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Argentina rates: really that low?
Thread poster: Sandra Nunes

Sandra Nunes
Portugal
Local time: 23:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 31, 2004

Hi,
I would like to know if it is true that translators from argentina receive 0.02 USD per source word.
A client offered me this rate for a job and it is far below my standard rate.
Thank you very much.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-06-01 13:26]


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 01:34
Italian to Danish
+ ...
If you don't try... you won't know... May 31, 2004

Ciao,
I think they just go for it.... you might end up believing what they say...

Stick to your rates if these represent what you think your work is worth.... if some agency doesn't want to pay your rate, what's the problem? Be sure they'll soon be back after a "trip around the world"....



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Valeria Verona  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:34
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not necessarily May 31, 2004

I translated a document from PT>ES last week for far (I mean FAR)more than that value!
There may be people who do it. But it is definitely not the standard rate when the work comes from abroad. The client is definitely trying to push your rates down...
The question is: Why didn't he/she give it to those translators in the first place????
No further comments...
Good luck.


PS. My Argentinian clients pay me MORE than that...


[Edited at 2004-05-31 23:01]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:34
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Everywhere you find everything May 31, 2004

Hi Sandra

Although I don't understand what you had to do with Argentine rates, as you don't live in Argentina nor translate into Spanish, I can tell you that unfortunately some people do anything in order to get a job. These people are not always "translators" and they don't always live in Argentina.
A few weeks ago I needed someone to help me with a bilingual translation, a part of it was into Portuguese from Portugal. I found somebody quite easily. After I closed the job I received a resume from somebody offering to work for less than half the rate that I had offered. From Portugal.
There's not only the need of "educating clients" but also the need of educating colleagues.

Claudia


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:34
English to Spanish
+ ...
Low rates May 31, 2004

If you follow this site for a while you will see that some very low rates are being offered out there, and apparently some people are actually accepting them.

This is a very unfortunate situation that has been commented on extensively here in the forum. Argentina in particular is a country that appears to have many translators because they have many educational programs in the field, but probably not that much work for them. Their economy is down and their currency has been devalued. All this can provide very strong price competition with much supply for a low demand for the service.

Such situations exist in many other countries as well, especially those with weaker economies. Sometimes, as people have pointed out, it simply boils down to the fact that they have to eat so they have to take whatever they can get. But to their credit, some of our Argentine colleagues have mentioned that they try to maintain world prices and not allow themselves to be exploited.

Our profession still has a long way to go when it comes to proper remuneration for our services. Moreover, there are really no proven, universal standards for judging quality from the client's standpoint.

It's up to each of us to establish ourselves with our own clients and prove to them that we are worth what we charge.


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Silvina Morelli
English to Spanish
+ ...
True translating has nothing to do with countries. Jun 1, 2004

I´ve been round the world many times and I have background enough to affirm that Argentina has very good educational programs. By this I want to make clear that the academic level is quite high and when the time comes to translate we just talk of quality, not countries. We are undergoing a dire economical situation in fact. But, the one you mention is definately just not our policy.

Hi,
I would like to know if it is true that translators from argentina receive 0.02 USD per source word.
A client offered me this rate for a job and it is far below my standard rate.
Thank you very much.[/quote]


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Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 17:34
English to Spanish
Competition yes, blackmail no. Jun 1, 2004

I see that we as a a group are very sensitive regarding low rates. It makes sense as translating is labor-intensive work, if done correctly.

But that doesn\\\'t mean that we are not subject to competition. We have to learn to live with that.

What other business do in these cases is to add value to what they do. Each individual knows what additional things he or she can do to provide a better service and keep the customer satisfied in a very competitive environment.

Believing that our job is top-notch and clients should pay for it accordingly may not be the right answer when there are a lot of providers that can do a sellable job. It may not be as good as what we do, but acceptable is, by definition, enough.

I do believe, though, that rational customers eventually reach a balance point between the lowest-priced provider and the other extreme.

I also believe that the worst thing one can do (in any business) is to accept blackmail, such as \\\'I have a perfect translator in Tucusiapón that charges XXX so you should accept it\\\'. Swallow hard and --very gently-- say no. \\\'Never ascribe to evil what can be adequately explained by simple stupidity\\\' as Napo said.

As movies should have taught us, there are no limits to blackmail once you accept it.


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Fernando Tognis  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:34
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Low Rates Jun 1, 2004



[Edited at 2006-01-27 01:04]


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Elinor Thomas  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:34
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hi Sandra Jun 1, 2004

As Henry pointed out, there are people here who accept such rates, but mainly if "they have to eat", and don't have other options.

In fact, one of the main subjects at every powwow and/or gathering we make here are rates. And we always stress that when you work through the Internet or internationally, you are NOT in Argentina, but in the world and there is no reason to charge less than other good translators around the world for a job well done, no matter where you live.

My two cents!

Elinor


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Carley Hydusik  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:34
Russian to English
+ ...
I second the thought! Jun 1, 2004

[quote]Elinor Thomas wrote:

And we always stress that when you work through the Internet or internationally, you are NOT in Argentina, but in the world and there is no reason to charge less than other good translators around the world for a job well done, no matter where you live.



Yes! I would like to second this statement! I live and work in Switzerland, where rates are very high compared to international standards (but so is food and rent!!), and I have one local client who pays a very good rate. One day, however, I was talking to the manager there, and she suddenly told me that she was "thrilled" to find an "excellent translator into Russian who lives in the US and only charges XX." Well, the rate was about FOUR times lower than what I get paid for a language combination that is usually CHEAPER in Switzerland than anything into Russian. And by the way, the client herself proposed the rate that I get paid. In any case, I felt bad for that translator living in the US who didn't know what he could have been making with this client, but I also felt annoyed that he is living in a country where many clients SHOULD be paying their translators more than they are... if he raised his rate (since he pays American prices for food and rent), he might also be helping his colleagues in Russia and other Russian-speaking countries the next time they go to work for a client abroad.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:34
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Absolutely! Jun 1, 2004

Carley Hydusik wrote:
In any case, I felt bad for that translator living in the US who didn't know what he could have been making with this client, but I also felt annoyed that he is living in a country where many clients SHOULD be paying their translators more than they are... if he raised his rate (since he pays American prices for food and rent), he might also be helping his colleagues in Russia and other Russian-speaking countries the next time they go to work for a client abroad.


And I'm very glad to see that this thought comes from somebody living in Switzerland.
That's why it's so important to talk about this kind of subjects.

Claudia


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Nina Snoj
Slovenia
Member (2004)
Spanish to Slovenian
+ ...
I agree, but... Jun 2, 2004

...perhaps its because we can afford to think about our next holidays and people in their situations can only afford to think how to pay the bills and how to feed the kids.
I absolutely agree with all the comments written by all you and I know that low rates are an old problem, which unfortunately has no solution.
War and economical crisis CAN happen pretty much anywhere in these days and if it was my case, I would rather lower my rate then be starving-although I work in the global world, I cannot avoid facing everyday situations that derive from my existing in the local society.
I mean, we should just be happy that these arent our circumstances because its sooo easy to talk with a full stomach ...and try to work with clients which are able and willing to pay our full rates.

Best regards to linguists of all the world...

Nina


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