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Hi to everyone! My name is Anna and I’m a new translator (English to Italian) who joined Gengo about one week ago.  Since then I tried to get my first translations but I never arrive on time. I feel quite frustrated and don’t know how to resolve the problem. Could  you please  help me with some good advice and explain how do you manage to get the jobs?

I already wrote to the support team, read the online article ‘How do I claim jobs?’, choose to receive job notifications every 5 minutes and subscribed RSS (setting the update interval to 1 minute). I really don’t know what else to do!

Since I subscribed to RSS I’m able to see the jobs from there (while I never saw the jobs on the dashboard and email notifications  take quite long to arrive, even 1 hour or more after the jobs appeared on RSS), but every time I click on the link it appears that the job is no longer available.

I use a Lenovo laptop with Windows 8.1 and have wi-fi connection.

I hope someone can help me to solve the trouble!

28 comments

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    carla m.

    Hi Anna!

    You have already done what most of us do to try and get jobs. Unfortunately, the problem here and in many other language combinations is that there are too many translators but not many jobs, so it's just a question of being fast and/or lucky, or better both...Keep trying, as some weeks are slower than others...

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    mirko

    Sadly, what cm said is true and "we" (users) certainly have no way to "solve" this, while those who could (Gengo) actually seem to be actively engaged in making things worse (for "us"). If you search through the forum, you will find several threads and hundreds of posts talking about this (one of the last ones here: https://support.gengo.com/entries/34611944-Volume-of-jobs ). Furthermore, while tests should only be opened when there actually is a need for new translators in some pairs, it seems this simple rule of logic was (and still continues to be, it would seem...) disregarded, and these are the results.

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    Alexander

    Gengo seems to be more concerned about forcing us to handle a job their way, than about enabling us to grab a job in the first place. It's a frustrating experience, until you get used to it.

    Keep your RSS software running 24/7, but expect no jobs. Keep clicking the rare jobs you see, but expect to be too late. Keep delivering professional work in the rare cases you clicked even faster than your fellow translators.

    While things have gotten worse recently, I still managed to collect $154 this month. Back in 2014 it was $460/month on average. My pair is English to Dutch, the numbers for your pair may be different. Also, I started in May last year, so I can't differentiate the current decline from any seasonal effect.

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    mirko

    @Alexander - Ditto. I believe the decrease in earnings per capita is also a generalized phenomena and a natural consequence of what we're discussing (actually, if you divide X by Y, and only Y keeps increasing, that's more basic math than a "phenomena"), even though I thought relatively less common pairs, such as yours, would be less affected by this – but even then, it still ultimately depends on those Xs and Ys...

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    Alexander

    @Mirko - I would expect less common pairs to have larger fluctuations but otherwise follow the general trend. If the general trend is a decrease by a factor 3 without seasonal effect, that would mean Y has tripled, which is more than I can imagine.

    It would be nice if Gengo disclosed X and Y. Per month, pair and level, just how many units were translated, and how many translators were active in that month (i.e. translated at least 1 unit) for that pair and level?

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    Megan Waters

    @Alexander: As I'm sure you know, we already do show active versus qualified translators per month in our open data: http://gengo.com/open-data/capacity.html 

    However, we don't show per language pair so may be something we could add. I'm not sure, but I think the number of units translated is a bit more sensitive and I'm sure management has already discussed this and decided not to show it for a good reason. Let me see what they say.

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    Alexander

    @Megan - Thank you for chiming in. If the absolute number of units translated is too sensitive, perhaps we could get the relative numbers within each pair. If the average number translated English > Dutch per month in 2014 was 100, how much was the number in April, 2015? If the answer is 33, it tells me the decrease I see is just a seasonal effect.

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    Megan Waters

    @Alexander: Just to update you on this, one change we will be making to our Open Data page is to show the number of translators in our top 10 language pairs (busiest pairs). We are working on the design of the page so should be live in the next few weeks. Sorry, but management doesn't want to show number of units at the moment until we can figure out a way to do it that pleases management and our investors.

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    Alexander

    @Megan - Thanks for the update and thanks for your efforts behind these few lines.

    I can understand management only wants to show pleasant numbers, but if they want to continuously improve, a focus on unpleasant facts is in my eyes a better attitude.

    If some figures that, for good reason, translators would like to have, are deemed too sensitive for the Open Data page, why not put them on a separate page, subject to the same NDA as the private forums? I could even imagine a page per language pair, with only the figures of that specific pair and only accessible for translators in that pair.

    I guess there are many translators like the OP who are disappointed by the low volume of jobs, and precisely for that reason want to see in detail how they are doing compared to others. If they can see the numbers are in general equally disappointing for the other translators in the same pair, it would at least give some peace of mind.

    Disclosing figures for the top 10 busiest language pairs is the proverbial glass that is half empty or half full. It's better than nothing, and I appreciate Gengo at least searches for ways to cater to the needs of the translators. But the real need is in the pairs that are not busy at all.

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    Megan Waters

    @Alexander: I believe it's not really about not wanting to show unpleasant numbers. On on our Open Data page we already do show information that is not always pleasant and which we have no control over. It's more about that we don't want competitors etc to see this sensitive information.

    You are right though in that we could incorporate them somewhere else to some extent just for the translators to see to have more transparency in their pair. I really do like this idea, but realistically it is a management/investor decision and they have already voiced their concerns about it. For now, I hope the additions to the Open Data page are a good compromise, but I will suggest your thoughts to management.

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    Alexander

    @Megan - Thanks for the clarification and thanks for your continued efforts. Again, while I find the additions to the Open Data page a very meager compromise, I do appreciate the gesture as evidence that Gengo takes translators' concerns seriously.

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    leonardosp95

    Ciao, Anna. Come stai?

    Well, you need to be fast enough to get a job. I'm an english-portuguese(br) translator and there are lots of people wanting to translate, too. I remember I lost opportunities to get 80-dollars jobs, 90 and even 120, once. I mean, it's really frustrating. I'd recommend you to get the RSS Feeder with polling interval as 1 second. I also recommend you to put in the middle of the screen and always be with the cursor on this position. Your browser also should be the less "heavy" possible.

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    anna.ukchina

    Hi Leonardosp95,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I'm already using RSS but the minimum polling interval is 1 minute for what I can see. I was able to get some jobs, but only little ones, and it's always difficult to get them! Most of jobs in my language pair seems to be very little ones (even less than 1 dollar!), althought sometimes I saw some 80-dollars, or plus, jobs (but I wasn't able to get them!). Are they numerous in your language pair?

     

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    leonardosp95

    Well, Feed Notifier, the program I use, allows you to change to the minimum of 1 second.

    This week has been really hard, and most of the jobs are just less than 1 dollar, as you are saying.

    One month ago there were more jobs (various from 10 to 20 dollars) and I remember I got a 90 dollar job.

    Hope you get some really good ones. We always need them :)

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    mirko

    @Anna - Actually, the minimum refresh rate for the RSS feed should be 30 seconds. 60 seconds is the caching interval on their end.

    @Leonardo - The 30 seconds limit is one of Gengo's rules (kinda...).

    "That's the overview and here's the fine print:


    The Dashboard, available jobs pages, and RSS are cached for 60 seconds. The cache is created the first time you load the page or request the RSS feed and expires 60 seconds later. This means there is no advantage to loading the page multiple times per second.


    The RSS, Dashboard and available jobs page are throttled. The RSS is limited to two requests per 60 seconds. The Dashboard and available jobs pages are throttled to 10 requests per second. Any requests beyond these limits will be denied.


    In order to protect the overall translator experience, please set the refresh rate of your RSS feed reader and/or automatic page refresher to a maximum of two requests per 60 seconds. Also, please do not use any bot or other automated solution to accept Collections. Users who consistently abuse the Gengo site, whether excessively refreshing, using a bot or other automated solutions to accept collections, risk demotion or suspension." - https://support.gengo.com/entries/23716768-How-do-I-claim-jobs-

    Finally, set the update interval. Most RSS feeds pull new data on an hourly basis. By default, readers are set to 10 minutes but you can change it to 1 minute. Some readers allow you to update more frequently. However, this will not help you at all as Gengo's caching feature only allows you to refresh every 60 seconds.

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    mirko

    Sorry, little copy-paste accident right there...

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    leonardosp95

    @mirko Maybe, but most of the times people get jobs with less than 5 seconds. It's incredible.

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    Megan Waters

    @Alexander: Just to let you know, the additions to the Open Data page have been published. You can now see the number of active translators in our top 10 language pairs for each month here: http://gengo.com/open-data/capacity.html. Scroll down to the bottom and toggle between the languages using the drop-down arrow.

    Hope this gives you all a bit more transparency.

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    Alexander

    @Megan - I see what you mean. Interesting to see that there is a huge difference between JA > EN and EN > JA.

    In what sense are these pairs the top 10? This list seems not to be sorted by the number of active translators (nor alfabetically).

    The numbers add up to 1109 out of 1973 active translators, so 56% can see the number in their pair. Not bad at all, though I regret the other 44% includes myself :-)

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    Megan Waters

    @Alexander: I don't think the ordering means much, but these 10 pairs have the largest number of active translators out of all our language pairs. So if yours isn't there, you know it has less than the smallest one on that list (FR>EN =39). Sorry that you can't see yours but maybe helps to give some perspective, and maybe we will change it in the future ;)

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    Alexander

    @Megan - Now we're talking. On a rare occasion when there were many jobs in my pair, I once wrote down their number every few minutes. By estimating how much time on average was needed for a single job, and reading from the numbers how many jobs disappeared in that time, I estimated there were at least 30 translators taking them. Since I now know there must have been less than 39 of them, I think it's a safe bet there are some 35 active translators in my pair.

    Now I only have to send a drone to Gengo's headquarters to peek in the administration how much units there are in my pair, and check if my share is more or less than 1/35 :-)

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    carla m.

    663 Italian translators! Good thing they're not all active...Anyway, the number for EN-IT seems about right, since I know for sure there are at least 49 translators (including myself). In case you're wondering how I know that: that's the number of translators who - for a variety of reasons - declined jobs  (up to 14 times in one case) that I was able to grab after they gave up.  

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    leonardosp95

    Well, there are 459 translators for PT-BR....but yeah, it's still hard to get a job, even if that link shows my language pair was the fourth most active in may. (Maybe just June was terrible)

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    mirko

    @Leonardo - 459 is the total number of translators from Brazil registered on Gengo. The number of active translators for EN>PT-BR is 126, which is still very high (although it should be compared with the average number of jobs, of course).

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    Steve

    Thank you very much for these new numbers. Now I understand better why it's so tricky to pick EN>FR jobs.

    Old translators have the benefit to be selected as "preferred translator" by several (and usually regular) customers, so I guess it's even harder for newcomers.

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    leonardosp95

    @mirko Thank you for that. I'm really surprised. Well, as I said before, this June was not very good for us :p

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    Alexander

    @Leonardo - How does June this year compare for you to June last year? For me in dollars, June 2015 has been 19% better so far than June 2014, which was also very unproductive (3.1% of my total revenue from June 1, 2014 thru May 31, 2015).

    I think we are just facing a seasonal effect. If last year's pattern repeats itself, the number of units should go up in July by more than a factor 2 relative to June.

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    leonardosp95

    @Alexander I actually don't have one year or more on Gengo. Sorry.

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