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0.01 per word
Thread poster: Cristina Manzotti

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:30
Member
English to Italian
God no! Mar 22

Matthias Brombach wrote:

Proposed measures will only work when we would have an organiced community of freelance translators.


Indeed, that would definitely help, but even then it wouldn't really work unless the profession was regulated.

I´m optimistic that our valuable and well paid translators associations worldwide will soon cooperate and take appropriate measures against these rates ...


Good God, no! What about the self-regulating free market (that always works so well...) and the antitrust laws that protect our poor and powerless clients?


missdutch
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
CUI BONO: Who is to profit from it (unilaterally)? Mar 22

self-regulating free market
What? Where? Who? How? Why?
Don't over-naively believe to profiteers, casino dealers, and fraudsters--let alone Ponzi schemes or economic bubbles owners, "cryptocurrencies" curators, and other white-collar crime stuff:
Nobody regulates anything, unless it pays well.

When I ask another happy "smart businessman" to count the real rates, considering 'standard' internal/fuzzy/repetitions/volume and other "discounts", it's about $0.01/word or worse--as they agreed, why?

Unfortunately, even decent translators are often but poor businessmen--no biz parties. And silent...

Shortly--
in the global market of middlemen and dropshippers
 even the vast CAT/PEMT-oriented (read "75+% 'discounts'") majority
 of the needy bottom-feeders without good language and biz skills
 CANNOT make any favorable terms,
 because they are no equal party at the market.
Who will listen?

Or you still believe global profiteers wouldn't safely ignore the uninformed and unprotected needy, lavishly sharing the profits, yes? Perhaps, when out of the blue all predators and parasites stop preying--or when the majority of translators become real entrepreneurs.

[Edited at 2019-03-23 05:47 GMT]


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Rate is a shame, bidders from Italy is normal Mar 23

Baran Keki wrote:

Angie Garbarino wrote:


If the pair was eng to ita this is normal

Yes it was, but how on earth can it be normal for an EU country? I doubt Italy could be compared to Turkey or Ukraine in terms of standard of living?


I mean that it is normal that most of the bids were from Italy, rate in a shame obvious


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes Mirko, sure Mar 23

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Angie Garbarino wrote:

Baran Keki wrote:
the most bids were placed from Italy (ahead of Turkey or Ukraine).


If the pair was eng to ita this is normal


"Normal" in a matter-of-fact sense (sadly), not in a "that's OK" sense, as I highly doubt it's "normal" that so many people are willing to work for next to nothing (especially in a Western country)...


Normal that most of the bidders were from Italy, not the rate, obviously, you know my opinion about such biddersicon_smile.gif


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 17:30
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
What I don't understand.. Mar 23

Angie Garbarino wrote:


I mean that it is normal that most of the bids were from Italy, rate in a shame obvious


I know what you meant, but what I don't understand is how you can live on (or rather 'subsist on') 0.01 EUR per word in a country like Italy or any other EU country? I reckon it's impossible unless you do this job for pocket money (like for buying cigarettes and such).
You can actually live on 0.01 EUR per word in Turkey, and I am sure a good number of my countrymen is going for that rate to get 'competitive' over others. But I personally can't comprehend the idea of being a full-time professional translator in Italy and working for 0.01 EUR per word (unless of course you churn out 15000 to 20000 words a day).

[Edited at 2019-03-23 12:45 GMT]


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Because... Mar 23

Baran Keki wrote:


I know what you meant, but what I don't understand is how you can live on (or rather 'subsist on') 0.01 EUR per word in a country like Italy or any other EU country? I reckon it's impossible unless you do this job for pocket money (like for buying cigarettes and such).
You can actually live on 0.01 EUR per word in Turkey, and I am sure a good number of my countrymen is going for that rate to get 'competitive' over others. But I personally can't comprehend the idea of being a full-time professional translator in Italy and working for 0.01 EUR per word (unless of course you churn out 5000 to 6000 words a day).


they still live with their parents and have no expenses at all... icon_biggrin.gif


Jessica Noyes
Colleen Roach, PhD
Viviane Marx
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:30
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Extremely low rates may mean a scamming attempt Mar 23

I saw some teams offers $0.003 per word in at least 2 language pairs but there is a 99% chance that the client will get some rubbish. The translation delivered by these people would have a quality lower than that of a machine-translated piece. It will be a total waste of time and money for the client.

