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extremely low rates dictated by BDÜ-related agency
Thread poster: rauhl

rauhl  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:04
French to German
+ ...
Jan 14, 2004

Hi everyone,

there is an issue that has been bothering me for some time, so I would like to know your opinion on this. I am having a problem with the credibility of the BDÜ (the German association for translators and interpreters) or some of its higher representatives. The BDÜ is supposed to stand up for translators, right? They keep saying that they are fighting for higher rates and that we shouldn't let ourselves be exploited, especially not by agencies blabla.

But there is this agency which belongs to the former (until 2003) vice president of BDÜ which, in my opinion, is really trying to take great advantage of freelance translators. First of all, they don't discuss rates, they just dictate very low ones (0,66 Euro/line for legal translations).

Second, they expected me to translate a ppt.file at this rate and when I explained that I charge an hourly rate for ppt.files if editing is included (which it was) the project manager became quite unfriendly telling me her clients would not accept this. So I refused this job, but I am still wondering:

How credible is the BDÜ as an association if its high representatives (the person running the agency is still a representative) treat freelance translators so badly? They must know the average translation rates, it is their job to keep themselves informed about these matters.

I am really disappointed and this confirms the bad impression the BDÜ gives me.

What do you think? Do you share my feelings or do you think representing the BDÜ and running a private agency are two different matters?


[Edited at 2004-01-14 14:49]

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:04
English to German
+ ...
Please don't discuss agencies here Jan 14, 2004

Hi Rachel,
I understand your concern, but please have a look at the forum rules - individual agencies (including their owners) should not be discussed in the forum. You may want to enter a record in the Blue Board (unless there already is one), although you should not rate them unless you have actually worked for them.

Given the general interest in this issue, I prefer to leave the thread open, but I would welcome if you could edit the posting by removing names. Thanks in advance.

Best regards, Ralf

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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:34
English to Tamil
+ ...
It is just human nature Jan 16, 2004

This sort of double standards is present in all walks of life. And it is human nature. The BDÜ representative is playing two roles. As a representative the agency will mouth the cause of translators, as it is affecting the pockets of others. But in its own role of agency, it will have a different perspective, as its own pocket is involved.
You can try to do one thing. Dig out the BDÜ references to better rates and see if there is any clause in its books expecting its members to adhere to its own guidelines. If you find some such thing, write to BDÜ directly. Better still if they have their own forum discussions, start a new thread there too.

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