Free, unbiased, public information on translation agencies is hard to come by nowadays. Here are links to reports written by independent and professional translators who have dealt with these translation companies, gathered all over the Internet. This will hopefully contribute to simplifying this search and make you save a bit of time. The aim behind this is also to publicly name and shame those unwanted and unethical business practises which are threatening our profession.
This free blacklist is public and visible to everyone but addressed specifically to both translators and translation buyers, and it focuses on more than 180 translation agencies or brokers with poor practices. It is subject to changes and you can subscribe to this blog by e-mail/google+ to view the regular updates.
To access a list of scammers (CV thelf and so on) please visit this excellent site, also written by a translator:
The opinions expressed here are my own and those of fellow translators. If you wish to add yours, please provide documentation (emails) to back up your allegations. I will not be held responsible for other persons opinions. If your organisation is listed here please contact me with evidence that the situation has been solved and I will take off your name. Please note that in order to access some of the links you might need to sign in to LinkedIn.
The author and publisher of the above mentioned site make no warranties of any kind with regard to the accuracy of the site content and accept no liability of any kind including but not limited to performance, fitness for any particular purpose, or any losses or damages of any kind caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the use of or inability to use this list. No liability will be accepted by the author and publisher of the site for the way in which subscribers or other entities interpret and/or use the site's content. This work is the property of translationethics.blogspot.se and cannot be reproduced or modified without permission from the authors.
Who qualifies as a translation agency?
> Anyone employing translators for profit.
Who qualifies for this list?
> Any agency paying unfair retribution, failing to pay, mistreating translators, using bad practices and spreading misconceptions threatening the profession.
What is an unfair retribution/low rate ?
> Freelancers should be able to decide of their own rates since they are not employees. A very low rate is anything under 5 or 6 cents for a regular text and for something a bit specialised, this is clearly unacceptable. A minimum rate for someone living in Europe should be 0.10 euro or 0.12 dollars per word. In reality it is difficult to obtain that rate from most agencies (looks like it is more likely to be comprised between 6 and 9 eurocents per word), so only agencies offering under 6 cents are listed here.
The idea of a price per word is absurd in itself but exists because it simplifies the transactions and contributes to spread the misconception that translations are commodities. All the companies blacklisted here offer way less than 10 cents per word, and make great margins adding no value whatsoever to the translations they sell. They prosper and get away with anything including, for some of them, horrendous communication skills to say the least;)
These practises are truly disgraceful, but they will not disappear as long as translators continue to accept them and put themselves in a victim position. Good translators should be more conscious of their value and bad ones should not be allowed in this business in the first place. Buyers should also be aware that paying an agency about 10 cent per word means the translators are not getting paid enough and will rush through the translation. The result will often be useless and embarrassing for the buyer's company.
God knows how language brokers with horrific reputation such as TransPerfect, The Big Word, Red Bee, Travod and such STILL manage to prosper in this industry. I guess the explanation has been lost in translation. I suggest this article about the importance for newcomers of staying away from "the big guys".
188 translation companies
I wouldn't work for
(Last update : 04/12/2013)
Any feedback or "recommendations"?
2B Translated, Belgium - Non-payers
"I've seen your website and I think it can be very useful! Thanks for making it!
I would like to ask you to add translation agency "2B Translated" (Belgium). Be aware they (afterwards) say they have big cash flow problems but they still employ freelance translators!!! Be aware!!! They owe me about 4000 euro!
Please don't work for them because you'll never see your money.
Thanks for taking this message in account."
(Celine M, email 04/12/13)
ABC translations Russia - Unprofessional, poor practices
(Why is this company LICS EN 15038 Certified?)
"Last week (in a weak moment) I accepted a project from this agency without checking them first. Big mistake. It was quite a large project to do in a couple of days, so I only accepted to do half of it as I thought the delivery time was too tight. On Monday morning the PM calls me and says that the other translator didn't do the job and does not reply to calls or e-mails. Unfortunately, I had not yet done my homework and foolishly accepted to do a few more files, but not all of them. The PM wanted me to do 3500-4000 words in 3 hours. I'm not capable to do that in just 3 hours. So I picked a few files, which I knew I could handle within the given time frame. The PM called me many times and tried to push me to work faster. He even asked me to have the remainder of the project ready in half an hour!!"
NOT TO BE CONFUSED with ABC translations based in the UK!!!
Abiturient.cz (Payment issues)
Ad Litteram - Belgium (Non-payers)
Email from a translator (Oct 2013): "Agree with high rates for tight deadlines but at the end of story the don't pay. I had to go to my lawyer and just before it went for the judge, they have paid. I have heard from other translators they had the same problem. I have done three big projects for them (in total around 2000 euro). It was about construction, everything what I proposed was OK (0,09€/source word for very technical construction part). But after several mails and promises for paying, they didn't answer any more so my lawyer has taken them to court and just before the trial they paid."
Agencia GMCA, Barcelona, Spain
"I want to add a translation agency in Barcelona : AGENCIA GMCA, the man is called Mauricio Fuertes (firstname.lastname@example.org). He asked me a short translation but he didn't pay me and never answered my e-mails. Others translators had the same bad experience."
Agit, (Lublin, Poland) - Low rates, payment issues
Email 5/11/13 : "I'd like to add two Polish companies one should keep away from: Agit, from Lublin. Low rates and general payment issues. Same thing with Loquax. "
More information welcome!!
Alpha CRC Ltd Cambridge, UK (non-payers)
Alpha Translation Services.com based in Melbourne, Florida (unprofessional practices, no contact details)
15/11/2013: "I would also like to add The Transcription Agency based in Hythe, Kent U.K. as unprofessional opportunists who are hiding behind anonymity, prey on misunderstandings and become incommunicado when you pin them down. Another unprofessional agency is Alpha Translation Services.com based in Melbourne, Florida. I've noticed they changed their website since I had dealings with them and they do not provide contact details. Congratulations on your efforts."
ALS (UK) based in Birmingham, now Convocco
Unpaid translators angry as owner of firm which went bust sets up new linguistic firm birminghampost.net"Angry translators have hit out after being left out of pocket when a Birmingham business went bust - only to see the firm's director set up another translation firm. They are furious that ALS (UK) director Hayder Al-Ani bought..." See discussion
Appen Butler Hill (very low rates, hire amateurs instead of translators)
Appletrans/APPLENCOMPANY Co., Ltd/appletrans.co.kr
"Beware of this agency: They stopped answering emails when I asked why they are not paying." Click here to read the rest on this report.
Araxi traductions, France (Non-payers)
Translator's report: "Thank you. I would add Another black agency: Araxi Traductions. It is based in France, but their phone number is fake and they didn't pay me for a translation."
AXXIA (Fraudulent company, non-payers)
2500 City W Blvd #2400 Houston, Texas USATo read reports : Ripoff Report Other reports
Banu translators, India (Low rates)
BASARI Language Services, Istanbul, Turkey (Late payers)
"Today, December 24th, the invoice is still unpaid.
I was used to working with them approx. once a year. Never met such problems.
I'll never understand why some companies make it so hard for translators to be paid when so small amounts are involved. Don't they realize that this is even more deleterious for their reputation than paying late a big amount?
Who can trust a business who cannot even pay €60??"To be fair, let me add that today, Wednesday December 26th, I received the full payment of my invoice from Basari- via PayPal -, i.e. 68 days post-invoice date and 38 days overdue.
A coincidence, isn't it?!! :-) "
Read more on LinkedIn
Batitercume (lowest bottom feeder, 0.005 USD per word)
Translator's email: "Hi, here is another company sending translators extremely low-paying "offers" which should be added to your list of low-rate companies. They are most likely sending all translators on Proz.com with English listed as their native language this anonymous message. My profile doesn't say that I work with Turkish to English translations. -----Original Message----- From: Bahar Demirci [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: November-01-13 11:58 AM To: ProZ.com Member Subject: About Proofreading Services "Dear English Native Speaker Colleague, We are running a translation Office in Ankara / Turkey and we need a proofreader for already translated files from Turkish by a English Native Speaker. The files are mostly “Academic Articles, Essays, Thesis, Dissertations…” We are ready to pay 1 USD per each 200 words which is the standard rate in Turkey for proofreading. And the payment will be prompt, to your PayPal account given to me. If you are interested about the offer can you please write me an email explaining your education and past experiences regarding to this job. Thank you very much. Best Regards, Bahar firstname.lastname@example.org Batı Tercüme Dil Hizmetleri Dr. Mediha Eldem Sk. No: 55/2, Kızılay / Ankara Tel: (0312) 430 61 33 Faks: (0312) 430 61 33 GSM: +90 555 222 85 58 Çankaya VD, No: 7170211165 This message was sent to you via the ProZ.com directory. Sender: Bahar Demirci
BEOIMPIGRA or IMPIGRA, Serbia (non-payer)
"I would like to add BEOIMPIGRA or IMPIGRA owned by Svetlana Vraneš from Serbia - a major non-payer (owes many sworn translators thousands of Euros) - I have been contacted by some of the mentioned agencies, but, fortunately, saw their rating as non-payers and refused to work with them. I can heartily advise all colleagues to accept the practice of checking all new job offers against such lists & directories before accepting any jobs - not to be afraid that they'll loose it for a bit later reply. However, be careful with auto-refusal: not all the listed are scammers or non-payers - some of them just offer lower rates which they pay regularly (though a bit later, sometimes)."
Biag Group (Low rates)
"I've had an email approach (via Proz) from Biag Group (www.biaggroup.com) recently, offering US$0.04 per word. They didn't ask for a sample translation or anything, and at least were up-front with what they proposed to pay, but it's still a ridiculously low rate." Excerpt from a discussion on LinkedIn
TheBigWord, UK (Low rates and put pressure on translators to lower prices)
Profits in 2012 : 65 M USD
However they are actually broke, by the look of things and here is the type of emails they send out to translators :
"However, having said all of this, never before has our industry experienced such huge pressure from both the private and public sector to drive down prices. This, of course, is not necessarily for their own profit but simply a reaction to the state of world economies. At thebigword we have endeavoured to keep our rates to the highest possible level whilst enabling us to keep the work flowing to you but at the present time, those rates are not viable in the competitive marketplace. Therefore, with effect from Thursday 18th July, thebigword will change its payment per word rate to 0.038 GBP. These rate changes are not retrospective but will apply to any new work received from Thursday 18th July 2013."
Professional on LinkedIn: The Big Word - The Small Pay"Frankly, if this is the future of translation, then I'd rather change job than accept to work long hours for silly money, whilst being uncertain where the next translation job is coming from. I have been in this business since 1992, and now is the time to think long and hard about this profession as the agencies are all driving into the wall and taking us down with them."
Blue Elephant, India (non-payers)
"Hello, Please add this agency with those details :
"Don't work for this agency, they do not pay : BLUE ELEPHANT -INDIA- They have just posted a huge project of several hundred thousand words.....Here what this translator's report on that agency: http://www.translationdirectory.com/forum/messages/?4349"
Bostico, Andreea Boston (Low rates, unprofessional practices)
Capita Translation and Interpreting (UK), greedy irresponsible company, now collapsing due to a BOYCOTT from interpreters
It looks like this company is finally getting the backlash they deserve for its unprofessional practises and greediness. The boycott (due their decision to cut transport cost and low rates of 20 pounds an hour) of Interpreters has had a serious effect on their reputation and they are on the verge of collapsing.
