As I was taking a well deserved nap yesterday afternoon after several hours of heavy-duty translating (I need to do that at my age now just about every day), my phone rang and my Panasonic phone announced in a genderless, computerized voice “CALL FROM SKYPE”. I have a talking phone, a source of constant entertainment to me because I get a kick out of how it totally mispronounces everything, but not in an accent of any recognizable human language.
It was a man with Russian accent who called himself Chip, an unusual name for a Russian, who said that he was calling from a translation agency in London, England, called Travod and that he was eager to help me out should I be in need of assistance with a translation project in any language. His English was pretty good, although he was obviously just reading something from a sheet of paper, and his accent was not very strong, although I found it really strange to hear a Russian man pronounce the word “patent” in British manner (in England it rhymes with latent).
So to get back to my nap as soon as possible, I told Chip to go ahead and send me an e-mail with a price list for his company’s translation services. Incidentally, I could not get back to sleep after that, but I am not really mad at Chip, I know that he just does what he has to do to get by.
Anyway, if you are curious as to what was in the e-mail that Chip who bravely makes cold calls to what he thinks are translation agencies and then sends them e-mails sent to me, here it is:
Following the phone conversation I had with you today, I am sending you an email with the details of our company to see if there is any way we can become a strategic partner in translations for PatentTranslators.
Please note that we do translations in over 130 different languages and we work with more than 2500 freelancers all around the world. All our translators are native speakers of the target language, and have a minimum of 5 years experience in translating. Whenever you get big and urgent projects hard to complete or you don’t have a specialist to translate for a specific industry or language, you could assign the whole translation project to us (translation + editing + proofreading + DTP if needed).
Here are some examples of our discounted rates for translation:
European and Scandinavian languages to English = 0.11 USD/Word; Proofreading – 0.05 USD/Word
German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Danish + other
Asian languages to English = 0.11 USD/word; Proofreading – 0.05 USD/Word
Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Mongolian + other
African languages to English = 0.11 USD/word; Proofreading – 0.05 USD/Word
Of course we do handle much more languages besides those listed above, it would be my pleasure to assist you on any future inquiries.
I can send you few names of some of our biggest customers, agencies that constantly use our services – The Big Word, Transperfect, Translate Plus UK, MCIS Canada, Turkish Translations Office Turkey, Fox Service Czech, RWS Group, CTS Language Link etc.
Attached you can see our regular rates, for your consideration, but of course I am opened to give you discounts up to 40% for larger projects and long-term partnerships that definitely should make you happy working with us.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
There was also another sheet attached listing rates for about 60 languages, all hovering around 11 cents per word.
Chip, Sales Manager, Travod International.
Note: Certificates and reference letters proving the experience available upon request. Translators ready to start immediately if necessary, TRADOS or other related software available.
Travod is clearly created from two words: the first word is the first part of the word “translation” and the second part is the end of the word “perevod” which means translation in Russian. Very clever. Another blogger wrote an interesting post about Travod last year called “Travod and how to win your client’s trust: nice pics of skyscrapers, dogs and a few phony addresses”, so I think that I will end the post here, especially since I have to translate a Japanese contract that I haven’t started yet although I need to finish it by tomorrow, and then something from Czech followed by two patents from Russian.
Incidentally, according to the post from Translation Ethics linked above, Travod pays to its translators under two Euro cents, which is why and how they probably still make plenty of profit even though they just work for other agencies rather than for direct clients.
But I am wondering, didn’t these fairly large and fairly established translation agencies, as far as agencies go, that are listed in Travod’s e-mail make Travod sign a confidentiality agreement prohibiting disclosure of any information relating to the work that Travod is doing for them, such as the fact that these translation agencies send their translation to some guy who may or may not be located in England, but probably lives and works mostly in Moldavia where the cost of living is much lower?
And since Chip is so cavalier with this kind of sensitive information about these translation agencies, who are his dear clients but who probably don’t want anybody to know that this is how they handle translation projects these days, what happens to even more sensitive information of the clients of these translation agencies contained in the documents that they sent to Chip for translation?
Who knows how many people in how many countries will have access to the information contained in the often highly confidential documents being translated by the crème de la crème of these corporate translation agencies who can’t seem to resist getting a really great deal from a subcontractor like Travod, who in turn may be sending the translation to yet another subcontractor in a country where living and labor costs are even lower than in Moldavia, perhaps in China or India?
Oh well, as long as the end client makes the first subcontractor sign a non-disclosure agreement, the first subcontractor makes a second subcontractor sign another non-disclosure agreement, and the second subcontractor makes a third subcontractor sign yet another non-disclosure agreement (if there is a third subcontractor), I am sure everything will be just fine.