ATTENTION

 

Before you get registered with a translator platform, please check carefully their reputation via renowned search engines, independent forums. Type the name of the translation platform you have found with the word “review”.  Always check the source  of the review. Certain blogs or editors are clearly partners and are promoting their activities of each other. These credentials are naturally biased and misleading as they would not reveal any shortcomings.

 


TranslationDirectory.com:  3 / 10

Translator Platforms like TranslationDirectory.com is not a professional Translators Platform. Most of the job advertisements come from the Middle East (which is in itself not a blemish) but systematically are offering rates well below lowest Western standard rates (this is true also for common Western language combinations (English, German, French, Spanish etc.). Most of the advertisers are sub-contractors, working for several levels downwards (direct client > translation agency > translator / or small translation agency (or scammer not from the translation business) > translation agency in India, Palestine, or other Middle East or Far East countries). Most of the times those advertisers have also ‘anonymous’ e-mail domains or addresses “omar122@yahoo.com” or “yousef02@gmail.com etc., “fred.smith@googlemail.com”). In the ads they officially announce standard rates like 0,08 Euro per source word) or even well above standard rates, but this is just to get you reply, have your CV, and e-mail address.


Here is one of the sources of sub-sub-sub.. contracting,  or as I call it ‘subward spiral’: Even renowned big translation agencies increasingly use growing translation agencies in the Middle East for better margin leverage and for ‘remaining competitive’.  Result: Quality issues are increasingly the headache of end clients, who do not know themselves what is going on. But they often themselves are to be blamed, as they never ask, how a professional translation of over 10.000 words in two or three days  at a price 60% below the normal rates of more serious competitors is feasible. Often they do not want to know, as the price is to good to resist!
Price for one year: 72 Euro.


Rating for this translator platform after one year membership: Not worth the money.


TranslatorPub.com:  3 / 10

As with TranslationDirectory.com it is not sending much quality job offers. Out of the 50 Mails your get in a Week, there are most of them scammers, or ‘low cost’ providers from the Middle East, Far East or Africa, that cannot pay more than 0,02 or 0,04 USD per word. My impression is, some translation agencies, due to their poor rating at Proz.com, fall back on unprofessional translator directories like TranslationDirectory.com or TranslatorPub.


Illegal copy-pasting of job ads from other national job agencies or temporary employment agencies on their own translation platform:
In order to get some quality job postings, they copy-paste true job postings from national job agency sites like (Arbeitsagentur - www.arbeitsagentur.de or other free job sites (Zeitarbeitsfirmen, French “interims” or temp agencies like Manpower, Randstad etc. ) into their own site and post it. They immediately catch the eye as they distinguish themselves notably from the otherwise dull, unimaginative, offhand and snippy job descriptions often not exceeding one or tow lines. With these copied ads you have a proper company presentation, a full list of competencies what is expected from the linguist, a real contact person!


Many original job posters were surprised, when I made reference to TranslatorPub.com. “We have not posted our job offer on TranslatorPub.com, but you can see the full job posting with all its details on Randstad USA….”


To find such jobs, I do not need to pay 100 USD per year, but can directly go to the relevant job agencies and get it for free.
Reposting job offers from other sites, especially national job agency sites, is illegal, as this information is made available free of charge for all job seekers in the relevant country, and it is the tax payer, that has already paid for this service. On private temp agency  sites it has been paid by the clients of the relevant temp agency. Copying-pasting such content and importing it to a payable site without prior authorization of the owner of the content would be illegally commercializing something that was originally made available to the public free of charge.


Advertisers are systematically kept anonymous, even for paying members. That is, you do not see where the advertiser comes from. All you see is “Poster: JobSeeker_CN, Country: Non Specified, City: Non Specified.” All you get are e-mail addresses of the job poster itself (often gmail or yahoo.com addresses). The only company that is showing its name is Wagner Consulting, no doubt the actual owner and operator of this site, poorly rated on Proz.com, as it is a notorious bad payer.


Loaded with flashing commercials (no doubt, that’s how this site is additionally financing itself), and those commercials have no relevance whatsoever with the translation business.    


Now and then, however, you do get a serious job posting (that has not been copied and pasted from other sites), but these are rare indeed. In average 1 or 2 in a month that are willing to pay lowest regular translation rates (0,06 Euro / source word for the combination German/French/English).


