Blacklist S

Barbara Sandre 

Late/non payer

Safety Translations 

Totally unsafe, location unknown, scammers network

Email 03/04/14:
Hello, I recently stumbled on your blog and agree with you totally with regard to ratings. Last year I sent a test translation to the 10 top Indian translation agencies and I received translations that were of lower quality than Google. Outsourcing work to India will just work out expensive in the end.
Here are some non-payers (and CV identity thieves) you can add to your list:
Safety Translation (formerly Amazing Trans, affiliated with Gentle Translation and Languagemet)
PMs: Omar Issa, Khaled Trans, Samer Ghali and Ahmed Eideen. 

San Giovanni edizioni 

Italian publishing house, non-payers!

It took this translator 17 months (sending numerous exhauting reminders) to get paid only a third of her money. She is still waiting, 20 months later, for the rest. Despite the injunction, this publishing house is not in any rush to pay the 3 translators it hired: this is simply service theft at its worst. 

"Here is my story... I was contacted by Sangiovanni's and offered to translate a book. I signed a contract on 20 January 2012. As the deadline was 25 March 2012, we decided to have other two colleagues to work with me. The three of us signed three separate regular contracts.

The translation was delivered in time and accepted by the client, who actually published the book in April 2012. The payment was due within 120 days from publication. We did not get our money so we started to call the client asking for it. They kept on saying they would pay us soon, but never did. We then decided to ask for the help of a lawyer, who actually was able to convince the client to pay us in 3 installments, otherwise we would have asked the court to issue an injunction. The three of use received the first installment. I received it on 22 July 2013. The second installment was due in August/September, but never arrived. After contacting the client several times, our lawyer decided to ask the court to issue an injunction. We are waiting for it...That's it!

I would have may other things to say about the fees and professionally offered by TransPerfect since some years, but I saw you have plenty of material on that company! Thank you for your commitment! Wishing you a great day, 
Elisabetta Nifosi EN, FR > IT Translator and Language Consultant AITI Member (Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters) STRADE Member (union of Italian translators working for the publishing industry)

Update June 2014: they finally paid!! without interests

"I wrote you some time ago about my experience with Sangiovanni’s editor, Italy.
The client finally paid us last week, 9-15 June 2014!!! We only got the net amount due, without interests asked by the court and taxes (which should be paid by the client on our behalf next month, according to the Italian law)." (18/06/2014)

Sare Translations (Leire Berasaluze)

Non payer

Email 03/02/2014:
"I worked in November 2013 for Leire Berasaluze and we agreed about the payment to be made in December 2013. Since then, she does not answer me and did not pay the 260€ she owes me.

Her website:
Her proz profile:

Best regards,
Robin D"


Insulting rates and shameless bidding practises (about 2 cts/w.): to boycott

Giant translation company and translation software provider, which acquired Trados in 2005.
"Since Mark Lancaster founded the company in 1992, SDL has continued to provide enterprise-ready, innovative solutions."

Sendotril, Turkey 


Email 4/12/14
"This is Hanan Edwar an English < > Arabic translator.
I have done several translation project for Sentrodil company.
His email:
Now I have been cheated by them
Please help me to ​get my money back.
Also to ware my fellow colleague worldwide.
I have proven data..emails and invoices to proof my situation.

Sentrodil is a translation company in Turkey.
I have served them for years.
Not paying my fees, which exceed $1650 since June 2014.
I keep sending professional and polite emails and get no reply.
I have even contacted the owner directly and he never replies.
Their related sites and official websites as follows:
Büyükdere Cad. Emlak Kredi Blokları A-1 Blok K.4 D.18 Levent / İSTANBUL
Tel : 0212 282 45 44
Fax: 0212 282 44 06

Atatürk Cad. Sıtkıbey Plaza No:82 K:15 D:37-38 Kozyatağı / İSTANBUL
Tel : 0216 410 79 77
Fax: 0216 410 80 57

