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Poll: The lower the rate, the less work/attention to detail one is likely to put into a translation:
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:10
צוות האתר
Dec 19, 2019

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "The lower the rate, the less work/attention to detail one is likely to put into a translation:".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
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Local time: 00:10
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Other Dec 19, 2019

Although it is possible, I usually try to do my jobs to a certain standard. Other factors also come into the equation, not just the rate. For example, my workload at the time, deadlines for different clients… etc.

[Edited at 2019-12-19 09:19 GMT]


Giuliana Maltempo
Isabelle Bibloque
Yaotl Altan
Josephine Cassar
 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 23:10
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Other Dec 19, 2019

I can only answer for myself and not for anyone else. To some of my customers who have been with me for a long time I charge a slightly lower rate than to a new client but I give them exactly the same attention. I just couldn’t live with myself if I did such a thing…

Pascale van Kempen-Herlant
Josephine Cassar
Philip Lees
ahartje
Mario Freitas
 

Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
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Local time: 01:10
חבר (2014)
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not always Dec 19, 2019

Unfortunately, the rate does not always in direct relation to quality. There are some people willing to attract more jobs with lower rates. They justify themselves they cannot sit waiting for a decent job because they have babies, loans, they are short of money, etc. As a result, we all suffer.

Robert Rietvelt
Baran Keki
Alaa Mahm
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
הולנד
Local time: 00:10
חבר (2006)
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SITE LOCALIZER
No, quite the opposite Dec 19, 2019

Often, the lower the rate, the more effort is required, because clients who pay low rates often also pay low rates to the other people in the process, e.g. the people who are supposed to ensure that the work is properly prepared for translation.

The rate does not affect how much attention to detail I work at, but if the amount of time that is paid for by the rate is lower, then I will work at a lower level of detail or precision, so that I can complete the entire task in the budgete
... See more
Often, the lower the rate, the more effort is required, because clients who pay low rates often also pay low rates to the other people in the process, e.g. the people who are supposed to ensure that the work is properly prepared for translation.

The rate does not affect how much attention to detail I work at, but if the amount of time that is paid for by the rate is lower, then I will work at a lower level of detail or precision, so that I can complete the entire task in the budgeted time.
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Liena Vijupe
Maria Simmen
Josephine Cassar
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 23:10
חבר (2012)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
Disagree Dec 19, 2019

I do not have a sliding scale of quality based on rates. Whether working pro bono or for a high rate, there is really only one setting - my personal best.

Teresa Borges
Patricia Rivera
Rachel Shaw
Tina Vonhof
Katya Kesten
MollyRose
Philip Lees
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 00:10
חבר (2018)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
. Dec 19, 2019

I always do my best.
I prefer to turn down work if it's paid so little that I wouldn't want to put in effort.

I even say as much to my clients. A short while ago I was negotiating to do a very urgest task for a client. I already had enough work on my plate, and this additional project would mean working several hours later than usual. I named my emergency rate and the client tried to get a discount. I told her that I needed to feel good about doing the translation because it
... See more
I always do my best.
I prefer to turn down work if it's paid so little that I wouldn't want to put in effort.

I even say as much to my clients. A short while ago I was negotiating to do a very urgest task for a client. I already had enough work on my plate, and this additional project would mean working several hours later than usual. I named my emergency rate and the client tried to get a discount. I told her that I needed to feel good about doing the translation because it was a press release about kiddie activities that would require a sparkly, enthusiastic tone. If I felt grumpy about doing it, that grumpiness could well infect my writing. The only way to make me feel keen to put in another three hours that evening was to pay me a handsome sum of money.
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Teresa Borges
Anna Herbst
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Patricia Rivera
Katya Kesten
Wout Van den Broeck
Fatine777
 

Rita Utt  Identity Verified
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Yes. This is why I don't accept low rates Dec 19, 2019

and I don't think any translator should deliver poor quality against low rates.

Teresa Borges
Fatine777
Philip Lees
Alexandra Leroux
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
בוסניה והרצגובינה
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חבר (2009)
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+ ...
Fatigue. Dec 19, 2019

Your poor attention to detail may also be a result of fatigue, and that may or may not be related to your rate. A competent translator always pays attention to detail, regardless of their motivation, as it's automated for them. I tend to think attention to detail is a personality trait, and not necessarily motivation based.

Now, when it comes to incompetent ones, no amount of attention to detail will help them.


Elizabeth Tamblin
Teresa Borges
Fatine777
 

Tina Vonhof
קנדה
Local time: 16:10
חבר (2006)
מהולנדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Disagree Dec 19, 2019

Once I have committed to a job I give it my full attention and do my best regardless of what the rate is. But I do have a bottom line for the rates I accept.