My rating: Not worth your money!


TraduGuide.com: 4 / 10

More something for sworn translators.


When it comes to professionalism and seriousness of job offers, would this translator platform get 5 out of 5, but number of jobs are really low. I received in my one year membership mostly small jobs, and most of them are for sworn translations in the language combination French/English into German (about 80%). So if you are not a sworn translator (“ein staatlich geprüfter Übersetzer, der beglaubigte Übersetzungen anfertigen darf “or in French a “traducteur assermenté qui est habilité d’effectuer des traductions certifiées conformes”), I do not think it would be worth your money. If you are, go for it. In the combination English/French into German you can expect about 5 Mails per week (so very few indeed). Most job offers have been for deliveries too short a notice (same or next day) and could therefore not be considered. If it was not for the rare job occasions (approx.. 1 per week) and the impression that it is run by one translator who passes his own jobs on if he (or she) cannot handle it himself (herself) this site would get 4 points instead of 3.


My rating 3 out 5 for its professionalism, no scammers or low cost cowboys. But has decidedly too few job offers that turn into concrete contracts. In one year membership I had none… Website finances itself not only via membership fees but quite heavily through left and right panel ads in Google fashion.


Translatorsbase.com Rating 4 / 10

Presentation has like TraduGuide rather a professional look and presentation.
You can expect about 10 mails (job offers) per week, but it seems, if you are not bidding below 0,05 Euro per source word, you will never get an answer, no matter what qualifications and references you have. Most of the job advertisers are consequentially ‘low cost’ sub-sub contractors or scammers. Replies on job postings is done via their Internet platform only (no direct mailing). So far, I have not received any reply, except one time, when I tried to offer a rate of 0.04 EUR per source word. Good thing is: The historical rates of job advertiser are displayed in a view box. Most of them below 0,05 USD per source word! Considerable draw back: Also here, no effort is made to control scamming or massive price dumping. 90% of advertisers do offer rates below 0,05 USD (0,03 EUR) / per word. with such rates an independent translator, who has no other sources of income can impossibly run his business for longer than 1 year without being able to invest in necessary equipment (books, software, hardware (which are the linguist’s vehicle, if you like, to get to work). Quality platforms should act responsibly and protect their paying members from such price dumping by setting a minimum rate of at least 0.05 Euro (0.07 USD) per source word. This would immediately stop any scammers and oblige all other translation agencies to adhere to a decent and economically as well as morally acceptable remuneration. It would also attract more professional quality translators to this data base.


Occasionally there are also some odd private persons that find their way there, who want there CV and cover letter to be translated for a song, i. e. next to nothing.


Developed and driven is this site by Verbumsoft, a US based software company.


Significant draw back: Even as paying member you cannot see who is behind the advertisement (no contact details, no company name). You only can send your bid via their Internet platform, and in most cases you get a low-cost Indian company.
There is no mediator or any control as to who advertises.


My rating: 2 out of 5. When it comes to the real return of investment, I cannot say that, after one year of membership, I had no return of my investment (60 USD) on this platform.
 

Translators Town (alias Translatorstown. com)

Here are some feedback of some linguists in a translators’ forum:

“ I registered myself there a few years ago. I have never received any serious offer in my language pair via this platform. Personally, I think it's a waste of time.”


“I registered myself with them some time ago, don't remember for what reason, and still count as a member.


Translators’ Café Rating: 5 / 10 (alias Translatorscafe.com)

Is in the upper league of the translator platforms like Proz.com, but by its nature not very different: It attracts mainly low-cost agencies from third world countries, one man ‘agencies’ that are at the bottom scale of sub-contractors and scammers. Advantage, they do have, like Proz.com, a fairly reliable rating board in place. Such rating boards allow a quick information about the quality of the project advertiser. But they do not stop foul advertisers to enter and fester the system. Here also, increasing numbers of ‘low cost jobs’  clog up the mailbox of the registered users. And nothing is done about it. If you criticize shortcoming to overtly in their forum, your are blacked-out and system-friendly comments from mentors are promoted. I have been locked out and have been unable to enter back onto the website. My IP address has been blocked.


