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Making good rates more visible - would it help?
Thread poster: Christine Andersen

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
May 18, 2004

On another website I recently saw ProZ.com being defended as far more than a place to find low-paid jobs!

I've just seen this forum too:
http://www.proz.com/topic/21041

It struck me that directly posted low-price jobs are clearly visible and the Blue Board indicates that at least some translators are satisfied with the pay they get, but it is not easy to see what the best-paying outsourcers actually offer.

Outsourcers who go directly to the translator and offer a good price are 'invisible' on the site. I personally never bid for low-paid jobs - I don't usually have time!

Would it be possible, without infringing privacy and professional secrecy, to conduct some kind of survey on top rates and make the best ones more visible?

How often do people actually achieve their max. rates or target rates per word or per hour? What do they earn on average?

Bringing the best rates out into the open would probably cause some envy (People in rich countries with unusual pairs compared with everyone else...) But the best translators are highly trained professionals on a level with doctors, lawyers and industrialists. Some clients appreciate this, and everyone ought to.

Just a thought...
Christine A


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 21:29
Italian to Danish
+ ...
I can't help it! This should be considered target... May 18, 2004

Hi Christine,
I have found the first entry for this new collection of agencies offering "excellent rates"!

http://www.proz.com/job/55260



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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bingo! May 19, 2004

I love it!!
A pity I don't translate English into Danish - I hadn't seen it myself.

But I'd have to write better Danish than usual to justify it...


[Edited at 2004-05-19 07:31]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 20:29
German to English
Dear Christine, May 19, 2004

I can't help thinking how invaluable a list of reasonable rate-payers would be. (Personally, any agency who has contacted me through this site hasn't offered anything more than a mid-level rate at best. It's discouraging.)

And ProZ.com could probably make a pretty penny selling such a list to us.
How about it, Henry?

sylvie!


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:29
English to German
+ ...
Confidential information May 19, 2004

Hi Christine,
You already anticipate the key issue at stake here:

Would it be possible, without infringing privacy and professional secrecy, to conduct some kind of survey on top rates and make the best ones more visible?

A survey is a possibility - disclosing the data directly is not.

We have taken up the issue of running a survey with Henry - help us to formulate it properly: what exactly would you like to see covered?

Regarding Sylvie's suggestion:
And ProZ.com could probably make a pretty penny selling such a list to us.

Very probably. But at the same time ProZ.com would compromise the business secrets of its members... which is why I don't think you'll see such a list.

Best regards, Ralf


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
All suggestions for improvement are welcome May 19, 2004

It is a matter of presenting some quite sensitive information in a way that is meaningful, but does not link it to individual translators, jobs or clients.

As a very preliminary suggestion, open to improvements and comments, would people be willing to answer (anonymously) questions like the following in a survey?

1. How much have you earned in the last three months? Before and after tax and expenses?

2. How many thousand words have you translated in the last three months?

3. What was the rate per thousand words for your biggest job each of the last three months? (for 0% match if you use a CAT tool)

4. What was the highest rate per thousand words for each of the last three months? (for 0% match if you use a CAT tool)

5. How does the sum earned monthly convert into an hourly rate?

6. Did you achieve your target? All three months? One or two months?

7. How many hours per week or month do you spend translating on average? (Full time or part time?)

8. Do you work free-lance or in-house?

9. How much time do you spend on administration, client contact, tax returns etc?

10. What is your level of education (counting both languages and other fields)?

The idea here is to show how much a translator needs to do to earn a salary comparable with other professionals, and to indicate how high rates can go!

Of course some jobs are easy, or full of repetitions, and others are very highly specialised and time-consuming, so that will be reflected in rates. That is why I would like to see an indication of time as well as word count. It should be possible to set up a survey on those lines (adjusting where necessary) without disclosing enough to identify individual jobs or clients.

I have very little idea about interpreting in practice, so interpreters need to work out their own survey if they want to.

Over to you, folks!
Christine


[Edited at 2004-05-19 13:05]


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IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:29
English to Georgian
+ ...
Agree with Christine and Sylvie May 19, 2004

I am in favor to the poll and everything Christine said. I have been contacted by several agencies and the rate that I was offered, it's insulting. If I start working for those kind of rates, I'll have to move to another country or start living on welfare
I just mailed my check last week to upgrade to platinum, maybe that will help???


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