Off topic: ये कहां आ गए हम, आगे क्या है राह?
Շարքի հրապարակողը: Devendra Singh

Devendra Singh  Identity Verified
Հնդկաստան
Local time: 13:07
Անդամ (2011)
անգլերենից հինդի
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Aug 1, 2019

हम बढ़ रहे अपने शोषण की इन्तेहाँ की ओर
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I have been keen watcher and worker in the localization industry since 1998.
In those early days, what proofreading/proof-checking meant was just to check the target language copy.

Then time changed and with the few exceptions almost all companies/agencies made proof-checking the synonyms of reviewing where you need to check and c
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हम बढ़ रहे अपने शोषण की इन्तेहाँ की ओर
------------------------------------
I have been keen watcher and worker in the localization industry since 1998.
In those early days, what proofreading/proof-checking meant was just to check the target language copy.

Then time changed and with the few exceptions almost all companies/agencies made proof-checking the synonyms of reviewing where you need to check and compare source and target and correct target translation accordingly.

But after the advent of CAT tools, they introduced Edit+Proofreading (EPR) concept. Where editor need to update fuzzy matches. Now, a new concept is being imposed that proof-checker need not only to check and compare target and source text but also he/she need to edit and sometimes to re-translate fuzzy segments as per source.

In all those years, hourly rates are remain unchanged or decreased for Indian languages, but hourly expected word count completed by the editor of this new so called proof-checking task almost doubled. Without bargaining power, translators/editors are bearing the brunt of corrupt practices of the most agencies.

What a pity!!! Who is responsible for this horrible trouble editors/translators are facing. Not just these agencies, but mere corporatization in the industry and fierce competition among language editors and translators is also adding to their woes.
I would like to hear from you - what could be the way forward.
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Navjot Rai
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
ֆրանսերենից անգլերեն
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Where have we come, what is the path ahead? Aug 1, 2019

That is what Google translate suggests for the English translation of the Hindi title to this forum posting (ये कहां आ गए हम, आगे क्या है राह?)
Is that correct or was this posted in the wrong forum?


Devendra Singh
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Դանիա
Local time: 08:37
Անդամ (2003)
դանիերենից անգլերեն
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Wo says have translators no bargaining power? Aug 5, 2019

Devendra Singh wrote:

हम बढ़ रहे अपने शोषण की इन्तेहाँ की ओर
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…..

In all those years, hourly rates are remain unchanged or decreased for Indian languages, but hourly expected word count completed by the editor of this new so called proof-checking task almost doubled. Without bargaining power, translators/editors are bearing the brunt of corrupt practices of the most agencies.

What a pity!!! Who is responsible for this horrible trouble editors/translators are facing. Not just these agencies, but mere corporatization in the industry and fierce competition among language editors and translators is also adding to their woes.
I would like to hear from you - what could be the way forward.
- my emphasis

Why do you say without bargaining power?
You can find the same problem everywhere, but it is not something translators should simply accept. They must assume responsibility and resist the pressure on prices! Agencies depend on editors and translators for their business.

Many translators as freelancers, and in northern Europe at least, some translators refuse to work with Indian agencies at all. I do not think most of them are corrupt, but price is an important element in competition. Agencies see it as good business (for them) to pay the lowest rates, and they may have a stronger position on the market than an individual translator. In Europe at least, most translators are freelancers who can set their own prices, although it may be harder to find work if their rates are too high. It is not impossible, however, to find agencies who pay realistic rates. There are other ways to bargain and several selling points besides prices.

Anyone can say ´I´m cheap´, but not everyone is highly qualified, an expert in the specific subject area, fast, or whatever else they might be able to offer.
´I am NOT the cheapest, but I am better, and you get value for money´ is also a good sales argument, if you can explain why you are better. There are certainly clients who look for quality first, and will pay extra for it.

If translators stand together, they will have more bargaining power. Price fixing is illegal in most countries, but groups can agree to work out realistic prices independently, and insist on charging them.
Writing here may help you to find colleagues to join your campaign, but ultimately, it is necessary to stand up to agencies, and tell them:
1. It is not reasonable to set prices down for the same work, and you will not accept it.
2. It is not possible to increase the quantity of work you do in a hour, and even with a CAT tool, you cannot in fact work faster on new translations. You only save a little time on repetitions, and in my experience they often need to be checked carefully. Fuzzy matches often do not save time at all, especially when checking and editing.

There are Indian agencies that are fine to work for, even if they do not pay a lot by European standards. I have worked for one or two myself.
Besides, I refuse to believe that an entire sub-continent is hopelessly corrupt. Look for the better agencies, and stand up to the bottom feeders who are only interested in low prices.
Admittedly, it is a constant battle, but that is the way forward!


