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Hello,

I don't know if this has been the case for a lot of translators here at Gengo, or if it's something more related to the language pairs that I'm qualified to work with, but ever since late November last year, the amount of jobs coming through has been drastically reduced and it hasn't really picked up ever since. I initially thought it would only be a December, and thus, a holiday season type of thing (as I remembered happened last year as well), where it's normal for work to slow down but now January has passed and we're reaching mid-February and I have not seen work pick up pretty much at all, to the point where it's starting to get worrying.

I'm quite confident that my RSS feed reader is working appropriately and that that's not the issue, so my question is if this is something that other translators have seen across the board and if so, do we know why that is? I can't really correlate it with the latest surge in covid-19 cases that started to pick up on December because the first wave passed pretty much unnoticed given that we're already used to remote work, and if anything, work might've picked up a bit given the new amount of covid related jobs coming through.

So, has everybody seen work cut off almost completely as well? Am I missing something? 

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this post.

15件のコメント

  • 4
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    Luciana Goulart

    Hello! Unfortunately I'm experiencing the same issue in my language pair. Since last december I've been noticing a drastic reduction to the point that I couldn't ask for my payout last time because it hasn't reached the minimum for Payoneer... and since I started to work with Gengo, this problem never happened. So, I'm worried as well. I don't think this is related to the Covid, but I think it would be very useful if Gengo could give us the real perspective for the future.

  • 2
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    Bruno Callegari

    Hello.

    Unfortunately I can relate to that.

    Also, Luciana, I just saw your other post about the same issue, and my situation is exactly the same — same language pair (EN>PT-BR), same period, same "long term client that I was a preferred translator stopped sending jobs".

    Anyway, I'm worried too.

    Bruno Callegariにより編集されました
  • 0
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    Ebert Goulart

    Hello.

    Bruno and Luciana, same problem here. What is happening? Are the major clients going to Lionbridge?

  • 1
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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi all,

    Thanks for bringing this up :) 

    I've followed up with Fernando separately, as he emailed me directly, but just to give you a quick overview, for example, in his language pair, we haven't really seen a drop in volume. Yes, January is being a bit slower than previous months, but this also matches the pattern of work volume we had for 2020, where January was slower in his language pair than the rest of the year. His perception might also have been affected by the fact that there was a big spike in volume in his pair in November, after which volumes went back to the same levels prior to November.

    @Bruno -- Looking at EN>PT-BR, it appears that your language pair follows the same trend. January was the lowest volume month in 2020, though, interestingly enough, while January 2021 was lower than the previous months (especially after the huge spikes of September and November due to large projects), it's still higher than 2020 :) It's also higher than October 2020. 

    As the above illustrates, we're not really seeing any consistent downward trends, but rather the usual fluctuations through the seasons and years :) 

    As you all know, we have little to no control over job volume that is ordered via our order form on our website. This is done by customers, on their own, at will, when it comes to mind, we can't predict it at all, and we have no influence on their orders, as it's completely automated. We do have some control and insights on large managed projects, but that's pretty much it.

    Now, as for the worries regarding whether the major clients are going to Lionbridge -- actually we haven't seen such a trend. It's quite the opposite! Some of the large projects amounting to the spikes in volume that we saw last year (described above) are actually lifelong clients of Lionbridge whose projects were shifted to be carried out on Gengo. If anything, we're the ones receiving content from Lionbridge -- and we plan for it to continue that way! :)

    To address this comment as well: "long term client that I was a preferred translator stopped sending jobs"

    It it matches with the spikes of volume we've seen, it's not that they "stopped sending jobs" but rather that this project is being conducted in batches (and this particular customer is quite unpredictable so we have little insight into when they will bring more content or how much). They tend to order in large amounts at once every once in a while.

    Hope this gives you guys better insights into the kinds of fluctuations that affect incoming job volume :)

    Lara

     

  • 0
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    Bruno Callegari

    Hi Lara.

