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Fairly recent public & official indication of translation cost @ 0,36 Euro/word
Thread poster: Luca Tutino

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:52
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Mar 2, 2004

I have just found an interesting document with a clear indication of what could be considered fair translation prices. It is a EU report and planning document for the years 1998-1999, signed by the President of the Centre de traduction des organes de l’Union Europeenne.

According to that document, the forecasted average cost per translated page, in 1999 was 79,00 ECU – equivalent to slightly more than 91,60 Euro, equivalent to 0,36 Euro per word in 2004! (Assuming target pages of about 250 words.)

If I am not wrong, it is historically correct to say that we have an official document stating that in 1999 a fair translation final cost was the equivalent of today's 36 Eurocents per word.

The Italian version of the original document is available on the web at:
http://www.cdt.eu.int/C1256A5D00520870/1AC13B8461401CB7C125697A004740A7/B429293672DA9EE8C1256A410043DC04/$File/rap98_it.pdf

Can anybody explain why translation agencies today are often trying to pay translators less than 10 cents per word?

[Edited at 2004-03-02 20:33]


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Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 13:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Predictions are easy, being right is hard Mar 3, 2004

To start with, of course, any business sells, in fact, must sell, their product at a price that is much higher than the price they pay for the product, figure I heard 30 years ago was 50%, part of that is the expenses of sales, marketing, and where applicable, proofreading, editing, and evaluating translator's abilities, then of course, the owners of the agency may actually want to make some money, otherwise, why bother?. Also if an agency pays the translator when the client is slow or doesn't pay, or a translator does a bad job and the agency has to take extra steps, the money comes from their margin with other translators.
Additionally, the cost estimates of people employed by governments are always overblown, and the fun is in seeing how hard they have to work to meet or exceed their budgets- though they certainly have gotten better with practice.
Lastly, there are a number of people who are making much, much more than 10 cents a word. But I don't think those who make very high rates are going to wave a flag and call to the rest of us, "come on, it's over here!"

[Edited at 2004-03-03 02:46]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I also tried to determine a fair rate Mar 3, 2004

Some time ago I was part of the Fair Rates Group and they asked me to produce a draft on how to determine a fair rate for translators. Here's what I came up with before they lost interest in the project:

http://www.leuce.com/translate/fairrate.html


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Georges PETIT  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:52
English to French
+ ...
EU translation prices Mar 3, 2004

Luca Tutino wrote:

I have just found an interesting document with a clear indication of what could be considered fair translation prices. It is a EU report and planning document for the years 1998-1999, signed by the President of the Centre de traduction des organes de l’Union Europeenne.

According to that document, the forecasted average cost per translated page, in 1999 was 79,00 ECU – equivalent to slightly more than 91,60 Euro, equivalent to 0,36 Euro per word in 2004! (Assuming target pages of about 250 words.)

If I am not wrong, it is historically correct to say that we have an official document stating that in 1999 a fair translation final cost was the equivalent of today's 36 Eurocents per word.

The Italian version of the original document is available on the web at:
http://www.cdt.eu.int/C1256A5D00520870/1AC13B8461401CB7C125697A004740A7/B429293672DA9EE8C1256A410043DC04/$File/rap98_it.pdf

Can anybody explain why translation agencies today are often trying to pay translators less than 10 cents per word?

[Edited at 2004-03-02 20:33]


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Georges PETIT  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:52
English to French
+ ...
EU translation prices Mar 3, 2004

Current prices obtained from the Centre de Traduction are between 30 and 45 € as per page.

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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:52
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What you mean for prices? Mar 3, 2004

Dear Canopus,

Thank you for your reply. Could you please elaborate a bit more, e.g. about the source of this info, and wether you are referring fees paid to translation or prices paid to external agencies...?

canopus wrote:

Current prices obtained from the Centre de Traduction are between 30 and 45 € as per page.


[Edited at 2004-03-03 10:57]


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