Sunday, April 04, 2010

Proz responds to ridiculous translation offers from agencies

Changes to be made to the job posting system

"Huge movement, the biggest yet seen in this profession.. thousands of people supporting the petition.."

A petition concerning the job posting system ("A Translators' Petition Concerning's Job Policies" was hosted online at in February 2010. The stated purpose of the petition was to urge to revise its job-posting policies. In the space of less than four days, 844 translators and interpreters signed the petition.

In response to the petition, staff announced that changes would be made to the job posting system:

"1. The pricing field will be removed from the job posting form.
This change is consistent with the fact that the individual translator is in the best position to determine what he or she needs to charge to deliver the quality required on a particular job.

2. When consistent with member preference, posters will be given an opportunity to specify a budget range (after having posted).
An option to enter budget information will appear, with a suitable explanation, when among those who meet the specified criteria there are one or more members who prefer to take budget information into consideration when deciding whether or not to quote.

3. Even when a client budget range has been specified, it will not be published by default.
Client budget ranges will be accessible only to members who (1) have expressed a preference to consider client budgets, and (2) meet the specified job criteria. (This eliminates the possibility for the job posting system to be used to "popularize" low rates.)

4. More information -- supplied by the community -- will be made available concerning the price of professional translation.
In the void left by the decreased publication of poster positions on rates, guides entitled "Determining what service you need and what it will cost" and "Determining your rates and fees as a translator", will be introduced. These guides, linked to from the job posting and job quoting forms, are already being built by the community in the wiki. (Please consider contributing.)
Together with the guides, real-time data on rates charged by members will be made available for reference by job posters and those quoting. (This will be the topic of further notices in this site area.)

5. A means will be provided, and job posters will be encouraged, to enter more detailed information in job postings.
To quote accurately, jobs have to be posted in sufficient detail. Encouraging job posters to enter as much detail as possible becomes more important with these changes.

6. A means will be provided to enter more detailed rates information in profiles.
Profile owners will be given a means of entering more detailed rates information, such as premiums for rush jobs, etc.

7. The prominence of the job posting system will be reduced overall, with higher priority given to the directory.
The directory has proven to be a much better source of new clients for professional translators.

8. An addition will be made to the professional guidelines on the topic of rates.
Proposed addition: "Professionals: ... set their rates at levels that allow them to deliver, on an ongoing basis, the quality levels that their clients require"

9. Efforts will be made to stimulate industry-wide cooperation to support the livelihood of professional translators.
Several ideas for how to approach this have been considered, but at a minimum, links to groups that are active in this area will be maintained. Please share information related to any groups or individuals that you know that are active in this area.
Of particular interest would be those active in the following areas:
  • differentiation on the basis of quality
  • establishing a more direct correlation between quality and price
  • techniques for boosting productivity
  • marketing / negotiation / business skills for translators
Note that although these have been areas of focus in events and trainings for some time, there is ongoing demand for training on these topics in various areas and languages. If you have developed programs in these areas, and would like to deliver trainings or sessions on these topics, please make a proposal via support ticket.

10. A host of other steps, both technical and social, will be undertaken. Updates will be posted here.

Note: The above changes will be implemented as soon as development can be carried out. More detail on each of these points, and notice of additional measures, will be posted on an ongoing basis. To be notified when changes are made to this page, subscribe below.

The Proz Founder and CEO, Henry Dotterer, has responded to the petition. You can watch the response here.


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