Tepekule Kongre ve Sergi Merkezi, Adalet Mah. Anadolu Cad. No:40 Kat:8 Ofis:802 35530, Bayraklı / İZMİR
Tel : 0232 486 85 15
Fax: 0232 486 85 13
البريد الاليكتروني
سنترو بالطرف الاوروبي

Seprotec, Spain

CV theft, low paying but high profit, using students for certified translations

"SEPROTEC is a spanish agency, it has spread all over the world, with headquarters in the world's most expensive cities. It has won all public tenders from the Spanish Ministry of Justice and Police for years, paying court and police interpreters 8 euro per hour rates while the Spanish Administration was paying them 50 euro per interpreting hour.
Recently, they campaigned to get Translation and Interpreting BA students to do their work placements with them, offering a 300 per month fee and promising to hire them as in-house staff after the placement. Students were asked to do legal translation, which in Spain is a regulated profession that only sworn translators can perform.
Recently the Supreme Court in Catalonia has admitted a sue against them for presenting false documents in order to win public tenders in the Spanish administration; these are precisely the CV's of qualified translators and interpreters who never worked for them.
They still operate mainly in Spain, so a lot of the information regarding their activities is mainly in Spanish. They have, however, been linked to severe shortcomings in court interpreting services in high-profile cases (the Prestige oil spill, the Operación Puerto doping scandal), as well as poor rates and delayed payment. See below some articles in Spanish:
Big thanks to Jose Miguel Aguilar for providing the above information.

Sigma linguistic services, Poland 

Pretend to be in the UK, pretend to have a pool of 5000 translators - which anyway is not a good thing

"I took a peek at their profile. Their keywords list alone is a red flag. Very over-reaching. And yes, there are many not only Eastern European, Chinese, Singaporean, and Indian companies with satellite address in a big cities like London and New York but all of their staffs have heavy accents, they sound like they are heavily trained in telemarketing, and the tone of their emails are desperate.

Anyways, no company uses 5000 professionals. Even the major companies stay within a pool of 50 to 100 translators who they regularly work with and trust, even during peak seasons."
"I used to work at the same agency as Maz (Marzena) – the one Zoe was talking about. She was employed there in an admin role and worked there for about 18 months before being fired. Since being fired, the director of the agency has pursued criminal charges against her for allegedly stealing money from the company, although I don’t think I should divulge any more specific information regarding that as the case is still open (as far as I know). While I do not believe she is a scammer (certainly not in the mould that Joao regularly exposes), she was neither a reliable nor a nice person to work with and she regularly failed to pay translators on time. I will not be working for her new company, but it is probably a waste of time having her investigated on Proz for scamming."

" Of course, an agency can be based in the UK, but run by people from elsewhere. However, the errors highlighted in the above text would not be made by any credible translation agency!" Read more on LinkedIn

Sfera studios, USA 

Insulting rates, subtitles sweatshop: pay 7 USD an hour max! Their clients are concerned about the quality... no kidding!

Email: 12/12/13
"Very good blog! Please find attached an email with their rates! No need for further words! Good luck with the information and keep it going, please!" Paula T.
From Sferastudios: 
"Dear Paula T.,
Congratulations on passing the subtitling qualification test!
Sfera is dedicated to providing a streamlined environment for producing high-quality subtitles. Our web-based editor and other industry-first features will help ensure that you spend less time on non-value added tasks.
Below, please find our translation and proofreading rates. In evaluating the rates, we encourage you to try the tools and our workflow process. In addition to the special tools, you will be provided with a well-timed English template to help you focus on the translation process. We are confident that you will find it faster and easier than traditional subtitling jobs.
Translation: $2.3 USD/min. of runtime. This includes translation, review of one's own work, and final acceptance of any corrections.
Proofreading: $0.32 USD/min. of runtime. This includes a watch-through and corrections.
To complete your registration process, please click on this link to access the Master Services Agreement. After reviewing the agreement, please print, sign, and upload your executed copy by logging on to
Once we have received your signed agreement, you will become an active freelance member of our subtitling network.