Katya Kesten
Teresa Borges
Philip Lees
ahartje
Mario Freitas
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
הונגריה
Local time: 00:10
חבר (2006)
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Low rate = bad quality (even if the translator was previously a good translator) Dec 19, 2019

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "The lower the rate, the less work/attention to detail one is likely to put into a translation:".

View the poll results »



I totally agree with this. I call it "mass production version". The lower the rate the more volume someone has to translate within a certain time (day or week or month) to reach the income what a translator with a decent rate can provide. So a translator with low rates (even she/he is a good translator (or was previously when he/she worked for decent rates) usually commits much more mistakes, because she/he needs to do a kind of mass production instead of quality work done in quality time.
Translators with low rates tend to sleep less, make more typos, more mistranslations, miss out mistakes while reviewing their own work. Why? Because they are tired. A translator with low rates will not have the time to make a thorough term research (if it's needed), she/he will not bother with contacting the client asking for more references to create the best term, because he/she is over-exhausted due to accepting more and more projects to reach a certain income. Meanwhile a translator with decent rates will have more time to sleep, probably fresher brain with more creativity and can be more focused on details and he/she has more time to pay attention on details and can read his/her work more times as well.


[Edited at 2019-12-19 18:07 GMT]



[Edited at 2019-12-19 18:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-12-19 20:15 GMT]


Alexandra Leroux
Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
מקסיקו
Local time: 16:10
חבר (2006)
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
Lower rates kill quality. Dec 19, 2019

Of course a good rate is the best incentive to deliver high quality translations, but other factors apply too: good communication with the project leaders and a reasonable deadline.

I think all of us have read that awful "...with your best rate", which leads us to several deductions.

"your best rate (for me Yaotl? or for the client?".
- My best rate for the client could be 0.01 USD/word
- My best rate for me could reach 0.10 euro/word.

Or we c
... See more
Of course a good rate is the best incentive to deliver high quality translations, but other factors apply too: good communication with the project leaders and a reasonable deadline.

I think all of us have read that awful "...with your best rate", which leads us to several deductions.

"your best rate (for me Yaotl? or for the client?".
- My best rate for the client could be 0.01 USD/word
- My best rate for me could reach 0.10 euro/word.

Or we can negotiate, preferably closer to 0.10 euro/word than to 0.

That despicable "...with your best rate..." is a red light that helps us to define our final decision. Do they have budget to pay? If I accept the deal, it's probable they will pay me after many months....luckily.

"My rate is X, with the highest quality I can deliver, which you can certify by checking my WWA in Proz. Of course I have lower rates, but then your project is performed with less quality".

Come on! Who marries and states something like "..but I want to have some lovers too"? Who accepts someyhing like that?

If the readers of this thread are young translators, please notice how to defend yourselves from greedy clients. You deserve respect as professionals.
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Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Katrin Braams  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 00:10
חבר (2018)
מאנגלית לגרמנית
+ ...


Posted via
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Not true Dec 19, 2019

I can only speak for myself, but if am not happy with a rate I decline the job in the first place. Once I have accepted it, I always try to give my best. If unexpected obstacles turn up during the process I might renegotiate the rate, but even if the client doesn’t agree I would finish the job in a professional manner.

Teresa Borges
Katya Kesten
Wout Van den Broeck
Fiona Grace Peterson
Fatine777
Philip Lees
ahartje
 

DZiW
אוקראינה
מאנגלית לרוסית
+ ...
"Quid pro quo" aka "Fair trade" basis Dec 20, 2019

While cheap or expensive work is but a relative sign of quality, a better price greatly improves one's self-esteem and well-being, not to mention willingness to work again--and go an extra mile.

Cheap == Unworthy


Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Rudolf Vedo  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 17:10
חבר (2008)
מקרואטית לאנגלית
+ ...
Perhaps, but not in the way you might think Dec 20, 2019

Not consciously. However, the thing is, a translation is never really done, in the sense that no matter how many times you have read it through, run a spell-check and QC, reviewed it against the source text, perhaps asked a colleague to cast a glance at it, the odds are that, even if there is objectively nothing wrong with the translation, it can always be improved in some small way by another read-through, another round of re-checking, searching again for a "more perfect" solution to a vexing s... See more
Not consciously. However, the thing is, a translation is never really done, in the sense that no matter how many times you have read it through, run a spell-check and QC, reviewed it against the source text, perhaps asked a colleague to cast a glance at it, the odds are that, even if there is objectively nothing wrong with the translation, it can always be improved in some small way by another read-through, another round of re-checking, searching again for a "more perfect" solution to a vexing source formulation, or even a belated stroke of inspiration. However, as a practical matter, you have to "call it quits" at some point, at the latest by the deadline, and move on to the next project, and the translator is always weighing the ever-decreasing marginal benefit of yet another round of self-checking against the fixed rate. For poorly paid projects, this point tends to come sooner rather than latter. It's just rational economic decision-making.Collapse


Gareth Callagy
Katrin Braams
Muriel Vasconcellos
 
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