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Your vision of the translation industry by 2025 and your immediate future as a freelance translator
מפרסם התגובה: Vladimir Pochinov

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
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MT -- Rate per hour Jan 21

David GAY wrote:

The output of MT gives AT LEAST a 50 to 70 match for any segment.
I've been offered a job: it was a 3500 word text that had been shrunk to a 300 word job: not even 10% the original size!
But don't worry be happy


David, how much would they have paid you for this [3500-word or 300-word] job if you chose to accept it? Can you provide the ultimate per-hour rate? E.g. You are offered $30/60/175/350 for this project... and it takes you two (2) hours to do the job.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
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answer Jan 21

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:

David GAY wrote:

The output of MT gives AT LEAST a 50 to 70 match for any segment.
I've been offered a job: it was a 3500 word text that had been shrunk to a 300 word job: not even 10% the original size!
But don't worry be happy


David, how much would they have paid you for this [3500-word or 300-word] job if you chose to accept it? Can you provide the ultimate per-hour rate? E.g. You are offered $30/60/175/350 for this project... and it takes you two (2) hours to do the job.

I didn't do the job but the rate offered was a normal translation rate
It means that this job would have been approximately a 300 euro job and it became a 30 euro job!


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
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MT and annual earnings Jan 21

David GAY wrote:

I didn't do the job but the rate offered was a normal translation rate
It means that this job would have been approximately a 300 euro job and it became a 30 euro job!


My question was about the per-hour equivalent. How much time would it have taken to earn this €30? 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 12 hours?
-------
As far as I know, some fellow translators produce up to 1,500 words per hour with the support of an adaptive neural MT system. Mind you, they still maintain good quality. Some of them work for €0.04 per word but make above €100,000 per year.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
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I don't know Jan 21

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:

David GAY wrote:

I didn't do the job but the rate offered was a normal translation rate
It means that this job would have been approximately a 300 euro job and it became a 30 euro job!


My question was about the per-hour equivalent. How much time would it have taken to earn this €30? 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 12 hours?
-------
As far as I know, some fellow translators produce up to 1,500 words per hour with the support of an adaptive neural MT system. Mind you, they still maintain good quality. Some of them work for €0.04 per word but make above €100,000 per year.

I don't know, but whatever, I think you've got the idea


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
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you're lucky Jan 21

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:
As far as I know, some fellow translators produce up to 1,500 words per hour with the support of an adaptive neural MT system. Mind you, they still maintain good quality. Some of them work for €0.04 per word but make above €100,000 per year.

I'd be happy to have the list of LSPs you work with
Please send me a list by private message; all the LSPs I work with are upscale LSPs which forbid the use of
MT

[Modifié le 2020-01-21 10:29 GMT]


 

Yolande Hivart
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I do not know a 1,500 word per hour translator with good quality. Jan 21

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:

As far as I know, some fellow translators produce up to 1,500 words per hour with the support of an adaptive neural MT system. Mind you, they still maintain good quality. Some of them work for €0.04 per word but make above €100,000 per year.


The question is however how you define good quality. I had such an incidence of a text where 94% had been taken out of a TM. Are you the translator or do you have to level yourself to mediocrity just to ensure that the 6% you had to write in the middle of nowhere had to be adapted to the 94% mixup in front of your eyes!

I do accept not to touch the 100% if they lock them. But reality had been that most of the time when the client then had a complaint it was:
1. either you translated as you thought it should be and it flashed like a neon yellow text on a black board, putting question on who had done the rest of the text
2. you write something alike the rest of the text to ensure conformity with past texts and the marketing board put it into part that they did not need to pay you to write such rubbish.

Originaly TM was meant to save you time by avoiding your own repetitions and keeping constitency. Not to have to be unpaid because someone at the other side of the world did a job for which the client had a complaint (if that other person was so good, why do you get the job and not the other).
Nowaday it is a fill into the holes of a patchwork text.
And if I had a good day, this will be used to underpay someone else i have no idea about.

I do not like these 90% TM 10% paid text. Quality of 90% is going downhills and this was even before you could have google addon to pretranslate using google in a professional tool for translators.
This takes me much unpaids hours (because most of the time it is 99% with a formating change and you have to press segment after segment because they neither locked it or want to pay for it and want you to proofread it). 90% made by google does not mean that it is something you want to have on your desk.

It there was a 10% to be translated, then they should give me the 10%, then update the TM and run a pretranslate. But in this case they would have to take over the responsability for which they do not which to pay for and which i still should put my eyes on.

I do not see this industry as being part of my future, unless i think AI to be better than me for them to tell me what to write. But I am too old for it, it is at best for people out of school and no experience and need somewhere to look at.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
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No learning effect in evidence Jan 21

David GAY wrote:
So as a former financial analyst, why don't you see the financial consequences of
your own premisses

David, it should not be difficult for a mature personality to admit that two different people can look at the same set of circumstances and draw different conclusions. In any case, we have been through this before on these forums. There is absolutely no point in going back through the same old arguments we had last time.

