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Three translation agencies contacted us for MTPE and HT projects, all the same requirements.
Téma indítója: Marc Svetov

Marc Svetov  Identity Verified
Egyesült Államok
Local time: 00:21
Tag (2007 óta)
német - angol
Dec 6, 2020

We have been contacted by three agencies for an alleged ISSAC or ISAAC project for MTPE and HT. They ask either for a translation or else a machine translation post-editing of a string, then you are to go on to the next string, etc. No way to keep track of what you are doing. The agencies are three individuals from one agency as well as somebody in Germany from another agency I cannot discover, then another individual from a third agency. Are the identities of these people stolen? The word count... See more
We have been contacted by three agencies for an alleged ISSAC or ISAAC project for MTPE and HT. They ask either for a translation or else a machine translation post-editing of a string, then you are to go on to the next string, etc. No way to keep track of what you are doing. The agencies are three individuals from one agency as well as somebody in Germany from another agency I cannot discover, then another individual from a third agency. Are the identities of these people stolen? The word count and the PO are given after you have finished with your "batch" and then the PO will be written, according to their emails. What possible advantage can these people or this scam have in doing this? Is any of it legitimate?

[Edited at 2020-12-06 17:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:31 GMT]
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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Olaszország
Local time: 07:21
Tag (2008 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
Marc Dec 6, 2020

Who's the 'we' mentioned in your post, please?

And, have a look at this,
https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/348235-translation_agency_has_no_way_of_keeping_track_of_my_word_count_scam.html
Does it ring any bells?


Teresa Borges
Walter Landesman
philgoddard
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Németország
Local time: 07:21
Tag (2009 óta)
angol - német
+ ...
Advantages Dec 6, 2020

PO's are provided before you start the job, not afterwards. The work scope needs to be clearly defined in the PO before you can/ should even start a project.

Based on the intel you've provided this does sound a little fishy. One advantage could be that they get projects completed for half the normal rate, that is, by disabling the translator to keep track of the work done.


Walter Landesman
Brandconverter
Viviane Marx
 

Marc Svetov  Identity Verified
Egyesült Államok
Local time: 00:21
Tag (2007 óta)
német - angol
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
My wife and I are both translators Dec 6, 2020

Yes, the entry you cited sounds familiar. But this must be a very elaborate plot, right? What advantage is gained? Have they stolen the identities of those people in the agencies?

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:13 GMT]


 

Aline Amorim  Identity Verified
Brazília
Local time: 02:21
Tag (2019 óta)
angol - portugál
+ ...
MTPE and HT Dec 6, 2020

Dear @Marc,

Yes! I am working in this project with three agencies. Boring thing is to keep creating different email accounts and I am registered on the project platform. Sometimes the subject of MT doesn't draw advantage from a business.

[Editada em 2020-12-06 18:09 GMT]


 

Adam Dickinson  Identity Verified
Kanada
Local time: 01:21
Tag (2016 óta)
spanyol - angol
+ ...
I've gotten the same thing Dec 6, 2020

I've been contacted about the same project by other people at the agencies you mention, as well as by another agency that, after a little digging, was banned from ProZ for non-payment. My communication didn't seem too fishy, as the people are listed as staff members and their e-mails match the (admittedly very generic) website. I'm 50-50 on whether they're a scam as the website doesn't list their staff and none of them seem to have LinkedIn or other public profiles.

I can't speak to
... See more
I've been contacted about the same project by other people at the agencies you mention, as well as by another agency that, after a little digging, was banned from ProZ for non-payment. My communication didn't seem too fishy, as the people are listed as staff members and their e-mails match the (admittedly very generic) website. I'm 50-50 on whether they're a scam as the website doesn't list their staff and none of them seem to have LinkedIn or other public profiles.

I can't speak to the project because I've declined to participate. However, the basic outline of the project seems legitimate - there are X million words to translate and rather than assigning a set amount, they pay translators based on the number of words they actually translate. It seems like bad project management (how do they ensure that the X million words are translated by a given due date without assigning weekly volumes?), but as long as there's a way for you to track the words you complete, you should be able to invoice accordingly based on the agreed rate.
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Josephine Cassar
 

Marc Svetov  Identity Verified
Egyesült Államok
Local time: 00:21
Tag (2007 óta)
német - angol
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Are you saying this is legitimate? Dec 6, 2020

@Aline. Have you gotten a PO from them? You say you are actually working with three different agencies for the same project. Have you been able to keep track of what strings you have completed? How do you know how many words you have done?

