Okay, so spammers has moved beyond pushing Viagra and inkjet cartridges to pushing translation services?
I’ve received about a dozen such emails over the past six weeks, mostly from China.
Here’s a screen grab of one of such message, promoting some mighty low per-word prices:
It could just be that our domain name — Global by Design — is what’s attracting translation agencies to our Web site. Or maybe they’re spidering our content as well and assuming that we buy translation services.
But I’m curious to know how great a phenomenon this is. Are translation buyers at big corporations getting this sort of email? And how many translation agencies are currently taking this mass-mail, low-ball approach to selling translation?
Clearly, this is not a positive thing to see for many reasons. For starters, if I’m a corporate buyer of translation services and I’m paying 25 cents per word for Chinese or Japanese and someone sends me an email saying they can do it for 4 cents a word, I might start asking questions.
And I’m not saying that the outsourcing of translation services is a bad thing. From China to India to Ireland to Canada to Argentina, translation agencies have been outsourcing translation services and project management for years and will continue to do so.
But these types of emails reinforce the idea that translation is a commodity business. It isn’t. Translation is as much of an art as it is a science. The best agencies add a lot more value to the process than simply crunching text. The good agencies know how to educate clients to this fact; the bad agencies, well, blast out emails like the ones I keep receiving.