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Did I miss something?
Thread poster: Madeleine van Zanten

Marina Menendez  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:56
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
woww.. Jul 6, 2009

what a thread! or.... threat (to translators' income and professionalism)?.
A agree with the idea of filtering job posts by rate.
I also agree with Kevin's ideas (and i like his witty style)

Have a look at "Comparative income of literary translators in Europe " (specially pages 21 & 36), the report of CEATL survey 2007/2008. You can download the file in English at http://www.c
... See more
what a thread! or.... threat (to translators' income and professionalism)?.
A agree with the idea of filtering job posts by rate.
I also agree with Kevin's ideas (and i like his witty style)

Have a look at "Comparative income of literary translators in Europe " (specially pages 21 & 36), the report of CEATL survey 2007/2008. You can download the file in English at http://www.ceatl.eu/docs/surveyuk.pdf
It's also available in French.








[Edited at 2009-07-06 04:50 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-07-06 04:51 GMT]
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Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:56
Japanese to English
Did I also miss something? Jul 6, 2009

When I look at the jobs posted here in my pair, most of them are offering less than half of what I charge. But if I were to become a paying member, I would be subsidizing a portal where jobs are offered at rates that do not support professional translation.

Many of the jobs offered are in the IT, medical, or legal fields where accuracy and quality are not trivial concerns, and where professional translation is called for, but not paid for.

I wonder why anybody expects
... See more
When I look at the jobs posted here in my pair, most of them are offering less than half of what I charge. But if I were to become a paying member, I would be subsidizing a portal where jobs are offered at rates that do not support professional translation.

Many of the jobs offered are in the IT, medical, or legal fields where accuracy and quality are not trivial concerns, and where professional translation is called for, but not paid for.

I wonder why anybody expects me to pay to support intermediaries who offer rates that undercut my business. However, a portal where paying members are occasionally polled to set a minimum rate for their pair below which offers will not be posted might be worth paying to join.
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Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 20:56
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Most jobs in my pair aren't offering anything... Jul 6, 2009

Rod Walters wrote:

When I look at the jobs posted here in my pair, most of them are offering less than half of what I charge.


... translators quote what they want. I don't get emails about jobs that fall below my set rates so if I don't spesifically go look for them, I don't even know about them. But even if they do offer a low rate, how would you know how much they actually end up paying?


However, a portal where paying members are occasionally polled to set a minimum rate for their pair below which offers will not be posted might be worth paying to join.


Not a bad idea, this I think would send the right message to outsourcers...


 

Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 19:56
French to English
Don't you go messing with my rates :-) Jul 6, 2009

Taija Salo wrote:

Rod Walters wrote:

When I look at the jobs posted here in my pair, most of them are offering less than half of what I charge.


... translators quote what they want. I don't get emails about jobs that fall below my set rates so if I don't spesifically go look for them, I don't even know about them. But even if they do offer a low rate, how would you know how much they actually end up paying?


However, a portal where paying members are occasionally polled to set a minimum rate for their pair below which offers will not be posted might be worth paying to join.


Not a bad idea, this I think would send the right message to outsourcers...


Yes, it is a bad idea; a very, very bad idea. I wouldn't want anyone setting my minimum rate (especially not Proz!). What if the Proz "community" were polled and the resulting minimum rate turned out to be something like 12 cents per word...and what if MY minimum rate is 22 cents per word? What message would THAT be sending to outsourcers? That there is a "market" rate out there (which wouldn't be understood as a *minimum* but rather as a *ceiling*) and that my rates are "too high".

My rates are just that - MY rates. And they depend on the quality of my work, but also on how smart I am at marketing and negotiating...I'd rather not have Proz (or anyone else) messing with that. It's between me and my customers.


 

Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:56
Japanese to English
Illogical perhaps? Jul 6, 2009

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

I wouldn't want anyone setting my minimum rate (especially not Proz!) ... My rates are just that - MY rates.


The minimum rate set in the portal for which you have paid is already far lower than your minimum rate, and yet it doesn't affect YOUR rates. (And yes, Proz sets that rate by allowing it.) So by the same logic, setting the minimum rate higher (by adjusting the rate input mechanism so that a minimum is shown) wouldn't affect YOUR rates either. But it might, on occasion, make it worth your while to go to the jobs page and check the jobs. As it is, that's part of the site which you're subsidizing but not using.

