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Found on ProZ.com August 8, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they actually had some takers (who are not professionals), but at this price and the deadline I’d rather work at Borders for $7.00 an hour… I’ve translated it in parentheses for those of you who don’t read German.

SUPER EILIG!!! Übersetzung im Bereich Mobiltelefonie TRADOS!! (SUPER URGENT!!! Translation in the field of wireless communications TRADOS!! – why use one exclamation point when you can use two or three…)

Liebe Kollegen (Dear Colleagues),
wir wurden hängen gelassen und brauchen nun dringendst Hilfe bei der Übersetzung verschiedener Dateien – manche im PDF Format, manche in Word. Einige Tausend Worte zu vergeben – Abgabe MORGEN. (freely translated: the translator we hired backed out/got sick/had a computer problem/wised up to the poor pay… and urgently need help translating numerous documents – some in PDF, some in Word. We need to place several thousand words – due date: TOMORROW)

Am liebsten wären uns Kollegen, die PDF-Dokumente konvertieren können!! (We prefer translators who can convert PDF files)

TM bereits vorhanden, wird mitgeliefert. (We already have the TM, we will send it to you with the files.)

Lieferungen müssen im bilingualen Format erfolgen, da wir hier noch Korrekturlesen. (We need you to deliver bilingual files, since we still have to proofread on this end.)
Bitte angeben, wie viele Worte bis morgen geschafft werden können! (Please let us know how many words you can translate by tomorrow!)
Wiederholungen und 100% matches werden nicht bezahlt. (We will not pay you for repetitions and 100% matches.)

Bezahlung: (Payment: )
Zahlung erfolgt innerhalb 45 Tagen nach Erhalt der Rechnung per Banküberweisung, Scheck oder Moneybookers. Bei Scheckzahlungen und Bankkonten außerhalb der EU übernimmt der Empfänger die Gebühren. (Payment will be made within 45 days after receiving the invoice via bank transfer, check or Moneybookers. The recipient will assume any bank charges for checks and bank accounts outside the EU.)

Source format:
PDF, PPT, Word
Delivery format:
bilinguale Dateien
(bilingual files)

Volume and pricing:
0.060 EUR per word
Payment method: Other
Payment 45 days after date of invoice.

What a deal, huh? I’m sure you are all going to run to ProZ right now to find the listing and spend all day Friday and into the night working at these conditions. Sorry. The quoting deadline has already expired (5 PM GMT). I wonder if they found someone. I swear some agencies are so clueless…



1. RobinB - August 8, 2008

It’s positively attractive compared with the latest job on offer at ProZ:

36000 words
at 0.009 EUR per word [ TOTAL: 324.00 EUR ]

(yes, that’s 0.9 of a eurocent)

German->English, they want an English native speaker and business/financial expertise.

At normal translation output, that works out at about 20 euros a day (revenue, not net income). And they’d received 3 quotes when I last looked.

2. jillsommer - August 8, 2008

Hi Robin! That’s just so very, very sad. Perhaps they misplaced the decimal point? They can’t seriously be offering 0.009 eurocents? Then again, at this point nothing would surprise me…

3. Ryan Ginstrom - August 8, 2008

Some people appear to make a living from jobs on ProZ, but from what I’ve seen, rates and conditions are so far out of the ballpark they’re hitting up people for change out in the parking lot. I don’t even bother looking at them.

That bit about “we won’t pay for 100% matches” caught my eye. I recently blogged about why that’s a bad idea.

4. Sarah Dillon - August 11, 2008

Hi Jill

Wow, these are miserably low. I’m with Ryan – with rates like that, I never bother to even look at Proz jobs.

It’s pretty damaging on several levels though, not least for newbies to the profession. For many, this is their only source of information and guidance on rates. They think these are standard and that Proz is the main source of work for professional translators… cue bitterness, resentment and finally, leaving translation to work in Borders 🙂 Shame.

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