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Newbie - please advise if my rates are ok
Thread poster: Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.

Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:54
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Sep 12, 2005

I have just started out as Freelance Translator English/German, and so far I have onyl worked for agencies who offered me their standard rate, i.e. do you want to translate this text for this amount.

Now I have applied to other agencies who are asking for my rate. I am very new to this and have looked on the internet for other people's rates, and I think I will offer £0.04 per word for translating and £0.025 per word for proofreading.

Could somebody please give me an indication if this a good rate for a newbie, or will I get laughed at by the agencies I am applying to?

Many thanks,
nya


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Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:54
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Proofreading ok Sep 12, 2005

Translation fee could be a bit higher.
-jr


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Jeannie Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
German to English
+ ...
translation rate could be higher Sep 12, 2005

I agree. I think you can safely go higher with your translation rate up to around £0.06.

jeannie


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:54
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Proofreading about one fifth of translation rates Sep 12, 2005

That's what I pay to proofreaders at least. So I believe your price for proofreading is rather high, especially if you have no special field of experience.
Regards
Heinrich


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:54
German to English
+ ...
Word rate roulette? Sep 12, 2005

Will your word rate be per English or German word? That makes an enormous difference (about 30%). If you don't agree this in advance, you can bet your bottom penny that the agency will assume your rate should be the one that provides least money.

Perhaps you may like to read my rules for "Word rate roulette" at http://www.proz.com/post/259767#259767

I realise that you cannot force a UK agency to apply line or character rates (especially as a newbie), but you should at least be aware of the issues.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:54
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Proofreading - it depends... Sep 12, 2005

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
That's what I pay to proofreaders at least.


Dear Heinrich, it depends on what you mean by "proofreading". I usually charge from 1/3 to 1/2 of my translation rates for proofreading, and still I hate doing it since in most cases it means editing, often a very thorough, with an additional load to communicate with a translator or to provide some colour marking of changes, or even comments to any change made. I just mean that sometimes it takes more time to edit than to translate...

[Edited at 2005-09-12 09:49]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:54
German to English
+ ...
Surveys Sep 12, 2005

Check out the ITI and ADÜ Nord's rate surveys:

www.adue-nord.de/umfrage/auswertung.html
www.iti.org.uk > Publications > ITI 2001 Rates and Salaries Survey

Marc


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Aleksandra Kwasnik  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:54
Polish to German
+ ...
Two interesting threads Sep 12, 2005

Hi Nicole,

if you are planning to work as a translator on a regular and a long-term basis the following two German threads might be interesting for you:
http://www.proz.com/topic/32974
http://www.proz.com/post/237293

Good luck!
Aleksandra


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:54
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Possible translation rate Sep 12, 2005

Hello Nicole,

I am not sure about GBP, but a good average at the moment seems to be to charge EUR 0.08 per English word for translating and EUR 0.025, for example, for proofreading. However, avoid the proofreading work, because it is time-consuming and you earn very little in a day compared to translating, even though your knowledge has to be greater.

These are rates for agencies. You could charge at least EUR 0.10 per English word to direct clients.

Astrid


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
German to English
Newbie or not newbie... Sep 12, 2005

...as the playwright said to the translator.
You might be new to translating but there's probably a lot in your background in which you are not a newbie, so cash in on that and don't sell yourself short. You could be a keen golfer or a birdwatcher or whatever - make those other strings to your bow pay off. It's not just language skill that's needed as a translator; competition on price alone has no future. Take a lesson from Easyjet and Ryanair - pitch your prices based on demand. That way there will be a real translation market out there, instead of the all too common Dutch auction.
Productivity software can help you make the most of your time investment without breaking the bank, too.
So wang your Vorstellungen up a bit - they're too low!!!
Good luck
DB
By the way, there was a poll here on ProZ recently that exposed about 20% of us as not being serious "career" translators in other words, 80% are serious and, to my mind at least, therefore have no interest in the bargain basement route. You have to decide where you fit in.


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KLS
Local time: 20:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Your translation rate is low Sep 13, 2005

Your rate of £0.04/word (or £40/k) is rather on the low side and certainly below the average market rates in the UK for English > German.

An agency would expect to pay an experienced translator between £60 and £70/k depending on difficulty, possibly more for a very difficult job or a very experienced translator. As somebody who is starting out, you would not expect to charge the same as colleagues with many years' experience, so you would probably pitch your rate a bit lower, say about £50 to £55/k depending on the job.

When you are starting out there is a temptation to accept work at any price in order to build up your client base, and there are plenty of agencies around who will be happy to pay you £40/k, but the danger is that a low rate is often associated with poor quality, and you may find it difficult to raise your rates at a later date.


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Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:54
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 18, 2005

Thank you all for your replies; they have been very useful!

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