It is not that I don't present solid, well-considered arguments, rooted in understanding borne of two decades of watching companies and industries thrive and fade. It is that you a priori simply don't accept those arguments. I and other freelancers have repeatedly asserted that one can do good business using CAT tools, while your response has been to cover your ears with your hands and sing "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" at the top of your voice. That may comfort you, but you're not winning undecided minds over to your view.

My philosophy is unchanged: there are many routes to success, and some of those involve CAT tools. Freelancers should try CAT tools (and by extension, MT) to see if they help their business. On a more general point, if you want to prosper, you must add value above and beyond simple translation, and be in the top quartile of your market.

This is pretty conventional stuff. The fact that I have to argue it shows how few freelancers understand how business works in this industry, and others.

Regards,
Dan


Maciek Drobka
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David GAY  Identity Verified
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so Jan 21

Dan Lucas wrote:

David GAY wrote:
So as a former financial analyst, why don't you see the financial consequences of
your own premisses

David, it should not be difficult for a mature personality to admit that two different people can look at the same set of circumstances and draw different conclusions. In any case, we have been through this before on these forums. There is absolutely no point in going back through the same old arguments we had last time.

It is not that I don't present solid, well-considered arguments, rooted in understanding borne of two decades of watching companies and industries thrive and fade. It is that you a priori simply don't accept those arguments. I and other freelancers have repeatedly asserted that one can do good business using CAT tools, while your response has been to cover your ears with your hands and sing "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" at the top of your voice. That may comfort you, but you're not winning undecided minds over to your view.

My philosophy is unchanged: there are many routes to success, and some of those involve CAT tools. Freelancers should try CAT tools (and by extension, MT) to see if they help their business. On a more general point, if you want to prosper, you must add value above and beyond simple translation, and be in the top quartile of your market.

This is pretty conventional stuff. The fact that I have to argue it shows how few freelancers understand how business works in this industry, and others.

Regards,
Dan

I also think that CAT and MT greatly improve productivity.
But the question of the discount
grid still remains. I think it's too optimistic to believe that no supercharged discount grid will be imposed on you. Let's wait and see

[Modifié le 2020-01-21 11:40 GMT]


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
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Have you read my entire posting? Jan 21

Yolande Hivart wrote:

The question is however how you define good quality. I had such an incidence of a text where 94% had been taken out of a TM. Are you the translator or do you have to level yourself to mediocrity just to ensure that the 6% you had to write in the middle of nowhere had to be adapted to the 94% mixup in front of your eyes!
...
I do not like these 90% TM 10% paid text.
...
90% made by google does not mean that it is something you want to have on your desk.
...
I do not see this industry as being part of my future, unless i think AI to be better than me for them to tell me what to write. But I am too old for it, it is at best for people out of school and no experience and need somewhere to look at.


90% cited above come from my own previous translations.

And yes, I see this industry as part of my future.

By the way, I graduated from high school in 1979, from my teacher-training institute in 1985. Speaking about experience, I have been in the field ever since I returned from the mandatory Army service spell back in November 1987.


 

Yolande Hivart
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So so Jan 21

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:

90% cited above come from my own previous translations.

And yes, I see this industry as part of my future.

By the way, I graduated from high school in 1979, from my teacher-training institute in 1985. Speaking about experience, I have been in the field ever since I returned from the mandatory Army service spell back in November 1987.


Congratulation you are in a niche in a country you can afford to live at 0.04 €.

I call people of your generation dinosaurs and I intend to take them over in the next 5 years when their eyes get sore from old age.
Call me when you are over 60 and can still make 1500 words an hour and calling it quality. What you did in 1979 is frankly irrelevant for the next 5 years.


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
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Please don't be that arrogant and don't jump to conclusions, Yolande Jan 21

Yolande Hivart wrote:

Congratulation you are in a niche in a country you can afford to live at 0.04 €.


Yes, I am in a niche (higher-end) market.
Yes, I live in a country where one can afford to live working for €0.04/word.
No, my current regular rate is above €0.10/word (and some clients pay me as much as €0.18-0.20 -- I do serve some niche markets).

I call people of your generation dinosaurs and I intend to take them over in the next 5 years when their eyes get sore from old age.


Vladimir the Dinosaur was one of the early adopters of CAT tools (starting with Wordfast, then purchasing Trados 6.5 with a dongle from [RIP!] Trados GmbH, Hamburg).

According to the SDL's exclusive distributor in Russia/CIS, Vladimir the Dinosaur was the first individual to buy SDL Trados Studio Professional license in 2008.