Best regards,
Sferastudios e. / 2001 / Wilshire Blvd, #410 / Santa Monica, CA 90403

Email 30/01/15:
First, I want to thank you for the wonderful work you've been doing with your blacklist. 
While I was checking the new additions, I noticed an old one, Sfera Studio, who are bottom feeders. Well, a long time ago, I started to register with them, but then I saw their "rates" and gave up. It seems I'm still in their contact list, because a couple of weeks ago, I received the following email from them:
"Dear user,
(DISCLAIMER: There is no need to reply to this feedback. This is a mass email to the entire resource pool and not directed at you individually. )
We would like to share some feedback we have been receiving from our clients about the quality of our work. 
Our clients are concerned that many translations appear to be unidiomatic or machine-translated.
A lot of our submitted work is being rejected by clients because of this. And we are being asked to redo entire translations without being paid for the rework.
This is not only costing us monetarily but also hurting our reputation and standing within the industry.

Therefore, we urge you all to continue to produce good quality translations with minimal dependency on 3rd party auto-translation software.
If these bad practices are not controlled, we will be forced to stop assigning work to those that continue to give us unidiomatic and machine-translated subtitles.
Team Sfera

Knowing their rates, I'm really not shocked about the "quality translators" they attract.
Keep up the good work!"

Skansa translations (Payment issues) 

SIA euroscript Baltic in Riga, Latvia 

Pressure translators to lower their rates

Email 6/11/13:
"First of all, I would like to thank you for your effort to make it public. I really hope it will be the step towards fair remuneration to translators, who have dedicated years to get their degrees. Unfortunately, Eastern European countries have still a long way to go until prices of at least €0,1/word will be paid for the people who actually do the work. Based on my own experience and on what I have heard from my translator colleagues/friends, most of Estonian translation agencies do not want to pay more than €0,04/word. To give you an example:
You already have Euroscript Luxembourg in the list, but its subsidiary SIA euroscript Baltic in Riga, Latvia is practicing the same kind of tactics. The company's main client is the European Commission (DG ENTR) and I am certain the client does not pay the company as little as €0,05/word. What I find particularly low on the company's part is that they offer an Estonian freelancer half of the money for the same work than they offer their Swedish freelancer, (i.e. literally, the same DG ENTR texts need to be translated into all EU languages). Yes, the living costs in Sweden are higher, but life in Estonia is getting more and more expensive (especially after Estonia adopted the euro). If the Estonian translator is lucky, s/he will be offered €0,04/word. But I have also heard of offers less than that. As a comparison, two Swedish colleagues of mine, who also translate (freelance) for SIA euroscript Baltic, earn about twice as much. One of them earns 0.075/word and the other 0.08/word. Sound fair to you?
Neither fee meets the "at least €0,1/word" level, but to be honest, I would be happy to get paid what the Swedes do for my translations into Estonian. The company obviously has the money but they basically "threaten" to leave you without work, unless you agree to their terms and prices. Unfortunately, there are always poor students willing to work for even less than that, so, the market is spoiled. Lucrative for the company, not so much for the freelancers. I find it very unfair. (...) After I sent them my quote, I received the following reply: 

"Dear ...,
Before we proceed to the next recruitment step, I would like to finalize the cooperation rates. I would suggest the following gross rate scheme:
Translation from English and German into Estonian = 10.00 EUR page (1500 ch.)/Translation from English and German into Estonian = 0.04 EUR source word/ Translation from Estonian into English = 11.25 EUR page (1500 characters without spaces)/Translation from Estonian into English = 0.045 EUR source word / Revision = 3.00 EUR page (1500 characters without spaces) / Revision = 0.012 EUR source word
I’d like to note that these rates are highly competitive within our current EU projects and would ensure you are allocated frequent and voluminous translation/revision jobs.
Please let me know what you think."