These people could be considered as another type of scammers.


[Edited at 2019-03-23 20:50 GMT]


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Serbian to English
+ ...
Often they won't and couldn't even if they wanted Mar 23

Baran Keki wrote:

Matthias Brombach wrote:

... take the job, don´t deliver and outsourcers of these kind will disappear ...


[Bearbeitet am 2019-03-22 07:47 GMT]

Just honor the contract and the deadline but send a completely machine translated text instead. That way they'll 'get the best bang for their buck' until their client realizes the rubbish they sent in. And then hopefully losing their clients, they'll go out of business.


... until their client realizes the rubbish they sent in. ...

don't count too much on that - to start with WHO exactly is the "client" (you meant the "final/ultimate client" - translator's client is the agency).

The one who is ordering the translation is not necessarily the same person that needs it, and often the one who could check the translation (if they want to do it at all!) in fact can not - because of not understanding a single word of the translation! Yes there might be some very negative feedback days or weeks later from the foreign markets or foreign business partners, but in a big organisation that feedback might simply be swept under the carpet or ignored as long as possible by those who see only numbers.

A very possible scenario: do you think that someone in a big company that is boasting of getting translations done on the cheap is going to rush to advertise to bosses any negative feedback?

Sorry if this doesn't sound much optimistic, but if the quest for quality was as usual as one would it expect reasonably to be, many nonsense/unprofessional practices wouldn't have lasted so long.


mariealpilles
 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Serbian to English
+ ...
Or just bored Mar 23

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Baran Keki wrote:


I know what you meant, but what I don't understand is how you can live on (or rather 'subsist on') 0.01 EUR per word in a country like Italy or any other EU country? I reckon it's impossible unless you do this job for pocket money (like for buying cigarettes and such).
You can actually live on 0.01 EUR per word in Turkey, and I am sure a good number of my countrymen is going for that rate to get 'competitive' over others. But I personally can't comprehend the idea of being a full-time professional translator in Italy and working for 0.01 EUR per word (unless of course you churn out 5000 to 6000 words a day).


they still live with their parents and have no expenses at all... icon_biggrin.gif


or are bored housewives / pensioners ... the worst potential nightmare (for other translators) being bored pensioners - some of them can produce high quality translations while not caring at all about the rates!


 

Manuel Bas y Mansilla  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (Mar 2019)
English to Spanish
Ignore it. Mar 24

Baran Keki wrote:

Matthias Brombach wrote:

... take the job, don´t deliver and outsourcers of these kind will disappear ...


[Bearbeitet am 2019-03-22 07:47 GMT]

Just honor the contract and the deadline but send a completely machine translated text instead. That way they'll 'get the best bang for their buck' until their client realizes the rubbish they sent in. And then hopefully losing their clients, they'll go out of business.


Far from me to defend these low rates, but doing a bad job on purpose seems counterproductive. Maybe nothing will happen, but in a trade where your reputation does matter it seems like an unnecessary risk. You can always just ignore the "offer".


Matthias Brombach
Colleen Roach, PhD
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:30
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Money is just one possible reason for accepting work Mar 25

or are bored housewives / pensioners ... the worst potential nightmare (for other translators) being bored pensioners - some of them can produce high quality translations while not caring at all about the rates!


I think you are getting warm. Students seeking experience may accept the offer, and they might endeavor to do a good job on top of that. Part of the deal could be a good recommendation afterwards.

I'm not sure how many bored pensioners and housewives are out there, but they too might want to take the job to offset their boredom. They might just enjoy doing the work, and endeavor to do a good job.

These are real possibilities in our industry. I don't see there being much we can do to stop it from happening. Sure, we can try to shame them on the message boards. That might work a bit. But the accepted price, is the true price, no more and no less.


