Pagine:   < [1 2 3 4 5 6] >
Three translation agencies contacted us for MTPE and HT projects, all the same requirements.
Iniziatore argomento: Marc Svetov

Paraschiva Bloju  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 05:56
Membro (2005)
Da Tedesco a Rumeno
+ ...
Explanations Dec 17, 2020

Hi!

The job is about training a machine and it is real. The main LSP works with many smaller agencies, not with individuals as the work volume is huge for a lot of language pairs and needs to be done in a short period of time.
If you get paid is depending of the subcontracting LSP, choose carefully and work for the right one. The main LSP will pay the job, we worked for them in the past and everything was fine.

Best,
Paraschiva


[Edited at 2020-
... See more
Hi!

The job is about training a machine and it is real. The main LSP works with many smaller agencies, not with individuals as the work volume is huge for a lot of language pairs and needs to be done in a short period of time.
If you get paid is depending of the subcontracting LSP, choose carefully and work for the right one. The main LSP will pay the job, we worked for them in the past and everything was fine.

Best,
Paraschiva


[Edited at 2020-12-17 20:18 GMT]
Collapse


Chris T
Elena Feriani
Koffi Mahouna
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Koffi Mahouna
Camerun
Local time: 03:56
Da Inglese a Francese
+ ...
The ISAAC project is real and legitimate. Just make sure you're with the right company Dec 18, 2020

I've been paid twice already from an agency working on this project. Last year I made up to 2800 usd for a similar project from the same agency. Last month, I received 1600 usd from the same agency.
As for the words count, a summary of your production is given on the platform, you just need to know where to check.
Now, there might be scams trying to make profit out of this confusing situation. Just make sure you're with the right agency when exchanging with them. Thanks.

... See more
I've been paid twice already from an agency working on this project. Last year I made up to 2800 usd for a similar project from the same agency. Last month, I received 1600 usd from the same agency.
As for the words count, a summary of your production is given on the platform, you just need to know where to check.
Now, there might be scams trying to make profit out of this confusing situation. Just make sure you're with the right agency when exchanging with them. Thanks.

Koffi

English-French Translator based in Togo.
Collapse


Elena Feriani
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Membro
Da Rumeno a Inglese
+ ...
Bait and switch? Dec 20, 2020

A few days ago, I responded to a quote request here on ProZ for what was described as a large Russian-English project in a particular field in which I am experienced. The advertiser was a company (which I will call "A") based in a Middle Eastern country which has a Blue Board rating of 5.0. I have never worked for any company based in that country before. It was made clear that machine translation was not to be used. There was no mention of "ISAAC". So far, so good...

Just today, I
... See more
A few days ago, I responded to a quote request here on ProZ for what was described as a large Russian-English project in a particular field in which I am experienced. The advertiser was a company (which I will call "A") based in a Middle Eastern country which has a Blue Board rating of 5.0. I have never worked for any company based in that country before. It was made clear that machine translation was not to be used. There was no mention of "ISAAC". So far, so good...

Just today, I received an email from a different company (which I will call "B"), based in the same country, which didn't specifically mention my quote but was about a big new Russian-English project called ISAAC which they were about to start, and gave instructions about how to log into and use an online work platform. Except that it wasn't a translation project as such, it was MTPE with a rate of USD 0.02 per word, and a total of 4 million words to be post-edited. The word "hits" was mentioned, but not explained. This nebulous concept had been new to me until I read this and the related thread recently. Oh, and Company B has a Blue Board rating of 3.5.

Given that I have had no dealings with agencies based in that country whatsoever until this month, and given that this second agency (which I had never contacted before, yet had managed to get my email address from somewhere - I don't post it on my profile page here) knew that I translate from Russian into English, and given that both agencies claim to be handling very big projects that are only just starting, I don't think this is a coincidence.

What can I conclude from this? I conclude that Company A posted an advert in order to arouse interest in a project which Company B is handling (and which they knew was likely to look unattractive to the likes of me!), misdescribing the nature of the work, and then passed my details to Company B, without my consent, for the purposes of a project that I would never have been interested in. Company A, it would seem, was used as a front because it has a much better reputation. A classic case of bait and switch, on the face of it.

It goes without saying that I won't bother to reply to Company B, and I have already deleted its email, but the advertising strategy alone concerns me, as does the fact that my email address was apparently passed on without my consent. That tells me all I need to know about the people running this gig.