Sņežana Kondrašova | Vendor Manager
SIA euroscript Baltic
 T.: +371 677 98 603 | F.: +371 677 98 610
 Brīvības iela 171 | LV-1012 Riga

"Makes me want to question why even ask me the quote, if you have a fixed price you will offer me anyway? I tried to negotiate a bit higher price, but was basically told that this is the best it will be - take it, or leave it."
This is a classic situation, where out of nowhere the PM is telling you what to do and what to say your rate is. It is completely absurd and revolting but that's what works best for them. Until of course you say no. They then deflate and go bully someone else. I would suggest the following actions:
1) Confront this person with the disparity of the rates they impose from one language to the next.
2) Ask for a higher rate under which you will not accept the project.
3) Contact the end client (in the case the European Commission, who is being conned just as bad as you are) on behalf of a local group of translators or with the support of your national association and raise their awareness on this issue, stressing that the end client should be able to get in touch directly with the translator, it's the basics to ensure quality and credibility!!
Whatever you do, it is important not to undersell yourself and to say NO to such disrespectful offers. These people will soon find themselves short of competent translators  which will quickly show, and make their association to the European Commission cease.

Silverside (fake postal address)

Simple translation, location unknown (virtual office) 

Suspicious bottom feeder
1/ They pay less than 0.05 USD/0.03 E
2/ It takes them 45 days to pay you the pittance they owe you
3/ They are completely opaque about who they are and where they are based, however they ask YOU to provide ID, passport etc.
WARNING : never provide this info to a stranger, your TAX registration number should suffice!!!

Machine translation bottom feeder, 0.01E/w

Read comments on LinkedIn
An "outstanding offer" posted on ProZ by Smartword - the job includes editing a machine translated legal contract/terms of service. 15k words with a maximum allocated budget of 225EUR. Yay!
Posted on ProZ by a March 2014 registered company with, of course, no Blue Board record. But from their webpage it is obvious that is part of their operational practice to offer different levels of translation with the lowest at bronze - "post editing of machine translation".

Somya Translators

A translator's report : "I applied a week ago to work wih this agency since they put an offer on ProZ saying they were looking for more translators in my pair. They sent me back an huge Excel file I had to fill with personal data. I took me a whole hour. Yesterday evening, I got the following message :" The rate quoted by you are not suitable not acceptable according to our experience and knowledge. Currently we can offer you USD 0.02/word for translation and USD 4/1000 words/hour for review. Payment through PayPal, Money Booker, Bank wire transfer within 30-60 days from the date of invoice. Please let me know if rates and terms suit you."

COMMENT FOLLOWING THIS THREAD : "Hi Lisa, First of all thanks a lot for your warning about Somya Translators and a quote of their message to you. It was very interesting for me to know because this agency has got over 120 positive feedbacks given to them by translators at the TranslatorsCafé.com Hall of Fame & Shame and because of that they are on our list of Top 20 Translation Agencies as Rated by TC Users (they take the 4th position among 'best' world agencies!):
Yesterday I quoted your message in the Hall of Fame & Shame thread dedicated to Somya Translators (I have granted you temporal one-week free access to our Hall of Fame & Shame):   Barkha Kumari, a representative of Somya Translators, has just posted a message requesting me to remove my unmasking posting because 'that was specifically for one low budget project'.Do you, folks, believe that was just ONE low budget project and all other Somya Translators projects are decently paid? I don't..."
Another report from a Freelance interpreter and translator (de|en|fr)
"I have received similar offers from somyatrans in the past and still do from time to time. They pay you via Paypal after 60 days. They do offer very low rates, i.e. $0.03 to $0.04 for English->German translations and $5 per hour for "proofreading" of translations in this language pair; they expect a turnover of 1,000 words per hour for these "proofreading" jobs."


Fake company, non payer

Email 11/05/14 
"Hello, first of all, thank you so much for your blog.
I would like to inform you of my experience with SpeakLike.
There are some positive translator reviews on the Internet about the good practices of SpeakLike, probably published by the owner himself. I naively took the chance doing a few translations in my spare time.
They owe me a small amount of about $70 dollars, and I have very well realized that they will never pay. With a look at the facebook page, one can now see that some translators are even organizing a lawsuit against SpeakLike because they intend never to pay their translators. This company does not even bother to check their facebook page where comments written everywhere say, "I want my money!" I realized it is a fake office in New York - if one calls the office, no one ever answers, and there is only a voicemail which say, "SpeakLike."
Thanks again, A."