Their history so far: "Capita is the company that acquired Applied Language Solutions in Dec 2011.They subsequently were granted the exclusive interpreting contract for British criminal courts, and then bungled the job to a fair-the-well through poor decisions (cut interpreter rates, refusing to pay travel) and management, resulting in the current mess in court interpreting in the UK. I refuse to work with them on those grounds alone.They also have a poor payment record (to be fair, some of which was inherited from ALS) but there have also been several negative reports on Payment Practices and other forums since the takeover. Subscribers can see details on:
Casa editrice Sangiovanni edizioni (italian publishing house, non-payers)
It took this translator 17 months (sending numerous exhauting reminders) to get paid only a third of her money. She is still waiting, 20 months later, for the rest. Despite the injunction, this publishing house is not in any rush to pay the 3 translators it hired: this is simply service theft at its worst.
Inviato: venerdì 29 novembre 2013 12:08 A: Elisabetta Nifosi Oggetto: Re: R: [Translation Ethics] New message received. Le 29/11/2013 11:05, Elisabetta Nifosi wrote :
"Here is my story... I was contacted by Sangiovanni's and offered to translate a book. I signed a contract on 20 January 2012. As the deadline was 25 March 2012, we decided to have other two colleagues to work with me. The three of us signed three separate regular contracts.
The translation was delivered in time and accepted by the client, who actually published the book in April 2012. The payment was due within 120 days from publication. We did not get our money so we started to call the client asking for it. They kept on saying they would pay us soon, but never did. We then decided to ask for the help of a lawyer, who actually was able to convince the client to pay us in 3 installments, otherwise we would have asked the court to issue an injunction. The three of use received the first installment. I received it on 22 July 2013. The second installment was due in August/September, but never arrived. After contacting the client several times, our lawyer decided to ask the court to issue an injunction. We are waiting for it...That's it!
I would have may other things to say about the fees and professionally offered by TransPerfect since some years, but I saw you have plenty of material on that company! Thank you for your commitment! Wishing you a great day,
Elisabetta Nifosi EN, FR > IT Translator and Language Consultant AITI Member (Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters) STRADE Member (union of Italian translators working for the publishing industry)
CD Translations UK (Payment delays)
Report on LinkedIn: "I did my first job for this agency in May. Communication seemed really efficient and professional. They had no track record on The BlueBoard, nor on Translator's Café so I went a head, confident that no news is good news.
The invoice was sent a few days later and reception of said invoice confirmed.
In July, the invoice was 2 weeks overdue, so I sent them a reminder. Again the response was reassuring.
Yesterday, much to my dismay I find that the invoice still hasn't been paid. I send a new reminder threatening legal action, and get a prompt answer accusing me of not having responded to an e-mail sent from the accountant in July (an e-mail that never reached me). I do want to believe them, but being 2 months behind on a payment of 1300 Euros is not reassuring."
Payment issued 2 months 10 days late. Read this discussion on Linkedin
Century (UK) - Low rates (3 euro cents)
The translation was highly technical and these people had a "budget" of 3 cents per word (which, should work out at about 3 euros an hour). When this translator refused the job, so they granted her a generous 4 cts instead, which she again refused. It is not an unusual story but at least now you know what to expect from Century translations. Her story in French :
"Ils m'ont proposé 0,03 euro par mot source, de l'anglais au français, pour de la traduction très technique. Ils ont finalement accepté 0,04 à condition que je garantisse une bonne qualité... J'ai refusé bien sûr."
Translations (to avoid)
Clarus Language Solutions - Valencia, CA, USA (Late payer)
From a Payment Practises site : " I did a couple of jobs for Clarus Language Solutions last year. Mike Devlin is very pleasant to work with, but I had to email him multiple times over several months in order to get paid.
Comtranslations (Payment avoidance techniques and insulting rates (2,5 dollars a min for subtitling)
Translator's report : "To request the payment of your current earnings, you need to have reached a minimum of $100 for translations and $50 for subtitling.) ....Ils paient USD 5,00 par chaque 2 minutes de sous-titres."
Common Space LLC (Offensive rates)
Context GmbH (Non payer)
"We have had massive problems with payments. Big translations, but no money and a lot of excuses... Google listing n 1 ads"
Convocco (Cf ALS, same company)
Conyac, Japan (Tokyo) - Exploit low paid non-pros, insanely low 5 dollars per 1000 words
This is a scam agency that hires non-professionals (no degrees needed, pay them by "points" (500 signs: 5 dollars) and promises to be the fastest agency in the world. There is no email or adress to contact them on the website).Here are some shameless explanations on their website:
"What is Conyac? > Conyac is a human-powered translation service that anyone can join.
It's true, anyone can work for them, and i signed in 2 seconds without showing proof of my degrees.
"Simple and Fast Translation: >Where normal translation agency and online translation takes more than 3 hours to get your results back, "Conyac" can provide you with your results 15 minutes, the fastest. "
" There are thousands of translators from all over the world ready to process your request."
Mail received one week only after I signed in (with the intent of publishing more on this blog):
"Hello, Thank you for signing up with Conyac. We've noticed that you haven't logged in for a while. Have a little spare time? Why not translate at Conyac and earn yourself some extra money. Link:
https://conyac.cc/translatorsWhy translate at Conyac? You can work as often as you want during your spare time. If you have a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone, you can work from virtually anywhere. Use your language skills to earn a little extra money during your free time."
So yes, this is what it sounds like for them: a little job on the side for anyone with a tablet and vague notions of 2 languages. You have a little spare time, why not earn some wee pocket money? Pretty insulting...
If you are looking for "pocket money" here is what you ll get with them:
"you got a new translation request on Conyac. From: English To: French Letters: 662 Reward: 66
https://conyac.cc/questions/158378/work?utm_medium=email&utm_source=conyac---------------------------------------------------- Many translators are waiting for your review. Review for them now English => French https://conyac.cc/translations/12215/reviews"
So 10 points for each 100 letters, that means you'll need to translate 5000 letters to get the 500 points which are worth 5 dollars. So 5000 signs = roughly 1000 words, that's about 5 dollars per 1000 words instead of 120 dollars (normal pro price). It would be much more profitable doing nothing.
Cosmic Global (Low rates and unsafe deals)
"Cosmic Global as a company is unfortunately a joke. I received a similar offer months ago asking if I could do a 250k word translation. Payment would have been 30 days AFTER I would have returned the whole translation.
...Kindly let us know if you could accept 0.04 Euro per word for translation.
Hope to work with you in our project.
Awaiting your response.
Thanks & regards,
Cosmic Global Limited"
Cristal Traduceri (Low rates)
Cutting Edge (low rates)
Professional : "This agency will pay you 0.02 USD per word for medical files." http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/tools.asp?pn=fameagencies
Delta International (non-payer)
"(With all these) we have had massive problems with payments. Big translations, but no money and a lot of excuses... Google listing N°1 ads"
DIXIT Language Solutions, France (Proz's new platform offering translation for an even 6 c.pw)
These guys have an agreement with Proz who granted them their quality label and entire support and full list of translators - without informing them or asking for permission. Their slogan:
"Dixit Services The ProZ.com Certified Pro Network A network of certified translators Unique price 0,06 € / Word All languages"
A translator's comment: "As for the home page of dixit, it is a "textbook" example of bad writing and is full of howlers......"Become a translator"? The implication here is that if you sign up, you "become" a translator."
If you have 20 years of experience, if you are an expert in your field, if you have the rarest language, if you have a Phd in translation well you are being offered the same lousy rate as someone who hasn't got any of the above. But then you'll probably also have "other cats to whip" as we say in French and will not need to work for this sweatshop who also sells bikinis on the side, allegedly (?).
WHOEVER THESE GUYS ARE PLEASE BOYCOTT THIS PLATFORM AND PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION ON THEM.
Dream Studios, Czech Republic (late payer)
Email, 9/11/13 : "I am writing you in order to let you know that Dream Studios, an agency based in the Czech Republic, has contacted me for a proofreading job and they haven't paid me. Although it's only a 10 Euro job, I thought this would be an information of interest for my fellow colleagues.Thank you for your time."
Since all communication with Mr. Alexandre Autrand and Dream Studios has failed and I will probably never retrieve the amount they owe me, I thought at least I should let people know about this company and their behaviour towards freelance workers. Below you will find some e-mails from Mr. Autrand. I should also let you know that although I've been trying to reach him and the company, I haven't heard from them since October the 1st.
Teresa Bento, Freelance translator, Portugal
- July 26th -"Dear Teresa,
I hope you are doing well.
We have a first job for you : it would be for the proofreading of the slogan of a video that our client wants to launch in Portugal.
I will send you the copy in English and the translation in Portuguese on Monday 29th Morning. Our price is 10 euros and the deadline is on Monday 29th, 4pm GMT. Could you tell me as soon as possible if you are interested in taking this job ?
Thanks a lot,
Expo 58, Letenske sady 1500
170 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic
T +420 220 397 531 F +420 220 397 601
E email@example.com "
Dear Teresa, I would advise you to adopt the common professional practice of charging a minimum hourly fee of at least 20 euros (or whatever the amount is in your country of residence). Experience has taught me it always proves necessary, these small assignments take much more time (incl invoicing and in this case keeping track of the payment) It will also deter "cheap" unprofessional companies from wasting your time! Some agencies ask you to waive it off occasionally in exchange of the promise of a long term job. This is not acceptable. My reply is always no, on a first punctual job. Because there is a pretty good chance there won't be a follow up. Also because 20 euros is still very (too) cheap, because there are some hidden time consuming related parameters to take in account: research, invoicing, checking payment, responsability in case of problem...
Easy Language, London (payment issues)
A professional " I Did one job for them in March, they have not paid yet. I sent them several reminders, but they stopped responding after the first". Non-payers: EasyLanguage, London
Elanex (bad practices, inacceptable contract)
Their terms of service agreement attempts to force translators into giving a 50% discount for fuzzy matches. If you want to receive any projects from them you have to sign this agreement. In case of word rate the following standard Elanex compensation formula applies unless otherwise specified in the SOW:
New translation: 100% of base per word rate Fuzzy translation: 50% of base per word rate Exact translation: 0% of base per word rate
No bloody way. Unless THEY pay for the CAT tool you are using, why on earth should THEY get a discount? (Even if they did, giving a discount would be debatable)
EPOS (Italy) - Info needed
Euroscript Luxembourg (low rates)
"Hi, thanks for your excellent blog. I would like to contribute with this job offer I receiver from Euroscript:
Are you a freelance translator, with in-depth translation expertise in the indoor and outdoor cleaning solutions? (floor scrubber-dryer...) Are you available and do you translate in the following language combination?
English into Italian.
If so, euroscript Luxembourg, a leading multinational language services provider would like to hear from you. We have a huge technical/marketing project: brochures to translate and we are looking for the very best translators to join us.
