Jobs offers like "Translators wanted for growing terminology website": what is your opinion?
Thread poster: Andre Ferreira

Andre Ferreira  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:00
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jul 2, 2013

I would like to know opinion from translators on this theme, not about TermWiki only but any other similar initiative.
Actually more about the acceptance of very low rates for an important and growing competitive market.
This one specifically is not a scam so to say, but a legitim way agencies work nowadays. However somehow is a smart way to have the job done while extracting from translators the lowest possible rates (or even below them). Masked as a "crowdsourcing" environment many companies offer very little to the trouble of using their slow systems and uploading terms. Many people even do think they are being part of something honorable, almost voluntary, and that the company is being somehow philanthropic instead of in search for profits.
I just feel that translators who surrender to these help to bring rates down for their own and the work of others, being not respectful, fair and even smart with their professions.
As an example I had an offer of 0.01 usd per word. If the possible quality of translators who accept these rates is another issue, we all get affected.
What you think about that?


 

Déborah Essers-Jansen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:00
Member (2007)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I refused Jul 2, 2013

Hi,

I was asked directly to register for this terminology website so I could provide translations for them. Because I already work for this company, I assumed they would pay my normal rate. After I registered, I indeed saw the ridiculous rate they offered. Of course I wasn't going to accept it, so I instantly send them a message to delete my profile.

In general I have a minimum rate and I don't accept offers that are lower. I also have to pay my bills, right?!icon_smile.gif


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:00
English to Polish
+ ...
Per word or per page for terminology/copywriting etc. Jul 2, 2013

Plenty of jobs include list items, terminology en masse or heavy-duty localisation that's basically copywriting, all of it at base rates.

We need to educate our clients, and those of our clients who are agencies need to educate their clients, i.e. end clients.

As it is now, translators sometimes need to have more knowledge than whoever wrote the source, while earning lower wages. The starkest example is probably marketing and advertising: you need to be able to compose a competent marketing text or ad on your own to the highest standard of quality, unlike the source author, of whom such requirements are not really made. This is doubly true if you're translating into a foreign language (as plenty of Poles are).

[Edited at 2013-07-02 14:11 GMT]


 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 08:00
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
It's 0.01 usd per term, for a minimum of 5000 translated terms! Jul 2, 2013

Andre (Brazil) wrote:

As an example I had an offer of 0.01 usd per word. If the possible quality of translators who accept these rates is another issue, we all get affected.
What you think about that?


Actually, the offer is $0.01 per TERM! Which could be anywhere between 2 and 150 words, or even more. I have translated one medical term on their website, and it was divided into several segments with a total word count of 160 source words, it all counted as one term. Needless to say, it was my first and last contribution to their website.

Here's a quotation from their FAQ PDF:
"The payment is USD 0.01 per translated term, including the definition. Terms made of more than one word are considered to be one term.
All translated terms are calculated when making payment. However we imposed a minimum 5000 translated terms due to operational costs. For example, translating 5500
terms means you will be paid 5500 x 0.01."

And you should translated all 5000 terms within a specific period of time (Around a month).
So if you want to be paid at all, you must translate 270 terms per day, 5 days/week, and get paid $50 at the end of your full time working month!

It can't get any more ridiculous.


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 08:00
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
No professional should participat in this Jul 2, 2013

These "initiatives" are a great example of why and how translators are their own worst enemies. Abusive practices are out-there, always were and always will be, but no abusive practice could be sustained unless it finds a responsive quality (or quality enough) crowd.

As for Crowdsourcing or semi-Crowdsourcing, my opinion is that no professional should participate in any Crowdsourcing project that is directly related to one's professional capacity. I would even go as so far as saying that no one should participate in any crowdsroucing activity because by that on is hurting someone, somewhere (and what goes around comes around), but it is worth mentioning that some crowdsourcing activities are indeed honest and their motivation is not to get something (read as profit) for nothing (or next to), but rather to deepen, strengthen or increase the relationships with the community.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:00
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What is the point in crowdsourcing? Jul 2, 2013

Shai Nave wrote:

These "initiatives" are a great example of why and how translators are their own worst enemies. Abusive practices are out-there, always were and always will be, but no abusive practice could be sustained unless it finds a responsive quality (or quality enough) crowd.

