"Only one sentence" translation
Thread poster: Vesna KK

Vesna KK  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 18:29
English to Serbian
+ ...
Jul 18, 2013

I have been getting a lot of emails from translation companies (mostly located in China and India) that are asking me to provide a translation of "only one sentence" (for free, of course).

First time I got this email, I did not think there is anything "fishy" about it but after 3rd mail it got me thinking... Are these translation companies splitting the translation and sending many "one sentence translations" to different translators in order to get the file translated for free? Perhaps they are then using somebody to proofread it, or maybe not even that.

Anybody with same experience?

Br,

V


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 18:29
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Maybe Jul 18, 2013

Yes, this is nothing new.
I'm sure that some are splitting translations, others may not, but the underlying point is that a professional should NEVER give his or her work for free.
Do you enter a restaurant and ask (demand) only one dish for free? Do you expect your dentist to perform just one "simple" procedure for free? and the list goes on.

It is one thing to do a small favor (although these should not be granted lightly and be few and far between and not the norm) to an existing client with whom one has good relationships and not come asking for favors every other day, and a completely different thing to provide one's work for free to a random person that just sent an email.

Those who try to scam something for nothing rely on the fact that most inexperienced and/or otherwise not business savvy translators will think that by doing this small favor they will be able to get "real" work in the future from that "agency", while in fact the opposite is true. Once one gives the work for free, one completely devalues his or her professional position and that "agency" will never want to pay for something they know they can get for free.

[Edited at 2013-07-18 13:22 GMT]


 

Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
- Jul 18, 2013

You may provide a special service for them.
A service called "Only zero sentence translation".
After their usage of this service you may require their feedback about the quality of service.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:29
Member (2008)
French to English
Minimum charge Jul 18, 2013

Just tell them you have a $25 minimum charge.

Of course, I will sometimes do one sentence as a favour for some established clients that give me a great deal of other work, but for someone who isn't already a client = minimum charge.

Believe it or not, once in a while someone will accept that charge.


 

Gad Kohenov  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 18:29
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Either you ask for a minimum charge Jul 18, 2013

...which will scare these people away. Or tell them to ask a question on Kudoz. That way you could at least make 4 points on Kudoz, which is a way of impressing customers in general.
If you cave in once to the demand of these guys they will never leave you in peace later.
They just want free work. And I never work anymore which certain countries. Why waste my energies?

G.K.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Only one sentence... Jul 18, 2013

...send to two or the throusand translators amounts to... a completely free translation of an entire document.

I have translated 1 sentence or 3 - 5 words free of charge, but only for long-stand customers who have been providing me with regular work for a long time.


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 15:29
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Note of caution Jul 18, 2013

John Fossey wrote:

Just tell them you have a $25 minimum charge.

Be sure to collect the money up front if you go down this route.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:29
English to Polish
+ ...
Sometimes only one sentence is needed Jul 19, 2013

VesnaKK wrote:

I have been getting a lot of emails from translation companies (mostly located in China and India) that are asking me to provide a translation of "only one sentence" (for free, of course).

First time I got this email, I did not think there is anything "fishy" about it but after 3rd mail it got me thinking... Are these translation companies splitting the translation and sending many "one sentence translations" to different translators in order to get the file translated for free? Perhaps they are then using somebody to proofread it, or maybe not even that.

Anybody with same experience?

Br,

V


... But it's tacky to keep asking translators to provide such translations free of charge.

And no, I don't think anybody could possibly be glueing one-sentence translations together to form a normal text. That would be too impractical a form of crowd-sourcing.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:29
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
ok with long-standing customers Jul 19, 2013

It can happen that you translate a huge project for someone, then there's a last-minute change in one sentence. Usually it should go to the person who did the rest, but they might not be available, especially in holiday season.

If I usually do a lot of work for the client I'll do it for free or add it to the next invoice. Or for those who send lots of stuff I tot it all up for a monthly bill.

If it's someone I don't know then they have to agree to my minimum charge. I usually tell them that they can send other stuff up to the number of words that corresponds to my minimum charge (about 500 words I think) and it'll all go to the same invoice, but they can't just send 20 words a day unless the domain is pretty similar. Otherwise the lack of context means that you spend as much time on 20 as 200 words.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:29
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I find it hard to believe Jul 19, 2013

Thayenga wrote:

...send to two or the throusand translators amounts to... a completely free translation of an entire document.

I have translated 1 sentence or 3 - 5 words free of charge, but only for long-stand customers who have been providing me with regular work for a long time.


I find it hard to believe that someone would go to the trouble of sending out one sentence each to three thousand translators! For a start, how many companies have that many on their books? It would involve so much work for the PM, it would work out more expensive than paying a translator!


 


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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Alejandro Cavalitto[Call to this topic]

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

"Only one sentence" translation

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



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