ... *This is an arbitrary number I picked...


Yes, because ProZ.com only ever says "at least 80%", even if you put in a very low number. The purpose of the percentage is not to enable job posters to set their rates at a certain percentage, but rather it is meant as a generic warning when a certain threshold is reached (80%).

You can half-post a job and draw your own conclusions. For example, if you try submitting an English-German job where the proposed rate is USD 0.01 per word, then 300 notifications will be sent (180 of them who actually charge less than that and 120 of them who charge more, but want to see lower-paying jobs too). Even if you increase the rate to even USD 0.05 per word, the numbers of notifications don't change (and neither does the warning).

Here's how the numbers go up for higher maximum rates (from USD 0.01 to...):

* USD 0.01 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.02 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.03 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.04 per word: 300 notifications, of which 120 charge more
* USD 0.05 per word: 305 notifications, of which 115 charge more
...

The 80% warning showed only up to USD 0.05 per word.
...
Perhaps you should lobby for two warnings... one at 80% and one at 60%.



Very interesting statistics.
As far as any changes go that I would prefer, it would be great if some additional statistics (maybe more accurate percentage points concerning rates for each job) could be implemented.

But the main purpose of my post is to continue the discussion in the forums to

a) alert readers (those who are new to the business and thus not aware of what is needed to make translating a professional career) about how badly they can be taking advantage off and
b) encourage other professionals to make their voice heard about the dreadful situation in this business where more and more jobs that could have been carried out for adequate rates are instead accepted by someone who doesn't know or doesn't want to know any better and accepts or charges abysmal rates.

None of us is acting in a business vacuum; all is interconnected. A little discussion might go a long way.

[Edited at 2014-06-29 20:15 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:28
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pointless!? Jun 30, 2014

writeaway wrote:

Bidding for jobs on Proz is something I'll never ever do again. I am ashamed to admit that I posted a bid on a job the other day and am still kicking myself for having been so stupid.
Nowadays, jobs posted on Proz are there in the hope of finding the lowest possible rate and for no other reason. If the rates are not listed and one clicks on the option to have the rates sent, this never happens. If the rates are posted and they are so low as to be amusing, this is not a deterrent and people bid anyway.
Change the wording any way you wish - imo, it won't change a thing.


I do feel my forum post was not successful (so far) regarding any possible notification changes.
But I will call the moderators. Maybe they can comment.
NB: I see someone did re-list the thread under "Proz.com suggestions". That's appreciated.
Bernhard

[Edited at 2014-07-01 01:43 GMT]

NB 2: As I said above, at least talking about it in the forum might help new translators.

[Edited at 2014-07-01 02:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Forum for new translator advice Jul 1, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
At least talking about it in the forum might help new translators.


Yes, but we're not new

Perhaps we should propose a new subforum called "Advice for new translators" where people can post any advice that they want to post (and so that others can comment on the advice, of course). I realise that there is a "Getting established" subforum, but that forum is specifically for questions about starting up one's translation business, and any threads not specifically related to that (such as this one) would be thrown out of it. Having an "Advice for new translators" would act as a magnet for any other topics that are also "advice" to beginners but which isn't specifically about starting a business.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:28
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What's wrong with this industry Jul 1, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
At least talking about it in the forum might help new translators.


Yes, but we're not new

Perhaps we should propose a new subforum called "Advice for new translators" where people can post any advice that they want to post (and so that others can comment on the advice, of course). I realise that there is a "Getting established" subforum, but that forum is specifically for questions about starting up one's translation business, and any threads not specifically related to that (such as this one) would be thrown out of it. Having an "Advice for new translators" would act as a magnet for any other topics that are also "advice" to beginners but which isn't specifically about starting a business.


Yes, good idea.

In addition, maybe we should have a subcategory "What's wrong with this industry." But on second thought, it's probably pointless like many other things. There are a lot of people who translate for rock bottom rates/prices and will continue to do so who don't seem to be interested at all in topics like these. At least as far as commenting on/discussing them is concerned. And I am certainly getting tired of preaching to the choir.
Maybe any discussion of issues like these doesn't go a long way (anymore) after all.
Oh well, eventually everyone finds out for himself/herself what it means to work for or pay inadequate rates.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

Can we turn this job board note around and correct it?!

Advanced search






PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



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