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Using the Job Board for the Same Job Over and Over Again
Thread poster: Baran Keki

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:58
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Jun 15

I see a Chinese Outsourcer living in the USA with a stellar BB record (lots of flattering entries by translators from top OECD countries) posting the same job (XXXX words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS) every 2 or 3 months for the last 2 years (or maybe even longer, as I've been following this website regularly since 2017).
He apparently has a regular customer sending him Mining Equipment manuals (I'm just speculating here, I've never had the pleasure of working with him) to be translated fr
... See more
I see a Chinese Outsourcer living in the USA with a stellar BB record (lots of flattering entries by translators from top OECD countries) posting the same job (XXXX words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS) every 2 or 3 months for the last 2 years (or maybe even longer, as I've been following this website regularly since 2017).
He apparently has a regular customer sending him Mining Equipment manuals (I'm just speculating here, I've never had the pleasure of working with him) to be translated from English to Turkish and he's using a TM (hence Trados). That's all good, he has as much right to use this website as anybody else, and what he wants to do is his business.
He always uses the bidding system for the same job (as opposed to being contacted by email), and that's what I don't understand: why would an outsourcer with a regular client sending him steady amount of work every 2 to 3 months risk the quality of his end product (Turkish translation) by choosing different translators every time? He obviously goes for the cheapest translator available, and since he continues to get the same work (from the same end client), his client must be satisfied with the quality of translation so far. But this could change anytime. He may get the terminology right by using a TM, but wouldn't he be in trouble if a new translator's style is totally different than the previous one's? Wouldn't that cause issues?
I really want to understand the rationale here. I can understand getting more profit by finding the cheapest possible translator every time. But if it were me, I'd find a translator working for, say, 0.03 USD per word and use him/her consistently for the same job (because that would at least assure consistency of style and some degree of 'quality'), and wouldn't fish for a translator working for 0.01 USD per word and risk destroying a lucrative business.
I wonder if there are similar people posting jobs in different language pairs in the same manner I described?
Btw I was going to post this topic under "Translation Agencies", but I kept getting errors while trying to do so. This may be the wrong forum for this topic, but as I said I want to understand the "business mentality" of this person so it may not be the wrong forum after all.
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Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 04:58
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It happens Jun 15

Baran Keki wrote:

I see a Chinese Outsourcer living in the USA with a stellar BB record (lots of flattering entries by translators from top OECD countries) posting the same job (XXXX words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS) every 2 or 3 months for the last 2 years (or maybe even longer, as I've been following this website regularly since 2017).
He apparently has a regular customer sending him Mining Equipment manuals (I'm just speculating here, I've never had the pleasure of working with him) to be translated from English to Turkish and he's using a TM (hence Trados). That's all good, he has as much right to use this website as anybody else, and what he wants to do is his business.
He always uses the bidding system for the same job (as opposed to being contacted by email), and that's what I don't understand: why would an outsourcer with a regular client sending him steady amount of work every 2 to 3 months risk the quality of his end product (Turkish translation) by choosing different translators every time? He obviously goes for the cheapest translator available, and since he continues to get the same work (from the same end client), his client must be satisfied with the quality of translation so far. But this could change anytime. He may get the terminology right by using a TM, but wouldn't he be in trouble if a new translator's style is totally different than the previous one's? Wouldn't that cause issues?
I really want to understand the rationale here. I can understand getting more profit by finding the cheapest possible translator every time. But if it were me, I'd find a translator working for, say, 0.03 USD per word and use him/her consistently for the same job (because that would at least assure consistency of style and some degree of 'quality'), and wouldn't fish for a translator working for 0.01 USD per word and risk destroying a lucrative business.
I wonder if there are similar people posting jobs in different language pairs in the same manner I described?
Btw I was going to post this topic under "Translation Agencies", but I kept getting errors while trying to do so. This may be the wrong forum for this topic, but as I said I want to understand the "business mentality" of this person so it may not be the wrong forum after all.


Hi Baran,

Yes, it happened also in Hungarian (not the same outsourcer).
Some of these outsourcers want nothing else just data of translators (CV and other data) without sending any jobs.


