A scam?
Thread poster: Thayenga

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Jul 18, 2014

Hello,

I received an email from this agency, just like more than one or even two dozens of colleagues here in Germany.

On Zahlungspraxis.de a colleague "investigated" this offer and discovered that each translator will be given a test translation - a different passage of text from a website that does not - yet - exist in German. And the translator is to go to their online "auctions" (??) in order to get a job.

This topic was also discussed in the BDÜ-Forum.

Please be careful with this company.


-----Original Message-----
From: [Company name]
To:>
Sent: Thu, Jul 17, 2014 10:03 am
Subject: [Company name] | Looking for freelance translators
[Company name] | Looking for freelance translators
Translators needed!

Dear Translators,

[Company name] is a website that puts translators in direct contact with those who have translation needs. We are currently recruiting freelance translators who work with one or more of the following language combinations:
English to/from French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch
French to/from English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch
To join the [Company name] community, all you need to do is sign up for free and take a short language test. We hope to work with you soon!
Kind regards,
The [Company name] team
* [phone number]

[Edited at 2014-07-18 20:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-07-18 20:16 GMT]


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
English to German
+ ...
Me too Jul 18, 2014

https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=3415770&type=member&item=5895448431509401602&qid=c770bb95-26b1-439c-b957-c57bb10b8ffd&trk=groups_most_recent-0-b-ttl&goback=.gmr_3415770

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:05
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Me too! Jul 18, 2014

Some time ago, I did receive an email from them for a different pair of languages, but as express translations and auction translations are not my cup of tea I did not answer back!

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
According to... Jul 18, 2014

Teresa Borges wrote:

Some time ago, I did receive an email from them for a different pair of languages, but as express translations and auction translations are not my cup of tea I did not answer back!


Zahlungspraxis.de this website only exists in English and French. So one can assume that translators with different language pairs will also be contacted.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:05
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
About this website Jul 18, 2014

Hello, a couple of months ago, I posted this [spanish]:

http://www.proz.com/forum/spanish/269024-pruebas_de_traducción.html

To make a long story short, I did an online test translation with this company and was rejected in my first pair (FR>ES) in which I'm a sworn translator with +25 years of experience! It seems that test translations are "corrected" by bots, so when there is a "system crash" so you can't finish the test, the system rejects it as a "fail", and an e-mail is sent telling you you have failed. I told them this was not serious and gave up. But I'm unable to cancel my account with them. To my astonishment, they keep on sending me mails and from time to time they appear as following me on Twitter. To make things worse, they had a spelling error in their French version of the website!

Yes, be careful everybody.

[Edited at 2014-07-18 17:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-07-18 20:11 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:05
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The large scale scam Jul 18, 2014

Susana E. Cano Méndez wrote:

Hello, a couple of months ago, I posted this [spanish]:

http://www.proz.com/forum/spanish/269024-pruebas_de_traducción.html

To make a long story short, I did an online test translation with this company and was rejected in my first pair (FR>ES) in which I'm a sworn translator with +25 years of experience! It seems that test translations are "corrected" by bots, so when there is a "system crash" so you can't finish the test, the system rejects it as a "fail", and an e-mail is sent telling you you have failed. I told them this was not serious and gave up. But I'm unable to cancel my account with them. To my astonishment, they keep on sending me mails and from time to time they appear as following me on Twitter. To make things worse, they had a spelling error in their French version of the website!

Yes, be careful everybody.

[Edited at 2014-07-18 17:19 GMT]


Hi Susanna,

I'm sorry to learn about your negative experience.

What you are telling us here only seems to confirm the thoughts of our colleague in the Yahoo group, that they are trying to get that website translated into all languages for free. This is indeed a large scale scam.

Hopefully our colleagues will read this thread and stay clear of this scammer.


 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 15:05
German to English
+ ...
contemporal conversation Jul 19, 2014

When this thread first came up, I had just come from a back and forth e-mail exchange with the company in question. There is a type of activity that some relatively new organizations are carrying out, and they seemed to be engaging in it.

They contacted me with an e-mail saying they "needed" translators in my language pairs. Well, if someone "needs" a translator, then it is because there is a text they want to have translated. But no, they were getting increasing demands for De > En translators - no particular project. In other words, this seemed to be one of these "recruitments" that puts translators on somebody's database. But they said they were not an agency.

They wrote that they help translators find direct customers. Well, sheesh, direct customers find me anyway. At this point they appeared to operate more like a portal: like a weak version of ProZ, Aquarius, etc., with who knows what accountability. I looked at their site. They offered "express" translations where you dealt directly (sort of) with your client, and "auction" translations which is sort of like the bidding process we see in portals when job offers are mass mailed to many translators who are supposed to compete against each other. I don't go for that.

Ok, they had a "timed test". I don't do tests unless they're paid. She explained that it's timed so that they can assess whether a translator can do the work in the time that they allot. Two things wrong with that: 1. timely delivery depends on a series of processes in translation, not something akin to a typing test 2. it is not up to them to determine turnaround time, ESPECIALLY if they are acting as a portal.

The site itself revealed that even when you connect with a customer, you can't do ordinary e-mail exchanges with your client. Everything has to go through their site. Your customer doesn't pay you - it goes through their site. And finally, the customer has to fill out a questionnaire about the translator's work. Are customers qualified to do so? Do we want records of a stranger's assessment of our work on public display? And who wants to impose such a burden on their customer? Both things told me that they didn't seem to know much about how translation works, or customer relations.

One has to ask why they have created such a portal. Is it out of some strange altruism to help everyone find each other? Surely somebody is paying them a fee. Either every client pays a fee, or the translator gives up a percentage of his/her earnings, or something similar.

Back to accountability. When a large known organization such as ProZ facilitates job mailings to translators, they don't try to manage the transactions, like I described. There is also a mechanism for feedback. I.e., if a customer did not pay for a translation, and the translator gives feedback on non-payment, then the customer can't just decide to retaliate by writing a terrible and unjustified feedback on the translator. There are people - I assume moderators - monitoring that kind of thing. But these little organizations that are springing up everywhere are no likely to have such a mechanism. Imho, they are trying to milk a cash cow. A translator and customer have a working relationship, and many of these organizations want to have a piece of the exchange. Sort of brings up the image of flees. I don't know if that is justified.


 


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