    Thanks for the clarification. Regards the "long term client", I think we are talking about different ones. I don't know if we can talk about names, but we refer to one major website with lots of articles. They used to be very regular and, at least in my case, were the main source of jobs — for years.

  • 0
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    Luciana Goulart

    Hello Lara!

    Thanks for your reply. I understand the fluctuation and I've seen that over the years, but I also keep record of my own productivity and comparing to the previous years, December, January e also for the same time in February I'm experiencing a decrease in jobs being offered. Unfortunately affected my income, since Gengo is a very important part of it. And about the customer, I think Bruno and I are referring to the same one, because he used to send a big volume of jobs during the month and since mid December I haven't seen anything. I hope it's just a phase ;)

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi Bruno and Luciana -- thanks so much for sharing your insights! About specific customers / long term clients, one thing that I would keep in mind (as blunt as it may sound, so please forgive me for that) is that just because they used our services for a long time, this doesn't always mean that will continue indefinitely. However, the one thing I'd highlight here is that despite the decrease in this particular client's volume, we're not seeing a downward trend in your language pair overall, so that means there's also new clients ordering or long-term clients increasing their volume. This, of course, may also cause fluctuations in what times the orders come in (different clients ordering at different times, etc), which may affect the amount of work you see depending on when you're available as well. I know -- so many variables! I do hope that the situation improves and you guys start seeing more work :)

  • 3
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    Fernando

    Thanks everyone for your replies and comments. I took a bit of time in getting back to you because I needed to double-check some things based on what Lara reported back to me and to us here, subsequently. I have to say that I'm only left more baffled and confused than I was when I originally posted this, given that Lara reports that the number of incoming jobs at Gengo has pretty much stayed the same, then I had to double-check that my RSS feed reader wasn't the culprit given that things seemed to slow down to a halt for me and if Lara says that their numbers are pretty much the same, then it must've been my RSS reader's fault. It turns out I tried with various other different RSS readers and mine is working just fine and better than most others given that it allows me to set it to a short refresh period, unlike others which only allow you to set a 3 minute or 5 minute interval.

    So that only leaves me wondering: why is it that I'm barely getting any jobs nowadays? To put thing's into perspective, I'm talking to the point where I was able to pay all of my bills and expenses and still be able to save a little on the side, to nowadays where I'm looking to leaving my apartment next month because I've been living off of savings for the last few months and I can't keep that up. And to clarify what Lara said, I was talking about the overall job input that I saw come through pretty much year-round last year, not a reduction of what I saw coming from November alone going into December. I constantly check the weekly overviews of my language pair to see when the peak times occur and I'm always working and available during that time frame when job input is most active. I'm also aware that if your Gengo score isn't that good, that this might impact the amount of jobs that you get, but my scores for all of my language pairs are in the dark greens, meaning, in the healthiest tier. So I'm out of ideas as to why I'm suddenly not getting or getting hardly any jobs at all.

  • 5
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    Leo

    I don't think the issue for many language pairs is a general reduction in job volume, but more so the fact that Gengo hired a huge amount of new translators earlier last year because of this one project (did it ever actually materialize?) that the existing translators back then supposedly would not have been able to handle. That now leaves us in a situation where the majority of incoming jobs won't even be picked up by your RSS reader since they have already been taken by someone else.

  • 2
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    Lara Fernandez

    @Fernando -- Thanks for further sharing :) 

    Please allow me to clarify one thing: I never spoke of a "number of incoming jobs", but rather "work volume". Namely, the numbers I am looking at and for which I have information are "units" of work volume. For your particular language pair, these are source words. So when I say "work volume" I am saying "number of source words" and not "number of jobs." Now, as we all know, the number of source words can be distributed in different ways across jobs. These fluctuations may include a smaller number of larger jobs (jobs with more source words) for example, and that would be one way to explain a perceived scarcity of work (in terms of number of jobs.) Another very plausible explanation could simply be that there's a customer ordering preferred content for which you haven't been selected.