[Edited at 2020-12-20 15:47 GMT]
Collapse


Zibow Retailleau
Barbara Carrara
Adieu
Endre Both
 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

S. Kathryn Jiménez Boyd  Identity Verified
Spagna
Local time: 04:56
Membro (2018)
Da Spagnolo a Inglese
+ ...
Bump Dec 21, 2020

I've also been contacted by two different agencies on this same project, one with a perfect BB and one with a 3.8. Rates $0.040-0.045 x two translations per string (SPA-ENG).

Out of pure curiosity, I registered on the platform where the translation is to be done and let the agency (from UAE) know my username, as requested. The project appears on the platform for me but says that all the translation has been completed. A bit strange considering that they said that it was ongoing unt
... See more
I've also been contacted by two different agencies on this same project, one with a perfect BB and one with a 3.8. Rates $0.040-0.045 x two translations per string (SPA-ENG).

Out of pure curiosity, I registered on the platform where the translation is to be done and let the agency (from UAE) know my username, as requested. The project appears on the platform for me but says that all the translation has been completed. A bit strange considering that they said that it was ongoing until mid-January. Are they in between batches? Or...?

Now the same agency is saying there's also an MTPE project, which I declined as it pays a pittance. So there's both a huge 4 million word human translation project and now an MTPE project?

Supposedly they settle the payments between the 25th and 30th of the month after the PO for each batch.

Has anyone else gotten paid? (Maybe it's too early to tell?) This volume is believable if it's a huge company, as I participated in something similar a couple of years ago for a major tech name and it was legit, but one agency handled everything.

I'd like to keep this thread alive and see what others' experiences are. The whole thing is a bit odd.
Collapse


Zibow Retailleau
 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Membro
Da Rumeno a Inglese
+ ...
Psychology, and more strange aspects Dec 22, 2020

S. Kathryn Jiménez Boyd wrote:

Out of pure curiosity, I registered on the platform where the translation is to be done and let the agency (from UAE) know my username, as requested. The project appears on the platform for me but says that all the translation has been completed. A bit strange considering that they said that it was ongoing until mid-January. Are they in between batches? Or...?


Or maybe the translation project paying $0.040-0.045 per string never existed in the first place, and was advertised at that rate in order to get you interested and signed up. Then, once you had gone to the trouble of setting yourself up on the platform, they suddenly offered you MTPE on terms which might have seemed unacceptable to you initially. The psychology of this strategy, if it's deliberate, would work like this: the idea is that you're now supposed to be thinking to yourself "oh well, the pay isn't as good as I thought but it's better than nothing and I've gone through the process of signing up for this now, so I might as well do it". That's a common tactic agencies use to get people to agree to work on terms that they would have rejected at first. Bait and switch, as I said before. Get people to jump through some hoops first before breaking the bad news about the pay and the nature of the work. The only reason why I contacted the agency I mentioned was that I thought the project involved translation, not MTPE.

An inordinate amount of questionable behaviour seems to be surrounding and pervading this whole affair. At best, the end client is making a lot of bad choices when selecting agencies, as many of them appear to be behaving in underhand ways and/or have poor BB ratings. Even if rock-bottom rates are being paid to the translators, with the number of words involved, the client must be spending quite a lot of money on this (bearing in mind that the agencies will be getting a cut), and yet the client doesn't seem to be taking much care to ensure that it gets value for its money. As Adam commented, the project management seems to be bad, and I would say chaotic. You'd think clients would be more careful with a large budget. If this work is worth a large amount of money to someone, then surely it's worth doing well.

And yet despite the chaotic overall management, the end client has gone to the trouble of devising a highly complex and very unusual payment mechanism which multiple agencies are implementing for it, even apparently inventing the concept of "hits" especially for the project. In my experience, it is not common for an end client to create any kind of payment scheme for a translation project, much less an elaborate scheme like this. They usually know little or nothing about translation project management; that's exactly why they hire agencies! Yet by bizarre contrast, the client is leaving the recruitment of translators - an aspect that should be more important than the minutiae of the payment scheme, if the output is going to be of any use - entirely to the discretion of the agencies, which it is apparently not selecting with any great care, as I said above.