What we expect from you
■Higher degree in translation or equivalent
■Italian native speaker
■Proven track of translation experience in marketing texts
■Proven track of translation experience in marketing texts and
in technical texts
■Highly service minded and strong sense of keeping to deadlines
What we offer you
■Long term partnership, where you are considered as a true co-worker (as opposed to a fake or illegit one)
■Personal contact to the Project Manager team
(You'd think it's a prerequisite...)
■Fair payment conditions and punctual payments
(Well thank you that's incredibly generous of you to pay the exact amount on time, you really didn't have to)
■Good opportunities for personal development
(Thanks, I can't wait to learn all about "indoor and outdoor cleaning solutions (floor scrubber-dryers)"
If you are interested and meet the above requirements, please fill free to contact me with your full CV at dalila.Aitbraham@euroscript.lu
At lats but not least, the rate proposed for this project is 0,055€/sw. (Indeed that is not something to be frowning upon, it's almost as much as a McDonalds employee gets paid!)
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime.
I would need a reply by Monday, 16 2012 9:00 Luxembourg time at the latest. We are always pleased to hear from experienced and professional
translators who are at home in the world of marketing, technical
and technical writing
Cordialement / Best Regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Dalila Aït Braham | Vendor Management Department
euroscript Luxembourg S.à r.l.
I replied saying that I cannot accept anything lower than 0.08EUR per source word, and she said:
Thank you for your email and unfortunately our margin is very tight and we cannot afford this rate.
Eurostreet Società Cooperativa (Biella, Italy) - Low rates, bottom-feeder
They offer a ridiculous 11 Eur per page of 1500 signs minus spaces.
More on this page: "Eurostreet ’s prices have dropped more than a third from the price list they posted in 2010.How could Eurostreet possibly still be in business? Well, you could write and ask Claudio Ranghino, who is supposedly Eurostreet’s “legal representative” (firstname.lastname@example.org)."
EVS Translations, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (Payment issues and attempts to not pay their debts)
"In December 2012 (9 years after I've been providing them with my services, and HUNDREDS of projects later) they attempted to coerce me to complete a w-9 form that in my understanding does not apply to me (I provided them with the law and case law which explains my understanding. I asked them in turn to provide me with the law to prove that my understanding is wrong - they did not but threatened that if I do not complete and sign said form they will not pay my outstanding invoices). This is unacceptable and they are certainly not excused of paying their debt." (from TCR List)
FEA Translation and Language Solutions (Incredibly low rates)
"If you visit their website, you'll see they also pretend to have branches all over the world, and the job ad I saw said "FEA Translation and Language Solutions Australia". I paste the message below for you to be aware of this new case.
Thank you for your email and for sending us your CV .
We are happy to inform you, FEA Translation and Language Solutions confirm acceptance on said subject concerning the cooperation with you, we agree to pay 0,010 USD per source word.
Please find attached our database form for translators which we would appreciate you completing, signing and returning to us.
Please accept our congratulations on the adoption of our family and our thanks for your enthusiastic attitude.
We recognise that our greatest asset is our translators; It is our people who deliver brilliant work. Who give the company its personality, who shape its culture, and who innovate. That´s why we believe in treating our people with respect, looking after their welfare and allowing them the freedom to be themselves, to flourish, and maximise their potential moreover to produce the best results for the Company & clients. It is our policy to assist our people to enable them to achieve their aims and aspirations.(...)"
Indeed, they really know how to show their gratitude for all this profit they are making in your back. By promising to treat you with respect. What a deal!
FOX Translate (Low rates)
"If so, I would like to have a discussion with that individual, privately, about rates. I would be happy to provide information about my own target, "acceptable", and "desperation" rates in return."
gb-translation.com (insulting rates+non-payer)
"Proposent des prix très bas (0.02 Euro par mot) et ne paient pas."
GIGAVINE (very low rates, suspicious practices)
"Well, the source file had 6,729 words! That's about 0.0127€ per word Very appealing, isn't it?
"That is true, Ari. One person from an agency I used to work with a few years ago and stopped sending assignments altogether told me flatly that they were using machine translation for Spanish. They charge the end client a little less than they did a few years ago, the end client is happy that they have lowered their rates and meanwhile the agency is making more than they did 5 years ago, keeping all the profit. I've seen flagrant mistakes in the Spanish version of more than a few translation agency websites... I guess the trend is spreading. Instead of translators doing away with the intermediaries, intermediaries are doing away with us."
" @Maite: I was wondering: do you have any clue where did they find your contact data? It'd be interesting to know which paths such organizations use. And also: was that a mass e-mail? I gather it is from the data you provided. I always wonder which are the paths used for such organizations to contact translators, although given the online exposure we usually have, it could be hard to tell. Just out of curiosity :)
I bothered checking the website and, as usual, they only work with the best of the best. "Our technical translators have a professional background in the fields they specialise in, so you can be sure that their work will be accurate and easily understood by a specialist audience.
Really?? At 0.0127€/word?? I think not ;)"
Giantsc Translation (China) - (Offensive rates)
Globalwise Conversion technologies
Hello Veritas see Veritas (nasty business practises, won't pay)
Hispanic Voices: Philip Ward & Kitzia Huerta (fraud and theft)
Article online: "The owner of a foreign-language interpreter service pleaded guilty to theft Monday in a billing-for-services scheme that authorities say cost a Washington state agency hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Philip Ward, 41, of Mountlake Terrace, pleaded guilty in Thurston County Superior Court to three counts of first-degree theft. Ward’s wife, Kitzia Huerta, 37, had pleaded guilty in October to one count of first-degree theft in the same case (...) By pleading guilty, the couple admitted to defrauding L&I from February 2006 to September 2008 by billing for interpretive services that never occurred, inflating bills for services that did occur and using the provider numbers of certified interpreters to bill for services provided by uncertified interpreters.
Prosecutors from the state Attorney General’s Office contend the fraudulent billings amounted to well over $600,000, making it L&I’s largest case ever of interpreter fraud. As part of their guilty pleas, the couple has agreed to repay the state. The court will determine the amount of restitution at a hearing in Thurston County on Dec. 9.(...)"
Read rest of the article
HQ (low rates)
Inaword, USA (Stella Hayes Fridman,"retired" non-payer)
It's great to have this list. Thanks!
I have a new one to add: Inaword (California). Although this translation company is no longer in operation, I'd love to know if anyone else is owed money by the owner, Stella Hayes Fridman, who refuses to answer emails. She owes me about $2,000 from 2012. Could you please post this? Thanks!
ATA-Certified Translator (Spanish < > English)"
Instant Translations (low rates, suspicious practices)
Read a report:
http://www.instanttranslation"I inform you that I've answered to a job post on TranslatorsCafe.com, and when I received the response from the agency, in which they include a link to sign up, once you register you have to activate the account, and you will finally be asked to "verify" your Paypal account by paying USD 1.- to be able to get some work from them."Be careful, as this is not the first agency which does the same...More complaints :http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/job149739.htm
InText (insulting rates)
"Proposed translation at $10 a page and editing at $5 a page."
ISO translations (Low rates, brutal rate drops last year)
More info very welcome !!
JTI - Juris'Traduction International (France) - Late or non payments
"I did a translation for them, the invoice was supposed to be paid on October 20, sent several messages to Tomy Green and Catherine Pouré (owner) unsuccessfully. No reply from them. "
"Average LWA score 2.2 overall, past year 1 (low and lowest respectively) - Since the address is the same as for JTI Development, I think we can assume these are the people you are dealing with. I suggest you get paid up to date, but do no further work for them."
"On the societe.com website (in French), I found that this agency is pursuing its activity even though a "loss of capital" has been declared on the 2nd of March 2012 (http://www.societe.com/societe/juristraduction-internationale-development-502283146.html). I worked for an agency owned by JM Pouré , which also had declared a "loss of capital" on the 9th of February 2012 and is now bankrupt. This agency had a legal translation branch but the URLs I have got do not work any more. I can't be sure that these people are linked.It's quite a coincidence."
"I have not been paid for an invoice whose settlement is now two months overdue - five emails have been ignored - no reply - the telephone and fax number do not respond. I have left comments on Payment Practices (paymentpractices.com) run by Ted Wozniak who has left a comment here too. I am paying a debt collection agency called D&B Collection Services to extract the payment from this agency. My advice is not to work for them."
JTI - Juris'Traduction International
Address **153, avenue Charles de Gaulle **
City NEUILLY SUR SEINE France
Postal Code 92200
Phone +33 (0) 1 34 76 38 78
Fax +33 (0) 8 20 20 2822
Kernel Quality Translations, Paola Martinenghi Non-payer (she actually plans not to pay you)
"First of all thank you so much for your blog which represents a great contribution for those of us who make a living out of our hard-earned credentials.
Here's the name and details of an Italian agency and related owner who is totally nuts. The owner, Paola Martinenghi, recruits translators offering somewhat fair rates yet when it comes to paying she totally disappears - no payment whatsoever-so some of us who had the disgrace to work with this agency are spreading the word in the attempt to save other translators (and clients as well, as I'm told they're increasingly dissatisfied especially with deadlines never met).
Here's the details.
Kernel Quality Translations
Piazza Bonomelli 4, 20139 Milano
Phone: 0039 02 94 43 33 56
Fax: 0039 02 94 43 33 58
Mobile: 0039 335 5343679Email: email@example.com"
Thanks for sharing, I recommend you to report this person to the local authorities as soon as possible.
KONSUL - very late (8 mths) or non-payment
"Some time ago I accepted an emergency job from this outfit for a fixed fee. I delivered well within the time allotted. On my next billing cycle I invoiced them, and have heard nothing since despite a reminder. I gather that this outfit doesn't usually purchase translation services, so there's a good chance that no colleague will be stiffed by them, but just in case, here are the contact details
" WARNING: Damian Pajnkiher (KONSUL - PAJNKIHER & PARTNER) Also in my case he proofed untrustworthy: the invoice is now 5 months overdue!Payment received on 19/10/2012 - Invoice date 15/02/2012, so 8 months
Kwintessential ltd, Sommerset, UK, Katia Wickens (Skype name Katia Reed, PM) non-payer :
Email received 2/11/13:
"I am Proz member and I got cheated by kwintessential. I am a LinkedIn member and posted a discussion on this topic. You can see the link here
I am attaching some documents along with the NDA that I signed.
-- Regards Parvathi.Pappu
Skype conversation (from delivery of the translation)
[11/5/2013 6:07:51 PM] Katia Reed: thank you
[11/7/2013 6:02:43 PM] Paru: Can you provide feedback on proz..only if you are happy with my work
[11/13/2013 7:11:07 PM] Paru: Katia, feedback and PO
[11/21/2013 7:32:09 PM] Paru: Katia, waiting for the PO and the payment...No need to mention that the PO or feedback never arrived, Miss Katia Wickens vanished.
This is a lesson for whoever still accepts to start a translation without a PO, this is exactly the risk you take. NEVER DO ANYTHING WITHOUT A PO (state it too!! that's also your job, educating your client) or don't deliver the translation until you get that PO : that will teach them.
