China’s Stepes wants to corner U$38 mln language services industry with app for freelancers

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:34
English to French
Uberisation Feb 19, 2016

Again anybody using tech and speaking two languages can translate.
And get your figures right, US$38 million is what I made alone last year.

"Translators are paid between US$0.05 and US$0.13 per word, while Stepes charges its clients US$0.10 to $0.16 per word.

Translators are paid between US$0.05 and US$0.13 per word, depending on the languages used.

Stepes already has 50,000 translators in its database, many courtesy of its investor CSoft, a localisation and translation company in Beijing


Ed Ashley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:34
Member (2015)
French to English
+ ...
Shades of Duolingo Feb 24, 2016

The attitude towards translation as a discipline reminds me of Duolingo.

"Seen 50% of the most commonly written words in language X at least once? Great! Start translating!"


J.E.Sunseri  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:34
Member (2009)
Russian to English
Comment on their FB page May 10, 2016

I did. I told them what I thought about asking for free labor for the hope of potential paid work. Hello. Is this really a good marketing ploy for anyone involved except middleman?


larserik  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:34
Member (2006)
Albanian to Swedish
"Traditional" agency offers even less May 10, 2016

Stepes rates are ridiculous. But not the worst I have seen. This morning a Hungary based "traditional" agency offered me USD0,02 for English to Swedish long-time cooperation, a record-breaking low.


Natalia Postrigan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:34
Member (2016)
English to Russian
+ ...
Been with them for a while Jun 7, 2016

The jury is still out if the whole project is a fraud.
Judge for yourself:

First, I was contacted with regard to "a project for Google", with a pay of $0.04. I was sent a translation test that was graded as perfect, not a single issue found whatsoever. (I'm great, no doubt, heh. But it always raises my alarm when an editor has absolutely nothing to say)

After that I was told that the project will be completed via Stepes.

Over a couple of weeks, two things have been happening in the app:
1) Lots of free jobs constantly posted. These are small, vocabulary like translations that consist of a word and its definition. There is no pay. I did a few, worth $10 my way and some $25 their way based on what the article says they charge their clients. These jobs keep coming but I am now waiting to see if there are any paid jobs.
2) Over time, there have been about 5 notifications of paid jobs available. I was right there using the app when it happened, a couple of times, or was using other apps when a pop-up would open. Still, I clicked instantly but immediately got a response that "another translator took the job".
At the moment, I strongly suspect that it is a ruse. There is no paid job and no other translator who was clicking faster.

As an extra carrot, I can see - but not react to - a list of paid jobs in other languages. They look very attractive, but mind it, they are there like a pretty wallpaper for me - can see but can't take them. And some are a mess - wrong language or meaningless sentences in other languages that I know.

I am waiting to see if there are any real paid jobs coming out of it. Otherwise, I will believe that it is a.brilliant setup to get professional translators to work for free while the inventors charge customers attractive fees.


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China’s Stepes wants to corner U$38 mln language services industry with app for freelancers

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