I'm not sure I can manage to be cynical enough about Eurostreet Linguistic Services' new makeover.
Eurostreet (located at Via Losana, 13 in Biella, in the Piedmont Region), which also does business as Eurostreet Services and Eurostreet Cooperative, has been offering starvation wages to translators for years.
Recently, however, Eurostreet has reappeared with a new name, ItaTraCom (ironically enough, this stands for "Italian Translation Community," though you normally don't expect people in your "community" to try to drive you out of business), and a new raison d'être. Now it's not just a translation agency; it's a translation broker.
Eurostreet/ItaTraCom.com, of course, still offers translations from every language in the world into every language in the world -- a sign of quality you can always count on.
ItaTraCom.com, what's more, now publishes its "Price List" online, just like the bargain menu at McDonald's. (Click to enlarge.)
In the event you should consider our prices (indicated above) to be unacceptable or overly burdensome, please send us an estimate of the amount of translation work you anticipate ordering from us in the course of a year along with the percentage discount you consider appropriate. We will contact you to discuss an agreement regarding the price of your translation that does not compromise the quality of service or, in the alternative, to define the repositioning of translation quality in keeping with your actual needs and the price you expect to pay.
The fact is, it takes a certain amount of time to translate a page of Italian. That time remains constant, whether there are 10 pages or 1000. The volume discount should come out of the agency's pocket, not the translator's.
With practices like these, though, one begins to wonder. Are we talking about translations or are we dickering over babouches in a dark alley in Marrakesh?
One of the great ironies in ItaTraCom.com's servile plea to potential clients is the tacit recognition that cost actually is related to quality. In essence, they're saying, "Look, if you want a really inferior translation, please don't let price be an object. We can provide bad translations for even less!"
Eurostreet, it's worth noting, is the agency that recently won a huge annual contract with the Region of Lombardy for translation and interpreting services. Like the Italian Ministry of Tourism (cf. the Trust Traduzioni scandal of early February 2010), the Region of Lombardia has also chosen to award a government contract for cut-rate services to a translation mill.
The only difference is that Trust Traduzioni and the Ministero di Turismo received negative publicity for choosing an agency that denied translators a living wage. The Region of Lombardy and Eurostreet have gotten away with it.
Get ready for a new tsunami of Inglisc and Italish in Italy's capital of fashion and finance. Eurostreet and ItaTraCom.com are the newest marchet lìder in undervaluing the work of translators.