For those of us who are members of Proz.com, a well-known website for translator jobs and resources, this is in line with the petition made by a group of translators on the Proz job posting system (http://www.proz.com/about/ipetition/input). This has recently seen an alarming increase in the number of job offers containing rates and working conditions considered totally unacceptable by the translators signing the petition. As a result, Proz.com has changed its posting system so that the pricing field is removed from the job posting form; clients still have the possibility to publish a budget range, but the translators can choose whether to view those budget ranges or not. The view behind this is that the individual translator is in the best position to determine what he or she needs to charge to deliver the quality required on a particular job, and that the massive publication of jobs offering very low rates was pushing general rates down and consequently, output quality since only those inexperienced or poor translators would bid –and work– on those jobs.
I think we translators need in general to educate translation agencies – and they in turn their final clients – to make them understand that we cannot produce a quality translation if we are not properly remunerated, and that the alternative to award it to an excessively cheap translator will only make them gain a once-off project but lose clients in the long term, and impoverish the reputation of the translation profession in general. If we all refuse poorly paid jobs – or jobs with too tight deadlines which won’t allow us to work on it as long as required – eventually the translation industry will benefit from it.