What I liked, however, was their strict disqualification policy of none paying members, irrespective as to whether the translator delivered a good or mediocre translation. They defend the view that it  is the responsibility of the principle (project (that is, the one who  places the order) to check the skills and competence before signing the contract with the linguist. If the linguists delivers a translation with poor quality, it is the fault of the principle not the translator, not to have checked the quality or competencies of this linguists prior of conferring the translation.


The only reminder was the notification of a job "60.000 words for USD 300".
No more comments.”


Translators Café promotes itself through third party publicity such as: KillerStartups (http://www.killerstartups.com/review/translatorscafe-com-place-for-trans...)  or Work at Home truth (http://www.workathometruth.com/TranslatorsCafe-review.php)  or so called ‘independent’ reviews of individual professionals such like Jennifer Madison on HubPages, where the financing bodies become all apparent already during the reading. (http://jennifermadison.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Make-Money-as-a-Translato...)


Proz.com 6 / 10

Among all the other known translator platforms well the most developed and professional platform. If you are a newcomer in the translation business with no single returning client, this is the safest option for you. The reputation tracking is the best on the translators’ platform market and each advertiser must register fully, so with each advertisement the paying member sees the full contact details. Abusers are barred from advertising. There is a clear Blue Board for each member, where linguists can note in two lines there grievances. In most cases (99%) this is about payment issues. Well the sole means for a translator to defend himself or herself against bad payers or none payers. Proz.com, however, can also not get the 10 out of 10 as it is also doing nothing to control stop the price dumping or the swindling.   I contacted them, and they said that this is not their business to control prices. (As with all private, profit making agencies, such as temp agencies) it is their business to make money, and each member (also translation agencies, or fake translation agencies) are their business… So, it is quite natural, that they would not have any interest to stop price scandals like 0.03 or 0.04 USD.


GoTranslators.com: 4 / 10

5 or 7 years ago one of the leading platforms, but is increasingly lagging behind with innovation and continued development . It looks just as 7 years ago. Advantage, if that is any for getting yourself a job, this site is translated in many different languages. Scammer and none payer tracking is there, but not as visible. You need to look for it first to find it (as opposed to Proz.com, where you see the score or rating on each ad). Swindler and Ultra Low Cost Advertisers are at an extremely high level.

INDEPENDENT OBSERVATIONS OF A LINGUIST ON Translatioprofessionals.com

Gotranslators.com and Proz.com
Source of the following content:
Source: translatorprofessionals.com/gotranslators/


"Like ProZ, GoTranslators.com also allows clients to dictate maximum prices to translators. (Such as the Italian->English offer I received this morning from Bangalore-based Adith Multilingual Services Pvt. Ltd. Adith Multilingual describes itself as “one of the leading multilingual organizations in Asia.” The offer: $0.03/word (the equivalent of €0.02/word).
The Attractive Nuisance
GoTranslators.com insists that it is not actually guilty of these practices for two reasons. First, it says that job posters cannot indicate prices directly in online postings (this is true, and it is a major step forward).


The positive, however, is immediately cancelled by the negative. GoTranslators.com does allow job posters to send so-called “private” mass emails to translators in a given language combination. In those emails, prices are indicated (such as the one from Adith Multilingual).


GoTranslators.com says it’s a good guy because such offers are restricted to “private” emails. I say it’s a distinction without a difference.


GoTranslators.com and similar services have created the equivalent of an “attractive nuisance,” a legal concept that means, in short: if I create a hazardous condition on my property that is likely to attract others who cannot appreciate the risk posed by that danger, I remain legally liable if they are injured.


Classic example: I install a swimming pool in my yard but do nothing to restrict access to the pool. Neighborhood kids come into my yard when I’m not home, jump into the pool, and drown. I’m liable because I failed to fence the yard, cover the pool, or otherwise mitigate the potential danger that it represented.

 

Third-World Rates Need to Stay in the Third-World
Translators in the U.S. and Europe, meanwhile, are drowning.


I’ve written before about Indian translation companies and job offers that are unthinkable for anyone not living in the third world.
And before anyone starts working up a head of steam about the terrible racism of such an assertion: I understand all about the global economy. I’ve read the same books you have about China, India, and the practice of off-shoring jobs.


