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Charging per page for Psychology Handbook - Need some further negotiation help
Thread poster: RegMir
Local time: 05:18
German to English
Apr 15, 2008

Hello again dear Translators,

After my first negotiation with the co-author it turns out he would like to pay per page (not per hour or per word). A very small part of the book has been translated already. The previous German translators charged 17-18 Euros per page. I find this rather little money, as one page has taken me an hour (it's complicated language!). I also do not understand why these supposedly professional translators would charge so little?

As for me, I am assuming that my speed will improve, so that perhaps in a few weeks I could reach 1.5-2 pages in an hour. However having my current speed of one page per hour as my status quo, it would leave me earning 18 Euros an hour which is a far cry from the 30 Euros I wanted.

It also seems that there was a misunderstanding: the authors do NOT yet have an American publishing house. They want to approach American publishers with an already translated book. Therefore the funds have been donated to translate the book, as well as the authors' own money being put into this project. I cannot charge too much in other words - I am of course profiting from this for my psychotherapy training by having to really read and understand this book while translating it. So a part of the pay is the learning, of course.

Our next negotiation will be this Thursday - may I ask your help again: what would be a good mid-way negotiating amount in your opinion? What amount should I definitely not go under?


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:18
German to English
+ ...
What are you in it for? Apr 15, 2008

Do you want to do this job as a professional translator earning money, or is it just a sideline to your main interest (which seems to be studying Psychology/Psychiatry)?

If you want to translate as a professional, I would suggest that you put a bit more information on your profile, and perhaps create a website of your own and advertise your services in other ways, so that you can attract a wide range of clients.

And I would also suggest that it is worth turning down a job if the bottom line does not add up - even your target of 30 Euros per hour is on the low side for a professional working in Germany, especially for a rather heavyweight and specialised academic text that not many people could actually cope with. And it is probably a very long book which will keep you very busy for months, so you will not have time to do better-paid jobs.

But if Psychology/Psychiatry is your real interest and you just want a bit of work that will earn you some pocket money on the side, or if you have personal reasons to help out the author even if you make a loss doing so, then you can go ahead with whatever arrangement you feel you can live with.

You suggest that the author can't afford to have the job done if it costs more. That may be a pity for the author, but you are the one who has to decide if you will let it be your problem, too.

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