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Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?
Thread poster: liz askew
liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Jan 13, 2009

Hello,

For those of you working from French into English, would you seriously accept a payment of $65 for 1,200 words of medical translation?

This is the equivalent of £43.00...which is way below what I normally earn for medical translations.

Maybe this is a silly question, as I note that many people quote for low-paid jobs?

Sorry, folks, I may be cutting off my nose to spite my face, but medical translations if they are to be done properly, require time and research and I for one am not prepared to work for such a meagre sum.

Kind regards
Liz Askew


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:27
English to French
+ ...
What does the client expect? Jan 13, 2009

Unfortunately, many clients (mostly agencies) are not as much interested in quality as they are interested in the cost. Try as one might, it is almost impossible to help them understand that lives often depend on the translated content, and that the only way the translation can be of a good enough quality is to have the translator do more than just translate - it takes a solid understanding of the subject, which already comes at a price (many texts are suitable for translation only by people who have studied and worked in the medical field), but it also takes research, a lot of editing and proofreading, and a bunch more things. 1,200 words of medical translation is at least a day's worth of work. At more or less USD 0.06 per word, the rate would fit better with the translation of a personal letter or a birth certificate. I would ask for triple that amount for medical translation...

I suggest you don't work with people who don't take medical translation as seriously as they should. I have a hunch that whoever offers to pay the rate you mention doesn't give a rat's butt about quality.

Don't get annoyed - just don't provide quality translations to people who are not willing to pay for it. Concentrate instead on clients to whom quality matters as much as it matters to you.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
I saw that posting Jan 13, 2009

liz askew wrote:
For those of you working from French into English, would you seriously accept a payment of $65 for 1,200 words of medical translation?


Even before I raised my rates years ago I wouldn't have accepted that. Usual caveats apply: you pay peanuts, yadda, yadda...


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great answer! Jan 13, 2009

Thank you for this, Viktoria! My faith in certain members of the human race has been restored:-)

Yep, I have refused to work for this client again....once was enough.

Medical translations matter to me a great deal. Like you say, people's lives are important. Sadly, it is not just the client that does not give a "rat's butt", but sometimes it is the translator too:-)

But hey, who is beyond reproach these days?

Anyway, for the record, I have several excellent clients who pay me well so this was a first for me to come across one who did not value either the translator or the subject of the translation (the patient).

Many thanks indeed for your reply.

I meant to post this as Spanish-English too, as this has happened to me in both French and Spanish, with the same client.

Liz


[Edited at 2009-01-13 23:03 GMT]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:27
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
The language combination doesn't matter Jan 14, 2009

It doesn't matter what the language combination is, that is an unacceptable rate for any kind of translation, let alone medical.

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Igor Indruch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:27
English to Czech
And who is willing to work for 0.035 EUR per word? Jan 14, 2009

Manual for calculator - 11 000 words - 46 bids to this day - hey, arn't you ashamed for yourself?(

[Edited at 2009-01-14 07:48 GMT]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 03:27
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
who's the final users of that calculator? Jan 14, 2009

Igor Indruch wrote:Manual for calculator - 11 000 words - 46 bids to this day

I just hope they dont run our trains, fly planes and/or do our medications.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:27
Member (2008)
French to English
I wonder who the agency is Jan 14, 2009

I was asked to do a similar job for a similar price by a certain large low-quality agency. I turned it down - since I would probably make slightly more an hour working at my local McDonalds. Later, I was asked to proofread a job that I think was the same one. Sure enough, it was god-awful, the translator did not even look up any of the medical acronyms. (You mean they're not the same in English?) I have since given up working with this agency, they were getting tighter and tighter with the money, then sending out panicked emails "the new [.06 USD/word] translator did an awful job can somebody help?. Gee let me think for a minute - no?
I also know who the end client for some of these jobs is, and I tell you, I would not be comfortable with their product knowing what CA SOBs they are.

[Edited at 2009-01-15 00:30 GMT]


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:27
English to German
+ ...
Perhaps a calculator for translators ;-) Jan 15, 2009

Igor Indruch wrote:

Manual for calculator - 11 000 words - 46 bids to this day - hey, arn't you ashamed for yourself?(

[Edited at 2009-01-14 07:48 GMT]


46 *bids*? How do you know?
Perhaps 46 translators are telling the outsourcer "Shame on you!"?
Perhaps one translator submitted his/her offer 46 times?
Hu nos?

Best,
Aniello


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:27
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
The best posting I've seen on this topic... Jan 15, 2009

Was from Uldis Liepkalns, on this site:

"Actually, when receiving offers 1/3 of our starting price, I often and very politely redirect them to
http://www.eurozonetranslations.com/ and
http://www.eurozonetranslations.com/vindaloo.html subdirectory.

"(It's a joke site and I never found out the who owns it). But guess what- after that about 1/4th of applicants DO COME BACK to me and fully agree to my prices."

I haven't had the courage to actually use this on anybody, but I love it.

Susan


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:27
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Susan for making me laugh! Jan 15, 2009

Hello Susan

What a great site to have posted...do you know I could well use this, given the "right" moment!

Liz


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