And it seems Vladimir the Dinosaur was the first individual translator in eastern Europe to subscribe to SDL Trados GroupShare Cloud (2 PM licenses + 10 translator/editor licenses) to be able to cope with larger projects together with his trusted colleagues.

Also, Vladimir the Dinosaur has kept a close eye on MT developments since 1987, and he was happy to see the real breakthrough that came with adaptive neural MT technology.

At present, I am waiting for Nuance Communications, Inc. to come up with a version of their Dragon NaturallySpeaking product that would support Russian.

Call me when you are over 60 and can still make 1500 words an hour and calling it quality. What you did in 1979 is frankly irrelevant for the next 5 years.


I will be 58 this October, and I never produced more than 600-700 words per hour.

A little secret to share... but keep mum about it... We don't know whether you or I will still be alive and kicking tonight, Yolande ... touch wood! ... no offense meant.

When I was with a major international law firm, my translations were used in multi-million arbitrations/litigations and in multi-billion M&A deals where a translator's mistake can be rather costly.

I don't do what I did in 1979 or 1989 and I don't expect to do what I do now in 2025. I am still an early adopter, you know.

[Edited at 2020-01-21 19:47 GMT]


Elke Fehling
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DZiW
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ideal iDeads Jan 21

Isn't it funny that self-proclaimed mass free*lancers--without relevant qualification, hands-on experience, or even the idea about the real biz and the competence--are traditionally forced to buy/subscribe to CATs as a discount pretext, learn the universal discount rules and comply with a yes-man practice offering freebies by default, go-go 1500+words/hour PEMT for $0.001/word nonstop, yet earning less than a McDonald's freshman--in hope of some kind of a charity thing proudly calling the... See more
Isn't it funny that self-proclaimed mass free*lancers--without relevant qualification, hands-on experience, or even the idea about the real biz and the competence--are traditionally forced to buy/subscribe to CATs as a discount pretext, learn the universal discount rules and comply with a yes-man practice offering freebies by default, go-go 1500+words/hour PEMT for $0.001/word nonstop, yet earning less than a McDonald's freshman--in hope of some kind of a charity thing proudly calling themselves successful businesspersons? A twisted 'Fake it till you make it'.
How did low-level entry unskilled CAT/PEMT-operators become Translators?

Vladimir, nice promo. However, I really doubt one can translate (appropriately render a text in a foreign language) faster than he can read, understand, and type. Even a plethora of know-hows and lifehacks won't do it for QA. Also I fancy your suggestion there're many under-centers who make $100,000+ a year net. A teamplay? Outsourcing? Perhaps, just an overgeneralization, a miscalculation, a wishful thinking, or too volatile and challenging memory, yep?)


Working with a few direct clients [real businessmen] only, I find there should be no "pure" translators--they must--and eventually will--become extinct, as well as multi-intermediaries middlemen spongers. A little discreet natural selection in action--may take a couple of years though. That's why I welcome the time for (1) specialists in a field [engineers, doctors, programmers, designers, lawyers...] with (2) business awareness and (3) foreign language skills.

No real (in-demand) specialty? Bye.
No practice? It was nice to meet you.
No business awareness? Farewell.
No negotiation skills? Please, come again.
No elevator speech (30-second presentation)? Good-bye.
You would be happy with $0.04/word and discounts? Wrong place.

You can deliver a turnkey solution and know how to run the biz in a foreign language too? Welcome on the board!

[Edited at 2020-01-21 17:58 GMT]
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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
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@DZiW Jan 21

DZiW wrote:

... self-proclaimed mass free*lancers--without relevant qualification, hands-on experience, or even the idea about the real biz and the competence--are traditionally forced to buy/subscribe to CATs as a discount pretext, learn the universal discount rules and comply with a yes-man practice offering freebies by default, go-go 1500+words/hour PEMT for $0.001/word nonstop, yet earning less than a McDonald's freshman...


Nobody actually forces anybody to buy or subscribe to CATs... MT engines... or cable TV... or some newspaper.

A twisted 'Fake it till you make it'.


DZiW, you are hiding behind an avatar, an alias, and an empty profile page. Judging from your comments on various topics, you may well be a troll having fun at the expense of ProZians who take your words for granted. You may well be the one faking it until you make it one of these days...

Vladimir, nice promo.


Could you please elaborate on this point? I don't run a translation agency, let alone a translation sweatshop. I don't resell CAT tools.

However, I really doubt one can translate (appropriately render a text in a foreign language) faster than he can read, understand, and type.


I have seen people typing at up to 160 wpm.

Even a plethora of know-hows and lifehacks won't do it for QA.


Are you really trying to tell me that you are an ultimate expert on all the tricks, lifehacks, gadgets, and software products available to a translator?

Also I fancy your suggestion there're many under-centers who make $100,000+ a year net. A teamplay? Outsourcing? Perhaps, just an overgeneralization, a miscalculation, a wishful thinking, or too volatile and challenging memory, yep?)