SS Protelo Business Solutions, Shanmugaraj Rajamanickam

Non-payer, liar

Email 28/12/14:
"I would like to add another bad payer to your list,  Shanmugaraj Rajamanickam, from SS Protelo Business Solutions (, with offices in India and South Africa.

He scammed me on July, and today I saw one of his posts at ( I denounced him so he tried again ( ) without knowing that the bad ranking will follow him. Then, he posted at translationdirectory (

Pls, find below the form I sent to people explaining the way of "working" of this scammer, non-payer and liar.
1.   SS Protelo Business Solutions
Shanmugaraj Rajamanickam
Corporate Office: Name. NO.259/2, Kilpauk Gardens,. Kilpauk,Chennai, India
Office Phone:  + 91 44 32960199
Hand Phone + 91 7305444544
2.   Contact person: Shanmugaraj Rajamanickam;
Skype ID: shanmugaraj.rajamanickan
3.   Job 28027 (
On July 6th sent me two files, Audio Transcript and Video Transcript, with the below schedule (copied from email)
4.   I met the deadline. On July 7th I sent both files (4,000 words+)
5.   The outsourcer didn’t complain about the quality. Simply, refused to answer to many emails and Skype messages
6.   Payment was not received at all
7.  Didn’t answer any email. In Skype asked me to “send the information for prepare the invoice” (July 29th) and since then, nothing
8.   Of course I will never work for this outsourcer. And as today I saw his offers in and, I want to warn translators about him.
9.   In his posts, he promises high fees, but when you talk about money he offers only USD 0.03 word.

Stealth Translations (Low rates)  

Type of offers they send out to translators:  “Hi _____, We have a 1-page document that needs translated from Russian to English today if possible.  Would you be available?  The rate would be €0.04/word. Please let me know if you'd be available, thanks! With thanks and regards, Karen McCoy Project Manager 

Possible scam, non-payers
Email oct. 2013: "There is one more, but I'm not sure if they belong on your list as they are not an agency. It is an end client, for whom I translated a few files. The first invoice was paid before the due date, the second invoice was due a long time ago and has not been paid yet. The job is still uncompleted as they have not sent me all the source files I had agreed to do. They do not reply to any reminders. The name of the company is"

Stevens, Paul, UK (non payer)

Email 14/10/14: "Firstly, thank you for the great website offering a valuable service!
I would like to add a mention of Paul Stevens, translator, UK, for whom I completed several tasks totalling about 1500 GBP.  Despite his assurance that "payment for my first invoice will be made next Friday" (now well over a month ago), I have had no further replies to my increasingly less polite requests for payment.  There are a few anomalies that suggest this may not be the same Paul Stevens who has profiles on LinkedIn, ProZ and other professional websites - I am attempting to establish whether this is the case!
I am not sure what emails I can send in support of my allegation - I have numerous contacts regarding the substance of the tasks, one mention that my invoice has been received and will be paid (but short of showing you my bank statements I can't prove that it wasn't), and absolutely no responses to my further queries regarding payment.
On the whole I am inclined to regard this as an object lesson in safe business practices, but would prefer that no-one else had to learn the hard way, at least about this client!
Thankyou very much for your time and consideration."

Rifka McClure
German>English Translation.