One other thing strikes me. The payment mechanism is not only elaborate, but also somewhat opaque. On the one hand, Sergio says there is a way of keeping track of your output in the platform, and according to María, this key piece of information can be found in training materials if you read them thoroughly. On the other hand, Lucie was explicitly told that there is simply no way to find out how many strings you've edited ("since this is a hit based project" - what a lucid explanation!) That piece of information is just as important as the rate per word/string! So conflicting messages are being given about the all-important question of how many words/strings a translator gets through. It is not being explained in such a way that everyone involved knows how to keep track of their earnings. Then there are the penalties and the discounts of up to 100% (!) that have been mentioned. These things add another layer of obfuscation and complexity to the payment mechanism.

Does anyone know what this machine that's being trained is going to be used for? I would want to be certain about that, because for all we know at the moment, it could be something unethical. Marc says he has been given conflicting messages about who the end client is; whoever they are, they clearly don't want their identity to be known. Uncoordinated project management, chaotic recruitment of translators, very low pay, penalties and huge discounts, careless selection of agencies, and a payment system that is not being understood by everyone involved are not the usual hallmarks of an above-board, ethical operation. I'm prepared to believe that the project exists and that some people, somewhere, might actually get paid something for it (though not necessarily what they expected), but what is the purpose of the project, and why all the confusion and apparent subterfuge? I find the whole affair intriguing and sinister in equal measure!

[Edited at 2020-12-22 11:14 GMT]


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
Zibow Retailleau
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Yvonne Gallagher
Eric Azevedo
Adieu
 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germania
Local time: 04:56
Da Inglese a Ceco
+ ...
Nothing new really... Dec 22, 2020

Peter Shortall wrote:

At best, the end client is making a lot of bad choices when selecting agencies, as many of them appear to be behaving in underhand ways and/or have poor BB ratings. Even if rock-bottom rates are being paid to the translators, with the number of words involved, the client must be spending quite a lot of money on this (bearing in mind that the agencies will be getting a cut), and yet the client doesn't seem to be taking much care to ensure that it gets value for its money.

They usually know little or nothing about translation project management; that's exactly why they hire agencies!


Not true, have you ever worked for Google or Microsoft, or some big video game company? They have their own online CATs! And yes, they're subletting the work to myriad of small translation agencies and giving them all responsibility that goes with it. The consequence is quite often an abysmal quality, for which the end client pays a huge amount of money (having to feed long chains of subcontractors). The agencies working on the same project also vary a lot in their approach - not only in their attention to quality and general standards in communication with translators but payment practices as well. This would explain all the conflicting experiences described in this thread - people are simply working with different subcontractors, some of them OK, some (much) less so.

Peter Shortall wrote:
Marc says he has been given conflicting messages about who the end client is; whoever they are, they clearly don't want their identity to be known.


That's again very typical paranoia of the IT giants. Tons of NDA's which prohibit not only to discuss who the end client is (which would explain why the agencies give conflicting answers, or maybe they simply don't know, since they're further down the subcontracting chain) but also the details (incl. payments) among the individuals involved... I've heard of windows being covered with an opaque tape at some video games testing places where work was being done inhouse.... other time I was offered a testing position in Ireland but the recruiting person didn't want to give me any details (incl. the starting date or place of work, so that I can check the costs of living) because of the NDA before I give a binding Yes answer (to what?!!). So it's quite common for these big companies to hide to the extent the whole thing looks like a scam.

To sum it up, for me this case is relatively clear: a big IT company giving out a MT engines training job to an agency which in turn sublets to a myriad of smaller agencies, which in turn do the same, and again, and again, resulting in long subcontracting chains where the chaos and mismanagement increase (and the rates decrease) the farther the subcontractor is from the end client. Of course the end client loses a lot of money this way (and very often gets a total cr*p), but for some reason it's been an established model in some industries. Of course the risk of all kind of annoyance (incl. non-payment) for translators may be high.


[Edited at 2020-12-22 15:52 GMT]


Adieu
 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Regno Unito
Membro
Da Rumeno a Inglese
+ ...
Still makes no sense to me Dec 22, 2020

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

Not true, have you ever worked for Google or Microsoft, or some big video game company?


If I had, how would I know, with all the NDAs involved? Even if I did know, I doubt I would be allowed to say.

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

And yes, they're subletting the work to myriad of small translation agencies and giving them all responsibility that goes with it. The consequence is quite often an abysmal quality, for which the end client pays a huge amount of money (having to feed long chains of subcontractors). The agencies working on the same project also vary a lot in their approach - not only in their attention to quality and general standards in communication with translators but payment practices as well.