The point is this: God bless Indian translation companies. But they must stop demanding Indian rates from translators who live (pay rent, buy groceries, and purchase services) in the economies of the U.S. and the European Community.


If you only intend to pay $0.03/word, find a translator who lives in an economy in which $0.03/word is a living wage.


They must stop foisting such rates on the European and American market and convincing agencies and translation clients that such rates represent normal compensation. They do not, and translators outside of India cannot live on $0.03/word.


If Indian companies cannot find qualified translators in India, then they must pay European and American wages.


Instead, what Indian translation agencies are doing – and what GoTranslators.com is supporting and enabling – is disseminating cut-rate offers to large lists of European and American translators. The practice, by the way, has a name. It’s called unfair competition.
That’s the plain and simple truth.


ProZ.com and GoTranslators.com have the technical capability to allow job posters to restrict their postings to translators in specified countries or geographical areas. They need to stop allowing Indian companies to demand Indian rates from translators outside India."


Source: http://translatorprofessionals.com/gotranslators/
 

ATTENTION
 

BEWARE! Some translation agencies try to send jobs via Skype. The only contact details they communicate are usernames of Skype. Names like “kitty_witty” is being distributed through Translator Platforms like Translator Pub.


Avoid persons or ‘agencies’ that communicate only Skype usernames, unless you know who they are and you have already their full contact details (address, tax number etc.) from previous communications or from their Website.    
accordtranslations@gmail.com

 

 

RESUME

As you can see, hardly any Platform seems to be worth your money. For new translators, who have just finished their degree, or ‘spare time’ translators (with no formal academic background),  relatively good professional  translator platforms (such like Proz.com, Translators Cafe) are in a way  a good start to get some jobs, if not even the only sure start. Only 5 years ago, this was more true so than today, as more and more job advertisers come from the Middle or Far East and do offer misery rates, of which not even beginners can subsist on. None of them are prepared to intervene, as they do not wish to ‘control pricing’. On the job offers 5 years ago (any time before the 2007), a new freelancer, who just set up his or her business, could live on and continue make vital investments (translators’ software, computers, professional literature etc.). Today, they can hardly live on the job offers and make no more investments.  Today, they need a second job aside (as private teacher, tourist guide or not language related secondary occupations) to support their translation activity or ‘stay in the business’. Or the translator has a good financial cushion to fall back on, such as solvent parents, a live companion or a heritage. If you are not a sworn translator in Europe, translation itself is no longer a financially interesting business for new comers without a solid client base.

 

Founding an independent Translators platform

This is why it is important, to found an free independent platform, that is only for fair translation agencies offering a minimum rate of 0,05 Euro (or 0.08 USD) and accessible also for direct clients (less small sized translation agencies or one-main translation ‘agencies’, but small, middle and large size companies). Once such independent platform exists, other platforms, that get rich on our hard-earned money and promote unfair and uncontrolled competition, loose their raison-d’être.


You will note that even with the leading platforms such as Proz.com and Translators.cafe.com the large majority of job advertisers are not direct clients (producing companies), but translation agencies and would-be ‘agencies’ that are actually one man or at most two-man translation agencies, that also thrive and die like mushrooms. They die quickly as they do not have the necessary qualifications, experience and know-how, or they die quickly, as they want to found another business (often another translation agency) to make new money under a clean, new name (after having shunned payment of a number of linguists).


But as long as we translator community remain silent, passive and keep registering with such platforms, the longer we will suffer under this systemic condition. Let’s get together and let’s build an independent translation platform, where we can promote our own interests, and chose our own clients, namely more direct ones. Where we can disqualify and filter out scammers and low-cost agencies that thrive on and take advantage of our good faith and hard work that exploit our experience and expertise and sell it on like Chinese made plastic toy. The founders, participating in such scheme may benefit of publicity entries, but most of all, benefit of more professional and better-paid job offers for the rest of their professional life as independent translator.


If you are interested in creating an independent translator platform with me, please drop me a line.

 

NEW SCAMMERS or ‘LOW COST’ & Low Quality translator portals:

Other newcomers from the Middle East promoting scammer agencies in the translation market:
ANSH (or ANSH.COM), Indian translators’ portal).

 

If you find new scammers or scamer schemes attacking translators, let me know and I will publish this on this site.