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need advice on how to react to job offer, asking to refer to another translator
Thread poster: alexandra123

Local time: 01:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 7, 2004

Hello. It appears from your web site that you are a
Honudan-based translator and interpretor. I am in need of
three weeks of ES-EN-ES interpretation in July. The rates
posted ont the website exceed those that I can secure from
a translator that we usually use who is based in Costa
Rica, but I prefer to use local personnel. Can you refer me
to a Honduran national who may be interested in such a
contract that will involve travel throughout the country on
agricucultural co-operative issues?

I don't know how to react to this. He wants someone local but wants to pay the prices he paid in other countries. Don't rates vary from country to country? How can I charge Costa Rican rates when I do not even know what they charge there?

How do I react to someone who wants me, the translator, to recommend another "local" translator when I myself am a local translator? I really do not know how others would react to this. Please can someone give me some ideas or thoughts on this? I have been thinking of how to answer this person and I do not feel comfortable with any of the iedas I have had. I would greatly appreciate your help.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
English to German
+ ...
Quote your rates - and stick to them May 8, 2004

Hi Alexandra,
It's obvious that the sender of this message would like to get the best of both worlds: someone who's a local resident (and thus familiar with the location, with all sorts of benefits, I would imagine), and a cheap rate.

Get him/her back to reality by quoting your rates, and sticking to them. Asking you to recommend someone who is as good as you, but works at cheaper rates, is asking you to surrender your business.

HTH, Ralf

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
May 8, 2004

[Edited at 2004-06-13 15:19]

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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
Partial member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
My opinion May 8, 2004

I agree with Ralph: stick to your rates.
Furthermore: never put in contact people you don't know anything about. I never create contacts between other people unless I have known them for years. Otherwise you are responsible of some kind of "endorsement". If things go wrong, you are going to be blamed as well either by the colleague or the company.

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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Two issues May 8, 2004

I think the person that sent you this mail is not reading the rates page right - (that is why I am not showing it anymore).

An hourly rate for a translation may surely differ from three weeks full time work on a daily (not hourly) rate in interpretation. (including food, hotels etc.). That is one issue - the rates.

Then the other issue - referring to another translator.
The rates are probably why he then asks for another interpreter - not very tactical of course! I think the only time I want to refer people is when it is for another language combination than I am capable of doing.

So I would also check out what the job is about. "Stick to your rates" is something you can always do if it does not look to be an interesting job.

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bergazy  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
Croatian to Italian
+ ...
Think first May 8, 2004

Anjo Sterringa wrote:

An hourly rate for a translation may surely differ from three weeks full time work on a daily (not hourly) rate in interpretation. (including food, hotels etc.).

I would accept this job for a reasonable daily rate,regular contract,food and accommodation.
Besides, if it possible that your grateful client will bring you more new clients, then you should think about it.

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Bruno Magne  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:57
English to French
+ ...
Comment to Marijke's comment May 8, 2004

Hello, Marijke

Agricultural cooperative does not necessarilly mean charity. It's just just another form of commercial organization, where all members join their production, because they are too small entrepreneurs to be able to compete in the market. Thys type of organization is quite common in Latin America.

I believe Ralf's opinion is correct, even more so if you consider that after this kind of assignement, any interpreter needs quite a long rest in order to recover. I have undertaken quite a few assignements of this kind and always worked no less than 12 hours a day.

Alexandra, defenda su posición. Sobre pedidrle que indique a otra persona, me parece extremamente ofensivo y no merece respuesta.

Bruno Magne
Porto Alegre

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Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure what the issue is here May 8, 2004

I'm not sure what the issue is here.

You write back to them and you say, "Thanks for writing to me. I believe I fit the profile you are looking for. My rates are X, and I can provide references who will attest to my quality work. Please get back to me if you have any questions or wish to contract me for the services you are requesting."

Let them deal with budget issues. You have your prices, you quote, and move on...

(direct, to the point, yeah, that's me!)

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Dr. Lausberg de Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
stick to your rates, be diplomatic, don't refer to someone else May 9, 2004


yo soy traductora e intérprete en Guatemala y estoy ya un poco harta de las actitudes de las ONGs, abusan mucho y sí tienen bastantes fondos por la ayuda internacional. Me imagino que en Honduras ha de ser parecido.

Yo pienso que tienes que tomar en cuenta que tres semanas corridas es un compromiso muy fuerte y cansado; el cliente te tiene que reconocer más que jornadas de 8 horas, todos tus viáticos, te tiene que poner piloto, hoteles, comidas y todo.

No es aceptable que le refieras con otra persona, pero no estoy segura si esto es lo que te está exigiendo.

Creo que lo más diplomático sería preguntarle qué es lo que busca exactamente, cuánto está dispuesto a pagar y qué tipo de contrato sería. No vas a bajar tus tarifas porque él te está presionando con otra persona. Si ha estado contento con la persona de Costa Rica puede seguir trabajando con este colega. Si no lo hace es, por lo visto, porque la persona en Costa Rica cobra más caro y hay que pagarle el vuelo.

Yo manejo mis tarifas con un 20% de descuento para organizaciones no lucrativas, bajo condición que paguen por adelantado. Porque también he tenido la experiencia que cuesta que paguen las ONGs. Cuando he venido ha cobrar, hasta me han insultado diciendo que yo no amo al país y que no quiero ayudar.

Si el cliente no acepta tu oferta, no te preocupes: muere un cliente y nace otro.



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