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Re: What does translator mean on Upwork?

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
1 of 40

I'm in a bad mood, here's why:

 

Recently, I "came across" a client who wanted marketing and medical English to French translation.  I made an offer. He sent me a message saying my rate was too high, that he had found an agency willing to offer that type of translation for $ 0,04 a word (!!!!).

 

We bargained a little, and he generously proposed $ 0,05 a word, which is a rate I proposed 3 years ago to a repeat customer I like working with very much. Obviously, other customers have to pay a higher rate.

 

Why? 

 

Because learning English takes time and dedication. And then, learning to translate from English to French takes an enormous amount of time and energy too. After years of hard work, I earned a Master's degree from my university, which I'm rather proud of.

 

Then, there is the time factor. It takes time to translate, time to research, time to proofread... And time should be money.

 

I just had to make an experiment: I offered a translation job (which I have cancelled since) to see what would happen if I asked for translation at $ 0,01 a word. I did get offers, and only 1/5 of the freelancers bid a higher rate. Some even lowered the rate. Of course, not many of these freelancers had any real training in translation.

 

So here we are: clients don't seem to value translation because they don't know what translation is. They are offered translation by freelancers that haven't much more knowledge than them about what translation is.

 

This must be why we can now see so many job offers where a client is naive enough to require someone to review a Google translation - which I hope no real translator will ever accept to do...

 

I'm still in a very bad mood...

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 40

Luce N wrote:

I'm in a bad mood, here's why:

 

Recently, I "came across" a client who wanted marketing and medical English to French translation.  I made an offer. He sent me a message saying my rate was too high, that he had found an agency willing to offer that type of translation for $ 0,04 a word (!!!!).

 

We bargained a little, and he generously proposed $ 0,05 a word, which is a rate I proposed 3 years ago to a repeat customer I like working with very much. Obviously, other customers have to pay a higher rate.

 

Why? 

 

Because learning English takes time and dedication. And then, learning to translate from English to French takes an enormous amount of time and energy too. After years of hard work, I earned a Master's degree from my university, which I'm rather proud of.

 

Then, there is the time factor. It takes time to translate, time to research, time to proofread... And time should be money.

 

I just had to make an experiment: I offered a translation job (which I have cancelled since) to see what would happen if I asked for translation at $ 0,01 a word. I did get offers, and only 1/5 of the freelancers bid a higher rate. Some even lowered the rate. Of course, not many of these freelancers had any real training in translation.

 

I'm still in a very bad mood...


Don't be in a bad mood. Those clients are not for you, leave them to the "others" (let's leave it at that, shall we?) and just concentrate on the ones who know that they get what they pay for.

 

I do think it is unfair to post a fake job. Even if you cancelled it, you did steal the time of the people who took the time to apply, and cheated them. That is unacceptable behaviour on a platform like this.

 

If you want to test the waters in that way, have the basic decency to then hire and pay someone.

 

This exercise of stealing peoples' time on a Sunday morning doesn't even tell you anything meaningful, because due to you stating such a low budget, you only attracted a certain sub-sector of the freelancer pool, the ones who are desperate enough to even consider this kind of pay. Preying on those unfortunate people just because you are "in a bad mood" makes this stunt even more disingenuous.

Next time you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. Don't cheat unfortunate people.

 

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
3 of 40

Petra, I agree: it's unfair to post a fake job, that's why I hesitated for a long time before trying this experiment. And that's why I cancelled the job. 

 

But it does teach you a lot about how Upwork works from the clients' point of view. Also, I do have some projects for which I will need to offer real jobs, and I needed to see how a client profile works.

 

 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 40

Luce N wrote:

Petra, I agree: it's unfair to post a fake job, that's why I hesitated for a long time before trying this experiment. And that's why I cancelled the job. 


You cancelled the job, so those unfortunate people will at least get their connects back. It does not give them back their time or their hope for a job. Posting fake jobs is also a violation of the terms of service, as well as a truly low thing to do.

Enough said.

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
5 of 40

Ever since I started working on Upwork, I've been wanting to post a job in order to better understand the client's experience, and to see for myself the kind of proposals that are submitted. But I decided to wait until I thought of a small job that I was willing to pay a decent price for. I haven't done that yet.

 

I agree that it's unfair to post fake jobs. I believe it's also a violation of TOS.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
6 of 40

P.S. There's nothing wrong with creating a client profile and going through the process of creating a job, stopping just before you press the final "Post job" button (or whatever it's called). I've done that.

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
7 of 40

Richard W wrote:

Ever since I started working on Upwork, I've been wanting to post a job in order to better understand the client's experience, and to see for myself the kind of proposals that are submitted. But I decided to wait until I thought of a small job that I was willing to pay a decent price for. I haven't done that yet.

 

I agree that it's unfair to post fake jobs. I believe it's also a violation of TOS.


Yes, I have sinned. It's terrible. I should have waited to have a real job to offer. On the other hand, I can now confirm that it's a real interesting experience that allows you to learn a lot. 

 

Ever since I've been on this forum, I've read about freelancers posting a job to see how Upwork worked for clients, and have always thought it was unfair to do so. But after so many years, the temptation was too great. Particularly after being told once more that my rates, which I consider very reasonable, were too high. 

 

It taught me who my "competitors" were, and believe me, the majority of them can only be called competitors because most clients don't know what translation is.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 40

Luce N wrote:

It taught me who my "competitors" were,


No.

Those people are not your competitors. If you wanted to know who your competitors are, you'd have posted a job that attracted people at your level, (and then hired and paid them) not the desperados at the bottom end. They are not your competitors at all.

 

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
9 of 40

I know, Petra, but many clients don't know any better. 

 

Active Member
Moujahed J Member Since: Feb 12, 2019
10 of 40

I can understand the frustration when it comes to dealing with such clients. Just please don't take it personally. If someone doesn't value your service, don't waste time to convince them about your rates. I believe that if a potential client argues a lot about the rates it is usually a reasonable sign not to work with them since any misunderstanding afterwards will probably lead to refund requests/disputes and eventually hurting your profile.

 

Be very picky when you choose your clients. See their last projects/feedbacks and their average hourly rates they paid for. It can give you an idea if the client is seeking cheap work. Doing work that you are not happy with isn't what freelancing is supposed to be. Simply, apologize to them politely and move on.

As for evaluating other rates/competition use the upwork directory for freelancers, play with the search tool / filters, try different scenarios and see where you are positioned. It can give you some good insights.

 

Best of luck in finding the right clients.

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