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Is your workflow affected by the difference in rates in different countries?
Thread poster: Rad Graban

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:08
English to Slovak
+ ...
Jun 13, 2007

Hi all,

Just wodering if somebody else is in a similar situation.

It seems to me that my workflow is effected by the difference in rates in Slovakia (my country of origin) and the UK (my country of pernament residence).
I'm fairly busy but it looks like I only get projects which are very confidential (Home Office, HM Prison Services, Revenue and Customs, etc.) and cannot be assigned to anybody living outside the UK.
My rates are pretty average for the UK (£45/1000 words) but an average rate back home is 300SKK per page (£6.00)!

Do you think that this is the reason why all the other projects (in my language pair) end up in Slovakia? That's how it feels, anyway.

Am I in a no-win situation unless I lower my rates which I'm not willing to do?

Would appreciate any opinion.


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-06-15 06:45]

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:08
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Rad... Jun 13, 2007

your rate is way too low for the UK. You should be charging at least £60/1000 and even more since your language combination is not that common. I wouldn't charge less than £70/1000 words. Remember: it works both ways. People might think you re not a true professional if you undersell yourself.


[Edited at 2007-06-13 15:42]

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:08
Member (2004)
German to English
Why limit yourself to 2 countries? Jun 14, 2007

I have customers all across Europe so why not apply to agencies in other countries? Who knows where the jobs end up?

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Chantal Kamgne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:08
Member (2006)
English to French
No Jun 14, 2007

Why should it? With modern technologies, what prevents us from having an avalanche of orders from all over the world?
I personnaly do not have the time to look for projects inside my country, that is, to physically look for local clients. So I have no local client. Things are easier in the virtual world. And anyway, my rates do not depend on the client's location.

Edited to add: The above may not be applicable to those who only work for direct clients. As for me, I somehow prefer agencies.

[Edited at 2007-06-14 08:43]

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
Turkish to English
+ ...
I know what you mean Jun 14, 2007

Yes, I am in a similar position to you. I am British but have now settled in Cyprus and specialise in translation from Turkish into English. My rates are set at UK levels and, given that the cost of living in the southern part of Cyprus is close to that of Britain, would not be prepared to work for much less. However, translation rates in Turkey are much lower than those in Britain, and rates in the local market in Cyprus are also very low. The result is that I receive virtually no work from these markets, even though they are geographically close to me. This is due to the vast gulf separating the minimum amount I am prepared to work for from the maximum amount clients are prepared to pay in these countries. Looking at my records for the year 2006, I see that (in terms of amount invoiced) 80% of my work originated from the UK, 14% from the USA, 4% from other Western European countries, 2% from Australia and absolutely nothing from anywhere else.
I have had about as much work as I can handle for the past two years, despite the existence of much cheaper sources of translation in my language pair. This points to the existence of niche markets in developed countries in which quality work is valued at a premium. It comes down to adding value for clients. The translation of documents in international commercial court cases where millions of pounds are at stake appears to be one such niche. However, I must admit to worrying that clients may locate cheaper translators living in low-cost countries and my work could then dry up.

[Edited at 2007-06-14 13:09]

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