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It’s been a frustrating morning so far… September 16, 2011

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings.

The proofreading job I had been asked to reserve time for a week ago was just cancelled (“die Voranfrage zum Auftrag Nr. … vom 08.09.2011 ist nicht mehr aktuell. Wir hoffen, Ihnen damit keine Mühe bereitet zu haben und verbleiben…”) I haven’t worked for that agency in over a year and doubt I will be giving them priority in the future since this is not the first job they have “storniert“.

Then, I get a translation request that boils me, requiring the moon and the stars and promising me lots of work in the future – for $0.06 source word.

I wonder if you might be interested in working with us on a German-to-English translation project starting on Monday.

Here are the requirements :

– excellent command of German
– native English or perfectly bilingual
– knowledge of medical / pharamaceutical fields
– used to handling “economic/business” type reports

We are offering $.06 per source word. Payment terms are net 45 days. The client has provided a sample of the material (see below). If you are comfortable with this type of material, please translate the sample and that back to me asap. There are lots of projects, by the way.

I think my favorite sentence was the last one – almost as if it were an afterthought. Yeah, I didn’t even respond to that one. I simply hit the delete button.

I am expecting a 4,000 word job that is supposed to arrive at noon for a little over double that price, so I’m not that upset. It’s just frustrating to be a freelancer sometimes. Watch, with my luck that one will be cancelled too. I’m leaving for Europe on Monday, so there will be no new posts for the next 20 or so days (unless I get a flash of brilliance that can’t be contained while I’m over there).



1. Jarek - September 16, 2011

Hey, just think how frustrating it is to read your post in Poland, where the standard agency offered rate for EN>PL rarely exceeds 0,04 USD 😉 (and jobs with rates <0,03 USD are also quite often posted and, what's worse, accepted).

Jill (@bonnjill) - September 16, 2011

Oh Jarek, I feel your pain. I know several Russian translators in the U.S. who have similar prices offered to them. Specialization is hopefully the answer. Thanks for the reality check.

2. Melissa - September 16, 2011

Yes, frustrating indeed. Try to enjoy a few free hours this morning – and have a great trip!

Jill (@bonnjill) - September 16, 2011

See you in Erlangen on the 28th! I’m really looking forward to actually having some time to get to know you better, Melissa.

Melissa - September 16, 2011

I *wish* I was going to be in Erlangen on the 28th! But, sadly, I will be right here in South Carolina. Must be another Melissa…

3. EP - September 16, 2011

I hate that sample translation number all the time, too. Sure, if they don’t know your work I can understand, but I always get the sneaking suspicion that one sample gets handed out here, the other one there, etc. Know what I’m saying? But maybe I’m just being paranoid again. Have fun in Erlangen!

4. iris - September 19, 2011

i had recently a job offer for 0,04 eur/word which i answered politely that it didn’t quite match my prices. a miracle happened because the price shooted to 0,10 eur in no time. it was still too low and besides, i didn’t have time for the job but it is good to know that this can happen!

5. Natia - September 19, 2011

How long are these samples generally? I mean, I think it’s fine if it’s just a few sentences, but anything more than that is just weird to me.
Hope you have a great trip by the way!

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