[Edited at 2009-07-06 06:57 GMT]


 

Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 19:56
French to English
I see what you are saying...I think Jul 6, 2009

Rod Walters wrote:

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

I wouldn't want anyone setting my minimum rate (especially not Proz!) ... My rates are just that - MY rates.


The minimum rate set in the portal for which you have paid is already far lower than your minimum rate, and yet it doesn't affect YOUR rates. (And yes, Proz sets that rate by allowing it.) So by the same logic, setting the minimum rate higher (by adjusting the rate input mechanism so that a minimum is shown) wouldn't affect YOUR rates either. But it might, on occasion, make it worth your while to go to the jobs page and check the jobs. As it is, that's part of the site which you're subsidizing but not using.

[Edited at 2009-07-06 06:57 GMT]


You are probably right (if I understand what you are saying)! However, whether there is a "default" floor of 0.002 EUR per word (or - what the heck - even lower) or an explicitly stated minimum "set" by members of 0.12 per word, either way it is nowhere near my minimum rate.

In any case, the rates-orientedness of online jobs platforms (whether here or elsewhere) contributes to commoditizing our knowledge, talent, and skills. I don't see how we can hope to attract anything other than price-oriented customers through these platforms. In my opinion, the quality customers are elsewhere (and again, I am only talking about the jobs area - I don't doubt Ralf and others who say they've had valuable "offline" contacts via their profiles, etc.).


 

Madeleine van Zanten
Switzerland
Local time: 19:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
paying support intermediairies Jul 6, 2009

Rod Walters wrote:

When I look at the jobs posted here in my pair, most of them are offering less than half of what I charge. But if I were to become a paying member, I would be subsidizing a portal where jobs are offered at rates that do not support professional translation.

Many of the jobs offered are in the IT, medical, or legal fields where accuracy and quality are not trivial concerns, and where professional translation is called for, but not paid for.

I wonder why anybody expects me to pay to support intermediaries who offer rates that undercut my business. However, a portal where paying members are occasionally polled to set a minimum rate for their pair below which offers will not be posted might be worth paying to join.


You bring this exactly to the point Rod. I was expressing a dissatisfaction about the service of a site of which I and 2 of my family members are paying members, in my case, for many years and I definitely have to rethink this. I don't need any patronizing from guys who have been in the business less time than I, I don't need advice about how to merchandise my services - thanks, I am doing fine. . . This is simply a matter of getting my money's worth.


 

Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:56
Japanese to English
More quality markets than meet the eye Jul 6, 2009

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

In any case, the rates-orientedness of online jobs platforms (whether here or elsewhere) contributes to commoditizing our knowledge, talent, and skills. I don't see how we can hope to attract anything other than price-oriented customers through these platforms. In my opinion, the quality customers are elsewhere (and again, I am only talking about the jobs area - I don't doubt Ralf and others who say they've had valuable "offline" contacts via their profiles, etc.).


Commodity translation is fine by me. That's what I do. It offers a very comfortable living. But if I'm asked to pay to support a portal that allows intermediaries to post commodity prices, I'd like to make sure that they're set somewhere that interests me. Doing so would benefit me, and it would benefit beginner translators too.

If you wanted to take it the next logical step, you could grade outsourcers by how much they pay too - put some meaning behind all those treacherous 5s in the BB.

Hi Madeleine, and thanks for the acknowledgement. It's rank heresy of course, and quite shameful talk we're indulging in here.

[Edited at 2009-07-06 08:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-07-06 08:58 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Build the business equation Jul 6, 2009

Rod Walters wrote:
I wonder why anybody expects me to pay to support intermediaries who offer rates that undercut my business. However, a portal where paying members are occasionally polled to set a minimum rate for their pair below which offers will not be posted might be worth paying to join.


This is viable, Rod, it's just a matter of building the equation.

IMHO the problem is in letting anyone post jobs for free, regardless. This is necessary for a "new" Proz-like e-venue to attract both outsourcers and therefore translators as well, since it's useless to have one and not the other.