I was given this figure by a person behind www.translated.com, MateCat, and ModernMT.

Working with a few direct clients (real businessmen) only, I find there should be no "pure" translators--they must--and eventually will--become extinct, as well as multi-intermediaries middlemen spongers. A little discreet natural selection in action--may take a couple of years though. That's why I welcome the time for (1) specialists in a field [engineers, doctors, programmers, designers, lawyers...] with (2) business awareness and (3) foreign language skills.


I am not quite sure we will need real lawyers as much as we do now (blockchain technology, smart contracts, etc.)

No real (in-demand) specialty? Bye.
No practice? It was nice to meet you.
No business awareness? Farewell.
No negotiation skills? Please, come again.
No elevator speech (30-second presentation)? Good-bye.
You would be happy with $0.04/word and discounts? Wrong place.
You can deliver a turnkey solution and know how to run the biz in a foreign language too? Welcome on the board!


DZiW, you profile page is not very informative, other than the following statement:

Dear Prospects,

I appreciate your concern, yet as far as now I mostly work as an interpreter with local direct clients, you'd rather find somebody else to help you with translation projects. Good luck.

No service requests via ProZ!


When did you make the full switch to interpreting? Without everyday translation practice, you may be gradually failing to keep up with the latest developments affecting translators, in particular, "pure" ones.

[Edited at 2020-01-21 19:52 GMT]


DZiW
 

DZiW
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I think so Jan 21

> Nobody actually forces anybody to buy or subscribe to CATs
Your red lips to good God's big ears! And now thoughtfully check all those CAT hypes and agencies' requirements once again. And?
It appears most middlemen deliberately demand CATs to increase the PEMT output, abusing ignorance, devaluing the service, and imposing funny terms (including low rates, "discount" grids, and freebies). You don't think so? That's fine.

Only real [direct] clients just want their
... See more
> Nobody actually forces anybody to buy or subscribe to CATs
Your red lips to good God's big ears! And now thoughtfully check all those CAT hypes and agencies' requirements once again. And?
It appears most middlemen deliberately demand CATs to increase the PEMT output, abusing ignorance, devaluing the service, and imposing funny terms (including low rates, "discount" grids, and freebies). You don't think so? That's fine.

Only real [direct] clients just want their job done (1) properly, (2) timely, and (3) as agreed--no matter what and how the translator uses. On the other hand, they say everyone finds what he seeks--and gets his just desserts.


Vladimir, no need to get personal: you intentionally asked for opinions and you must have known that far not all would be as you think or please. So I'd just ignore what my ava/profile might have to do with your reflections, why I don't do biz at ProZ, and how your words and ideas are any better than mine, ok? If it could make you feel better, you're welcome to kick the tires reading the comments. (I'm not just a translator)

>I was given this figure by a person behind www.translated.com, MateCat, and ModernMT.
Oh, that's curious--a direct link or for insiders only? Let's pretend there're very many highly qualified specialists who can do rush jobs usual 1500+ words per hour via CAT for $0.04 and "discounts" no problem. However, but can they really translate?

When I heard that a relatively successful freelancer could quit translation only because he lost his huge TM, I thought it was just a flat joke. Now I know it's mostly true... Without CAT-crutches and TM they are but useless, so what are they?

>Are you really trying to tell me that you are an ultimate expert on all the tricks, lifehacks, gadgets, and software products available to a translator?
Let's skip another rhetorical answer--after your product placement success story I won't ask you to fix the paper crown for the common sense says such a high and worthy output nonstop for several hours is possible only for a team of dedicated specialists or via outsourcing, not individuals. While it might be true for some language pairs, only the infamous PEMT fits.

>I am not quite sure we will need real lawyers as much as we do now (blockchain technology, smart contracts, etc.)
While smart-contracts and other stuff is easily abused and "etc" often means 'I can't add anything else', how about zillions of 'translators' who are taught to believe that a PC with internet is enough to become a high-flyer in translation? Unlike a translator, a good in-demand specialist can earn for living even without foreign languages, yet mastering them would be a big plus.


Once again: My vision is there should be only (1) specialists in real fields with (2) business awareness and (3) foreign language skills. I think so and it's fair.
Fortunately the business gradually but inevitably goes that way, cutting out unnecessary things and correcting the mistakes.

[Edited at 2020-01-23 08:10 GMT]
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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
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MateCat and ModernMT Jan 24

DZiW wrote:

>I was given this figure by a person behind www.translated.com, MateCat, and ModernMT.
>Oh, that's curious--a direct link or for insiders only?


This person has been and is behind many companies: https://picampus.it/about-us/, https://picampus.it/companies/

>If it could make you feel better, you're welcome to kick the tires reading the comments. (I'm not just a translator)


Neither am I.


 
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