Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Do you discuss your rates?
Thread poster: Karin Walker
Karin Walker  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:56
German to English
+ ...
Apr 22, 2002

Dear All,



This has been on my mind quite a bit so I thought I\'d put the question out to debate.

Do you discuss your rates with your colleagues? A recent incident prompts me to ask this - a fellow interpreter suspected that the members in the interpreting team were not being paid the same amount by the contractor, as the contractor in question works on the principle that only individual rates are negotiated. This led to an open discussion of what each person was being paid, which, in my British way, I thought a little tasteless.



I would never discuss rates with a colleague, simply because a) it\'s none of their business and b) it evidently can lead to acrimony. If I am happy with my rate, that\'s good enough for me. The argument turned to a discussion of whether the lower-paid interpreters (who were nevertheless receiving a very decent rate) were \"destroying the market\" for the others.



What does everyone think?





Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interpreters who are members of the AIIC or who do not want to be blacklisted by it Apr 22, 2002

have the responsibility of finding out whether they are working for a straight dealer or not; likewise, they are bound by their Code of Ethics to refuse to work in a setup in which their colleagues do not work under equal conditions. I quote:



Article 13 Rémunération



c.) Les membres de l\'Association appelés à travailler dans une même équipe d\'interprètes n\'acceptent l\'engagement que si tous les membres indépendants sont engagés au même taux de rémunération.



I hope it\'s clear.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-22 12:01 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Similarly, Apr 22, 2002

Polish Society of Economic, Legal and Court Translators TEPIS \"recommends\" minimum rates to its members based on a survey. This is a non-binding recommendation, but I know that people refer to it. Whether to discuss or not your fees is also a cultural/geographical phenomenon. You commonly do it in Poland, while I would not do it in the US. I think it is up to you. If I felt uncomfortable, I would invoke confidentiality.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 02:56
German to English
+ ...
That's correct! Apr 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 11:58, Parrot wrote:

have the responsibility of finding out whether they are working for a straight dealer or not; likewise, they are bound by their Code of Ethics to refuse to work in a setup in which their colleagues do not work under equal conditions. I quote:



Article 13 Rémunération



c.) Les membres de l\'Association appelés à travailler dans une même équipe d\'interprètes n\'acceptent l\'engagement que si tous les membres indépendants sont engagés au même taux de rémunération.



I hope it\'s clear.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-22 12:01 ]





Yes, under AIIC rules (as well as most other interpreters\' associations), all members in an interpreting team must be paid the same rate. So, yes, you\'d have to disclose and talk about your rates.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:56
English to Swedish
+ ...
Don’t discuss; publish! Apr 22, 2002

Don’t discuss your rates; publish them!



See my ProZ page!



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Karin Walker  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:56
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wouldn't that mean... Apr 22, 2002

...excluding yourself from certain jobs? Say, if you had a good, regular customer (reasonable rates, good payers, interesting assignments) you would have to refuse to work for them if it turned out that they paid the other interpreters on the team less than you (for whatever reason - beginners, or something like that)?



I can understand the aiic rules, indeed am currently seeking pre-candidature and of course would abide by them, but I am a bit concerned about what this means for existing customers whom one would be working for on a non-aiic basis before being admitted. Would you have to say no to them? I know outsourcers who pay some interpreters more (because they are exceptionally good and have certain specialised knowledge, i.e. financial) and some less (because some assignments are quite easy and do not require much preparation). I must say that I tend to agree with that.



But my original question was, whether it is considered good practice to discuss rates amongst one another (even if you are not on one team), thus risking alienation from each other and from the customer?



Also, what about translation rates?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ona Jurksaitis
Local time: 02:56
English to Spanish
Good to know other's rates Apr 22, 2002

I am an MD, and have worked as a scientific translator for several years. A couple of years ago, I used to charge USD45 on a per thousand word basis. The agencies I work with in Europe were so pleased with the quality of my work (and maybe recognized my was rate very low) that they offered paying USD76. So, I started charging such amount to all of my clients but an agency in New York because we were working on a regular basis and I was earning good money working for them.



I kept the same rate during 2001, and have raised it to USD90 this year. Nobody has complained about it nor has refused paying such amount. When I asked the agency in New York to consider increasing my rate, the boss offered USD60 on a per thousand word basis. He argued he would not pay any higher rates because of the crisis in Argentina, where he had excellent freelancers charging lower rates... Well below the USD45 I was getting from them. Obviously, these translators are not receiving a “very decent rate”. Then, I think may be we should discuss our rates with other translators, to find out what is accepted according to international standards.



Ona



Ona



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Survey of rates Apr 22, 2002

The proposal for Henry was to run a ProZ-wide survey of rates. I think Henry agreed and may be working on details.