As for Crowdsourcing or semi-Crowdsourcing, my opinion is that no professional should participate in any Crowdsourcing project that is directly related to one's professional capacity. I would even go as so far as saying that no one should participate in any crowdsroucing activity because by that on is hurting someone, ...


Even if it's not hurting someone else, on the long haul, it is hurting themselves.

Most crowdsourcers say that "if you participate in our project, your name will be displayed, and you'll become known for performing XXX". Even if a complete newbie translator joins such program, they'll get known for doing it... for free! (or almost)

That's a hi-caliber shot in the foot. When that newbie becomes a well-known translator from having their name on many crowdsourcing lists, prospects will be entitled to ask, Why are you charging such ominous rates now, if until recently you did it almost for free? We want to have your reliable work again, but at the same prices you got us used to pay for translation.



 

Andre Ferreira  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:00
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lack of unanimity? Jul 3, 2013

I basically agree with everyone. Just believe the whole concept of "crowdsourcing" which does not applies exclusively to translation is very interesting, authentic and different of taking advantage of good-will, actually unites people to build something together while still physically distant from each other.
Good examples are what can be build together here on ProZ or for Translators Without Borders for example, which would still free but are contributions to very respectable causes.
However, is not the case of TermWiki or other examples seen here on ProZ. Why these companies are allowed to systematically use this platform to find translators for these jobs? The acceptance that they are not legitim is not unanimous?




*p.s.: Last year I received the "offer" of 0.01 per translated term. One year later, it appears here on ProZ an ad which states basically the same. It might be working very well for them...
Sadly for those who are really trying to work with dignity

[Edited at 2013-07-03 01:27 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:00
English to Polish
+ ...
I'd be reluctant to call a job illegitimate Jul 3, 2013

... if it's not a clear, overt scam. There's a long road from not particularly advantageous conditions to not particularly legitimate job. But legitimacy is a fairly low standard, it mostly just means non-illegitimacy, so to say. Just because a job is legitimate doesn't necessarily mean it's a job to die for.

Worth keeping in mind also that translators are a bit like lawyers and medical doctors in that a large part of their job is making themselves no longer needed, kind of by design.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:00
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
And the catch is... Jul 4, 2013

Noura Tawil wrote:

Andre (Brazil) wrote:

As an example I had an offer of 0.01 usd per word. If the possible quality of translators who accept these rates is another issue, we all get affected.
What you think about that?


Actually, the offer is $0.01 per TERM! Which could be anywhere between 2 and 150 words, or even more. I have translated one medical term on their website, and it was divided into several segments with a total word count of 160 source words, it all counted as one term. Needless to say, it was my first and last contribution to their website.

Here's a quotation from their FAQ PDF:
"The payment is USD 0.01 per translated term, including the definition. Terms made of more than one word are considered to be one term.
All translated terms are calculated when making payment. However we imposed a minimum 5000 translated terms due to operational costs. For example, translating 5500
terms means you will be paid 5500 x 0.01."

And you should translated all 5000 terms within a specific period of time (Around a month).
So if you want to be paid at all, you must translate 270 terms per day, 5 days/week, and get paid $50 at the end of your full time working month!

It can't get any more ridiculous.



I received the same offer with these details without having to read their FAQicon_wink.gif

This basically means that you "give away" 5.000 terms (not words!) to a charitable (?) cause before you are eligible to earn your very first penny...unless you're too exhausted or get a real job assignment from one of your clients.

Now, I don't mind translating for nothing for genuine (registered!) charitable organizations simple because they come right out and tell me that there's no money to be earned translating for them. Which is only fair.

This is a (more or less) free world, so each is at liberty to choose the type of work (and payment) they like.icon_smile.gif The decision whether or not a job proposal is legit shouldn't be based on these "contractual" terms only, because there are people who consider this offer sound, fair, legal or...not. This is a decision we all will have to make on own own. (And no, there's no subtext in these words, none intentional anyway.)

As for me, and to be quite frankly, a 5,000-unpaid-words bait is just a little too huge for me to "swallow".icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2013-07-04 16:40 GMT]


 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 08:00
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
The truth is revealed! Sep 15, 2013

.. and it's UGLY!
The terms translation project, or at least part of it, turned out to be a commercial translation software!
You can see its ad. right here on ProZ in the flashing banner among other ads.

I'm wondering what would the contributing translators feel like when they see it!


 


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