It doesn't matter who you are dealing with, even if you know the collaborator well, they will very easily forget about you and your little PO and you'll end up having to harass them many times. Once you give away your work like this, you have no guarantee left you'll get paid. That is sad but true, many PMs out there will just choose to forget all about you.
Languages International. Inc. (Beverly Wall and Chelsie Fink) USA. - Non-payers
4665 - 44th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI
USA 49512-4052Translator's email 7/11/13 : " They asked me for a job in December 2010. I sent an invoice for $ 1,530,24 on 31 December 2010, but after having promised twice to pay immediately, they have not answered e-mails. I am currently using debt collection agency to collect this debt for me, but they have disputed my claim although I have a valid PO which Chelsie Fink sent before I started working.It would not hurt to publish this in your black list and ask if anyone else has been treated similarly to me."
Language Master International/Elvita Puke
Languagemet (Scammer, id. thiefs)
(scam, notorious bad practices, fake photos, unrealistic deadlines)
Others names : Expert of Linguists, Palestine Territories, PM: Stephani (fake name), fake address: 2/1, Hifa St., Alfei Menashe, 43351 Israel (fake address), Skype: Ch.Trans, firstname.lastname@example.org, Paypal ID: email@example.com GTrans, no website, linked to Gentle Translations/Translation Secrets, Languagemet/Purity Translations/ Amazing Translations among others; non-payer, CV identity thief.
Lengo Trans (Non-payer)
"Another non-payer to watch out for is Agatha Wear, LengoTrans. They are a scam that pretends to be a legitimate agency"
LEXCODE (Low pay)
Discussion on Linked In
"Here is another translation job for $250 / 6500 words = $0,03846 per word!! Here is the full text of the original "ad":
"We are in urgent need of a skilled freelancer to translate an English Maintenance Manual (Main condensate pump) to DUTCH.
- Deadline is on September 21, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. Korea time (GMT+8).
- The file has around 6,500 words. The project rate is USD 250.
- Educational/Work background in mechanical engineering & technical translations is an advantage.
To all qualified applicants, please email your resume ASAP at [email removed*]. Kindly mention your location so we can work our our time difference. :)
Looking forward to your email!
Christine Ignacio (LEXCODE Project Coordinator)
Deadline: September 17 the end of the day"
Martin Lleonsi (Low rates)
Lingosaur (who are they? more info needed)
Online agency asking their translators to evaluate each other free of charge. Never got offered any paid real job from them.
Lingotek (very late payments)
Email 03/12/13 : "I know two translation agencies that I thought suitable for the blog post + helpful to share with other fellow translators.
LingoTek, Utah, USA: Although they are already on the list and someone pointed out their late payment, I have been having the same problem. I have worked on 5 projects with them since early 2013 and 100% of the payments are late so far. Thanks and regards,"
Ayako Teranishi 寺西礼子
Lingua FX International - Very demanding for the rate they offer)
Their offer : "just got this "great offer" - USD 0,05/word... and quite a long requirement list for experience:"At least 5 years extensive experience in translation sector;
Should be native speaking and has the capability to translate from English to their native languages and vice versa;
Using CAT tools, Trados 2009 or 2011;
Experience in working and cross-checking with reference material (glossaries etc.);
Demonstrable ability to follow instructions;
Ready to accept our fixed rate of USD 0,05/word for translation services
Ready to accept payments net 45 days following the end of month in which the service invoice is submitted
Ready to handle short sample translation in which the quality check is to be made by the native speaking third party"
Lingua Genesis (incredibly rude and unprofessional)
Translator's report: "A certain Carl Dundas contacted me through ProZ some time ago, saying that they were taking applications for my language pair and specialisations. I obliged, albeit after quite a long time due to a protracted office & house move and not being able to access the documents he required (CRB check amongst them).
Today he replied saying that the application looked complete but have I sent his colleague 3 quid registration fee.
I replied saying that I was surprised, as it is not customary for potential clients to request payments from service providers and that I was leaving it up to him to decide whether he wanted to work with me. I also requested that he removed all the information I sent him from his email and drive if his decision is negative (they contained confidential information: scan of passport, CRB check, marriage certificate as my CRB was in my maiden name). In response I got this:
"I do not care for your arrogance and bad attitude, young lady, and for wasting my time. Rules are in place for security and I am surprised that you would throw away potential work opportunities for the sake of a minimal fee."
Whilst I'm not bothered about three quid and I would have happily sent it to them as a means of proving that I am a real (business) person if he gave me a professional and valid reason, I am shocked that someone can be so arrogant, unprofessional and pompous in such a short message.
AVOID!!! Rest on LinkedIn
Logic Lingo, Ivan Madrigal (Spain) - Non-payer
Email from a fellow translator :
"Please allow me to add a very interesting specimen to your list.I worked for Ivan Madrigal at Logic Lingo (based in Spain) as a freelancer in 2010, and after 3 years of weekly reminders, he still hasn't paid his debt. As a result, I have contacted a lawyer in Spain, and can forward you any relevant emails. Thanks and have a lovely day!"
Loquax (Poland) - Low rates, payment issues
Email 5/11/13 : "I'd like to add two Polish companies one should keep away from: Agit, from Lublin. Low rates and general payment issues. Same thing with Loquax."
More information welcome!!
Manta Translations (go to Orbe)
Maremagnum (and other aliasses) - Arrested for non payment of translators
"Spain - The owners of a translation agency arrested for non-payment of translatorsGreat news which can let us hope that things may change.
The Spanish authorities have arrested the two managers of a translation agency who didn't par its translators. Moreover, they used to impersonate some real colleagues in order to get the jobs. Currently, the financial damage is estimated at approx. Euro 20,000, but the investigation is still ongoing."
"Info copied from Proz. This site even has a picture of a Hollywood celebrity (Mario Lopez) presented as a translator:"
Sharing a new scam experience: sham contact from Mittal Publishing India (probably unaware of the fraud)
Laila Mohamed (firstname.lastname@example.org):
MO Group International (Bruxelles) - Non-payers
Report received by email :This translator has been waiting since november 2011 for his payment (so nearly 2 years). Despite promises from the group, then threats of starting legal action, the agency refuses to answer.
"L'agence concernée se nomme MO Group International, basée à Bruxelles. Malgré de très nombreuses relances, celle-ci ne m'a toujours pas payé une facture datant du mois de novembre 2011. Au début, ils me promettaient que ce serait fait "prochainement" mais depuis plusieurs mois, je n'ai plus la moindre réponse, y compris pour les mises en demeure via recommandé avec AR.
L'agence étant basée en Belgique, ma société de portage n'a pas les moyens d'aller plus loin dans la procédure, et je vais sans doute finir par laisser tomber. Mais au moins, j'aimerais dénoncer la pratique par tous les moyens possibles."
Moscow Translation Agency (insulting rates)
"They pay translators as low as $6.25 per page and as low as $3 a page for editing. Translators also lose out some more when receiving payment because the company does not pay for PayPal fees or bank transfer fees. I lost over $50 off the amount that was owing to me when they sent a wire transfer."
MuchDo Tr. (Low rates, non-payment)
Professional in LinkedIn : "I just got an offer for EN-FI translation for 0.03 USD per source word, of which i kindly declined. This translation was only for 300 words and they would have paid the invoice in 30 days or later. "
My Genco (Bottom feeders with low rates, employ anyone)
"On MyGengo, I did a test translation for them about a year ago. It took them about 3 months to get back to me to say my test had been approved. Since then precisely two job offers have come in, the latest today, offering US$0.03 per word. Since it was only 122 words, the job was worth $3.66! Not worth turning on the computer for! As has been said before, we don't HAVE to take these jobs, but given the name of this group, just thought I'd do a bit of naming and shaming. Come to think of it, I haven't taken on any agency work for more than 6 months now, since I've yet to come across any that pay more than about US$0.06 per word. What's going on out there?? Or am I asking too much??"
Read more on LinkedIn
Myword Localization (rush work, non-payer)
"In September, I was assigned a (proofreading) project by Myword Localization, LTD., (offices in Israel, Romania, and the United States). I had 8 hours to proofread a contract that was translated from Italian to English.
Prior to the assignment, I spoke with one of the company's managers who tried to lowball me, however, he finally agreed to my price because he needed it done "yesterday", and wanted to go home. We agreed on the terms and how much work the document needed.
I sent them back the assignment with my edits and invoice. I received a "thank you". Hours later I received an e-mail complaining that the work was not up to par, and sorely lacking. I responded but refused to go back and forth as I had too much work to do at the time.
30 days later - the company refuses to pay the invoice. I have contacted them and have kindly reminded them of our agreement, and how "urgent" the project was, (few hours deadline). I also reminded them that failure to pay any part of the invoice without an amicable resolution is theft of service
To be continued."
Native Speaker Translation, Ukraine (Insulting rates, non payers)
Comment: "bad payers and extremely low rates"
"An israeli agency which refused to pay because they pretend to have no cashflow.NBN, Shimon ha tzadik 31 Street, EladBelow you can also see there email address.The amount they owe me is not big but they will never pay."Projects@nbntranslations.com"
One Hour Translation (insulting rates and poor quality, unselective platform, employ literally anyone)
Read article on One Hour Translation from this website
Orbe translations/Manta Translations, Romania (Low payer, fishy, deceitful, still appearing regularly on Proz)
Read all about them pretty much everywhere and on Translator Leaks. Excerpts :
"Orbe Translations and Manta Translations are, to begin with, one and the same company. Both are registered to Javier Bergero at Lautaro 642, Córdoba, Argentina (543514616764, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org).The agencies, however, send messages from an IP in Romania. They also claim to have had an office in Turin, Italy since 2002, though they do not appear in the Turin yellow pages and their phone number (02.36311200)"
"Interestingly, Orbe/Manta also profess to provide translations exclusively using teams of in-house translators which is, first, a fairly obvious lie for the volume of business they claim and the geographic area they say they cover. But they only adopted that model because of their concern about the terrible "suffering" of freelancers, which they aim to remedy:"
Parrot translations (Low rates)
Pearl Linguistics LTD (very reluctant payers, be prepared to harass them for your money)
"I have been working for them as interpreter for few months, they don't pay anything if you don't chase them a million times even just for 1 payment, and they will promised you they will pay today/tomorrow.. Believe me it's all b***sh*t. Finance team very rare you can get through. Even get through full of lies and attitude, awful company. I'm seeking for legal advise ATM.. I can not believe a company like this still running, disgusting."
"I have worked for Pearl linguistics for more than 2 months. They never paid me any money. So be wise and think before you work for them."
"They don't pay even minimum hourly wages to their translators. It is a sweatshop. translators and clients: you have been warned! "
From an interpreter (Current Employee), London – September 30, 2013:"I would not advice to work with Pearl Linguistic company as they are do not paying what their are promising. I work for them all August this year but I still not received a payment for August on the end of September how their promised. Last month i made enormous phone calls so that theirs financial office make me a payment for July.I spend for my CRB check £50 to work for them + my travelling experience for interpreting work from June by August this year all in total £180 and received a payment just £60 of my work when i had every week up to 5 days a week work with them from 1 to 5 hours of my interpreting work for this company. I would not advice to work with Pearl Linguistic LTD you will have enormous problems to receive your payment."