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 04:58
Member (2016)
English to German
Speculation Jun 15

How should we be able to guess what this outsourcer wants to achieve? Wouldn't it be a good idea for you to send an email to this client and tell him you noticed that they regularly seek English-Turkish translators for certain fields and you could cover this (if applicable)? That way, you might find out what is going on. Maybe it's just their way to fill their database with translators, but we can only speculate.

Teresa Borges
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:58
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I was tempted to place a bid Jun 15

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

How should we be able to guess what this outsourcer wants to achieve? Wouldn't it be a good idea for you to send an email to this client and tell him you noticed that they regularly seek English-Turkish translators for certain fields and you could cover this (if applicable)? That way, you might find out what is going on. Maybe it's just their way to fill their database with translators, but we can only speculate.


This person does not seek EN>TR translators 'for certain fields'. He advertises the selfsame job every time. The contents must be more or less the same (Mining Equipment Manual) with additions or revisions. It is not like he is looking for Turkish translators for engineering projects. He must be working with a certain brand that sends him work on a regular basis.
I very much doubt I'd get a reply from him if I were to ask him to fill me in on his business strategy. I was actually tempted to place a bid at around 0.005 USD per word and undercut my fellow Turkish translators in a major way, but I thought better of it he'd probably have realized I was pulling his leg anyway...

[Edited at 2019-06-15 11:54 GMT]


 

Ebrahim mohammed  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:58
Member (2018)
English to Arabic
+ ...
strategy of the outsourcer Jun 15

It maybe just a strategy of the outsourcer to have some kind of a survey, how the rates currently for such a project are... And what kind of translators are available for it... . and he can have each time much more translators data that he could make use of in some way....
At the end he has the freedom to choose what he think the best for him and the client...

It is statistics... and It is just a legitimate part of the bussiness...

[Edited at 2019-06-15 12:03 GMT]


Yolanda Broad
 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
easily explainable Jun 15

His client probably doesn't understand Turkish and this LSP
goes for the cheapest translator.


Yolanda Broad
Sheila Wilson
Katalin Horváth McClure
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:58
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I worked out as much Jun 15

David GAY wrote:

His client probably doesn't understand Turkish and this LSP
goes for the cheapest translator.


Of course his client doesn't know Turkish, and the LSP is going for the cheapest translator. But what if the client gets the Turkish translated manual printed for that mining equipment (which I believe they do since the outsourcer consistently posts the same job) and it is full of style and terminology related mistakes? Wouldn't the client and, subsequently, the LSP suffer from this as a result?


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
answer Jun 15

The end client also wants the cheapest and
guess what, is probably Chinese. So everything's fine

[Modifié le 2019-06-15 12:56 GMT]


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 04:58
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It would explain the first or the 2nd post Jun 15

David GAY wrote:

His client probably doesn't understand Turkish and this LSP
goes for the cheapest translator.


Hi David,

I don't get it. OK the client may not understand Turkish and this LSP goes for the cheapest translator.
But these facts don't explain why the LSP has to post same job every 2 or 3 months for the last 2 years.
This LSP should have gathered a lot of offers for the 1st and 2nd time.


 

Mihai Badea (X)
Luxembourg
Local time: 04:58
Member (Feb 2019)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Call it modern business Jun 15

Once upon a time, businesses were self-confident and they would offer pro-rata reimbursement at any time. Today, you are forced into automatic renewal "for your own convenience".

From latest issue of HBR:

"Often employers advertise jobs that don’t exist, hoping to find people who might be useful later on or in a different context."

...
See more
Once upon a time, businesses were self-confident and they would offer pro-rata reimbursement at any time. Today, you are forced into automatic renewal "for your own convenience".

From latest issue of HBR:

"Often employers advertise jobs that don’t exist, hoping to find people who might be useful later on or in a different context."

https://hbr.org/2019/05/recruiting#your-approach-to-hiring-is-all-wrong
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Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 04:58
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
This is what I thought from the beginning Jun 15

Mihai Badea wrote:

From latest issue of HBR:

"Often employers advertise jobs that don’t exist, hoping to find people who might be useful later on or in a different context."

https://hbr.org/2019/05/recruiting#your-approach-to-hiring-is-all-wrong


I also think these job posts have no real jobs behind them.
I think they are gathering data from the quotes of translators.
I used to receive such emails: they were only collecting CVs and other pieces of information.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
answer Jun 15

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

David GAY wrote:

His client probably doesn't understand Turkish and this LSP
goes for the cheapest translator.