Devendra Singh
Stephanie Busch
 

Devendra Singh  Identity Verified
Հնդկաստան
Local time: 13:07
Անդամ (2011)
անգլերենից հինդի
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TOPIC STARTER
Collective Bargaining Power Aug 5, 2019

Thanks Christine for your insights and logical suggestions for a way to look forward. I agree on certain points and suggestions, but differ on few.

Firstly, it is better to bargain collectively but it is too difficult in practice.
Secondly, I never use words such as cheap, cost effective, but most of the translators do. Yes, it is certain that if translators stand together, they will have more bargaining power. But in more than 20 years of my time in the industry, I have not s
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Thanks Christine for your insights and logical suggestions for a way to look forward. I agree on certain points and suggestions, but differ on few.

Firstly, it is better to bargain collectively but it is too difficult in practice.
Secondly, I never use words such as cheap, cost effective, but most of the translators do. Yes, it is certain that if translators stand together, they will have more bargaining power. But in more than 20 years of my time in the industry, I have not seen any such collective efforts on a scale.

Secondly, I am not talking about Indian agencies or of subcontinent, but European agencies whom I am working with since long. How their practices are changing adversely against translators/editors? In the course of time, agencies are changing the very definition of proofreading/proof-checking to suit their interests.

By definition, Proofreading is the process of reviewing the final draft of a piece of writing to ensure consistency and accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting. A document ready to be proofread, should have been edited already. This means its content should already be well organized, well written, and easy to understand. Editing also involves removing errors, but it focuses more on making sure the document makes sense as a whole. Proofreading is about finding errors that were either missed or introduced during editing. Proofreaders ensure that the document's final draft is completely free of grammatical errors as well as formatting and typographical errors and according to chosen style guide.
But now some agencies of repute are asking proofreading, reviewing, editing and even some times translating half or wrongly done sentences just in the name of proof-checking. When we object, they often say that they are asking what is standard practice but this time they could raise the PO amount to our satisfaction but never issue PO with requested wordings or accept that they are asking for anything unprofessional or unethical.
But, I will completely adhere to your suggestions:
1. It is not reasonable to set prices down for the same work, and you will not accept it.
2. It is not possible to increase the quantity of work in a hour, and even with a CAT tool, you cannot work faster on new translations. You only save a little time on repetitions, and in my experience they often need to be checked carefully. Fuzzy matches often do not save time at all, especially when checking and editing.

Thanking again.



[Edited at 2019-08-05 14:13 GMT]
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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Դանիա
Local time: 08:37
Անդամ (2003)
դանիերենից անգլերեն
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In Europe I bargain alone or with the backing of colleagues Aug 6, 2019

In Europe I set my own rates, and I simply do not work with agencies who do not accept them. I NEVER go below the average rates on this site, and usually stay above.
https://search.proz.com/?sp=pfe/rates

This tool may be useful for calculating your rate: https://www.proz.com/t
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In Europe I set my own rates, and I simply do not work with agencies who do not accept them. I NEVER go below the average rates on this site, and usually stay above.
https://search.proz.com/?sp=pfe/rates

This tool may be useful for calculating your rate: https://www.proz.com/translator-rates-calculator/

I take the approach with agencies that I am a business partner, and I deliver a service they need. Agencies depend on translators, after all. I also have bills to pay, and prices do not go down in the shops or other industries. In most cases I don't need to say it, but if I am offered a rate that is too low, I refuse the offer and say I have enough other clients who will pay what I ask. (Which is true.)

I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and was for many years a member of the Union of Communication and Language Professionals Denmark. These are professional associations, not aggressive about rates and prices, but useful forums where members discuss all kinds of professional issues. It is well worth joining an association like that.

The Danish association is in fact a trade union, and supports employees in wage claims. It carries out and publishes an annual survey of its members' salaries and earnings, so that freelancers can compare what they earn with averages and with colleagues who are employed in larger companies or public services.

But more important in my opinion is that members are qualified professionals, and can exchange views and develop ideas that everyone benefits from.

In fact professional interpreters in Denmark are currently (summer 2019) boycotting an agency that has signed a contract with the police force: the interpreters refuse to accept the reduction of rates and the working conditions that the agency tried to impose. It is too early to say what the outcome will be, but judges and lawyers are aware that the quality of the interpretation services has deteriorated, and they are complaining that justice cannot be done.

That is an oversimplified description of the situation, but it shows that results can be achieved if people stand together.
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