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:30
Member
English to Italian
$0.01 from Texas/"Plus" business member/4.8-5 on the BB Mar 26

The title says it all. Just received this generous offer in my inbox. Review of 6k (no mention of the type of text...) to be delivered in 6 hours...

Appalling.


Colleen Roach, PhD
 

Colleen Roach, PhD  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:30
Member (Mar 2019)
French to English
+ ...
Low rates out of TX Mar 26

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Post Title: $0.01 from Texas/"Plus" business member/4.8-5 on the BB

The title says it all. Just received this generous offer in my inbox. Review of 6k (no mention of the type of text...) to be delivered in 6 hours...

Appalling.


Wow, one more thing to hate about Texas...Just kidding...apologies to Texans out there, but I lived there for a spellicon_frown.gif

To quote someone else here a while back: "we haven't yet hit rock bottom." I noted, in a thread on Spanish-English rates that on an Upwork site for this language pair, I had seen rates (just a short time ago) for LESS than ONE US cent per word. I'm not sure if we even have a word for this: 4/5 of 1 cent? 3/4 of 1 cent? What was even more appalling: the outsourcer, from his/his record on the site had been in business for a number of years -- meaning they are successful in recruiting translators at this rate. Also, as I recall, he seemed to be targeting Latin Americans. I read just yesterday from PROZ that it is not at all uncommon for some agencies in Argentina, for example, to pay about 2 cents a word for ES>EN translations, most of which were destined for US companies. The outsourcer, in the Upwork case, claimed to be based in Europe. Possible, but maybe it was Texas, after all.

On an anecdotal level -- i.e. I make no claim to this becoming a new "trend," if in fact it is one -- this is what I have noticed lately based on a few individual one-on-one online "encounters" with certain translators: I think more and more translators MAY be offering their services in a language pair going in BOTH directions, i.e. say a native Russian speaker who would normally just translate from English to Russian is also offering his/her services translating from Russian to English. I personally "met" one such individual online who explained to me (in very good English, by the way) that most English>Russian translators where he was based made less than 2 US cents per word (about 1.5 as I recall). He said that he had a "knack" for going in the other direction, Russian>English - and that it was much, much more profitable. He did, however, freely state to me that he did the English translation and then paid a native speaker to "polish it up." I know of a couple of other cases like that.

I guess the bottom line is the bottom line: people are doing what they have to, in order to survive.







[Edited at 2019-03-26 12:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-03-26 12:07 GMT]


 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:30
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
mill / mil Apr 4


I had seen rates (just a short time ago) for LESS than ONE US cent per word. I'm not sure if we even have a word for this: 4/5 of 1 cent? 3/4 of 1 cent?


The term for 1/1000 of a cent is a "mill" or "mil".
Therefore, 4/5 of 1 cent is 800 mills. 3/4 of 1 cent would be 750 mills.

Nice to know.icon_smile.gif


 

Colleen Roach, PhD  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:30
Member (Mar 2019)
French to English
+ ...
High BBoard ratings for very low rates Apr 4

Edward Potter wrote:


I had seen rates (just a short time ago) for LESS than ONE US cent per word. I'm not sure if we even have a word for this: 4/5 of 1 cent? 3/4 of 1 cent?


The term for 1/1000 of a cent is a "mill" or "mil".
Therefore, 4/5 of 1 cent is 800 mills. 3/4 of 1 cent would be 750 mills.

Nice to know.icon_smile.gif


Thanks Edward. Nice to know. (:

Today, I received two depressing pieces of info wrapped into one job announcement: 1) an outsourcer in Peru was offering a job that "pays between 1.5 & 3 US cents per word" AND its BlueBoard rating is 4.5-5.

People have talked about this before, but it's still upsetting. I generally calculate 250 words a page, and to be on the safe side, I calculate an hour a page (could be a little less or more); this would give me the "average" of 1500 words a day (a little less or a little more). At this rate, at 1.5 cents I'd earn about $3.75 an hour. Minimum wage where I reside now is $12.00 an hour. This is what people mean, here, when they talk about the uberization of the profession. I know all the arguments (I think): it's not my market, this is a decent rate for Latin America, etc. But it's still upsetting.


 
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