No, it seems that this client is not giving the agencies all the responsibility. Multiple agencies are using the same "hit-based" payment model. Where did that come from, if not from the end client? So I don't think we are seeing a variety of payment practices, according to what people are saying here, and two different agencies asked Giuseppe to log into the same work platform. Lucie was told by an agency that the end client uses the platform to track the amount of work done. That suggests that this particular client is taking a hands-on approach to some aspects of the project management (payment and the platform), though not to the very important aspect of recruitment, which is integral to quality, and this inconsistency is what I find strange. They certainly care enough about money to come up with this penny-pinching "hit-based" payment system complete with penalties and discounts, so does this really seem like the kind of client you mention, who would be willing to pay a huge amount of money to long chains of subcontractors? Not to me. Money could easily be saved by cutting out some or all of the middlemen. That would also make the task of maintaining confidentiality a lot easier for the kind of client you describe who is paranoid about information leaks.

[Edited at 2020-12-22 18:56 GMT]


Barbara Niessen
 

Maya Shvartsman  Identity Verified
Spagna
Local time: 04:56
Membro (2020)
Da Ebraico a Russo
+ ...
My experience with the MTPE project so far Dec 22, 2020

Hi all,

Earlier this month, I was invited by a translation company to take part in a big MTPE EN>RU project, for 0.015 USD/word. A team effort, where each linguist translated what he/she can. As a total novice in the translation field (trying to switch fields in times of pandemic and crisis), I was delighted to receive the offer.

So I honestly edited whatever phrases were given, even if they were not in my field (like phrases in finance and economics). Some of those ph
... See more
Hi all,

Earlier this month, I was invited by a translation company to take part in a big MTPE EN>RU project, for 0.015 USD/word. A team effort, where each linguist translated what he/she can. As a total novice in the translation field (trying to switch fields in times of pandemic and crisis), I was delighted to receive the offer.

So I honestly edited whatever phrases were given, even if they were not in my field (like phrases in finance and economics). Some of those phrases were quite terribly machine-translated and needed complete rewriting. I spent a lot of time reading and looking for information, invested hours of my time and it was a great pleasure. Until something strange happened.

I've completed what I could complete (a bit more than 3000 words). Received emails from the company, saying it was lovely to work with me, they will send me info for invoicing soon, and they would like me to work on another batch for the project. When I was notified that another batch arrived, I've logged in to the platform to find an empty working desk! The new task was not available. The older batch I completed was not available either, so I no longer could check my QA scores on it.

I wrote to the company, informing them of the problem, requesting assistance, attaching screenshots of the empty desk. I wrote to them daily, sent "report a bug" through the platform, genuinely believing it was all just technical issues.

And no reply. Not a single one. Not to the "please help me with the problem so I could keep working", not to the "please explain to me what's going on". No reply in 5 days and counting.

And what disturbs me most is that lack of communication. Do they regret taking me for the project for some reason? Fine, tell me so. Were they unhappy with the quality of my work? Again, tell me. Don't invite me to work on a task and then just disappear forever on the very same day!

I really do not know how to proceed now. Not even sure, if I'll even get paid for what I already did.
Collapse


 

Zibow Retailleau  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 06:56
Da Inglese a Cinese
+ ...
One more language pair Dec 25, 2020

I received this Isaac MTPE and HT offer yesterday, one million words, EN-ZH. The agency is in Dubai.

 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germania
Local time: 04:56
Da Inglese a Ceco
+ ...
<><><><><> Dec 25, 2020

Peter Shortall wrote:


If I had, how would I know, with all the NDAs involved? Even if I did know, I doubt I would be allowed to say.


Sometimes you are told, or you know from the content. And since it's been a long long time, I'm allowing myself to talk about it, without being too specific, of course.


Peter Shortall wrote:
No, it seems that this client is not giving the agencies all the responsibility. Multiple agencies are using the same "hit-based" payment model. Where did that come from, if not from the end client?


This is obviously dictated by the online editor being used - which is common to all subcontractors. So it's pretty similar like the modus operandi of the big tech companies I mentioned (the translators/editors all log into the same online tool - just as you described below!). Note only the way of calculating the job done is common, the rates, as far as we know, vary.

