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Dutch at 0.05 eurocents per word
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Flemish to English
+ ...
Jul 30, 2005

Yesterday, I got an offer from a U.S.Florida-based agency which offers a rate of 0.05 eurcents per word for anything into Dutch.

I am aware that with regard to the combination English/Spanish and vice-versa, the "supply" of translators much higher than the "demand". Add to that the Argentinean crisis. The result are ridiculous offers for that language combination.
It seems to me that the "Hispanic agencies" are trying to get away with such rates for other language-combinations too.
On their website, this agency asks 0.12 eurocent p.w.

Dutch is a "niche language", where supply and demand are more or less in equilibrium.
So, no way José. Needless to say, I refuse to collaborate at such ridiculous rates. I'd rather spend my time finding direct clients.

However, I wonder what Dutch-speaking translator will want to translate for that price ?

What next, Japanese at 0.05 eurocents p.w

[Edited at 2005-07-30 06:14]


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Not at all uncommon! Jul 30, 2005

I have been offered similar and lower rates into Danish! I also refuse to work for such low rates, and I usually reply to the client what rate I would be willing to work for.

Over time, I have noticed that US based companies tend to offer rather low prices in general for translation work. I wonder why?
Are in-land rates for translation that low also? Just being curious.

I think there might be some - perhaps just starting out and therefore in need of experience - who would work for these low rates for a while. This is of course unfortunate for the rest of us, but those are the odds of this business, I'm afraid.

Anyway, there are still a lot of good clients out there with decent rates, so no harm done in saying no to the ridiculous offers :=)


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Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:39
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Low rates Jul 30, 2005

I was once offered 0.04 EUR per word (English-Croatian) and they said that they were sorry because they could not offer more. Later on, I discovered that they were charging 0.12 EUR for the same pair (for the simple translation, technical texts are even more).

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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Phishing translators.... Jul 30, 2005

I do remember a forum discussion, can't remember where, about a Florida agency offering ridiculous rates. I don't suppose they mean 'including repetitions and matches', would they?

I think it's just a way of 'phishing' translators - see if anybody bites.
I've been offered proofreading at €0.01 a word (by two different European agencies, within one day!), translations at €0.03 a word ('can you accept ...', indicating they know it's a bit over the top - not from a European or American-based agency though) - oh well. I normally send them a polite answer back - no I cannot.

It is definitely a sign of the dichotomy in the market - you either specialise and find your niche in the market, or you may be tempted to accept such rates. Same when you are starting out and have to gain experience. I would rather accept low rates from a low-rates country, not from an agency in Florida though! I think that is the objectionable part. Same as European agencies offering to pay in dollars, counting on translators who have not thought about the difference in exchange rate. The difference is not so important anymore, but still 20%...

Anyway - €0.058 is considered a good rate for literary translations in the Netherlands. But in that case you can apply for a government grant.... For other book translations the rates are even lower. http://www.literairvertalen.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=106&Itemid=25

Then another nice line of work - subtitling. I once did a test for one of the bigger international agencies and a few weeks later I was told that they were happy with the results. I was not so happy with the rates though, which came down to a few dollar (!) cents a word.

I think I'll stick with my technical and legal translation jobs, thank you very much, as translating is my only source of income. Either that or I'll have to expand the veggie garden....


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My plumber's rate Jul 31, 2005

No, they did not include matches and repetitions. But then again, I don't give discounts for matches and repetitions.
In that case, they can have the text without the matches and repetitions.
An interpreter who repeats a word 100 times, does not give discounts either.
Matches and repetitions discounts are a Trados-invention to sell their product on the back of the translator.
Déjà-Vu nor Wordfast make publicitiy in such way.
Agencies do not give discounts to their clients for matches and repetitions. They cash the full price.
Should you give discounts for matches and repetitions for silly prices like $0.03 p.w. then you would have to pay to translate (taken into account the exchange-rate dollar-euro).
At such rates, my plumber earns more per hour than a translator.
I intend to charge at least the rate of my plumber.
He came to visit and charged £25/€35 for about 35 minutes work.
If I get my car serviced at a garage, it costs £35/€50 per hour.
Ah, why did I ever decide to become a translator?
Some translators charge as little as £13.79/20€ per hour.
I wonder how they can make a living taking into account the cost of living.
At the moment, I am busy diversifying my services and applying in a second direction, so I do not depend only upon translation.
Makes it easier to refuse silly offers.

[Edited at 2005-07-31 09:36]


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Into German even worse Jul 31, 2005

There was a job posting today in which a rate of EUR 0.03 per word was offered for technical English>German translation. Ouch, seeing this makes me really sad.

Let's just hope these outsourcers get no replies to this kind of "offers".

Stefanie


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:39
English to German
+ ...
No reason to get sad... Jul 31, 2005

Hi Stefanie,
There was a job posting today in which a rate of EUR 0.03 per word was offered for technical English>German translation. Ouch, seeing this makes me really sad.

Why? I would have thought that you're operating in a different market segment.

Let's just hope these outsourcers get no replies to this kind of "offers".

And even if they do: stick to your rates, but make sure you have a convincing answer when a customer asks you why you're playing in a different league.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
You are right, no need to get upset about this Jul 31, 2005

Ralf Lemster wrote:
I would have thought that you're operating in a different market segment.


Yes, I do.

make sure you have a convincing answer when a customer asks you why you're playing in a different league.


Yes, again. I sure do have one. Won't tell you, though

Thanks for the cheer-up, Ralf!

Stefanie


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Haiyang Ai  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
English to Chinese
+ ...
Even worse in English to and from Chinese Aug 7, 2005

Have been offered English to Chinese jobs (technical) at USD0.015 per source word. I rejected it.

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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
Let's become volunteers Aug 7, 2005

Hi all!
I suggest that we all become volunteers. After all, we only have Bachelor's degrees or master's degrees (or even more)! It's a shame when you think that we could have studied longer!

Just kidding! I am just amazed at the nerve some clients have!!!
Soon, we will have to have three jobs each!


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