Hi David,

I don't get it. OK the client may not understand Turkish and this LSP goes for the cheapest translator.
But these facts don't explain why the LSP has to post same job every 2 or 3 months for the last 2 years.
This LSP should have gathered a lot of offers for the 1st and 2nd time.


Hi Katalin
because the translators who didn't get the jobs during the previous rounds will be tempted to lower their bid each time to get the job as they might think that their previous quote was too
high


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:58
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Perhaps I failed to formulate my question clearly Jun 15

@Katalin:
I think this LSP is genuinely looking for (cheap) translators every time he posts the same job (by the same job I mean the same Mining Equipment Manual with additions and revisions; for instance, I clearly remember it was "50,000 words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS" 6 months ago, and then it was "15.000 words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS" about 3 months ago, and now it is "4467 words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS"). And since this is a bidding job, it's up to the bidders to upload th
... See more
@Katalin:
I think this LSP is genuinely looking for (cheap) translators every time he posts the same job (by the same job I mean the same Mining Equipment Manual with additions and revisions; for instance, I clearly remember it was "50,000 words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS" 6 months ago, and then it was "15.000 words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS" about 3 months ago, and now it is "4467 words - Mining Equipment - TRADOS"). And since this is a bidding job, it's up to the bidders to upload their resumes or share any information. But your take is, nevertheless, interesting.

@David:
The LSP is not operating out of some sweatshop in China. He's located in USA. He must be paying taxes and declaring income, he might even have an office of his own (thus he might have to pay utility bills and such). I am willing to bet that Turkish is not the only language into which his client wants his equipment manuals translated (and yes, the client shouldn't have a clue as to the quality of Turkish translations since he doesn't speak the language). But the fact that Turkish translations (a relatively less important language compared to German or French) need regular updating tells me that this is not an ordinary client (and I'll bet even an ordinary Mining Equipment Manufacturer would pay good money as a direct client to any LSP). So bear those two facts in mind.

So my speculation and, subsequent, question is this: This LSP has a good thing going. By using a TM he can, to some extent, ensure a consistent terminology with each translator. But each translator has their own style and they may not be as good as the previous one (and he has no way of knowing this). So why doesn't he find one affordable and reliable translator and work with him/her to maintain consistency? He's liable to run into quality issues sooner or later and risk losing his business altogether in search of that 0.01 USD per word translator. I really can't wrap my head around this way of doing business (which appears like taking an unnecessary gamble every time).
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David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
answer Jun 15

Baran Keki wrote:


@David:
The LSP is not operating out of some sweatshop in China. He's located in USA. He must be paying taxes and declaring income, he might even have an office of his own (thus he might have to pay utility bills and such). I am willing to bet that Turkish is not the only language into which his client wants his equipment manuals translated (and yes, the client shouldn't have a clue as to the quality of Turkish translations since he doesn't speak the language). But the fact that Turkish translations (a relatively less important language compared to German or French) need regular updating tells me that this is not an ordinary client (and I'll bet even an ordinary Mining Equipment Manufacturer would pay good money as a direct client to any LSP). So bear those two facts in mind.



Things have changed a lot: in the US and in Europe, standards are much lower and are now closer to 3d world countries; in continental China, on the contrary, things have improved a
lot. But Chinese have to keep up to their reputation for user's manuel translation. It's kind of a local folklore


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
High turnover of translators Jun 16

Another possible explanation of why certain outsourcers post frequently on the job board for similar or even identical jobs is that they have a very high turnover of translators, so they need to replenish their "stock", People who took a job for peanuts once, may not want to repeat the experience.
To me, frequent posts by the same outsourcer, especially those that ask for "your best rate" are a red flag about the outsourcer and I avoid them. Others may try working for them once or twice, b
... See more
Another possible explanation of why certain outsourcers post frequently on the job board for similar or even identical jobs is that they have a very high turnover of translators, so they need to replenish their "stock", People who took a job for peanuts once, may not want to repeat the experience.
To me, frequent posts by the same outsourcer, especially those that ask for "your best rate" are a red flag about the outsourcer and I avoid them. Others may try working for them once or twice, but then move on to greener pastures.

[Edited at 2019-06-16 04:26 GMT]
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Yvonne Gallagher
 
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