    The point that Leo brings up is important as well: last year, around April, we did in fact see ourselves in a position where we had to onboard large amounts of translators for a project that never fully materialized in its original expected form. I believe we acknowledged this fact here on the forums (though I'd have to dig for the thread) and we also sent a dedicated email to all translators in the affected language pairs explaining the situation. While now, almost one year later, many of those translators may no longer be active, the fact remains that there was a surge in the number of translators for certain language pairs which may not have happened otherwise. 

    As for the project, it's actually ongoing, and it sees spikes of volume in certain language pairs, on and off, at different times. For example, it is this project that is responsible for the spikes in volume in November 2020 in both Fernando's and Bruno's language pairs respectively.

    Last but not least, I believe it may be worth to take a moment to remind ourselves that while we at Gengo take pride in being able to provide skilled bilinguals all around the world with an opportunity to put those sills to good use and to earn from home, at the end of the day our platform is not really intended to be a full time job, but rather a freelance opportunity among many. Nothing would make us happier than to be able to provide everybody with consistent work so they don't need to juggle different platforms or their own clients as well, but the reality is that the industry is subject to fluctuations and that, while we always strive to bring as many customers as possible to the platform, we cannot control how much volume or when will they order. 

    Hope this makes sense :) 

    Have a great week, guys!

  • 0
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    KarenBatista

    @ Bruno: I know which customer you're referring to, and they've been shutting down their operations all around the world, including Brazil.

     
  • 0
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    George

    I see the same reduction of jobs in my language pair EN>GR over the last months. Jobs coming in are mostly for a few cents (less than a dollar) and rarely something in the region of 4 to 20 dollars, perhaps once or twice a week.

    I may be wrong, although I don't believe I am, but this tells me that jobs are (re)directed to Lionbridge one way or another. My working experience says that a large company acquires another to increase its turnover and eventually close the latter. There are so many examples, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and so on. I'm sure that Lara will deny that this is the case here, but I think she has to deny.

    I wish I'm wrong and that Gengo will still exists after 1-2 years.

  • 1
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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi George,

    Thanks for this! :) While it's not the first time this has been suggested, I find the idea that the Gengo acquisition by Lionbridge means that more of our work will go to Lionbridge quite interesting. Actually, what we're seeing internally (and I just got off a meeting discussing exactly this!) is the complete opposite. We're strongly promoting the use of Gengo not only as it's been used so far, but also among Lionbridge project managers so that they can send more work our way :) 

    Out of curiosity, I took a look at your language pair, and while I saw that there's indeed a sharp decline in units ordered from January to March, when I looked at the same months for last year, the volume in January this year was 3 times higher than that of last year (turns out this was a rare spike), in February it was about the same (a mere 1k units different), and in March it was slightly lower, but by a very small amount. 

    All in all, I am seeing normal fluctuations, rather than a sudden decrease that doesn't recover. Of course, volume in February and March would have felt suddenly scarce, especially after January's spike (of which we only had two in 2020 as a whole), but the numbers that I'm seeing are pretty much consistent within the fluctuations of the past year. 

    I understand how this can feel like "I'm denying" something, but I'm simply just looking at our documents and the actual numbers that have gone through the system. If we saw an actual decline, we would most definitely acknowledge it, as it's important to us that our translators have a clear picture of the amount of work in their language pair. This is also why we send weekly stats emails indicating the amount of units ordered in your language pair in the previous week. If you have not been receiving these for some reason, please do let me know and I'll be more than happy to add you to the list.

    Thanks,

    Lara

     

  • 0
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    George

    Thank you for your reply Lara :)

    I don't accuse you of anything. I do get the weekly stats but stats or no stats, I only described what I see over the last months.

    Time will show!

    Thanks again and wishes for a nice day.

  • 1
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    Lara Fernandez

    Indeed, only time will show :)

    If you like, we can revisit this in about 3 months time and see if I can find a different trend in volume by then or if it seems to remain stable.

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