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Why do translators send bad email applications?
Thread poster: annm
annm
Local time: 08:33
English
Sep 9, 2008

It amazes me the amount of bad email applications I receive for translation work.
I would think the amount of training a translator does at least they could write a basic email in English.
How do they expect to get work when they don't even use spell check?


Ann
www.arch1design.com


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:33
English to German
+ ...
I don't agree with advertising your company in the forums either Sep 18, 2008

But in this case it might help answering your question:

Back in high school, we girls had a motto: "If you attract the wrong guys, then you are doing something wrong." For example, looking cheap.

The same goes for professional services. A website that offers $0,07 for translation is not likely to attract the best of the best, and you might have to deal with what you get.


Addendum:

Oh my, it's getting even better:

Quote:

"All of our translators are highly qualified native speakers.
The price for THEIR service is $0.07 per word."





[Edited at 2008-09-18 04:01]


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Allesklar  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 19:03
English to German
+ ...
the pot calling the kettle black Sep 18, 2008

annm wrote:

It amazes me the amount of bad email applications I receive for translation work.
I would think the amount of training a translator does at least they could write a basic email in English.



...and I would think someone who complains about others would at least manage three lines without grammatical errors.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Forum netiquette... and Annm's post Sep 18, 2008

Mark Berelekhis wrote:
Could a moderator pls delete this posting?


I'm under the impression that a moderator will sooner respond to your request if you use the "call to this topic" function at the bottom of the page. Besides, if it weren't for Nicole's post, I would never have been able to guess the reason for your request.

Nicole Schnell wrote:
I don't agree with advertising your company in the forums either.


But using the subject line not as a subject line but as the first line of your message is fine, right? Even though it makes it more difficult for respondents to reply to it (more copy/pasting involved). At least annm breach of ProZ.com forum tradition isn't annoying

This is Annm's first post on the forums and one can expect him/her to follow the netiquette that is common in other forums. Posting a signature is common elsewhere. Besides, posting a signature isn't againt ProZ.com's forum rules. If you think it is wrong, why not post a message to the site suggestion forum?

http://www.proz.com/?sp=siterules&mode=show&category=forum

annm wrote:
It amazes me the amount of bad email applications I receive for translation work. I would think the amount of training a translator does at least they could write a basic email in English. How do they expect to get work when they don't even use spell check?


1. Not all mail clients have a spell-checking function.
2. Some translators may be so busy that they can't spend a lot of time crafting a nice e-mail. So they fire off a quick mail to see if something falls out.
3. Some of it is to blame on the ProZ.com system -- see a recent post of mine in the suggestion forum about respondents not including their details.
4. I have written on this topic myself this past year... it may be interesting for you to find those threads and read the responses. Not everything that I deemed valid ways of judging quality was regarded as valid by other forum posters.
5. Some translators are new and still have to learn how to market themselves properly. Most of us have been there ourselves.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
If you pay nuts, you get monkeys Sep 18, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
The same goes for professional services. A website that offers $0,07 for translation is not likely to attract the best of the best, and you might have to deal with what you get.


Exactly.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"the rafter in your own eye"? Sep 18, 2008

annm wrote:
It amazes me the amount of bad email applications I receive for translation work.


Sorry Ann, but honest, shouldn't you double check that your website is perfect before complaining about other people's faults? For instance, "Alvero" or "Alvaro" instead of "Álvaro". Maybe your translators were not qualified or committed enough to report that to you?

We all make mistakes Ann. Errare humanum est. But if you are going to complain about other people's sins... make sure you are clean first! No hard feelings!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No, don't delete it please! Sep 18, 2008

Mark Berelekhis wrote:
could a moderator pls delete this posting? thx

[Edited at 2008-09-17 23:51]


No, please don't. I want to see Ann's replies to our comments! Thanks!


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Raffaella Panigada  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 09:33
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
One of the monkeys... Sep 18, 2008

Hi

as one of the apparently "good" translators that made it through this application process, I must admit I'm quite suprised by the association of my name (albeit mispelled) and curriculum to the rates advertised. Mine are quite different and in Euros, so I can only hope that's the price they are offering to the end-client as part of a service package and not what they pay their translators. For sure I'm not prepared to work for that and it might be the reason why I still have to get an assignment.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention, it's definitely worth looking into.

Raffaella


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:33
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Very weak Sep 18, 2008

>> www.arch1design.com

I have a hard time taking an "agency" seriously when its publicly posted prices for customers are half the minimum that a qualified translator should expect from a good agency I also wonder about the web design services when what I see there is about on par with what I produced in 1994 before real "pros" entered the game.

As Nicole suggests, perhaps you should offer quality to get quality.


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annm
Local time: 08:33
English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for you response Sep 18, 2008

Thanks for your replies.

I wrote the post not to complain but highlight the problem.
I think highlighting this problem will help those new to translation business.
I know we all make mistakes but when applying for a position of this nature I think particular attention should be made to the application email.
Would you turn up for an interview as Chef with dirty fingernails and grubby t.shirt?
With the excuse you were in a hurry and did not have time to check.