"Staff seems professional and pelite, although they do not pay on time. Everyday for over a two weeks trying to contact finance department by phone, email- unfortunately no response. Shame..."
Pemex English library
Planet of People Fishy organisation and unclear website, more info welcome (Because they are « non profit » (are they really?), they expect you to work for free)
"Another one to add to the list. It's an agency that proposes that the translators do work for free in order to get on their "database". This is completely unprofessional and of course I did not agree to it. You don't mix charity with business. Please remove my name from the e-mail before posting it to your list. Here is an excerpt of their proposal :
"To be in our database and maybe have your personal link from one or several English language pages of our site, we would like to propose you to consider the possibility to provide some voluntary support to ‘Planet of People’ by doing some voluntary translation (Russian>English), or proofreading/editing of our already translated texts. Below the text(s) translated by you there would be your signature (Translated from Russian by XX) serving as a link to your information in our database or anywhere else.Since the "Planet of People" Foundation is a non-profit organization we propose all our potential translators to consider the possibility to provide this sort of some voluntary support to the project.
If you can afford it, please inform us about it. If not, we will understand it quite normally, and it certainly would not prevent you from collaborating with us if you are interested in it."
If I could afford it, (which won't ever happen since translation is not my hobby, yes I have a life) then I will donate my free work to a more respectable organisation Wikipedia for instance, not some fishy one nobody has ever heard of.
Polyglot (Very low rates)
"The job post available at http://www.proz.com/job/691829 offers €0.026 EUR to €0.03 EUR per word for English to French translation of 2,500 words, with Trados preferred."
PoliLingua, Moldova (bidder, unprofessional practices, low rates)
Email from 5/11/13: "Here's another company you can add to your list.
They are called PoliLingua and they are also in Moldova (like Travod).
When calculated per word, the project that they proposed is about $0.04 per word.
They must be sending mass e-mails through Proz.com because their message was not addressed to any one person in particular: "Hello, We have a financial report we need translated into English, see details below: Source language: Russian Target language: English Word count: 5136 words Source format: MS Word Delivery format: MS Word Payment: $205 by PayPal, 30 days from invoice. Deadline: November 8th, 10 AM London time. Please advise availability and I shall send you the files. Many thanks, Ruxanda Chirosca. PoliLingua Ltd. email@example.com
New: Premier Language (UK): non-payer
http://www.premierlanguage dot com"Several translators (myself included) undertook legal action against them last year. We are owed varying quantities, ranging from several hundred Euros to thousands. They simply ignore us. "Regards from Spain, Ángel Domínguez, CT
Prolingua (Payment issues)
Professional Translators Team (USA) - Insulting rates (offering 0.03 to 0.038 euro per word) and perfect BB rating, suspicious lack of reputation apart from Proz's BB
Report from a translator, oct 2013 : "Found this translation agency on Proz.com. They have the nerve of offering 0.038 max per word for a legal translation of 6,000 words! What's worse, they have a perfect BLUE BOARD rating.
"I'll just say that when this company recruited me and then offered .03, I replied bewildered that they must be mistaken, that was my proofreading rate! They replied, straight-faced, that they actually meant it. We have discussed this agency in another thread on this list, regarding so-called ISO 9001 etc. What really annoys me is that their CEO sanctimoniously touts her wonderfulness as a Board member of a prestigious professional association in the USA. Something my German mother would have obliquely referred to as "oben hui, unten pfui"! "
"That is a very tricky name for a company, as it makes it hard to google. USA is not part of the title, right? Does it have another name as well?? The only place I found it was in that Proz listing (which I cannot get into) and nowhere else..."
Read more on LinkedIn
Protranslating (cheap tricks: promise "consistant" future work to convince you to accept bad rates)
Type of offers they send out to translators:
" Thank you for contacting us! Because we are providing a large amount of work we are offering $0.04 USD per source word. This translator will be working in our Web department so the job will be on-going and consistent, we also require you to take a brief evaluation in order to determine your translating style. This will also show you the type of work you will be doing, it’s nothing technical. If you are interested in this consistent work, please let me know so that I may send you the evaluation."
2850 Douglas Rd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
P: 305.371.7887 ext. 325
ProTranslating is ISO 9001-2008 certified. Our quality management systems have been audited and meet world class standards." (This ISO cert. means nothing with regards to translation, it is what they call a marketing trick, I would call that a big lie!)
"No news from this person of course since I asked them why they bothered even asking me what my prices where if they had something in mind before hand. Just trying out their luck I guess, since that is what their profession essentially entails :) But what a very unpleasant way to do so. It is also very cheeky of them to pretend they care about your min rates and to assume that the contents and nature of the document do not really matter to you, after all you must be desperate. What kind of atrocious contents do they expect you to translate at that rate? I guess they keep this revelation for later as the cherry on the cake :) "
Other comments: "They also offered me as top rate USD 0.04 per source word. And the other point is that they lie about the "consistent work". They change project managers periodically, so you'll got to be really lucky to receive great loads of work during the year. So they tell everyone the same. Once they offer you this, you'll receive some assignment only from time to time..."
Rest of the discussion on LinkedIn
Read counter arguments in the comments, bottom of page.
PURITY translations (Low rates)
Type of offers they send out to translators:
"I actually have a large project (17145 words) in need of translation into German. It is due by 2-June-2103. I would need this to be completed in memoQ. We are subcontracting this from another agency and I can offer you USD 0.035"
Qtrans Team (Low rates)
Type of offers they send out to translators:
"We have a new request for translation from Russian to English
Total word count: 1050
Rate: 0.04 USD
Deadline: 9/8/2013 1:00 PM Cairo time
Payment via PayPal
if you are available please email us the soonest
Hany, Qtrans Team"
RC Group (Cyprus) and other names (Bad practices)
"Please be aware of the RC Group (Cyprus) and their contacts Victoria Danielyan and Souren Arakelyan. The company also uses the name "Russian Client" and/or "Cyprus Translations".
They do not abide by their own contract regarding the payment terms and agreed rates. They insist on your services 24/7 and when you, for some reason, are not available, they blame you for their failure with their customer, threaten you and in the end do not pay."
RED BEE MEDIA (Subtitles, extremely low rates)
"Rates offered : 5 Euros (about 20 cents a subtitle!!) per minute, whatever the text is (in my case it was an eighteen century drama from my native language to my source language, extremely long and "talkative" dialogs."
The normal rate should be (in France) According to the SNAC (french union for subtitlers) 3 Euros per subtitle !
Article in French : "Pour le cinéma, le tarif syndical est de 3,90 euros le sous-titre. ... Côté télé, le tarif syndical est de 2,80 euros le sous-titre, mais dans la pratique, les prix varient énormément et peuvent chuter jusqu’à 0,20 euro. Le problème réside dans le fait que notre travail est de plus en plus intégré dans un forfait global facturé sur la durée (à la minute, à l’épisode ou au long-métrage) et négocié entre le producteur ou la chaîne et le postproducteur. » Pour l’Ataa, le mode de rémunération forfaitaire n’est pas satisfaisant car il ne correspond pas au travail réel fourni : en effet, le nombre de sous-titres ou de lignes de doublage d’un documentaire ou d’un long-métrage peut varier du simple au double."
REV. COM (subtitles, low rates)
When I check how my website is doing by googling "German interpreter Orlando", this company comes up very high. So I took a look and was stunned ... You should see this, they list their rates. It's unbelievable: $1/min of audio for transcription (offering 50 cents, it says on the recruiting page. $.12 for translation. Without seeing the text first or even knowing the language??? Yet the website appears so legit with a cool staff photo and all and all these promised regarding quality. "Technology" is supposed to make it all possible. What am I missing that is happening in our industry that makes this viable?"
Rheinschrift (Constantly late payments)
Excerpts from a discussion on LinkedIn:
"I have been working with this agency for some months. I do not want to start a discussion about their rates but rather I would like to point out the constantly late payments. There are not so many entries on the Blueboard of Proz.com but the recent ones speak a clear language. Of all the four invoices I sent them till now, none have been paid on time. I have heard of one colleague who has had the same experience, pointing out that freelancers were told they couldn't pay them because their end clients had not paid yet. Another factor is that you can only create an invoice in the online file management system after a job that you have delivered is approved, which itself can take anywhere from one day (experienced recently) to two weeks or longer... prolonging the period from invoice creation to payment to up to 100 days in some cases (delivery of the translation -> around 2 weeks till job is approved ->creation of invoice -> 60 days till payment (according to contract) -> delay of payment of maybe 2-3 weeks)"
"On another note, I checked this agency's profile on ProZ and they say they belong to German BDÜ (< http://www.proz.com/profile/796007?sp_mode=corp_profile >)? Does this make any sense at all, people? That caught my eye."
"No, that doesn't make sense. However, it always makes sense to check the "Impressum" on a German website. The "Impressum" page on the Rheinschrift website indicates that "Rheinschrift" is rather a brandname of Ursula Steigerwald, a freelance translator and a member of BDÜ, it is not a registered company like GmbH or AG."
SEPROTEC, Spain: CV theft, low paying but high profit, using students for certified translations
"SEPROTEC is a spanish agency, it has spread all over the world, with headquarters in the world's most expensive cities. It has won all public tenders from the Spanish Ministry of Justice and Police for years, paying court and police interpreters 8 euro per hour rates while the Spanish Administration was paying them 50 euro per interpreting hour.
Recently, they campaigned to get Translation and Interpreting BA students to do their work placements with them, offering a 300 per month fee and promising to hire them as in-house staff after the placement. Students were asked to do legal translation, which in Spain is a regulated profession that only sworn translators can perform.
Recently the Supreme Court in Catalonia has admitted a sue against them for presenting false documents in order to win public tenders in the Spanish administration; these are precisely the CV's of qualified translators and interpreters who never worked for them.
They still operate mainly in Spain, so a lot of the information regarding their activities is mainly in Spanish. They have, however, been linked to severe shortcomings in court interpreting services in high-profile cases (the Prestige oil spill, the Operación Puerto doping scandal), as well as poor rates and delayed payment. See below some articles in Spanish:
Big thanks to Jose Miguel Aguilar for providing the above information.
