Tuesday, December 08, 2009

How to become rich working in translation...

...probably not by accepting such offers as

Dear translator,

A new translation job is available for you:

ProjectID: 253753
Word Count: 7
Your Earning: 0.56 $

Time allowance / deadline: 01:00 (hh:mm) - Time starts the moment you accept this job.

Source Language: Portuguese
Target Language: English

Commit responsibly! You must be able to deliver an on-time, high quality translation. Be sure you are qualified, interested and available to do the job.

To get this job assigned to you, please log in to XXX Professional Translation Services and go to the "My Translation".

If you accept this job, you are obligated to meet the deadline. Your time limit begins the moment you accept the job.

To take on this job assignment, log in to your translator account at XXX Human Translation.

If you have any questions, please send us an email.

With best regards.
The XXX Team


  1. That is just awful; I am shaking my head. Nothing like treating highly specialized professional translators like school children, or worse, slaves delivering piece work. It appears that the bottom is the limit in terms of low prices, which is very disturbing.

  2. The per word rate is low, of course, but worse is seen daily on ProZ and similar reverse auction sites. But 56 cents for the entire assignment? The sucker who accepts the assignment will certainly spend much more time logging on the site, accepting the assignment, delivering it and accounting for it, than the actual time spent translating the seven words.
    In fact, it would make more economic sense for a translator to just receive the seven words as text in an e-mail, do the work for free, and just send an e-mail back with the seven words translated, then doing it for pay under this scheme.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Very true Riccardo: ci metti meno a farla gratis. Tanti auguri di buone feste e felice anno nuovo da un ex-collega modenese! :)

  5. In Argentina we too have these incredible offerings of translation jobs for such low rates. It is unbelievable.

    Because of this, we believe it is important to publish which are the standard rates a translator should request. Specially for those translators who are just starting in this profession.

  6. I thought it was a hilarious offer. In theory, however, you CAN get rich by doing this kind of thing- you just need a different type of business model and infrastracture.

  7. If you really did find a working formula that made you, say $1,000 a week online on average and it kept producing income no matter what, would you want to sell that idea to a bunch of noobs for $47 a pop and expect to retire on the proceeds? No way, man! It does not compute. It does not add up. And it does not make any sense to do that. I certainly don’t go shouting from the rooftops how I make my money online. Hell, I don’t want the competition taking a slice of my pie and neither would anyone who really does make good cash online.


  8. I don't want to defend the project poster but I think she/he just copied her/his standard job description without thinking it over.
    I would treat this customer as a prospect who could offer some more lucrative assignments in the future....
    I wouldn't underestimate prospects without having done first 2 or 3 projects for them.


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