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:21 GMT]

@Adam. Why do you say it sounds legitimate? Three different agencies working on the same alleged ISSAC or ISAAC project of four million words just doesn't sound right
... See more
@Aline. Have you gotten a PO from them? You say you are actually working with three different agencies for the same project. Have you been able to keep track of what strings you have completed? How do you know how many words you have done?

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:21 GMT]

@Adam. Why do you say it sounds legitimate? Three different agencies working on the same alleged ISSAC or ISAAC project of four million words just doesn't sound right to me. For my wife, it was English into German. For me, it's German into English. 4,000,000 words. All of it sounds fishy.

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:24 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:25 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:30 GMT]
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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Olaszország
Local time: 07:21
Tag (2008 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
Marc 2 Dec 6, 2020

The agency you mention in your post can be found in the BlueBoard as a EU-based business. Have a look.
(You may want to delete the agency name, as we are not allowed to name names, and your post may be deleted for not complying with the site 'rules'.)
Apparently a job post for a 'big online translation task', the details of it seem to match those you shared, was published yesterday morning (EU time zone). Were you notified about that job, by any chance?
Have you tried searchin
... See more
The agency you mention in your post can be found in the BlueBoard as a EU-based business. Have a look.
(You may want to delete the agency name, as we are not allowed to name names, and your post may be deleted for not complying with the site 'rules'.)
Apparently a job post for a 'big online translation task', the details of it seem to match those you shared, was published yesterday morning (EU time zone). Were you notified about that job, by any chance?
Have you tried searching the three agencies that contacted you originally?
As to the individuals mentioned in your post, if they look fishy see if they are listed anywhere in here,
http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-directory.htm
Personally, I would bin the lot.

[Edited at 2020-12-07 16:06 GMT]
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writeaway
Walter Landesman
 

Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Olaszország
Local time: 07:21
Tag (2008 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
Aline Dec 6, 2020

Aline Amorim wrote:
Yes! I am working in this project with three agencies. Boring thing is to keep creating different email accounts and I am registered on the project platform. Sometimes the subject of MT doesn't draw advantage from a business.


Do you mean you agree to do the job without carrying out any due diligence about any of the three agencies, and without receiving a PO before you started working on it, like Marc (rightly) suspects?

Not sure what you mean by 'Sometimes the subject of MT doesn't draw advantage from a business.' Not that it matters, really, as I think you are being taken for a ride. But if you'd like to clarify that bit, it might throw some more light on this very suspicious job for any other translators who may fall for it.

Adam D. was right to decline, IMHO. Better be safe than sorry.


Walter Landesman
Rosa Paredes
 

Adam Dickinson  Identity Verified
Kanada
Local time: 01:21
Tag (2016 óta)
spanyol - angol
+ ...
Clarification Dec 6, 2020

Marc Svetov wrote:

@Adam. Why do you say it sounds legitimate? Three different agencies working on the same alleged ISSAC or ISAAC project of four million words just doesn't sound right to me. For my wife, it was English into German. For me, it's German into English. 4,000,000 words. All of it sounds fishy.


What I mean by legitimate is that a project could ostensibly work that way, i.e. you and a client agree on a rate but not on the precise number of words to translate, and you get paid based on the work you do. I don't totally agree with other posters that you absolutely need a PO for a rate and a set number of words, since there's an agreement that you're paid for the work you do.

For me to take on a job like that, though, I would have to know and trust who I was dealing with, since I would need to trust that they were correctly keeping track of the words translated.

Aline, if you don't mind the queries, how have you found the process of invoicing for work done in this manner?

edit: Also, the number of companies working on the same project doesn't seem fishy in itself. Given that this sounds like an MT training project, they could be getting several translators to work on the same body of text so that their AI system can be trained with several human-quality translations of the same text.

[Edited at 2020-12-06 20:22 GMT]


Chris S
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Aline Amorim  Identity Verified
Brazília
Local time: 02:21
Tag (2019 óta)
angol - portugál
+ ...
ISAAC Project Dec 6, 2020

Marc Svetov wrote:

@Aline. Have you gotten a PO from them? You say you are actually working with three different agencies for the same project. Have you been able to keep track of what strings you have completed? How do you know how many words you have done?

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:21 GMT]

@Adam. Why do you say it sounds legitimate? Three different agencies working on the same alleged ISSAC or ISAAC project of four million words just doesn't sound right to me. For my wife, it was English into German. For me, it's German into English. 4,000,000 words. All of it sounds fishy.

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:24 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:25 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-12-06 18:30 GMT]



@Marc To me, is English Brazilian Portuguese
I see at the bottom of the platform. Click at MTPE_EnglishTo Portuguese Brazil, my case.

@Adam one of the PM has already sent me the money order so I can make the invoice and click at blue botton at MTPE, you will see the number of words did.

[Editada em 2020-12-06 20:50 GMT]


John Augustus Foulks
 

Rodrigo Valdés  Identity Verified
Brazília
Local time: 02:21
angol - spanyol
+ ...
ISSAC / ISAAC project MT training Dec 6, 2020

As someone already said, it is an MT training project. I was contacted by an ageny from Dubai or this project and they said that this was the purpose. I know at least 10 other fellow translators working for three other agencies in this same project ISAAC or ISSAC (this is where it starts to get fishy to me), all of the claim to have 4 million words to post-edit, and (this smells even worse) they're accepting almost any rate, from US$ 0.01 to EUR 0.05 /source word.
I don't know how to keep
... See more
As someone already said, it is an MT training project. I was contacted by an ageny from Dubai or this project and they said that this was the purpose. I know at least 10 other fellow translators working for three other agencies in this same project ISAAC or ISSAC (this is where it starts to get fishy to me), all of the claim to have 4 million words to post-edit, and (this smells even worse) they're accepting almost any rate, from US$ 0.01 to EUR 0.05 /source word.
I don't know how to keep track of my strings and, should I continue (which I think I won't), I would have to blindly trust what the PMs said about the agreement. What I was told was that the project was split into batches of 200k words, and that after the delivery of each batch, each translator will have acess to their performance and if I'm not mistaken, POs will be issued per batch.
It is indeed kind of weird, but I wouldn't say that something like this couldn't be legitimate in 2020.
I'll keep working on other projects while I decide what to do with this.
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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Olaszország
Local time: 07:21
Tag (2008 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
Rodrigo Dec 6, 2020

Rodrigo Valdés wrote:
I know at least 10 other fellow translators working for three other agencies in this same project ISAAC or ISSAC (this is where it starts to get fishy to me), all of the claim to have 4 million words to post-edit, and (this smells even worse) they're accepting almost any rate, from US$ 0.01 to EUR 0.05 /source word.
I don't know how to keep track of my strings and, should I continue (which I think I won't), I would have to blindly trust what the PMs said about the agreement. What I was told was that the project was split into batches of 200k words, and that after the delivery of each batch, each translator will have acess to their performance and if I'm not mistaken, POs will be issued per batch.
It is indeed kind of weird, but I wouldn't say that something like this couldn't be legitimate in 2020.


The fact that you use weird and legitimate in the same sentence is worrying. Even more so after everything else you wrote before it. What more evidence do you need?

If you have other work, I would strongly suggest you to concentrate on that, rather than getting involved with this project and these people.


writeaway
IrinaN
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Eric Azevedo
Mónica Algazi
Alessandra Sandrin
 

María C Turri  Identity Verified
Argentína
Local time: 02:21
Tag (2019 óta)
angol - spanyol
The project is legitimate Dec 7, 2020

Hi, everyone. I have been working on this project for a local Argentinian company that I trust (I don't know who outsourced it to them, though). If you read the training materials thoroughly, you'll know where to look for your wordcount. It is indeed a huge project and multiple agencies are offering it to translators.

I have received the offer from Dubai and the agency has a good rating in Proz. However, the misspelling (ISSAC) does seem fishy. Since the documents I got from the oth
... See more
Hi, everyone. I have been working on this project for a local Argentinian company that I trust (I don't know who outsourced it to them, though). If you read the training materials thoroughly, you'll know where to look for your wordcount. It is indeed a huge project and multiple agencies are offering it to translators.

I have received the offer from Dubai and the agency has a good rating in Proz. However, the misspelling (ISSAC) does seem fishy. Since the documents I got from the other agency state clearly the project's name is ISAAC. Also, in the files I got, they state multiple reasons for discounts up to 100% of your payment. This should really be a big red flag for anyone. That's why I only participated on the project for one agency I'm certain that will pay for my work.
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 06:21
Tag (2007 óta)
angol
+ ...
Has anyone been paid anything? Dec 7, 2020

We need to hear from someone who has actually profited from this. Someone who has actually received payment. It sounds to me like a "straightforward" scam to get as much work as possible for as little money as possible.

Rita Amaral
Walter Landesman
Yolanda Broad
Liviu-Lee Roth
Vadim Kadyrov
Sergio Betini
Alison Jenner
 
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