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Sinking Rates: client expects 15% reduction due to tough market.
Thread poster: Hans-Henning Judek

Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:26
German to English
+ ...
Jul 18, 2002

I received the following e-mail from an agency in the UK, I did about $2000 translation work for last year. They are reputable, professional, paid and are nice to work with. No complaints.



The rates were already low for my taste at that time (about 12 Cents per word, but with the typical CAT reduction of \"from 66 to 95%, 2rd of the price, etc.) , but I had very little work after 9/ 11 WTC and the topic was so familiar for me that I just could \"zip through\". So I took it. Now I got this e-mail! With 15% less, they are definitely out of my price range. Question is - do I price myself out of the market now? Any similar experience? I put it up for discussion:



[QUOTE]



THIS E-MAIL SHOT IS SENT TO ALL TRANSLATORS REGISTERED WITH \"XYZ\"





Dear Translator,





I am writing from XYZ (also known as ZYX Ltd) and as you know, you are one of our regular translation suppliers.



XZY, one of Europe\'s largest Language Management companies, has been chosen by over half of the FTSE 100 for translations between 115 languages. This is due to exceptional responsiveness and quality. We continue to grow our business and secure major new contracts with some of the largest companies in the world.



However, the market for translation is tightening and we are experiencing real pressure on our prices, experiencing reductions in the region of 15%. Customers are negotiating very hard before placing work with us and we believe this situation is not just for XYZ but is industry-wide.



In order to ensure our continued competitiveness we are expecting you to reduce your prices also.



We hold our translators in the highest regard and recognise their immense contribution to the success of XYZ. We would like to carry on the good working relationship already existing between XYZ and its suppliers. We will only be able to do so if our suppliers (this means you) accept to come down on their rates.





As from July 1st 2002, with immediate effect, we expect our translation suppliers to reduce their rates significantly. As you know XYZ is regarded as highly professional and pay their suppliers on time. I hope that you will continue to be part of XYZ and I look forward to our continuing relationship.



Thanking you for all the work you carried out so far for XYZ.



Kind regards,



(Signature)


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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:26
Member
French to English
There have been several letters like this in the last few days Jul 18, 2002

... but when I see the price list published at http://www.berlitzit.com/retail/english/pricing.asp, I feel these agencies are just trying to squeeze more profit out of us and want to protect their margins.



FWIW,

Karin Adamczyk



P.S. I would explain that while competition stiffens, my costs are still rising, especially when I have to purchase tools to get the work.


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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:26
German to English
+ ...
It is time to be flexible.... Jul 24, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-07-18 04:37, kadamczyk wrote:

... but when I see the price list published at http://www.berlitzit.com/retail/english/pricing.asp, I feel these agencies are just trying to squeeze more profit out of us and want to protect their margins.



FWIW,

Karin Adamczyk



P.S. I would explain that while competition stiffens, my costs are still rising, especially when I have to purchase tools to get the work.





... and start to utilize all the other qualifications that most translators have to offer.

I got the same letter (see the original posting) and an inquiry today (at -24%). The tone of their letter is really sad: Comply or else!

My experience with this agency has been very positive. The project managers are professional, friendly, helpful, they pay well in time.



The average CEO isn\'t all that educated, in all likelihood less so than the average translator. Time to make that work for translators.

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Joy Christensen  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:26
English
+ ...
go tell it on the mountain Jul 25, 2002


I definitely do not see how we the working translators, that is those of us who really wrestle with the words, can go down with our prices whatsoever. It\'s just because we\'re at the end of the line -- and because no one has ever heard of a worldwide translators\' strike. (It wouldn\'t ever work, I know.)



It may be that CAT tools make the work process more efficient (I said could be) -- but looking at the sheer endless stream of very specific terms and usage that come up in the KudoZ and require intensive HUMAN effort (thought) and TEAMWORK (multiple effort)to find solutions, I fear these tools are over-rated. They are just another of the many investments we have repeatedly absorbed in order to stay in business.



One way out is to become an agency, and the agencies have ballooned, meaning that possibly two \"agents\" and a secretary want to feed off of every piece of work a translator lands. Some are real agents and truly earn their money, serving us well. But many are sharks. They underbid colleagues, then go out and look for someone else hungry enough to do the work for them for even less.



If on the other hand they are agents for the industry, that is, service providers to the buyer (helping to find the right translator at the lowest possible cost) then they should get paid from that side. They should also be able to stand their ground and demand reasonable pay for offering such useful services.



That sentence deserves to be repeated -- we the translators should also be able to stand our ground and demand reasonable pay for our services, because there is definitely a demand for our work.



The question is simple, and we need to sock it straight to the industry -- do they want to sustain a translating trade, or shall we just all become agents?


[addsig]


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