Skansa translations (Payment issues)
SIA euroscript Baltic in Riga, Latvia (Pressure on translators to lower their rates)
Email received from a translator (6/11/13):
"First of all, I would like to thank you for your effort to make it public. I really hope it will be the step towards fair remuneration to translators, who have dedicated years to get their degrees. Unfortunately, Eastern European countries have still a long way to go until prices of at least €0,1/word will be paid for the people who actually do the work. Based on my own experience and on what I have heard from my translator colleagues/friends, most of Estonian translation agencies do not want to pay more than €0,04/word. To give you an example:
You already have Euroscript Luxembourg in the list, but its subsidiary SIA euroscript Baltic in Riga, Latvia is practicing the same kind of tactics. The company's main client is the European Commission (DG ENTR) and I am certain the client does not pay the company as little as €0,05/word. What I find particularly low on the company's part is that they offer an Estonian freelancer half of the money for the same work than they offer their Swedish freelancer, (i.e. literally, the same DG ENTR texts need to be translated into all EU languages). Yes, the living costs in Sweden are higher, but life in Estonia is getting more and more expensive (especially after Estonia adopted the euro). If the Estonian translator is lucky, s/he will be offered €0,04/word. But I have also heard of offers less than that. As a comparison, two Swedish colleagues of mine, who also translate (freelance) for SIA euroscript Baltic, earn about twice as much. One of them earns 0.075/word and the other 0.08/word. Sound fair to you?Neither fee meets the "at least €0,1/word" level, but to be honest, I would be happy to get paid what the Swedes do for my translations into Estonian. The company obviously has the money but they basically "threaten" to leave you without work, unless you agree to their terms and prices. Unfortunately, there are always poor students willing to work for even less than that, so, the market is spoiled. Lucrative for the company, not so much for the freelancers. I find it very unfair. (...) After I sent them my quote, I received the following reply:
Before we proceed to the next recruitment step, I would like to finalize the cooperation rates. I would suggest the following gross rate scheme:
Translation from English and German into Estonian = 10.00 EUR page (1500 ch.)/Translation from English and German into Estonian = 0.04 EUR source word/ Translation from Estonian into English = 11.25 EUR page (1500 characters without spaces)/Translation from Estonian into English = 0.045 EUR source word / Revision = 3.00 EUR page (1500 characters without spaces) / Revision = 0.012 EUR source word
I’d like to note that these rates are highly competitive within our current EU projects and would ensure you are allocated frequent and voluminous translation/revision jobs.
Please let me know what you think."
"Makes me want to question why even ask me the quote, if you have a fixed price you will offer me anyway? I tried to negotiate a bit higher price, but was basically told that this is the best it will be - take it, or leave it."
This is a classic situation, where out of nowhere the PM is telling you what to do and what to say your rate is. It is completely absurd, and quite violent, and happens all the time. It's revolting but that's what works best for them. Until of course you say no. They then deflate and go bully someone else. I would suggest the following actions:
1) Confront this person with the disparity of the rates they impose from one language to the next.
2) Ask for a higher rate under which you will not accept the project.
3) Contact the end client (in the case the European Commission, who is being conned just as bad as you are) on behalf of a local group of translators or with the support of your national association and raise their awareness on this issue, stressing that the end client should be able to get in touch directly with the translator, it's the basics to ensure quality and credibility!!
Whatever you do, it is important not to undersell yourself and to say NO to such disrespectful offers. These people will soon find themselves short of competent translators which will quickly show, and make their association to the European Commission cease.
http://silverside-usa.com (fake postal address)
A translator's report : "I applied a week ago to work wih this agency since they put an offer on ProZ saying they were looking for more translators in my pair. They sent me back an huge Excel file I had to fill with personal data. I took me a whole hour. Yesterday evening, I got the following message :
" The rate quoted by you are not suitable not acceptable according to our experience and knowledge. Currently we can offer you USD 0.02/word for translation and USD 4/1000 words/hour for review. Payment through PayPal, Money Booker, Bank wire transfer within 30-60 days from the date of invoice. Please let me know if rates and terms suit you."
COMMENT FOLLOWING THIS THREAD : "Hi Lisa, First of all thanks a lot for your warning about Somya Translators and a quote of their message to you. It was very interesting for me to know because this agency has got over 120 positive feedbacks given to them by translators at the TranslatorsCafé.com Hall of Fame & Shame and because of that they are on our list of Top 20 Translation Agencies as Rated by TC Users (they take the 4th position among 'best' world agencies!):
Yesterday I quoted your message in the Hall of Fame & Shame thread dedicated to Somya Translators (I have granted you temporal one-week free access to our Hall of Fame & Shame):
Barkha Kumari, a representative of Somya Translators, has just posted a message requesting me to remove my unmasking posting because 'that was specifically for one low budget project'.
Do you, folks, believe that was just ONE low budget project and all other Somya Translators projects are decently paid? I don't..."
Another report from a Freelance interpreter and translator (de|en|fr)
"I have received similar offers from somyatrans in the past and still do from time to time. They pay you via Paypal after 60 days. They do offer very low rates, i.e. $0.03 to $0.04 for English->German translations and $5 per hour for "proofreading" of translations in this language pair; they expect a turnover of 1,000 words per hour for these "proofreading" jobs."
SPS Traduções, Portugal, sps-traducoes.com.pt (payment issues)
Stealth Translations (Low rates)
Type of offers they send out to translators: “Hi _____, We have a 1-page document that needs translated from Russian to English today if possible. Would you be available? The rate would be €0.04/word. Please let me know if you'd be available, thanks! With thanks and regards,
Karen McCoy Project Manager
stickerkid.com (possible scam, non-payers)
Email received, oct. 2013: "There is one more, but I'm not sure if they belong on your list as they are not an agency. It is an end client, for whom I translated a few files. The first invoice was paid before the due date, the second invoice was due a long time ago and has not been paid yet. The job is still uncompleted as they have not sent me all the source files I had agreed to do. They do not reply to any reminders. The name of the company is stickerkid.com."
Stiil traduction (unprofessional practices)
These people refused to pay shoddy results while imposing unrealisting conditions (which were : 10 pages of legal translation in 24 hours). None of the translators hired have managed of course (they should have refused in the first place that goes without saying), and the project manager refused to pay them and urges them quite roughly to "quit complaining or we'll sue you". A professional attitude from a PM would be to request a deadline extent (since the beginning would make sense, how hard is it to anticipate ? The formula is 1 human, 1 day, 2000 words. Remember ? Here is this strange Email, both unprofessional and hilarious (for french speakers).
"(...) vos collègues qui eux-aussi ont rendu 2/3 de la traduction ne seront pas payés (le client ne paiera pas). Votre traduction est médiocre. Les carottes sont cuites. Cessez de vous plaindre ou nous engageons des poursuites contre vous.'
Témoignage de la traductrice : "Le travail confié était le suivant : 10 pages de traduction juridiques envoyées un mercredi fin d'après-midi pour le lendemain soir, si j'avais eu un délai ça aurait été possible. On ne peut pas faire vite et bien. Ils doivent demander à plusieurs traducteurs avant de tomber sur une bonne poire qui accepte.'
T.M.Solutions - Languages Translation Bureau Simi Agarwal
Agarwal from T.M.Solutions - LanguagesTranslation Bureau just
posted this job on Proz: "400 pages of Pump Manual English to
Russian" with a deadline on August 31,2013.
I sent a short email asking a representative sample or entire project file to estimate total cost/time. In response I got a lengthy "test" file that I was supposed to complete "as soon as possible in next few hours." (yeah, right) and indicating that "payment will be USD 2000." to which I replied again asking clarification if $2,000 for the budget for entire project – and yes, that is actually right! 2 grands for 400 pages of technically intensive content. That is anywhere from 100,000 to 140,000 words (based on 300-350 words/page + illustrations), or $0.014...$0.02/word rate. How cool is that?
Refraining from usage of most of the powerful words that are coming to my mind now to a short conclusion: this is the last time I ever respond to any translation jobs originating from India! I will not waste another second of my time on this BS! I advise that you all avoid this and similar "offers" from
FFS how did this company manage to get 77 all "5" ratings on Blue Board???
I wish proz implemented a private translator-only comments section under each of the jobs posted, so translators could share their thoughts right away, and that feature alone would result in 99% of translator drawing away from such companies, which would hopefully lead to better trends in the industry for us fellow translators. I'm afraid Proz just doesn't give a flying puck as long as we pay them our membership fees on time, whereas outsources don't have to pay a damn thing to post these outrageous offers."
Team Translation, San Marino, Italy -Bad business and professional practices, low paying
25/11/2013: "Just read this very interesting documentation and thought I might be able to contribute - I do not work in the domain any more but I had several assignments for this Team Translations (first based in Perugia, then in San Marino) and it was not a particularly pleasant experience: in all honesty, I did get paid with not too much hassle but they are very unprofessional (for example, one of the files I sent them had to be zipped as it was huge and I had to specifically ask them to check whether the file opened properly or not - otherwise they would have send it to the client as-is, i.e. just forwarded my mail) and the rates are low. Also, the first time they contacted me they were outright rude when I told I was not interested in a badly-paid and rush assignment, to then call me for a half an hour trying to convince me to take the job after all. Last but not least, I naturally gave them the list of my fees right from the beginning but each and every time, they tried to lower the price nevertheless.
If needed, I should still have some mails left I exchanged with them but they are on another machine I do not have always access to. "
Very best and keep up the excellent work!
Many thanks to Anneli Kavald for this contribution.
Tecco (teccotranslations.co)-Charles Azzopardi / FRAUD!
"Scammer working under the name of Stephan Jones, see very slick website under teccotranslations.com. (Alias’)This person is also known as Charles Azzopardi/John Brown/Stephen Jones/Adam Matthews/Mathieu Blanc/ Crystal Sample/ John Sutton"
Paypal and Moneybookers:
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.proz.com/blueboard/34805
AZZ-Translations Language Services / www.azztranslations.com/ www.proz.com/blueboard/38729
Tecco Translations / www.proz.com/blueboard/38864
Another report on LinkedIn
TEK Translation International SA based in Madrid, Spain (Non-payers)
Email received, oct 2013: "I've just received the link to your blog throug LinkedIn. I'd like to give you one more name to add to your list - but I don't want my name to appear nowhere, thank you. The translation agency is TEK Translation International SA based in Madrid, Spain. The still owe my a bit less than 1800 Euros from 2012 (spring).If you check on proz you'll find there a very long list of negative feedback, too."
Telematic Solutions, India (Low rates, forced feedback)
Report on Translator's café: "This peanuts-paying Indian agency was also on TC Top 20 list with their 40 positive feedbacks but we found out that almost all those feedbacks were given to them under pressure and as a result we have deleted those 40 positive feedbacks and deprived this agency of their job posting rights at TranslatorsCafé.com."
TermWiki (Very low rates)
Textcase.nl (Low rates)
Textcase.nl - urgent job English to Dutch 0,035 Euro per source word, 1200 - 2000 words, delivery today 20:00 h, technical translation
Textmaster.com (Low rates)
The Transcription Agency, Hythe, UK (unprofessional, no contact details)
15/11/2013: "I would also like to add The Transcription Agency based in Hythe, Kent U.K. as unprofessional opportunists who are hiding behind anonymity, prey on misunderstandings and become incommunicado when you pin them down. Another unprofessional agency is Alpha Translation Services.com based in Melbourne, Florida. I've noticed they changed their website since I had dealings with them and they do not provide contact details. Congratulations on your efforts."
TLS Bureau (Insulting rates)
Discussion on LinkedIn: "I've just had a look at their website, and they highlight their cheap rates as a major unique selling point. Straight from their home page: 0 - 10 k: £0.06 p/w; 10 - 20 k: £0.05 p/w; 20 - 40 k: £0.04 p/w. Needless to say I haven't bothered registering with them, but thought you might like to know!"