Let's put some math to work. Figures here are just a wild guess, may require some adjustments.

Proz has the average rate for each pair calculated at Jobs | Rates. Let's assume that 70% of that average rate should be the minimum acceptable rate for that pair, for a professional translation job.

So any job post in that pair offering rates below those 70% would have to pay Proz a publishing fee of, say, USD 25 per language pair in a job.

This should rid Proz - a marketplace supposedly for professional translators and their clients - from:

  • Translators whose work is not worth at least those 70%;
  • 99¢-store clients who only need a birth certificate translated, but demand a certified translator having the latest version of Trados;
  • Secondhand outsourcers who are reoutsourcing a job from another outsourcer;
  • Outsourcers whose only edge on competition is low price;
  • Purely speculative, aka "potential" job offers, to find the cheapest vendors in the trade, and thus foster loweer rates.


Likewise, a fee (the same?) could be imposed on any jobs with stated payment terms going beyond 30 days.

If fees/payment term are left unstated on the job posting, they would be assumed as being outside the "free" limits, so the job publication fee would apply.

Would Proz miss the free users whose profiles have nothing else but a nick? Would Proz miss job posters offering 1¢/word, with payment by check in 60 days after delivery month-end? Most likely not. Even if they did, the bad-job publishing fees should compensate for that.


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:56
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
any chance of a filter? Jul 6, 2009

Maybe a nice feature would be to install a filter called "budget" and then compare them to the prices in de profiles..
This allows clients to see how many translators will be notified for a certain budget and translators will not receive a notification when the budget is too low...

- End of discussion -?

Ok, probably not, but al least it's a start to create awareness..
Maybe we should add something like

budget : 0,03 USD / source word
... See more
Maybe a nice feature would be to install a filter called "budget" and then compare them to the prices in de profiles..
This allows clients to see how many translators will be notified for a certain budget and translators will not receive a notification when the budget is too low...

- End of discussion -?

Ok, probably not, but al least it's a start to create awareness..
Maybe we should add something like

budget : 0,03 USD / source word
- available translators: 10
- number of translators refusing this budget: 423


??
Ed
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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
I like this Jul 6, 2009

Edward Vreeburg wrote:

budget : 0,03 USD / source word
- available translators: 10
- number of translators refusing this budget: 423



Andrea


 

Aniello Scognamiglio (X)  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:56
English to German
+ ...
Excellent idea, but... Jul 6, 2009

Edward Vreeburg wrote:


budget : 0,03 USD / source word
- available translators: 10
- number of translators refusing this budget: 423

??
Ed

perhaps just a drop in the ocean?
One of the 10 available translators will certainly do the job.
However, why not start with a drop?

Aniello


 

Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, but ... Jul 6, 2009

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

Edward Vreeburg wrote:


budget : 0,03 USD / source word
- available translators: 10
- number of translators refusing this budget: 423

??
Ed


One of the 10 available translators will certainly do the job.

Aniello


.... with the stats in black and white before him, perhaps a reasonably intelligent client -- who genuinely believes, from what he has seen here and other translation websites, that these are the rates -- would ask himself why only 2.3% of the group are willing to drop that low and what 2.3% he's been stuck with in terms of quality.

And perhaps the other 9 would finally realise what fools they've been all along.

Perhaps a trial run would be a good idea.


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
French to English
Only if they know about it Jul 6, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Edward Vreeburg wrote:


budget : 0,03 USD / source word
- available translators: 10
- number of translators refusing this budget: 423

??
Ed


And perhaps the other 9 would finally realise what fools they've been all along.


But presumably for that to happen, they would have to be made aware of these stats?
And I'm not sure how that would happen. But I like EV's idea, on the face of it.


 

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
. Jul 6, 2009

Charlie Bavington wrote:

But presumably for that to happen, they would have to be made aware of these stats?
And I'm not sure how that would happen. But I like EV's idea, on the face of it.


I assume Edward's suggestion is for that stat to be visible in the particular job page, right below where it says:

"Quotes received:
Total: XX
By language pair:
- English to Spanish: XX"

--
(ADD)
Number of translators refusing this budget: XX


@ Edward:

Am I right in assuming that, or am I honoring the saying "when you assume..."?

Andrea


 
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