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how to charge for interpreting if it is more than 8 hrs a day
Thread poster: Blauw
Local time: 14:57
English to Polish
+ ...
Jan 30, 2005

Dear colleagues,
I will soon be doing a consecutive interpreting job in Belgium.(My language combination is Dutch-Polish.) My question concerns the way of charging for it. I would appreciate some opinions from more experienced people. I wonder whether to charge per day or per hour.
I know it will last from 9.00 till 17.00. It will be the 'main part' of my interpreting, about technical matters. Up to this point I thought I could charge the client the 8hrs day fee, but I will spend the rest of the day and evening with the 3 people who will be unable to communicate without me. I know they are planning at least 3 more hours of work in the evening. It will all end at ca. 22.00. In the mean time I will be interpreting for them also on non-professional topics, virtually anything. The client said clearly that they will see this as my work, not as half-free time so that's clear. I don't know how to estimate the charge for this day. The amount of hours of actual interpreting during this day will altogether be at least 3hrs more aside from the basic 8 hrs. How to deal with that?
I charge 40 eur/h and 300 eur/day for consecutive interpreting.
Should I assume this 3 hours and charge 40 for them? Or should I arrange with the client that for anything that comes above the 8 hours they will pay me after, when I know how many hours it actually was? would it be considered welcome and professional? I have my doubts. I also prefer to know in advance for how much I will work but I do not want to name a ridiculously high price, but work is work.

Maybe I'm complicating matters, feel free to criticize, but please advise me. Thank you!!

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Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
German to Italian
+ ...
Two options Jan 30, 2005

Hi Blauw,

I think you have two options.

1) daily rate (for the 8 hours) + hourly rate (for hours exceeding the first 8). In this case the hourly rate should be higher than your normal hourly rate since it exceeds the normal working hours.

2) an overall daily rate provided you might know in advance the exact amount of extra hours.

Hope this helps


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Local time: 05:57
English to French
+ ...
I would ask the client to hire a second interpreter Jan 30, 2005

Hi Blauw

A whole day of consec by yourself is really hard, nearly mission impossible.
If you want to be alive after this assignment AND do a good job, I strongly recommend you ask your client to hire someone else, if only for the "social" evening interpreting.

AIIC always mentions the two basic criteria, quality and health, I think we should keep them in mind whenever a client approaches us with an unusual request.


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Local time: 14:57
English to Polish
+ ...
thanks Jan 30, 2005

Thank you girls!

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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree with Sarah Jan 30, 2005

I have to agree with Sara.
I was once approached by an agency to do the evening interpreting because the morning interpreters did not feel they should do it.
Probably in your language combination is difficult to find another interpreter, in that case daily rate plus out-of-hours rate per hour would apply.
Good luck.

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United States
Local time: 07:57
English to Russian
+ ...
I believe you are entitled to a flat fee of 1.5 daily rate Jan 31, 2005

First, if you are doing the daily job on your own they are saving a lot already without any apparent worry about 'ridiculousness'. Plus your rates, though quite decent, are far lower than 550-650 euros/day charged by many EU interpreters. I'm afraid Polish (just like Russian) part makes some employers think that we should be cheaper by definition:-(. No way! You might be switching from technical to escort interpreting, which often costs less, but you'll be working overtime so the two balance off.

By your own estimation, even with an hour break you have to be with them for another 4 hours - 18:00 to 22:00. I hope they are not about to calculate your time with stopwatch during those evening hours.

How long the overall assignment is? If a daily job is not a killer for you, it could be possible to handle those long hours for 2-3 days and make some extra money, but no longer, the colleagues are right. I mean subjectwise, I have a couple of subjects I enjoy so much I could work 12 hours a day without any replacement, but not without coffee/smoke breaks and a good pay:-).

Make sure you have plenty of drinking water and coffee handy at all times:-).

Sorry for a ridiculous mistake in the title. Edited.


[Edited at 2005-01-31 09:20]

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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
English to Swedish
+ ...
Time-and-a-half Jan 31, 2005


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