Archive | January, 2014

Google Translation detected. Can you please help us now?

23 Jan

This blog post will be about a very popular scam and people who fall victim to Google Translate scammers.

Some days ago I was contacted by a representative of a translation agency with a very good rating according to the Blue Board. It was a rush job assignment. I was told that the previous translator who had taken the assignment simply fed these two files into Google Translate and then sent the “translation” back.

Frankly speaking, this was the first time in my career that I was contacted by victims of Google Translate. By the way, it is not Google Translate which is the reason of this agency’s problems. It is only a tool which can be used both by scammers and the rest of the world. You can only make it easier for somebody to steal your money doing one thing – by offering extremely low rates.

Even people who visited any web directories for translators only once were able to notice a lot of job posts to which a lot of obviously non-natives or non-native translation agencies send their quotes. For example, in case this job post deals with English-Swedish translation, it is quite odd (if not ridiculous) to hire someone from Kathmandu, even if this person insists that she can do this translation. It is even more strange that these scammers count on so many job posters answering back. Something is wrong here.

The email from this translation agency asking me to re-do their translation ASAP helped me get a vivid picture of why this happens – why people continue to cooperate with obvious scammers, and why there are so many people willing to “roll this wheel” on and on, without using more acceptable tactics to win clients. Two classes meet each other there – people who are reluctant to pay decent rates, and people who don’t want to work.

The latter will send you Google translations in the hope that you won`t notice – just because you don’t speak Swedish, and, what is more important, just because you don’t usually engage proofreads to look through the translation.

If by any chance you realize that the translation is unacceptable, you won`t pay them, of course. But it is obvious that they did not went to great expense either in order to do this “translation”. Eventually, someone will pay.

What would be my recommendations? First, raise your rates. By doing so, you will be able to attract top-notch professionals. Second, sorry, but I don’t think that any Indian or Chinese agency can handle translations of rare language pairs (multiply this statement by rates offered, and you will get an absolutely fantastic possibility of getting a high quality translation, i.e. winning this client. Usually deadlines have to be extended, which is another reason for this client to abandon you).

As usual, have a nice day!


Planning tips for freelancers and freelance translators

3 Jan

This blog post will be a very positive one. I will share my method of compiling plans for any new year (or any other period of time you use for planning). I hope the thoughts I will share will inspire you to make your own list of your milestones/goals for the upcoming year.

It is a well-known fact that the first step to success is to define what success means to you, otherwise you will miss the moment you have succeeded. It’s like having a top-notch receiver with a poorly constructed antenna. High sensitivity of the radio receiver will count for nothing, since your antenna does not bring any signal to the input.

January 1 is therefore a perfect day to start planning. Streets are empty, your loved ones are still sleeping. You take your pen and put down 5 to 10 milestones for the upcoming year.

It is very important to be precise as much as possible. I always try to avoid generalized sentences like “My income will increase”, or “I will have more direct clients”. Lack of preciseness won’t let you critically see the results achieved and compare them with specific figures. In other words, you won’t be able to adjust your plans for future years compared to the end of 2014.

After you have set your goals, print them out and hang them somewhere on the wall, so that you see them every day.

Then try to write down several steps which will help you achieve your goals. This is a great opportunity to brainstorm your marketing or business ideas. Put down even the oddest ideas. You will always have time to strike them out. Step out of your comfort zone!

Step by step will develop your own unique to-do list. And it is only natural that your list will be eventually revised by you, since circumstances tend to change quite often. You have to adjust your marketing efforts as conditions change.

The end of the first half of the year is a perfect chance to draw preliminary conclusions from the data you now have, as well as to adjust your plans accordingly.

Let’s hope that all our plans will be fulfilled. As usual, have a nice day!