Survey: relationship between translation quality and price

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:17
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
apples and oranges Nov 27, 2012

Although the survey says it is open to anyone involved in translation in any way, the first few questions are directed to LSPs or direct clients, not to freelancers. Freelancers can answer them, but they would just be giving their opinions, not necessarily based on any experience. This invalidates any claim to a scientific foundation of the survey. (The questions are things like "when prices for translation go down, quality goes down." All translators have opinions about this, but freelancers really don't know if it is true or not, IMHO.) After viewing a few questions like that, I bailed out.

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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:17
English to Dutch
+ ...
Apples and oranges are both edible fruits ;) Nov 27, 2012

I agree with Susan that the survey seems somewhat a shotgun approach toward a bunch of mosquito targets, but I think it also depends a bit on what you think about the link between price and quality. If one believes there is a direct link between price and quality (I happen to think that such a correlation is at best a circumstantial one), then one can indeed surmise that the survey is too general in set-up and any interpretation of the results is perhaps not really scientifically grounded. I answered all questions seemingly geared toward LSP's with the presumption that I don't outsource (an option given in almost any such question in the survey).

With regards to the relation between price and quality: given the pressures on employment there is in all probability a whole fruit basket of new freelance translators, and they often aim at establishing a market share by competing on price. Sure, there are many bad apples in that basket, but there are also very good novices (a bit of a paradox, I know) who don't really know what to charge and who accept offers from agencies looking for a bargain (and unfortunately finding them in that particular fruit basket). If agencies have found such gems, they aren't likely to raise the rates they offer – ever. Result: high quality, lower rates.

[Edited at 2012-11-27 18:30 GMT]


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 16:17
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
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Survey Completed Nov 27, 2012

As a freelancer, I just completed the survey without any problems. If a question did not apply to me (there were only a few), I marked N/A. I encourage every freelancer to complete it. A survey is only as good as the number of participants who took the survey.

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 21:17
Chinese to English
I liked the idea of the free report they're giving to responsdents Nov 28, 2012

If you complete the survey, CLA send you a report about quality which apparently advocates focusing more attention on quality "upstream" (i.e. with the translator) and relying less on secondary QC processes. That's music to my ears, so I'm happy to give them my answers and support on this!

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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:17
Spanish to English
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Agencies qualified to answer? Nov 28, 2012

I reckon that many agencies will not be able to answer these questions either. Spanish agencies, in general, aren't too bothered about quality, price being definately their overriding consideration. They therefore will never have had the experience of paying someone more than a rock bottom rate. What's more, you can only judge translations into your own native language and many translations are semi-specialised at the very least. So an agency owner, who mainly chasing clients and performs administrative tasks, isn't in the best position to judge...

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