BTW, I think 9c/w is a reasonable rate for NYC.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 02:56
German to English
+ ...
Some pointers Apr 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 13:10, KGartshore wrote:

...excluding yourself from certain jobs? Say, if you had a good, regular customer (reasonable rates, good payers, interesting assignments) you would have to refuse to work for them if it turned out that they paid the other interpreters on the team less than you (for whatever reason - beginners, or something like that)?



I can understand the aiic rules, indeed am currently seeking pre-candidature and of course would abide by them, but I am a bit concerned about what this means for existing customers whom one would be working for on a non-aiic basis before being admitted. Would you have to say no to them? I know outsourcers who pay some interpreters more (because they are exceptionally good and have certain specialised knowledge, i.e. financial) and some less (because some assignments are quite easy and do not require much preparation). I must say that I tend to agree with that.



But my original question was, whether it is considered good practice to discuss rates amongst one another (even if you are not on one team), thus risking alienation from each other and from the customer?



Also, what about translation rates?





Karin,



Since you are in the process of becoming a fully-fledged AIIC member, it is absolutely crucial for you to adhere to their rules on all of your conference assignments.



Worried about losing customers? Don\'t be! Quite the contrary is true: if you underbid other interpreters, they will drop you like a hot potato, and you\'ll never be invited to join a team of (AIIC) interpreters again. At least 95% of all conferences in Europe are organized by AIIC interpreters, so anyone not toeing the line will be left out. Don\'t forget: as a conference interpreter, your primary customers will be other interpreters that organize these events. IOW, if you are not a team player, you\'ll be out of the (AIIC) game, and, at least in Europe, AIIC rules.



Even here in Canada (in particular, Ontario), we follow the rules and standards of AIIC: there is a going rate for simultaneous interpretation, and if you are found to offer your services below that, you\'ll be gone because there are only a handful of major interpreter-organizers in our market, and they are the predominant conduits for interpreting gigs here.



In all other situations, I\'d say you\'re correct: discussing rates can be off-putting to many. As for translation, you don\'t have to discuss your rates with anyone.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
bochkor
Local time: 02:56
English to German
+ ...
Stay informed in your own best interest! Apr 22, 2002

It\'s absolutely a necessity to discuss your rate with your colleagues. If you choose not to, you are choosing to be left in the dark, thereby weakening your market position as a translator. So to get informed is in your best interest and only fair.



It always boogles my mind, when I hear/read translators talking as if they were an agency, not being crystal clear about their own interests. This has happened not once and it\'s such a shame how people can be influenced to think like the agencies want them to.



And especially in a team you started questioning an even rate for interpreters, then later, when you got admonished for that, you quickly withdrew and wrote that you meant it in general. Well, you didn\'t, \'cause that\'s not what you wrote in the first place!



But even in general, without ProZ I was pretty much left in the dark, not knowing how much other translators charge at all. I only knew what local agencies were willing to pay. ProZ is a wonderful tool to get informed, which makes you more confident, when quoting your rates. You simply can\'t afford to be out of touch even temporarily. Because it\'s just as bad for you, if you don\'t know any other rates at all (than yours) or you only know yesterday\'s rates. In both cases you\'re NOT competitive on the market!



So how can this even be a question? I don\'t understand it. And in a market situation you can very well forget about such fairness as payment commensurate with difficulty of job, you better take the highest offer, whether the job is too easy for that or not. Would you ever complain to an agency that you don\'t deserve such a high rate for a specific job, because it\'s too easy, so they should pay you less for fairness\'s sake? Come on!



I hope this answers your question and gave you some clarity on where you need to stand.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not really Apr 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 14:27, jacek wrote:

BTW, I think 9c/w is a reasonable rate for NYC.





It\'s actually on the low side. US$0.12 to US$0.14 for agencies (depending on the specialty) is much more reasonable.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:56
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes, it is good practice. Apr 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 13:10, KGartshore wrote:

...

But my original question was, whether it is considered good practice to discuss rates amongst one another (even if you are not on one team), thus risking alienation from each other and from the customer?



Also, what about translation rates?





In my environment it is considered a good practice.



It happens quite frequently that interpreters swap jobs between themselves - as a way of better time management. In such situation the first question will be how much to charge, because offering price significantly different (in both directions) would undermine the relationships between both the interpreters and the client.



As for paying less \"because some assignments are quite easy and do not require much preparation\" - some assignements are quite easy and do not require much preparation for interpreters who have gained a lot of experience and they deserve high price just for that. The client pays for knowledge and experience required to do the job properly.



The same applies to translators, as well.



Another thing is, that - this is my experience, if you talk rates with your colleagues, most of them would tell you higher than they really get, because they do not want to look \"cheap\". But, we are all humans, after all.



Cheers,

Magda

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Conrado Portugal
Germany
Local time: 08:56
German to Spanish
+ ...
outsourcers and interpreters Apr 22, 2002

Thanks Cecilia for the aiic quotation about the code of ethics



The argument that somebody in an interpreting team should become a lower rate than the others just does not hold water.