"Also taken straight from their website:
<<Every individual or company is indifferent>>
No more comment needed! "
TLS Translation Company - tlsbureau.com"We Are leaders From € 0.038 p/word Get to know us!"
TLT GmbH (Non-payer)
"With all of them we have had massive problems with payments. Big translations, but no money and a lot of excuses... Google listing n 1 ads"
TRADSPOT, Spain (Non-payers)
Translator's email (oct. 2013):
"Hello, compliments for your initiative: SOOO NECESSARY!
My unlucky/turned-lucky experience was with TRADSPOT (Madrid, Spain) Good fee, kind. Compliments after the translation. But the payment did not arrive. Several emails, and again and again excuses. Till I warned I would make it public in a List of Shame, and the payment was immediate.
Some weeks later a read a complaint in that LoS from another Translator for the same issue.
I wonder if Black List should be the same as Warning List, but here is my experience."
Translator's report: "I want to add a translation agency in Argentina called TRADUXPRESS. this woman is called Marita Sanchez, or Maria Concepcion or M. Schmidt. She didn't finish payment, never sent invoices or answered calls or e-mails. Her address is a fake."
Translate Plus Limited (Low rates)
Professional on LinkedIn :
"I was contacted by Translate Plus last year who asked me for a discount of more than 50% of my usual rate. Bigword is infamous for asking their translators to lower their rates. Would not work for either of them. "
Translated (Low rates, unprofessional bidding practices)
Translator's report : "I have just a fair amount of time filling out an on-line form for a company based in Rome by the name of "Translated". When I got to the final page, it asked about rates per language combination. The maximum possible in the drop-down list was 0,09 € per word, so I filled that in, but it came up with a warning. This is verbatim:""Accept a lower rate: we can offer you more work
Suggested rate: Euro 0.035 ""They must be taking the #### but unfortunately I realise they are not! I was quite hopeful after I saw that they didn't advertise on the basis of "competitive prices" or anything similar on their homepage, and they had good reviews from ProZ on their site, but this takes the biscuit!"Their website advert:"Translated provides professional translation services in over 1,600 language combinations and has been intelligently putting 24,652 customers in contact with over 65,116 translators throughout the world for over 10 years."I really hope they are lying here: where do they get 65116 translators, who would accept such rates: wait they are probably mistaking the term "translators" for "cheap slaves".
Translation Kings (Insulting rates ... and attitude)
Email received in october 2013: "Hello, I just wanted to suggest "Translation Kings" to the blacklist. Reason: unacceptable low rates (<2 US dollar per word) and not very nice (sarcastic?) PM. Please, read the exchange below. :) I highlighted in yellow the "best" passages.
"Hello, Thanks for your interest in translating for us.
How much would you be able to handle in the next 10 days?
Our budget is 0.015$ per word. Extremely low budget due to a massive order of 1,000,000 words. If quality is good, we will consider you for future jobs as well. We are from Translation Kings and have regular jobs available. We require an invoice from you and can pay via paypal or bank transfer. Payment will be done within 7 days of finishing your part. Kindly let us know (asap) if you are willing to take on this project.
M., Translation Kings"
5/19/2013 9:57 PM, reply from the translator :"Dear M., I'm sorry but I'm used to higher rates and I feel that I can't accept such a low one."
Answer from this lady: (both sarcastic and misspelled)
. Kind regards,
Translocacell (notorious non-payers)
I can "recommend" that you add Translocacell. They owe me money since 18 month, I am currently suing them and my lawyer told me, he already had several clients suing this agency for money.
Doreen Tautz, certified translator
Translation Gardens (Problems registering)
"I just signed up with Translation Gardens. The registration was a pain, because at every slight error the registration form would "forget" all my language pairs (though there was no error there) and I had to re-enter them in addition to fixing whatever the actual problem was. Having done that, I would like to know whether anybody else in this group is on that site, and if so what results you've had, if any."
Translation secrets (Scam alert, careful with your CV, plus low rates)
Others names : Expert of Linguists, Palestine Territories, PM: Stephani (fake name), fake address: 2/1, Hifa St., Alfei Menashe, 43351 Israel (fake address), Skype: Ch.Trans, email@example.com, Paypal ID: firstname.lastname@example.org GTrans, no website, linked to Gentle Translations/Translation Secrets, Languagemet/Purity Translations/ Amazing Translations among others; non-payer, CV identity thief. "
What they want to keep secret is the following practises:
CV Theft case / Here is a scary email from them (I let you enjoy the amateurism his phrasing):
"Now I will tell you our system, I work as a project manager for three years, I deal with 8 languages and I have a group of translators for each language, I ask the translator if he can give me the permission to use his CV with our clients if he agrees I send to him an agreement to sign it, and he becomes the most important translator in the team, our programming department makes an email and marketing the email with the translator's CV for our clients, then I receive the projects in this email, when I receive a project I ask the translator (who gives me the permission to use his CV) if he can take the project ( he has the Priority right ) if not I ask the group of translators.
So let me ask you can you give me the permission to use your CV with our clients?? if you agree please sign the attached file and send it back to me.
Waiting for your answer.
Sincerely, Fatma Slum."
No thanks, get your own diplomas and credentials!!
If you are still using CVs rather than Language Service Provider promotional material (see useful resources for translators on this site) please protect your CV, with watermarks, PDF format and so on. And do not put them online for download or with caution !
TranslationTop Co. Ltd. (China) – notorious non-payer
"In 2011 I was contacted by the Chinese company Translation Top Co. Ltd to translate a document from Catalan to English. After completing the job I issued an invoice on 22 December 2011. Despite various e-mails to the company, I have not received payment for the job, over a year later. On one occasion I was told I had already been paid, but when I checked there was no record of the payment. I should have done more research before accepting the job, as a search online reveals that many translators have worked for this company and then not been paid. Translators should therefore avoid working for this company as they are likely not to be paid, and companies requiring translation services should avoid contracting a company with such dubious ethics. Posted on 17 January 2013
TransPerfect (TO BOYCOTT until they sink : low quality, zero proofreading, greedy rates, unexperienced proofreaders, rich and ungrateful, toxic company, fake positive entries and evangelists everywhere, non-payers)
Report on Glassdoor: "The WORST company in the world"
" The other day, a newbie PM called and said that another PM (one who has been around for a while) had suggested me for a "fun and exciting" job writing the narration (in English) for a 40-50 second advertisement ordered by a major U.S. retailer (not WalMart or K-Mart, but not an upscale place). The offered price? $25. Yup, US$25 for writing the script for a 40-50 second video.The PM told me that writing advertising copy was a new field for Transperfect. This was my reply: "Thank you for your inquiry, but $25 for copywriting for a large company like X is ridiculous. They'd pay an advertising agency much more. If TransPerfect is really accepting $25 plus company's overhead plus profit margin (=$100 or less?), then there is something seriously wrong with its
account executives. In any case, I'm very busy this weekend." Like many of you, I received better rates from Transperfect in the 1990s.
" I just did some googling to find out what the going rate for advertising copywriters is. For free-lancers, the average is about $83 an hour. That's a useful bit of information to have."
My own experience : When I started I was contacted by them to be a translator. But then they realised that I only had one year experience in the business. Therefore they offered me another job : Proofreader !! (Yes, the one who corrects the 10 years of experienced expert translator!) Here is another Transperfect proofreading offer sent by a translator (oct 2013):
" Here's one for THE list. Diana Chemparathy (she can be found on LinkedIn) offered me bi-lingual proofreading for US$ 0.01 per word, telling me that "2,000 words per hour is the norm in this industry"! The proofing/editing/reviewing (she never really clarified what she meant by "proofreading") was to be done over the weekend and came with very detailed formatting instructions as well as two separate style guides. The work was highly specialised and not to be undertaken lightly, as it consisted of pages of faxed medical case notes, pathology reports and culture results, some handwritten.Needless to say I turned the job down flat. The agency she works with/for is TransPerfect. I complained directly to their head office but never received a reply.
Well done you for initiating this blog and list and thank you!"
READ this blog's article about TP for more info
Transpac localization company (Vietnam), (Employer attitude :) ask for free tests to get contracts
An "Employer attitude" consists in expecting and asking things from your employee to help you with things that are mainly in YOUR interest. The translator is not an employee. He is not getting any salary from the wannabe employer. So why should he feel like helping for FREE, knowing that in return for his efforts, he gets one little job paid peanuts. Type of Emails they send out (all these spelling problems are authentic):
"Hi, This is XXX from Transapc Localizaiton Company. Nice to meet you! Here comes a test that needs to be translated from EN into Spanish, Please check the details and confirm whether you can take it ASAP. Can you help us to translate for free this time? Notes from our client: Wordcount: 231 . This is a massive client of ours so again needs to be perfect. The translator must have an engineering/technical background to traslate the attached into Spanish. The technical aspects need to be perfect - they do a massive amount with us. Kindly let us know when you can deliver this task. Please do not start untill you get my confirmation. Thank you." (From linkedin)
WTF?? Translation tests should be PAID your normal rate (I charge for tests over 150 words, rare exceptions made for serious agencies or clients). Just like any work (whatever the purpose is) deserves a salary. Otherwise you end up with people translating a huge text cut in little "tests".
Thanks to Krzysiek for pointing out that this company is not to be confused with Transpac technology (based in China) which appears to be an OK company.
5/11/13: "Hi! I have been working with Transpac but it looks like it is not the same Transpac you mention. If I'm correct, you listed a Vietnamese company, whereas I've been translating for Transpac Technology (a Chinese company). Now, the only issue with them is the fact that you have to remind them about payment after 30 days though they always pay."
Transquotation - Ask for membership fees
One of my rules is to not pay for work but to work to get paid, plus who likes to waste their precious time ?
"It's a job-shop site that looked good at first, so I signed up and provided the usual details. Then they hit me with a membership fee demand. That was annoying enough, since they only mentioned it after I had gone through the registration ..."
Trans Titles (Low rates)
$4 per minute, advertise on ProZ
Type of emails they send :
"We require excellent translators with computer terminology understanding, and good spelling and grammar. Work start is immediate with first deadline at the end of the weekend. An English transcription is provided. Rate is ONLY per video minute, which measures about 150-180 words in a minute.
Most is fluent speech mixed with technical terms, translation needs to be like all subtitles - fluent and understandable."
Translator's comment : "So I decided to bid. How I was surprised when the project manager offered me a real "treasure" - $4 per minute! Simple calculation showed that they offer $0.022 per word."
Travod, Moldova ( fake offices+low rates)
Read my article (1/12/13)
"I just wanted to tell you about my last experience with Travod, agency who sent me the following message last Monday:
"We have a new project. The details are below:
Language source - destination: English - Spanish
Translation Area: General
Number of units: 433
Price per Unit:0.020 USD
Total Price: 16.670 USD "Travod is a joke of a company. I received several similar "offers" from them but the rate they are proposing you are even worse than the 0.04-0.05 USD they proposed to me. I also noticed that their payment terms are 3 months after the work is due. Ridiculous! Who would ever agree to these terms? How do companies like Travod stay in business? I had to put them on my e-mail black-list to avoid receiving these insulting "offers".
