Mox is a young but well educated translator. Two PhDs, six languages...
and he hardly earns the minimum wage.
So true. I was asked by an agency to quote the lower rate possible and the PM promised to assign me all the jobs in my language pairs: I got a very little assignment then never heard from them again.
This is probably the best translation cartoon ever.Please, please, make a second part of this one. I am a freelance translator since 1992, but I still feel like young Mox and I have a lot to learn from the twisted ways of agencies :)
"Best rate" - that would be about 80 Eurocents per source word, wouldn't it? Or have I misunderstood the word "best"?Another favourite is "Please complete this form so that we can enter you in our database". Translation: "Prove to us that you can work hard and sweat like a pig for no return. As a reward, we will bury you in our digital graveyard."
Eeeeeeeeh, yo tengo una agencia, y le digo eso a todos mis traductores, porque de verdad quiero tener un volumen suficiente como para mandarles trabajo... pero nunca jamás le he pedido a nadie un "best rate"
Mox at it's best! I agree with Victor, my best rate would be $100 USD per character ;-)
Ooops, I meant "at his best" :-)
I am a project manager myself, and I know other project managers and agencies who do this! It is very irritating and frustrating from my point of view as well as for translators. I try my best to build relationships with my translators and treat them with respect and honesty, and then you have others who go and say exactly what you have quoted, giving us project managers a bad name.
'Another favourite is "Please complete this form so that we can enter you in our database". Translation: "Prove to us that you can work hard and sweat like a pig for no return. As a reward, we will bury you in our digital graveyard."'I would normally agree, but this is not always the case! I work for an agency and as it happens we are completely upgrading our database and trying to recruit more freelancers, so we are asking for translators to complete a short form and do a short test translation. We are pretty anxious to get some more good-quality, reliable freelancers so when we ask for that, it doesn't translate to "We will bury you in our digital graveyard"!By the way, if any of you happen to be looking for another client, you are more than welcome to send an e-mail to Surrey Translation Bureau, resource[dot]management[at]surreylanguage[dot]co[dot]uk. (Replace [dot] with . and [at] with @)
This is all so true!I don't bother to reply to any job ads that say 'best rate' any more. I was told before that my rates are too high and that the agency can always pay half of that to someone living in Poland cause it will be a lot of money to them...Jo and Angela - of course not all PMs are evil but it's the evil ones that translators tend to remember more I think.
There are plenty of evil PMs out there to remember, I think! I am actually not a PM; I'm part of that dwindling race of in-house translators (I also freelance on the side). In about a month I will start project managing for my agency. I promise not to become an evil PM, though! :)
Hi, I am a professional linguist and I provide advice for pharma, biotech and medical device companies which often involves developing strategies for companies to manage their translation flow. I know the translation industry intimately and, where appropriate, I recommend my clients to cut ties with existing agencies and set up their own network of translators. The irony is that it is far cheaper for a multinational to centralise the translation flow by installing a translation director / VP, engaging a network of freelancers as and when required than to continue with translation companies who a) make fat profits while hammering freelancers down - would you believe one company I know makes 170% profit on each translation they outsource?; b) do not fully understand the translation process themselves or even the nature of language; c) do not provide any guarantees of quality and whose review processes are a complete mystery and d) are not able to provide a full audit trail of any of the translations they manage. So, with a good freelance network in place, the translation company becomes superfluous. As you can imagine, I don't make many friends amongst agencies, but when large multinationals realise that cutting out the agency can save millions per year, then my argument becomes rather compelling. Mark Gibson
I (again) have to fully agree with Calvo. When I get a proposal for "large future volume" I know that's just an excuse to bring the price down. And "best rate" means that they want to push the price down even further. "Dear translator" means they just sent a mass e-mail to hundreds of individuals, trying to find somebody who is desperate enough to accept their substandard rates.
Dear Spammers, your comments will be deleted and marked as spam.Dear colleagues, I will not be able to reply to your questions. It was too much time consuming.
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