Stiil traduction 

Unprofessional practices
These people refused to pay shoddy results while imposing unrealisting conditions (which were: 10 pages of legal translation in 24 hours). None of the translators hired have managed of course (they should have refused in the first place that goes without saying), and the project manager refused to pay them and urges them quite roughly to "quit complaining or we'll sue you".
A professional attitude from a PM would be to request a deadline extent. Doing that from the beginning would make sense, how hard is it to anticipate ? The formula is 1 human, 1 day, 2000 words. Remember ? Here is this strange Email, both unprofessional and hilarious (for french speakers).
"(...) vos collègues qui eux-aussi ont rendu 2/3 de la traduction ne seront pas payés (le client ne paiera pas). Votre traduction est médiocre. Les carottes sont cuites. Cessez de vous plaindre ou nous engageons des poursuites contre vous.' 
"Le travail confié était le suivant : 10 pages de traduction juridiques envoyées un mercredi fin d'après-midi pour le lendemain soir, si j'avais eu un délai ça aurait été possible. On ne peut pas faire vite et bien. Ils doivent demander à plusieurs traducteurs avant de tomber sur une bonne poire qui accepte.'

Straker translations, New Zealand 

Low rates, low quality machine translation reseller

This greedy leech congregation providing computer-generated junk and promoting misconceptions on how professional translation works company claims that their 5000 translators (!!! since when is that a good thing?!) can translate 1000 words per HOUR, and pay them about 20 Eur per hour for that (so 0.02 per word. Wow. I did not know New Zealand was located in Chindia!). 
By the way people, the reason why companies like this have so many translators in their 'pool' is not because they are so successful and global that they give work to everybody. It's because they always welcome someone cheaper than you, who'll compromise in case you don't. 
Lots of info on this LinkedIn thread
Translator : "I was working with them for a discounted rate and they were paying until they assigned to me a larger assignment. Then they told me that they are not going to pay the amount we agreed and they payed only less than 1/3 of the money (...) They said that I am asking too much and when I said that they gave me the assignment knowing the rate, they said that my work is no good. After 25 years in this and having worked in two countries in-house and freelance I felt insulted so I phoned and I asked nicely to be paid. They told me "what a good translator I am ????" but they never paid me. I strongly suggest to stay away, I have lost well over a thousand..."

About this common issue I'd like to explain something to agency staff who may be reading this :  firstly, when you criticise the quality of a translation you MUST use a reviewer's report to back up your allegations. Secondly, you are STILL obliged by law to pay the contractor, whether the client pays you of not, because you have recruited them (with samples, tests, credentials). Learn your lesson and just do not hire them next time. Finally you should know, if you want to remain in this business, that you get exactly what you pay for. Come on, be real: 2 cents a word is never going to get you anything decent and you know it. Oh but wait! Of course you don't evaluate the quality of the products you sell, because you don't understand these languages. You are just middlemen. So what's your value exactly?

Translator: "As a student of buzz words, I've noticed that the words "business model" appear frequently in articles on the translation industry. It's no secret that the only reason translation firms exist, is because they find translation clients and take a cut on the translators' work. How big their piece of the pie should be is highly debatable. 
- Their "piece of the pie" should not be at the expense of not paying decent rates to translators. The fact of the matter is that they are, on the strength of their claim that translators can translate 1,000 words per hour, charging their clients low rates and undercutting respectable agencies, while underpaying translators. They cannot possibly be delivering good quality translation work to their clients on that basis and they are encouraging translation clients to have false expectations about how long it takes to produce translation. That is damaging to translators and to other translation agencies."

Streetwise, Eddie Street (Scammer)

Email 14/03/14:
"STREETWISE TRANSLATIONS.  This company is owned by a man called Eddie Street.  The company describes itself as “the leading translation company in Slough” LOL!
It has been in and out of business for years.  I am still owed money from 2010 (several hundred pounds). When I tried to chase the payment, the company “disappeared” from the horizon for a while.  They are now apparently back in business – do not work for them.  I know there are quite a few others out there who have also been exploited and robbed by this company." M.G.

Studio Elle, Italy (Bottom-feeder)

"This list has become a major reference point post-MA so thank you! I just received an email via ProZ from an Italian company called Studio Elle ( offering €0.045 a word for translating and €0.015 for proofreading. WHAT an offer! I think that deserves a mention on your list...
Keep up the good work!" (20/11/14 Comments entry) 

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