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Pricing in the Canadian translation market
Thread poster: Natacha DAMBINOFF
Natacha DAMBINOFF  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:38
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Feb 8, 2009

Hi all,

I need information about the Canadian translation market.
I have a 318,000-word project to be translated before FEB 15th by 10 translators. The client offers me CAD 0.02 (0,012 €) per source word for translation and CAD 0.01 per source word for proofreading.
Aren't theses rates really low ?
Thanks in advance
Natacha

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-02-08 09:17 GMT]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:38
English to German
+ ...
Rock bottom in any country Feb 8, 2009

Hi Natacha
Aren't theses rates really low ?

Extremely low in any market. To get a better picture of the Canadian market, you may want to have a look at the forum Translation in Canada.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:38
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Well under the rock Feb 8, 2009

It's not rock bottom: it's simply unacceptable. 318,000 words will take you over 4 months of work, but you will be paid (if everything is new) just 3,800 euros... or 950 euros per month. Do you think Eur 30 a day (if you work all 30 days of the month, non-stop) is a reasonable pay for a specialised job like translation? And.... it will keep you from accepting jobs from other customers.

Put quite simply, my cleaning aid here at home makes more than Eur 30 in 4 hours of ironing, sweeping and washing, instead of 8-9 hours of specialised translation.

[Edited at 2009-02-08 10:37 GMT]


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:38
English to German
+ ...
Wasting your precious time by even thinking about it Feb 8, 2009

Hi Natacha,

I wonder how you can ask such a question!
You live in France, don't you? It's one of the most expensive countries in the world.

Just think: 25 years ago (I live in Germany) I earned about 10-15 Euros per hour as a student in factories. Take more pride (even with one year of experience) in what you do and charge accordingly.

The rate in question is more than ridiculous!
Additionally, it smells of trouble.
Don't waste your time!
Look for coconuts, not for peanuts!

My 20 cents
Aniello


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Natacha DAMBINOFF  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:38
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you ! Feb 8, 2009

I've just refused the project. You are all right, this price is unacceptable.
Thanks a lot.


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Annie Beaudette  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:38
French to English
+ ...
.... Feb 8, 2009

Hi,

If you're asking yourself this question, that's a red flag. Just listen to that little voice that tells you that there's something suspicious about that job. Don't waste any more of your time.

While you're working for nothing, you might miss a much better job with a good rate!

Good luck!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:38
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Before you say 'no'... Feb 8, 2009

Natacha DAMBINOFF wrote:
I have a 318,000-word project to be translated before FEB 15th by 10 translators. The client offers me CAD 0.02 (0,012 €) per source word for translation and CAD 0.01 per source word for proofreading. ... Aren't theses rates really low?


I certainly think so, yes.

But, before you say 'no', have you tried to find 10 translators who are willing to do 31800 words for CAD 500 (translation) and CAD 250 (proofreading) yet? You may be surprised at what you can find.

Still, doing it before 15 February is a bit tight. Very much too tight. That's seven days from now. It is impossible.

I'm guessing it would take you at least two days to get 10 translators willing to work for that rate, to begin with. Then you need at least one float day each for (a) sending the translations, (b) getting the translations back and sending it to the proofreaders, and (c) getting them back from the proofreaders and collating everything. Plus you need a guesstimate of float days for the 4 translators who will miss their deadline and the additional 2 translators who will just disappear, to give you time to re-issue the work to the more trusty translators. And at 3000 words a day, a translator would take 11+2 days to finish the 31800 words assigned to him.

One week is simply not enough. Three weeks might be doable.

I'm assuming of course that your role in this is to facilitate the translation process. The translators are direct subcontractors of the client (not you) and you are in no way responsible for the quality or usefulness of the translation. You are simply the phoner and collater. You get paid 20% commission on whatever gets delivered to the client on time. If all goes well, you get CAD 2000.

Still not interested? Good girl.


[Edited at 2009-02-08 16:16 GMT]


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Natacha DAMBINOFF  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:38
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Response to Samuel Feb 8, 2009

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:


I'm assuming of course that your role in this is to facilitate the translation process. The translators are direct subcontractors of the client (not you) and you are in no way responsible for the quality or usefulness of the translation. You are simply the phoner and collater. You get paid 20% commission on whatever gets delivered to the client on time. If all goes well, you get CAD 2000.

Still not interested? Good girl.


[Edited at 2009-02-08 16:16 GMT]


Samuel,
I am NOT a project manager, I am one of the 10 translators needed for this project. So, no commission for me, only CAD 0.02 per translated word...


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:38
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Misunderstood you Feb 8, 2009

Natacha DAMBINOFF wrote:
I am NOT a project manager, I am one of the 10 translators needed for this project. So, no commission for me, only CAD 0.02 per translated word...


Sorry, I misunderstood your original post, "I have a 318,000-word project to be translated before FEB 15th by 10 translators."

Anyway, that's 31800 words to be done in 5 days. That's 7000 words per day. The fact that you're even asking about this here, makes me wonder if perhaps you're experiencing a slight slowdown in business over this period.

If that is the case, and if you can do 7000 words a day, then why say no to one month's rent? Or if you're afraid to be tied up for a whole 5 days, why not offer to do half a share? Then you can always contact them after 3 days and offer to do more of it, in case you're still rather quiet.

Don't you agree?


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 16:38
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
is this a price per character? Feb 8, 2009

Perhaps this price is applicable per character. The rough conversion rate between words and characters in a typical English text is 1 to 6.

In this case, the price would be CAD 0.12 per word - still low by international standards, but could be acceptable by a fairly large number of translators.

The word count would be around 53,000. Divided between ten translators, this is 5300 words for a week. This amount is reasonable for a single translator.

BUT, and a very big but: there will be a painful lack of consistency in terminology and style across the project. The number of inconsistency issues grow exponentially with the number of translators involved.

Perhaps you should ask the client if the price they specified is meant for a character. If so, explain the impact of splitting the work to so many translators. If they allow two weeks before delivery instead of just one, and split the work between just two translators, each of them will have 26,500 words total, or some 1850 per day.

This would be a very relaxed workload - and yield much better quality.


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