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Fees
Thread poster: Angel_7

Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:29
French to English
+ ...
Jul 7, 2005

I am just new to translation and find that fees charged by translators vary enormously. There is not much guidance for beginners. What is an average rate for French/Spanish to English for a standard text and more specialised legal and medical texts? Also, as a beginner should I be charging less or not necessarily?

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François Rossi  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:29
English to French
+ ...
Assessing fees Jul 7, 2005

Contact your local professional body such as ITI, SFT, ATA...

THey will be able to help and tell you what the local marketplace is.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:29
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
ITI Rates & Salaries Survey Jul 7, 2005

You can download the ITI Rates & Salaries Survey from
http://www.iti.org.uk/indexMain.html and selecting "Publications" from the menu on the left.
It is dated 2001, but rates haven't changed much since then.


[Edited at 2005-07-07 22:33]


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Alexander Misailov
Russian to English
+ ...
Source or target Jul 11, 2005

What is more customary charging policy: per source text word or target (the end result)?

Thanks.


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
per target word Jul 11, 2005

Alexander Misailov wrote:

What is more customary charging policy: per source text word or target (the end result)?

Thanks.


Hi!
Usually, translators charge per source word.


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:29
Member
English to Turkish
Charging by the source is what I prefer Jul 12, 2005

I charge by the source, and feel much more comfortable with it, because then you may know beforehand how much money you'll get at the end of the project. Also, the difference between source and target counts might be significant with certain pairs; especially with agglutinative languages like Turkish -my target language- and Germanic languages with compound words. The difference in source and target quotes might be as high as by 25% in that case, which makes things complicated, of course.

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Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:29
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Huge differences in fees Jul 21, 2005

Actually I have just noticed that it is impossible to have a standard fee with agencies. I recently sent my CV to my agency in Northern Ireland and they emailed me to say that most of their translators charge £45 per 1000 words for French and Spanish and they would not consider working with me unless I charged less: I had quoted £50 and £60 for more specialised texts. When I checked their website I noticed that they only charge customers £75, specialist texts included, so this may be why they need translators who charge less. I also noticed that this agency is not VAT registered (they say NO VAT), which surely must be unusual for a translation agency. On the other hand I have come across agencies in London who charge customers £120 for specialised texts, so I would easily get away with the above rates, and it may seem unprofessional I charged £45. Does this mean that you should leave the agency to decide the fee or is there another way of negotiating?

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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
Difference between a professional translator and any other translator Jul 21, 2005

Sarah390 wrote:

Actually I have just noticed that it is impossible to have a standard fee with agencies. I recently sent my CV to my agency in Northern Ireland and they emailed me to say that most of their translators charge £45 per 1000 words for French and Spanish and they would not consider working with me unless I charged less: I had quoted £50 and £60 for more specialised texts. When I checked their website I noticed that they only charge customers £75, specialist texts included, so this may be why they need translators who charge less. I also noticed that this agency is not VAT registered (they say NO VAT), which surely must be unusual for a translation agency. On the other hand I have come across agencies in London who charge customers £120 for specialised texts, so I would easily get away with the above rates, and it may seem unprofessional I charged £45. Does this mean that you should leave the agency to decide the fee or is there another way of negotiating?


Hello!
I think their offer is below the average rate per word that any experienced translator experience would accept. It equals 0.06 euro a word.
If you feel that you are worth 50 or 60 pounds, which is much more likely, stick to your rate and don't accept the offer. That's what I would do if I were you.
Just explain to them that this is your rate and that you think that what they offer is a little too low for you. If they don't accept, oh well, don't do anything with them. You are a professional translator, and as such you deserve to be treated with respect. What if a plumber or an electrician had to discuss rates with clients? I already know the answer:"Dear Sir or Madam, please find another person to do the job!"


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:29
Italian to English
+ ...
It's always tricky when you start out Jul 21, 2005

While you're in the process of establishing your client base, you may need to be more flexible. So while you propose what you think is a reasonable rate, you should always be prepared to negotiate. However, you should also set yourself a minimum beforehand, and don't go below it. You're not out to be exploited after all!

As you become more settled and have a regular amount of work coming in, you can start to be more assertive with your prices - for example by only accepting new clients who are prepared to pay your target rates, and starting to politely refuse work from existing ones who pay less.

Having said that, it's also worth bearing in mind that rates are not the be all and end all - I keep working with some agencies who pay below my target rate, simply because I like the way they operate.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Do not undercut experienced translators Jul 22, 2005

Sarah390 wrote:
Also, as a beginner should I be charging less or not necessarily?


Charge what everyone else charges. If you charge less, you won't to either the client or your fellow-translators a favour, because you'll be delivering a job which is of a lesser quality and undercut experienced translators by "stealing" potential clients.

There are various ways to calculate your rate. Two ways are: you can either (a) calculate what you need to earn to live, or (b) calculate what other professionals (electrician, plumber, builder, etc) in your area get per hour, and charge the same based on your translation speed.

I established my rate by asking other translators what their rates were.


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Alexander Misailov
Russian to English
+ ...
Man, are you for real? Jul 22, 2005

Samuel Murray wrote:

There are various ways to calculate your rate. Two ways are: you can either (a) calculate what you need to earn to live, or (b) calculate what other professionals (electrician, plumber, builder, etc) in your area get per hour, and charge the same based on your translation speed.


Man, are you for real? Please, don't take this the wrong
way, it's the mentality like this that leads to low rates.
It DOES NOT matter "what you need to earn to live" and, for
sure, it DOES NOT MATTER what an electrician in your area
makes. Your rates should reflect the fact that you are an
educated professional, in a highly professional field. You
must earn what you DESERVE for the expertise and services
provided, not what you NEED (it's a dangerous concept). And you must not compare yourself to a builder or a plumber - not even the same area, not the same level of services, education or professionalism.

This mentality transfers to clients and agencies and they
WILL think of you as a verbal plumber...


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