In all my ads for translators I have stated $0.07 was the applied rate.
Im sorry people did not read this.
We are trying to aim for the small business starters sector specifically small minorities..people that do not have large financial resources. We are trying to give them a good service.. good translators..ect at an affordable cost.
Especially in this present global finacial meltdown people will find it harder to get credit and finances will be limited.
Raffaella I will remove you from our website as soon as possibe.

Also I stated 'we are a new firm' I don't know if you understand the dynamics of starting a new internet site but one thing you must realise is you dont get into the top ranking positions overnite. When you are at the bottom of the ladder it is difficult for clients to to find you. Much the same as a new translator finding work.

The main advice, given to new website owners, to get an higher ranking is to post on forums. Thus your website url adress will be embedded on the page and Google spiders wil detect it and judge it on the relevence of the site it is on. Thus the higher the site relevence the higher the ranking. The higher the ranking the more people log onto your site. Thus I have better chance of finding work for translators.

Which is why I find it strange some people complain and want my post deleted.
I have people commenting they have not had assignments and while I'm trying to do something about it translators compain. Odd.
I think as long as it is a constructive post it does no harm. However if this is the site protocal then I will respect this in future posts.

While have been striving to achieve a higher ranking I have been trying to assemble a realiable team ready for the time when applications arrive.

We have just entered top 20 for 'chinese interpreter beijing' search keywords on Google.
I thought I was near completion until I received my first request from Columbia
for a Spanish / Chinese interpreter.
I did not have one on our database.

So I get in touch with Proz. Post an add. However becuse im posting on a computer in Hungary and our registered office is in UK Proz does not allow my add to be accepted.
I have to go through the procedure of explaining Ive just had a baby and cannot travel at the moment ect... This takes time and the client will go elsewhere.

So that is why I get translators on our website beforehand. I want to be able to contact them straight away before the job is gone.

Maybe I should have stated more clearly that assignments would not be immediate.
If I had paid $1000's in advertising costs I would have got a higher ranking sooner and you would have had assignments quicker Raffaella. However I do not have a large budget so the procedure is slower.

If any other translators feel they are not getting paid enough then let me know and I shall remove them.
On the other hand if newly qualified translators who haven't the experience want the chance we would would glady give you due consideration . Just make sure there are not to many errors in your application.

Kind Regards
Ann


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Did they advertise you without your consent? Sep 18, 2008

Raffaella Panigada wrote:
as one of the apparently "good" translators that made it through this application process, I must admit I'm quite suprised by the association of my name (albeit mispelled) and curriculum to the rates advertised. Mine are quite different and in Euros, so I can only hope that's the price they are offering to the end-client as part of a service package and not what they pay their translators. For sure I'm not prepared to work for that and it might be the reason why I still have to get an assignment.


Raffaella, are you saying that they put your picture in the website and claim that you are one of their usual team members.... without asking you and without asking for your permission to use your name?????


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Raffaella Panigada  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 09:33
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
No Sep 18, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

Raffaella, are you saying that they put your picture in the website and claim that you are one of their usual team members.... without asking you and without asking for your permission to use your name?????



No Tomàs, they did ask permission to add me to their team of translators and use my picture, so that clients can decide what translator suits their needs best.
What I'm having trouble with is that, as things are right now, it appears I'll be willing to offer my services for $0.07. My rates, which I clearly stated right from the start, amount to almost twice as much if you consider the current exchange rate, that's why I hypothetically said in my previous post that this might be a special rate for customers who also have their web site designed and pay an additional $0.07 a word TO THE AGENCY for having it translated, but that doesn't mean that's what the agency pays its translators.

Not having received any assignment these are only speculations, but I will certainly ask for clarifications.

Have a nice day. Raffaella


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cheeky behaviour Sep 18, 2008

Raffaella Panigada wrote:
No Tomàs, they did ask permission to add me to their team of translators and use my picture, so that clients can decide what translator suits their needs best.
What I'm having trouble with is that, as things are right now, it appears I'll be willing to offer my services for $0.07. My rates, which I clearly stated right from the start, amount to almost twice as much if you consider the current exchange rate...


Honestly, I think this company's behaviour is a bit cheeky, as they are now creating the confusion with the rates and potential customers will think you are working for 7 cents. It is stated that clearly... "The price for their service is $0.07 per word.". If I was in your position I would make a firm statement about this to the company: either they correct the sentence or they take me out of the list...

On the other hand, I think it would be a bit odd if the customer chose an a-la-carte translator for their job, as before choosing a translator you have to know whether the translator is available, has experience in the matter at hand, is ready to work with the format of the source files, is ready to use the tools required.... and is ready to work for the money you can offer.

In any case, this whole website is either intentionally mistaken or profoundly naïve about how the business of translation works.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
On a second thought... Sep 18, 2008

Raffaella Panigada wrote:
No Tomàs, they did ask permission to add me to their team of translators and use my picture, so that clients can decide what translator suits their needs best.


Raffaella: Don't you think that there is a risk that this company is using your lovely smile (I mean it) and qualifications to attract customers whose texts will be translated by some low-cost person in China or in Asia? Are they offering you, but delivering a much lower quality?

Maybe Ann wants to explain how the heck they manage to pay you 14 cents and only charge the customer 7 cents.


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