Peter Shortall wrote:
They certainly care enough about money to come up with this penny-pinching "hit-based" payment system complete with penalties and discounts, so does this really seem like the kind of client you mention, who would be willing to pay a huge amount of money to long chains of subcontractors? Not to me. Money could easily be saved by cutting out some or all of the middlemen. That would also make the task of maintaining confidentiality a lot easier for the kind of client you describe who is paranoid about information leaks.

[Edited at 2020-12-22 18:56 GMT]


I agree, that's what any rational person would think. For some reason the big corporations don't think so.
I was asking the same questions as you when I experienced this system for the first time (while working for MS), with all the problems that it brings. But for some reason that's how it works... that's why the chaos and the opaqueness of this big project strongly resembles to me these big IT companies and I would bet my hat that one of them is behind it. Some AI training, probably MT. Nothing good for translators, for sure.

@Maya Shvartsman: That's a terrible story (including btw. the rates!! How much closer to 0 can they get?!!). Did you check whether the company exists at all? If they do, you can take up the same steps like in any non-payment scenario. First of course, to issue an invoice with a due date and see what happens...


 

María C Turri  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:56
Membro (2019)
Da Inglese a Spagnolo
Things don't look good Dec 31, 2020

S. Kathryn Jiménez Boyd wrote:

Supposedly they settle the payments between the 25th and 30th of the month after the PO for each batch.

Has anyone else gotten paid? (Maybe it's too early to tell?) This volume is believable if it's a huge company, as I participated in something similar a couple of years ago for a major tech name and it was legit, but one agency handled everything.

I'd like to keep this thread alive and see what others' experiences are. The whole thing is a bit odd.


I agree with you, I also want to know how this ends. As for me, things are not looking good so far. I collaborated with this agency on the MTPE project, I didn't postedit a huge amount because I wasn't sure about the agency's credibility. Before accepting the translation I stated that I could only accept payments through PayPal. Got the PO for the correct amount of words and sent my invoice a couple of days ago. Today I received an e-mail from their accounting team asking for my banking details. As I am Argentinian, having to receive this small payment through my bank account makes me lose 70% of the payment in bank fees. I'm disappointed, but it's my fault for ignoring all this project's red lights. I'll keep you all informed about the resolution as there may be people in other countries facing the same difficulty.

I wish you all a Happy and Scam-free New Year! Please don't be as naïve as I was.


 

Marc Svetov  Identity Verified
Stati Uniti
Local time: 21:56
Membro (2007)
Da Tedesco a Inglese
AVVIO ARGOMENTO
Anybody been paid? Jan 6

I was wondering if, after all our speculation online, anybody has actually been paid and how the contact is with the Big Tech company involved in this HUGE project?

Chris T
Alison Jenner
Teresa Borges
Zibow Retailleau
 

Veronica Montserrat
Francia
Local time: 04:56
Membro (2020)
Da Inglese a Francese
+ ...
I don't have the answer to your last question Jan 10

but I noticed an email in my spam from an Italien agency I never worked with about this ISAAC project.
According to this email, the project will continue up to the 26th of February. They are looking for translators in several language pairs and asking "the most competitive rate", which I always understand as "work for free".

I also got an offer in late December from a well-established agency. They were looking for a kind of final QC/manager for millions of words to be translat
... See more
but I noticed an email in my spam from an Italien agency I never worked with about this ISAAC project.
According to this email, the project will continue up to the 26th of February. They are looking for translators in several language pairs and asking "the most competitive rate", which I always understand as "work for free".

I also got an offer in late December from a well-established agency. They were looking for a kind of final QC/manager for millions of words to be translated for a big IT company. Would this be related to the Isaac project as well? I'm starting to think it could be the case.

So, has anyone found out if it was a scam or not?
Collapse


 

María C Turri  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:56
Membro (2019)
Da Inglese a Spagnolo
Follow up on this... it's getting worse Jan 11

Well, today I got an email from one of the PMs saying that my translation had been reviewed and that the client had applied a discount (which is about 60% of the PO's value), they sent me a new PO and indicated I should update my invoice. Apparently, the quality report should be somewhere within the platform's Work report, but nothing there seems to indicate I failed a review.

I hope other colleagues are having a better experience with this project through other agencies.


Zibow Retailleau
Adieu
Endre Both
 
Pagine:   < [1 2 3 4 5 6] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderatore(i) di questo Forum
Alejandro Cavalitto[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Three translation agencies contacted us for MTPE and HT projects, all the same requirements.







Trados Studio 2021 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 270,000 translators.

Trados Studio 2021 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2021 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »