FOR translating a 22-minute video from English into Spanish at short notice, 7Brands Global Content, a professional-translation firm based in New York, quoted “approximately $1,500”. This fee seems in line with the local going rate for the job from a firm which boasts membership of three professional associations and clients such as Chase and Bank of America. Not so long ago, paying the local rate was the only option. Today anyone seeking to get this sort of job done is only a click away from the whole world of professionals competing to do it far cheaper.
That same translation job was advertised on Elance.com and oDesk.com, the two busiest among several newish online marketplaces for work, or “talent exchanges”. On Elance it soon attracted 25 bids, from individuals in 15 countries. For around half the bidders, this would be their first job, which raised questions about how good their work would be (especially the Uruguayan who promised to “translate your interview perfetly”). But some seemed competent. According to his Elance page, “oswaldo g”, from Colombia, has already completed 31 jobs, earning a combined $4,193 and a satisfaction rating of 4.9 (out of 5). He quoted a tempting $16.44 an hour—though not as tempting as the five bids on oDesk (three of them by five-star-rated workers), from Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines. Each of them offered a flat rate for the completed job, ranging from $33.33 down to just $22.22.
Via The Learning Factor