First of all, all team members are bearing the same degree of responsability and must provide the highst quality level in their rendering. If an ousourcer is trying to press down the professional fees of any given interpreter on the basis of lack of experience I must say than this ‘younger colleage’ with less experience will need more time for preparation than an experience one. As for the quality: if you are a serious outsourcer you will only engage interpreters of whom you know they will satisfy the needs of the client. It is preposterous to think that you can compensate less quality with lower rates...there’s no way to do so, the contrary is lack of ethics and seriousness nad the outsourcer is trying to get more money for the work WE DO. If this is true I certainly refuse to work for this kind of intermediary.

We all know that many of these intermediaries are paying a pittance to willing interpreters while they charge a more realistic market price to the customer. I personaly think we should refuse to work for this kind of outsourcers.



The interpreter who accepts a lower rate than the standard market practice s/he is:



a- aware of his/her lesser quality and is ready therefore to accept a badly paid job

b- trying to work like: lower rate + less quality + badly prepared= more jobs and money at the bottom line

c- not well informed about the market and of the fact that s/he is selling himself/herself too cheaply

I would ask myself why this colleague is doing this and refuse to work with him/her if I truly think his is an a) or b) interpreter.



Furthermore, it is absolutely unfair to pay less to somedy for the same work and same responsability, regardless of age or experience or professional address, as it is unfair to pay less to women than men for the same work. It is perfectly hideous!



As an aiic precandidate I certainly abide by their code of ethics and I have been treated with fainess by all colleagues, something that I always bear in mind when working and on the occasions I had to refuse a job from an intermediary or outsourcer because of the bad conditions( as I did at the beginning of my career although I was desperated to get some assignment). Abiding to this code , aiic or of any other professional organization, should begin right from the scratch and not afterwards since once you start working with some people or level it is very difficult to move on and chage tracks.



If somebody asks you about your rate say it!



As for translations: why not? If a colleague asks you. I would not put them on the web, since you want the customer to contact you, so you can market yourself better. If the customer sees your translations rates he may loses interest. But maybe you all have different experiences.



That was my opinion.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-22 19:26 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-22 19:33 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Follow-up to Werner Apr 22, 2002

\"At least 95% of all conferences in Europe are organized by AIIC interpreters, so anyone not toeing the line will be left out. Don\'t forget: as a conference interpreter, your primary customers will be other interpreters that organize these events. IOW, if you are not a team player, you\'ll be out of the (AIIC) game, and, at least in Europe, AIIC rules.



Even here in Canada (in particular, Ontario), we follow the rules and standards of AIIC: there is a going rate for simultaneous interpretation, and if you are found to offer your services below that, you\'ll be gone because there are only a handful of major interpreter-organizers in our market, and they are the predominant conduits for interpreting gigs here.\"



I can say all major conferences in Asia as well are organised by the AIIC: the rates are standard for EVERYBODY in the four relevant categories (Conference Aides, Secretariat, Translation and Interpretation). Consequently, qualifications are also standard, and joining a team is subject to rigid screening. Having trained in-house under this system, I was profoundly shocked to discover the freelance world in which this transparency is not a virtue and all sorts of reasons could be found to deal under the table for virtually the same thing. Consider that this applies the world over, and even \"economically underdeveloped\" regions toe the line when dealing on this level.



Candidacy for accreditation requires adherence to your chosen organisation\'s code of ethics EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE NOT SIGNED IN YET, because that same organisation will stand up for your rights even if you\'re what they call an \"independent\". It is also true that once you are found to have breached the code of ethics at any time in your career, you may be rapped or expelled; at best, you won\'t get any more invitations.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
bochkor
Local time: 02:56
English to German
+ ...
9 cents is really on the lower side. Apr 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 15:28, Dyran wrote:

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 14:27, jacek wrote:

BTW, I think 9c/w is a reasonable rate for NYC.





It\'s actually on the low side. US$0.12 to US$0.14 for agencies (depending on the specialty) is much more reasonable.





I am in NYC and my rate is 12 cents, with which most agencies don\'t have a problem at all. There are a few cheap ones everywhere, but even my project managers have confirmed that other translators charge the same. And this goes not just for New York, but most of the U.S. Again, with the exception of such cheap states like Florida, where they may expect 6-7 cents, but they don\'t get it from professional translators. Then they resort to local unprofessional people who just speak the language (with no quality), but that\'s their problem. Florida is like that, because the wages are very low there, too. But you have to assume that their clients may not be from Florida and pay well to them, so who cares about low employment wages in FL, if this is no employment and you don\'t live there? So all over the U.S. 12 cents is normal.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-22 17:11 ]

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Do you discuss your rates?

Advanced search


Translation news





WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs