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I noticed last night – to my delight, ever since the onboarding of who-knows-how-many new translators, in my pair anyway, has rendered snatching up anything apart from jobs one is a preferred translator for all but impossible – that the Meru project is finally back up and running! Fantastic. 

I also noticed, however, to my lesser delight, that the already low rates for the project have been halved since the project was last up. Translators working on the project are now being paid USD 0.0175 per word (!).

Now, I suppose I can theoretically understand the logic behind this: one is, after all, translating the same content twice. But the very premise of the project is that one is translating the same thing differently both times. It strikes me as a bit rich to cut the amount of money you are paying people in half, then ask that they never resort to machine translation (which, of course, they shouldn't) and that they provide two completely different translations of the same sentence, when one of those translations is being done, quite simply, for free. 

Surely this isn't fair and something the Gengo team ought to reconsider? 

It's all very well, sending out surveys about how technical aspects of the platform are working out for everyone and the like, but what is the point of any of that when the real issue that affects everyone – the relentless cutting of corners and reduction of already eyebrow-raising rates, namely – is forever being avoided and remains stubbornly unaddressed?

24 comments

  • 18
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    AlexF

    Hello Keiko

    I fully agree with you. 

    Translating the same sentence twice is not twice the work, it's much more than double the work to find another way of saying the same thing, keeping it natural (especially when sentences are short). Moreover, among the few that I have submitted some have come back because too close to MT (which is of course unavoidable when MT is totally correct). All in all, I spent way too much time on these jobs to make it worthwhile.

    I now keep away from these jobs, that's our only option to show our dissatisfaction.

    AlexF

  • 16
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    Cornelius

    Fully agree. I never paid attention to this before but got the project email today. I was astonished by the amount of requirements (style guide, check multiple MT sources, provide two distinct translations etc.) in contrast to the pitiful compensation. These tasks should be higher compensated than regular jobs, not considerably less. This feels like somebody who is out of touch with the translation process was in charge of all the critical decisions ("All MT is bad, it must not be used", "It's the same text twice, so it's half the work that should be paid", etc.).

    Edited by Cornelius
  • 4
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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi all -- thanks for bringing this up! Quick comment here to let you know that the half rates  on these jobs were apparently an error, and we're working towards issuing the remaining payment to those who've already picked up and submitted jobs. Available jobs on the platform have been "bonused" so that they currently should be showing the normal rate. 

    We apologize for the inconvenience, and are currently working towards payment issue and email communications that will go out soon, to clarify the situation.

    Thank you for your patience!

    Lara

  • 1
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    Lara Fernandez

    @keiko -- You are correct.

    Please note that jobs in "Reviewable" status are not bonused -- we cannot bonus a job once it's been submitted. For jobs in that category, we're working out a way to manually credit your account for the missing rewards (which will likely be done once the job is approved). 

    As soon as the issue was identified, we did bonus the jobs that were still on the dashboard and hadn't been picked up yet (for some language pairs, there may have been none remaining.) 

  • 1
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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi @doker - Thanks for this. The process of adding the remaining rewards is not automatic :) 
    The team is working on it right now, and I believe rewards will be added manually to your account next Friday. One of our project managers should be reaching out later today with details. Thank you for your patience!

  • 1
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    Cheryl

    Is the Meru project going to be continuing? 

  • 1
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    Katrina Paterson

    Hello Cheryl, thanks for your question about the Meru project. Yes, this project is still ongoing - however, the customer is ordering in batches in different language pairs at a time, so unfortunately we can’t foresee when more volume will come to any particular language pair. Once a new batch is launched, we’ll be in touch with a kick-off email. We really appreciate yours and everyone else’s hard work on the Meru project!

  • 0
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    keiko

    Hi Lara, 

    Thanks for the info, that's a relief! 

    I'll look forward to continuing work on the project once it's back up and running error-free, then :)

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi @keiko -- Happy to help!

    Hopefully you've already receive communications from the project manager? If not, they'll likely go out soon! 

    At any rate, currently "bonused" collections (if available in your language pair) are paying at the normal expected rate (with the bonus included), so feel free to keep on working. We're also syncing internally to make sure that going forward this doesn't happen again :) 

    Thank you all for your patience and understanding!

  • 0
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    Nuno

    For what it's worth, I still haven't received any communication from the project manager.

    Also, Lara, do you have any information on why, after the error was detected, collections got "bonused" in some language pairs (e.g., ES>EN) and not others (e.g., PTbr>EN)?

  • 0
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    Heike S.

    Mine didn't get bonused yet, either.

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    Thanks for bringing this up, guys — I will check on why communications weren’t sent yet, as the team was working towards this yesterday.

    With regards to the bonus: only jobs that were affected by the original 50% reduction were bonused to bring the rates up to the expected usual rates. Namely, it’s not really a “bonus” per se, but a hack to adjust the pricing. Can you confirm for me that the jobs you’re referring to do indeed belong to the Meru project and are still displaying only half rates? (If you could send job numbers and/or screenshots to my email, I’d appreciate it!)

    Edited by Lara Fernandez
  • 0
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    Heike S.

    Mine must be from the Meru project, at least I hope so, because they display a rate of 0.0175, which is an editing rate. I did them anyway because the language was ok in comparison to other projects of this kind.

    It doesn't state anywhere that it is called Meru, though. I will send you the job numbers, Lara.

  • 0
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    Nuno

    Lara, there are no more jobs currently available, but I completed Meru project collections in both ES>EN and PTbr>EN on Friday night at half rate. On Saturday morning I actually noticed the rate and decided they weren't worth my time, so I didn't grab any more of them. By Sunday morning, all remaining ES>EN collections were bonused at 100% (and I did complete a few then) but all PTbr>EN collections were still at half rate, and they remained that way until they were gone by Monday morning.

    Are you asking for job numbers of collections that I completed at half rate?

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    @Nuno — No, I was asking about the collections that you said weren’t bonused to fix the rate :) We can find the ones you completed and will credit your account for the missing amount later, but this will all be explained in the communications we expect to send out. Let me sync with the team and get back to you guys tomorrow! (Evening in Japan already!)

  • 0
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    keiko

    Just popping in to say my 'reviewable' jobs for the project haven't been bonused yet either, but I guess I expected this to happen later, once they'd been approved? Not seen any new Meru jobs in FR/EN roughly since posting about this so don't know how they'd appear now (assuming my 'preferred' status hasn't vanished...). Anyway, have a nice evening --

  • 0
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    Nuno

    As soon as the issue was identified, we did bonus the jobs that were still on the dashboard and hadn't been picked up yet

    That was definitely not the case with ptBR>EN collections, though.

    Thanks for your help, Lara. Have a great evening.

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    @Nuno — I think that would depend on whether when you saw those jobs, we had identified the issue already or not. (This didn’t happen immediately, unfortunately :( )

    We’ll keep you guys posted on adjustments for submitted translations — I believe this time the emails have gone out already :)

  • 0
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    Nuno

    Lara, that's why I started by asking whether you knew why the jobs in only some language pairs were bonused — since more than 24 hours after the issue was detected and corrected in esES>enUS, there were still ptBR>enUS collections available on the dashboard without the bonus.

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    @Nuno — We initially found the issue yesterday, at the time I posted here. Do you mean jobs belonging to Meru were still sitting unbonused *after* I posted here yesterday? Unfortunately, these jobs had been ordered over the weekend, I think, so they did indeed sit unbonused there since they were ordered until yesterday, when we found out about the issue.
    I know timing can be messy, especially since we are all in different time zones! :)
    If you picked up and submitted any jobs “unbonused” yesterday, please send me the job number to my email so I can double check.

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    Re-reading your comment — I see that you mention there were bonused collections in ES>EN on Sunday, which I find odd because the internal information sharing was done yesterday, and that’s when we issued bonuses. At any rate, I would really like to check whether PT-BR>EN fell through the cracks, so any specific job numbers you can provide would be helpful :)

  • 0
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    Nuno

    Lara, I received an email from the Gengo Projects Team, informing me of the 100% bonus applied to all ES>EN Meru Project collections available on the dashboard at 10:53 AM UTC (7:53 PM in Tokyo) on Sunday, although I had already seen the bonus on my dashboard maybe three hours earlier, at around 8:00 AM. That was at least 18 hours before your first post in this thread.

    I never received any such email about the PT-BR>EN collections, and the ones available on the dashboard remained at half rate throughout the day on Sunday. On Monday at around 8:00 AM UTC (5 PM in Tokyo), 6 hours after your post here and 24 hours after the ES>EN collections got bonused, there were still a handful of PT-BR>EN collections on the dashboard, without any bonus added.

    Like I said earlier, once I noticed the rate, I decided against grabbing any more of those collections, but I'll send you the numbers for the PT-BR>EN collections I completed on Friday so that you can check whether that language pair fell through the cracks. Thanks!

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    Thanks, Nuno! :)

    This is super helpful. I will take a look at your email too today and follow up with the team to ensure that PT-BR>EN doesn’t fall through the cracks if this is what happened. A priori, if the jobs are indeed Meru and impacted by this issue, you shouldn’t worry about the fact that they weren’t bonused — they should receive the same treatment as all other jobs that were submitted at half rate prior to bonusing (manual reward adjustment.) I do want to to make sure though that if for some reason PT-BR>EN was initially forgotten, it’s taken into account going forward! Thanks so much!

  • 0
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    doker

    They are already approved but there is no compensation.

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