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4 pages, no number of words given, urgent, for a fixed fee, and they say it's easy. Should I?
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Aug 12, 2008

Imagine an invitation to bid for a job along these lines:

"We have 4 pages to be translated from Italian into English, as soon as possible. Easy work, minimal text. We are offering $30 and will pay on delivery".

I am always very suspicious of ads like that. Are you?

Comments?

[Edited at 2008-08-12 19:12]


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Tatiana Lammers  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
All the time =( Aug 12, 2008

Tom in London wrote:

I get a lot of job offers like this. Do you?

[Edited at 2008-08-12 19:06]


In the English ino Russian pair with rates even lower!
Just as a recent example: 0.02 per word! or what would you say about an offer of 4$ per page...
Sad...


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:39
English to French
+ ...
No fixed fee for me Aug 12, 2008

Oh, it's urgent, right? So urgent you should drop what you were doing right this second and focus all your efforts on this job, right? And they tell you how much to charge for it? Hmmm...

Where's my "report spam" button now?


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
haha Aug 12, 2008

Haha Viktoria, you made me laugh

But I get an awful lot of job offers like that. In fact about 50% of them.

[Edited at 2008-08-12 19:14]


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Quest4  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
English to Danish
No Aug 12, 2008

- I would not even consider that job ....

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RichardDeegan
Local time: 14:39
Spanish to English
Easy? Aug 12, 2008

I NEVER accept work from someone who says it's "easy".This indicates first and foremost that they have a poor opinion of the work and the translator's task and/ or ability. Invariably accompanied by an unrealistic timeframe or pricing. If it's so "easy", why ask me to do it?
This is quite different from "Not too complicated", "Not very technical" or, as some longstanding clients say, "It's should be easy for you"


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never! Aug 12, 2008

Tom in London wrote:

Imagine an invitation to bid for a job along these lines:

"We have 4 pages to be translated from Italian into English, as soon as possible. Easy work, minimal text. We are offering $30 and will pay on delivery".

I am always very suspicious of ads like that. Are you?

Comments?

[Edited at 2008-08-12 19:12]


4 pages?
Mavbe 2000 words if a small font with columnar layout
Minimal text?
Does that mean scanned images (if it's so "minimal", why not just say how many words?)
Easy? Who says?
ASAP? Doesn't that depend?

Not even worth replying to for that money, as you wouldn't even cover the time spent in trying to get down to pin things down, maybe, for example, by defining each one's understanding of terms like "pages", "easy", "ASAP" and "minimal":-)





[Edited at 2008-08-12 20:02]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I'm not suspicious Aug 12, 2008

Tom in London wrote:
"We have 4 pages to be translated from Italian into English, as soon as possible. Easy work, minimal text. We are offering $30 and will pay on delivery".


It doesn't make me suspicious. But assuming 250 words per page, that's 1000 words, and at a rate of USD 30.00, that's USD 0.03 per word (and for an urgent job, too). I wouldn't have taken the job... but to answer your question, it doesn't make me suspicious. What is there to be suspicious about?


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:39
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Such jobs are gap-fillers sometimes... Aug 12, 2008

... I get an awful lot of job offers like that. In fact about 50% of them.


Surely. In my region I undertake such jobs, if I have time... Why not? It is better than watching TV anyway. But I always check the stuff and reply then. It takes seconds to make up your mind. Just yes or no.

Here, such texts are usually typical. I have lots of templates and old jobs to use as a template...

These 4 page might take 30 minutes... so, better see and then say...

[Редактировалось 2008-08-12 20:41]


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:39
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
I give them the benefit of the doubt Aug 12, 2008

The offer comes from a respectable agency (I think) with an excellent BB with over 200 entries...

Probably the text is handwritten, maybe just a few words.
This time actually I tend to think that the “minimal text” is an honest statement.


[Edited at 2008-08-12 20:42]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Our budget is... Aug 12, 2008

I hate it when they say things like "our budget is", "we have a budget of". I couldn't care less what their budget is because my rate is... Just who is setting the budget? If the agency has a regular pool of translators whose rate is .xx, why are they accepting work from clients below .xx + their margin? Everything has become so backwards with the agencies setting the rates instead of the other way around. Pricing and budget information (or things like "give us your best rate") have no place in a job posting. Are we freelancers or employees?

Why can't we try eliminating price from postings (and things like best rate, budgets, etc.) for a week or even a month as an experiment and see what happens? If it does not work, at least it will end this repetitive argument once and for all.


[Edited at 2008-08-12 21:49]


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
You reply in a businesslike manner. Aug 12, 2008

Tom in London wrote:

Imagine an invitation to bid for a job along these lines:

"We have 4 pages to be translated from Italian into English, as soon as possible. Easy work, minimal text. We are offering $30 and will pay on delivery".

I am always very suspicious of ads like that. Are you?

Comments?

[Edited at 2008-08-12 19:12]


It's not a matter of being suspicious... It is a business transaction.

You respond something like:

Dear Whoever,

I appreciate your contacting me for your translation project.

I would need to see the document before I could provide you with an estimate of the time needed to complete the job and a more exact quote.

My rates and conditions are:

between $XXXX - XXXX per word, depending on the type of text. (For your calculations, a double spaced typed page contains about 250 words).

I add:
XX% for urgent jobs (I drop whatever I am working on and devote myself completely to your project)
XX% for rush jobs (I finish the job I am working on now and yours is the next on line=
XX% for special formatting



Thank you for your inquiry,


If it is a legitimate job, they will call back.
If not, you didn't waste your time

And, chances are, they go with someone who will fall for their conditions, get a terrible job, and call you back to "edit it". (Then, you either charge by the hour, or you inform them the work was botched so badly you need to start the translation from scratch!


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:39
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Great idea Aug 12, 2008

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
Why can't we try eliminating price from postings (and things like best rate, budgets, etc.) for a week or even a month as an experiment and see what happens? If it does not work, at least it will end this repetitive argument once and for all.


I agree


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Imagining Aug 12, 2008

You're really just imagining that, right, Tom?

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xxxPRen
Canada
Local time: 16:39
French to English
+ ...
Yeah, you did waste your time Aug 12, 2008

Heidi C wrote:



If it is a legitimate job, they will call back.
If not, you didn't waste your time






Actually, reading the original message constitutes a waste of time. This is why God gave us delete buttons (and junk mail settings)!!


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