"I pointed out that Travod pretends to be in the USA but they are actually in Moldova! This is clear from the IP address. (read the rest of report)
This week (17/10/2013) I stumbled upon a very interesting piece of information on LinkedIn : Travod pretends to have offices in Paris!!
"I made a translation for Travod. It took 12 days before I received an answer to my many reminders asking if the translation was fine and for a PO# so that I could invoice them.
They replied that all needed info is published on their website www.travod.com Checking the website it says that they have offices in Paris at 44 boulevard des batignolles. After checking at this adress there is only a church! Moreover, I checked the French chamber of commerce and there no company called Travod registered in France. So beware, personally I will never work with them again and I should feel lucky if I ever get paid for my translation."
Read more on Travod:
Trust Traduzioni (Novara, Italy) - Shameful practises
It all started with a scandal in 2010 when Trust Traduzioni very confidently published this job announcement on Proz.com:
Dear Translators,We are looking for new team members to include in a translation project for the Italian Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry has begun sending us—and will continue to do so throughout 2010—materials from the site http://www.italia.it that need to be translated into English, French, German, and Spanish.
The “cartella” imposed by the Ministry is 2600 characters and the price is 9 euros gross with payment after 90 days (this condition is also a requirement of the Ministry). The price is extremely low, but translators should consider the large amount of work on offer and the ongoing nature of the project. If you are interested, contact me via email, telephone, or Skype. We already have files ready for translation that need to be assigned with some urgency. Your participation is appreciated."
Hem. That is embarrassing. After a wave of infuriated mails and petitions knocked them hard in the face, the Ministry had this mortified answer:
The Ministry of Tourism has published no announcement of any kind regarding a search for translators nor has it authorized any other party to do so. With regard to the announcement that appeared a few days ago on the http://www.proz.com internet site, and in which untrue information was imputed to the Ministry of Tourism, an official complaint has been filed with the competent authorities against person or persons unknown. In addition, the Ministry would like to make clear that it does not apply and has no intention of applying the fees and conditions indicated in the announcement.
Trusted Translations, Argentina (Shameful rates)
Email received on the 9th November 2013:
"Claiming to be based in Florida, instead uses staff from Argentina (cheaper!) and pays crappy rates.I have been in their database since 2006 and they have been offering the same rates ever since. When I asked to revise my rates, they replied "You signed for those, remember? They are fixed".
Service Languages Unit price per word in U$STranslation English to Italian 0.040Edition English to Italian 0.020Proofreading English to Italian 0.010
When they are panicking because they can't find a translator working for peanuts, they say they can "combine your rate" (translation + edition = $0.06) if you perform a final reading of the job before delivering.
Sometimes they subcontract from other agencies, but whether direct client or not, the rate is always the same. Impossible to negotiate rates, really the bottom chain of the translation industry."
EN > IT translator
New : Universally Speaking, UK (late payments)
"They appear to be the king (or queen?) of late payments among game localization agencies. Their payments are always late no matter how big/small the amount they owe. You need to beg to get paid with several emails back and forth. If you have access to ProZ Blue Board, check their 1-out-of-5 rated status and find how badly they are operating"
Check : http://www.proz.com/blueboard/18404
Thanks and regards, Ayako Teranishi 寺西礼子
Valuepoint Knowledgeworks Pvt. Ltd (Late payer)
Translator's email (6/11/13):
"First of all, thank you for this great site! At last something is actively done against tricks like this. I confirm the low prices complaint against Protranslating and would like to add "Valuepoint Knowledgeworks Pvt. Ltd" to the list (even though they eventually pay, I has to ask for each payment specifically and several times even after their own 45-days-payment-deadline had passed. The communication was slow and at least one invoice contained a false rate. I warmly suggest everyone to avoid dealings with this company).
*How long in total did you wait for payment? (Dates)
I sent them the invoice on September 3rd. Their payment time was 45 days. They should have paid by Oct 15th but didn't. They THEN promised to pay by Oct 26th but I received the payment by Oct 30. Their overall business practice sees to be "we pay when you ask for it, not when it's due and we should actually make the payment on our own initiative as contractually obliged".
*Did you incur late fees? No
*What made them pay? My numerous e-mails, one of which was as follows:
"Please answer my last two letters (titled XXX and YYY) by the EOB of Tuesday, 03.09.2013 or I'm forced to file an official complaint to your superiors, detailing your actions (delaying, not sending PO in time, then sending PO with false info and THEN not responding to my queries in a reasonable time frame). However busy you may be, I find it hard to believe that you cannot find 3 minutes to change 2 numbers on a PO and then send it back to me.
Should my potential complaint to your superiors also yield no results, my displeasure will result in the termination of our agreement and a Proz.com BlueBoard entry warning other translators not to cooperate with your company. Your superiors will also be notified.
I have been nothing but professional in my dealings with your company and I expect the same professional attitude from you.I truly hope we can still salvage this situation."
Kindly live up to the professional standards of the industry, please.
*Did they apologise?
Well yes but when someone says they're sorry but doesn't actually make any changes to go along with that, what's the use?
*How many times did you have to ask for your money and for how many tasks? > 2 tasks, about 6-7 times
All the best, Kaspar Müürsepp, English-Estonian translator
VERITAS (now Hello Veritas) translations (nasty business practises, won't pay)
"Anyone else have experience with this company? I did some jobs for them last year that took months (and numerous emails) to be paid. Now they are back with machine translations that they want me to proofread. "
Viewglobally (insulting rates)
Found on LinkedIn. Now I've seen offers like this before, but this PM is very optimistic to hope that a native norwegian is ever going to take on that job. Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world and the rates of native translators are amongt the highest in the industry. Is this company extremely ignorant about their own business or just pretending to be and chancing it? This is a truly insane offer.
Hope you are doing well. We have engaged into ongoing project, for which we need more assistance with. We are translating a large document, subject is travel.
Fairly easy text that has to be translated into Norwegian. Since this is really large project the rate is not the greatest, but with high expectations to continue for over next 6 months.
Let me know if you could agree with the rate of 0.045 USD per word for this project and whether you are able to perform a test (which will be paid for if it passes).
Looking forward to your prompt reply. Best Regards,
22 Sv. Stepono street, Vilnius, Lithuania
VISTATEC (Late or non payers, low rates)
"For those of you who are approached by VistaTec in Ireland to carry out review work, I would strongly advise CAUTION.
This company employs hundreds of reviewers to do work on various accounts (for numerous mainstream software companies and providers).
Reminders to pay invoices are ignored by their accounts payable department for weeks on end (sometimes for several months) and payment is ONLY received after you threaten to stop work or call in the services of a collection agency. Account managers can do very little to help you, as they claim. The same account managers will send you new work even though payments of invoices are still outstanding. "
Other email received (october 2012):
"I just saw your post on Linked In and wanted to add one of our problem payers. Vistatec. They request a 45 day payment term, and I agreed. My payment terms 7 days. However I was not expecting that I would need to hound them to pay. They have paid some of my invoices 90+ days for most. I am still waiting on payment and many others.
Here is a spreadsheet that is about 2 weeks old listing # of outstanding days. Their rates are shocking. I will never accept a job from them again." I confirm that most of the contractors on the list have oustanding invoices dating from more than 3 months, list available upon request:
VOCABRIDGE (Formerly: The Language Team Ltd ) (suspicious lack of reputation, no info available)
"Just got this e-mail from Voxorbis. The rate is offensive but obviously they don't even know what they're dealing with as they are expecting an output of 100 minutes a day!! Yikes!"
WEBGROND BV- ANNE DIJKSTRA- (Very Low rates)
(Bad practises, pressure on lowering rates : 1 cent a word) Type of emails they send :
"You can look at it this way, we can only pay you 3 cents a word, but each month our customers send us 1.500.000 words, so we can send you work multiple times a week" /"The text is very simple. We understand that there are a lot of highly qualified translators available at proz.com. We do not need those services here. This is a 1,000,000 word job and this has to be done on a certain low budget. We will have a lot more translation work from this particular customer in the near future so if done correctly we will give that to you as well.We pay within 7 days of finishing the job. $0.01 USD to $0.02 USD per word Further payment details: Cheap, but a lot of work. And its simple. "
WEBGROND BV- ANNE DIJKSTRA- Netherlands: Translation of gaming website - 50,000 words - 18 languages for a whooping $0.01
Webflakes (Shameful practises, expecting free work from non-pros)
These people should be closed down, read this article, it's infuriating!
Win All Translation & Language Solutions Co. Ltd. (ask for rush translations and don't pay)
Website name / winalltranlation.comTranslator's report : They asked him for urgent translations of medical certificates and never paid, it's been two months.
"Ils m'ont demandé une traduction urgent de trois certificats médicaux et passés deux mois ils ne m'ont pas payé.Salutations amicales, P. R"
Excerpt from Ripoff report:
Report from a translator : "I asked him if he needed me to finish them at all, as I was uncertain of if he still wanted the translation, to which he finally admitted that no, he did not. Throughout all of this I was a student at school, and I wasted a number of possible studying hours completing this translation. I have recieved no financial compensation, and at the very least I would have hoped that the CEO of the company could have gotten himself together and notified me that he did not want the job completed I am highly unimpressed, and I feel cheated. " wordans.ca, 5605 avenue de Gaspé, Suite 604 Montreal, Quebec Canada
"Caution may be advised. According to Payment Practices, there were recent reports of late and non-payment on unidentified WorldOne office (17 offices world-wide) posted to WPPF and Trad Online. On the other hand, direct responses from 2004-2006 were mostly positive."
Details available at http://www.paymentpractices.net/Subscribers/Agency.aspx?id=1662
Wolfestone / Eco Trans (Low rates)
"A couple of weeks ago I got in touch with Eco Trans, a company based in Wales, as I am particularly interested in environmental issues as a specialist area (as well as legal and financial). The people at Eco Trans told me they were owned by Wolfestone Translations, a much bigger outfit. I applied to them, and they sent me an email with a test translation attached. They said however that they saw that my rates were "quite high" and that they normally offered bet. 0,045 GBP and 0,05 GPB p/w. for my combination (GER > ENG). In other words, £45 - 50 per thousand words. I wrote back and said "thanks but no thanks!"
WordDoc (USA) (Non-payers)
" These people don't pay their bills, even after 10 reminders. I've been trying to get payment from them for 5 months now and my e-mails are just ignored. If they do send a reply,..."
Zamenhof translation (Low rates)
Probably best to kick them while they are down: Zamenhof translation services in Israel, just came asking for a translation at 0,04 euro...
ZOO Digital - Subtitling (Low rates)
"They offered $5 a minute and thought that $450 for a 90-minute feature was a good deal. Rather sheepishly, they admitted that it wasn't very much but at least - IF they liked you - you'd have a lot of work."
office 310 220 3939 | facsimile 310 220 3958
2201 Park Place, Suite 100 | El Segundo, CA 90245
AfterwordPlease note that this black list gets longer every week. Your contribution to validate a peer's report or to add a new name is very welcome. Please write to:
The aim of this blog is to inform young translators, buyers and clients about the translation industry, and to name and shame non-payers and unprofessional behaviour.