Trials ... again, stuborn shortsightedness

Japanese language
Japanese language (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I received a response to a mail I sent to company with which I had contact several years ago, trying to refresh the memory of me. I copy the correspondence, not giving any names. To my mind the other party (company located in India) is asking rather unreasonable things.
Or is it me, who is off the mark???????

My mail specified what I am doing:
Japanese -> German
Japanese -> English
English <-> German translations.
medicine / pharmaceutics / chemistry / science / engineering
patents / manuals / etc.

Upon which I got the response:
Thanks for your mail,we would like to see your translation quality,is it possible for you to do 2 page sample from Japanese to English ?

Me again ->
Trial: I have done that so many times over the past three decades, that I got sick of it.
As a result I picked up some "trials" in various language pairs, fields
and put them on my website:
Please have a look there. I am convinced you will find more than enough material there to judge my capabilities. (naturally, all translations are made by me)

I do understand but as per our company policy we have to evaluate the new translator by giving our sample. Let me know if you are interested or not ?
We request you to deliver it tomorrow EOD. 

Thank you, but ...
this text has 1149 characters, which represents approximately 3.2 pages of translation.
I do not do "trials" of this size any more.
AND, this is about business (financial orientation). That is a subject matter I usually do not handle.
In my original mail I indicated roughly, what I am usually working with.

Fine or else do the first 2 pages if you don't wish to do sample we regret to say that we can't add you in our database

Any proper translator is a specialist in some fields but not in others.
If an employer assigns work lying outside the translator's
specialization, it cannot expect proper results.

A barber does not do carpenter work.
Since you are apparently unwilling to recognize this universal truth,
I believe it is indeed safer for me not to be a part of your team.

Sorry for stealing your time.
Thomas Blasejewicz
Enhanced by Zemanta







こう言う事は今風のディジタル時代で頻繁に起こるからこそ(PRECISELY because of this situation)「トライアル」をやりたくない。


Rates ... fees ...

English: title page of the catholic bible tran...
English: title page of the catholic bible translation into German from Hieronymus Emser, an opponent of Martin Luther; published 1527 in Dresden, Saxony Español: pagina principal de la traducción católica de la biblia en alemán de Hieronymus Emser, un adversario de Martin Luther, publicado 1527 en Dresden, Saxonia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Saint Jerome in his Study, fresco by Domenico ...
Saint Jerome in his Study, fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1480 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don't know about everybody else, but whereever I look, whoever I ask - it is always "lower your rates", "sell your product (=translation) cheaper", "give us your "best" = cheapest rate" .......

Well, maybe nobody has noticed, but the costs for our daily living has and is constantly INCREASING. Right now, they decided in Japan to raise taxes. One of those taxes that applies to everything -> thus making EVERYTHING more expensive.
If somebody asked me to name a product or service that has actually become cheaper over the last 10 years ..... I would have a really(!!) hard time to think of something.

The funny thing is, that the market(s) for cheap translation labor (like Proz.com) are INCREASING their fees too.

Somehow this does not match.
We (translators) as service providers are forced to constantly lower our rates, while the agencies (I am rather sure they do) and the websites all raise their prices / fees.

This will very soon lead to translators falling below the "break even" point, where they just cannot to "afford" working as translators any longer.
What remains in the translation industry? Google translate??????
I pity the customers ........

Enhanced by Zemanta


Transperfect - "only" 40 USD ......

This just will not end.

The other day I was asked by mail, whether I could do a small (700 word) job, upon which I answered:

"Well, considering that I will be fined (TP calls that "handling fee") about 20 USD AND the bank will charge me 15 USD for putting the money into my account AND another fee for converting the funny printed paper called USD into YEN ... amounting to something like 40 USD ... I do not think there is much incentive for me to do your work."

Response from TP:
"I understand, I can give you 60 USD if you can make it now. It is a short file, is it fine?"

My response:
"YOU give me 60 USD and I have to pay you+Bank = 40 USD.
That leaves me with 20 USD.
For - calculate generously - 3.5 pages. That is 5.7 USD per page.
Would/could YOU work for that kind of money and still pay your rent???????"

Response from TP:
"Ah, sorry, I misunderstood that.
It is fine, I understand now.
Anyway, you don´t have to invoice every PO individually.
In other words, the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to get several POs, and when the amount is high enough you invoice all of them together, so you only lose 20 or 40 dollars for all of them together."

Isn't that wonderful! If I work for a Japanese company - they too are impertinent enough to bill me for the bank transfer! - I have to pay something between 1 and 5 USD. If I work for Transperfect I have to pay ***** ONLY ***** 10 times as much -> about 40 USD. Since they have a minimum for bank transfer of about 100 USD, that is I have to PAY them 40% of what should be the money I get for my work.
The percentage would change, if I would get let's say 10,000 USD (VERY!! unlikely), but even then would the bank fees be still 10 times as high as in Japan. Or when working for other companies anywhere in the world for that matter.
This strikes me as odd.
Is it only me?

Enhanced by Zemanta


To be a professional ... you have to pay.

Benjamin Franklin 1767
Benjamin Franklin 1767 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recently my (paid -> I got 6 month of paid membership for participating in a group buy) Proz membership has lapsed. With it (naturally?) my statue as "certified Pro" has be revoked too. That is, if you want to be a professional, you have to pay for it. Sounds like a bribe to a mafia gang to me. Well, anyway, I am back into the minors - just another no-name amateur ...
But I cannot afford to give donations to people who most likely already have a 100 times more than I do. And since there is practically 0% "return on investment", spending money to get NOTHING = is to my mind a donation.

The regular, automated mail inevitably coming from Proz at theses times reads (partially) :
"Thank you for being a member of ProZ.com. As a full member of the web's largest translator community, you are part of the network of translators that is changing the industry.
Your ProZ.com membership subscription is also a personal investment that provides powerful ways to meet new clients and expand your business, to improve your work, to network and to have fun."

Well ... I have been a Proz member for something like +12 years. This includes a total of about 20 months paid membership AND recently even a few months as a "Certified Pro". Here I checked my "peers" -> apparently I was the one and only such Pro on the entire network in the language pair Japanese-German.

BUT ... during this entire time I got exactly ONE job = worth about 36.2 Euro.
If I would have paid the membership fee all the time, I would have PAID 1,440 USD in order to get 36 USD back.
Not counting all the time (there is this very strange notion that "time is money" -> The phrase was coined by Benjamin Franklin in his Advice to a Young Tradesman (1748)) and effort invested, which did not produce any results either.

According to a personal communication I had several years ago with the founder of Proz, the membership is supposed to pay for itself very soon. Appears like wishful thinking to me.
I take the liberty of quoting:
"Japanese translators enjoy the most favorable ratio between clients and translators at ProZ.com. For 90 dollars (today it is 120 USD and scheduled to be increase on July 1) -- 10,000 yen! -- we offer preferential exposure. A single client was worth thousands of dollars to me as a translator. If I were to meet one client per year, or one client every ten years per ProZ.com, the membership would pay for itself several times over.
I am surprised that you see it differently."

Probably my calculation showing a 36 USD return on investment on 1,400 USD is wrong (I was never good at mathematics) and I am too stupid to market myself properly = so this is all my fault ...

still, I have the greatest difficulties in seeing that "membership subscription is also a personal investment that provides powerful ways to meet new clients and expand your business"

Naturally - at least in my experience - the same thing also applies to all other major "translator sites" I have tried over the past 15 years ......

Enhanced by Zemanta