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rates for english to french
Thread poster: xxxaccur@te
xxxaccur@te
Local time: 14:18
English to French
Dec 14, 2005

My question is: should a rate per word of 0.03 and 0.04 euro be considered acceptable for a translation from english to french given that my experience is still to be acquired? I am pretty new in (paid) translation.Thanks for the help

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
No way! Dec 14, 2005

Don't work for less than EUR 0.08 per word, even if you are just starting!

Astrid


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xxxaccur@te
Local time: 14:18
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
*** Dec 14, 2005

Thanks for your reply.
Why are there so many projects posted at the rate of 0.05 euro per word, then? (english to french)


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:18
English to German
+ ...
Proposal vs. acceptance Dec 14, 2005

Hi accurate,
Why are there so many projects posted at the rate of 0.05 euro per word, then? (english to french)

That's a proposal - of course, that's only one side of deal: as an independent entrepreneur (yes, that's what you are, even if you've only started), you will need to take a decision as to whether or not that is acceptable to you.

To find out where "your price" should be, you will need to take into account your target income (given the amount of words you can expect to process), direct costs (rent, energy, etc.) as well as depreciation/amortisation of equipment (PC, software, dictionaries, etc.). Not to forget making an allowance for retirement provisions.

Search the forums and the articles database for more background.

Best regards,
Ralf


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:18
French to English
+ ...
I agree with Astrid Dec 14, 2005

Charge double, even triple, the rate you posted (for a reasonable rate in your language pair based in France) and then pay a revisor to double check your work if you're unsure of the quality you're producing due to the fact that you are just starting out. That way, everybody wins - the client gets the quality translation s/he deserves, you learn from your revisor and still get paid decently for the work you do, and the translation profession is not undermined by such utterly low wages (for the French market).
Plus, it is much harder to raise your rates once you've set them. Do you think the client base you build up will go for it when, after paying a ridiculously low price, you suddenly say, hey, now that I have X number of years' experience, I'm going to double my price?


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 14:18
I agree with Mara who agrees with Astrid Dec 14, 2005

Mara Bertelsen wrote:

Charge double, even triple, the rate you posted (for a reasonable rate in your language pair based in France) and then pay a revisor to double check your work if you're unsure of the quality you're producing due to the fact that you are just starting out. That way, everybody wins - the client gets the quality translation s/he deserves, you learn from your revisor and still get paid decently for the work you do, and the translation profession is not undermined by such utterly low wages (for the French market).
Plus, it is much harder to raise your rates once you've set them. Do you think the client base you build up will go for it when, after paying a ridiculously low price, you suddenly say, hey, now that I have X number of years' experience, I'm going to double my price?


Hi
0,04 or 0,05 is what agencies were paying when I started freelancing in France 20 years ago...

Reliable and serious agencies in France (not fly-by-night or discount translation supermarket-like agencies) will pay 8, 10 and even up to 12 cents (admittedly more often 8 than 12) - don't settle for less just because translators will do it for less in Spain, Morocco, Brazil or India.. or even in France: remember that you live and work in France where we lose nearly 50% in taxes, SS contributions and other charges, and that's BEFORE income tax on what's left. Surely you don't want to settle for less than I pay my cleaning lady (i.e. 12 euro/hr)!! As for rates for direct clients, add at least another 50% (I charge mine 18 cents). Rates vary obviously from one country to another and from one translator to another, but there's got to be a minimum floor below which it becomes both indecent and unprofitable. If you're a good translator, then don't sell yourself short.

Good luck to you
cordialement - df


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xxxcmwilliams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:18
French to English
+ ...
Rates Dec 14, 2005

I've just had a look at your profile. You have an MA degree and six years' experience, so it's not as if you're just starting out. I can't understand why you would accept such low rates. In fact, you actually state that it is your policy to work for "a rather low rate per word: 0.05 euro".
I agree with previous postings - serious agencies will pay more than this for good translations.


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 14:18
French to English
Agree with.... Dec 15, 2005

...all that was said above.

Charging triple and paying a proofreader is a good idea.

Also, I'd get rid of that sentence in your profile.

You don't need to put your rates on your page, necessarily. They can be provided on a quote-by-quote basis.

Good luck!

Sara


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:18
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Good translations for low rates Dec 15, 2005

Hi Accur@te,
I was in your same sort of boat and just took for granted what the agencies told me was the market rate. I worked for 5 years fulltime for these rates and did ok. Then there was a big rise in the cost of living, and work seemed to drop off so I started looking around.

Since I joined ProZ a few months ago it seems there’s a whole different world out there. I too have seen jobs posted for low rates, but also colleagues saying they get more and a few jobs posted for what is considered an average/decent rate instead of the usual low ones.

A few months back I made the decision to work for more, to raise my price in other words. First, because I know I’m good, but also because I’m sick of being undercut by people who aren’t. I’m really not interested in competing with people who “know” or have studied a language, or are willing to work for peanuts, and that’s what happens if you offer your services at the same sort of price they do.

The way I see it, there will always be more competition for low quality work at low rates. So, basically I’m out of that ball game. Agencies who have clients who look for low prices are less bothered about quality and style and will look for cheaper offers, so both the clients and agencies are more likely to go elsewhere.

Cheap rates mean longer hours for less money, and a higher probability of losing the client to someone cheaper.

What’s really silly imo is people like me and you offering good, if not excellent services at cheap rates. This is really not doing the category, our colleagues or even the people who think they’re saving money a favour. If a client can get a good translation for low rates they won’t pay a good translator decent rates for the same thing. And they will think the standard of translation at those rates is high, so when they ditch you for someone slightly cheaper (and they will) their manuals will be dangerous and lead to injury with claims for compensation, and their products won’t sell because Coca-Cola will be translated as Bite the Wax Tadpole. It’s a false economy.

Anyway I’ve called myself out of that ballgame; my kids need to eat and I like to enjoy my job. You can raise your rates with regular clients you want to keep, and look for new ones too.

The way I see it there are good translators working for good rates, average translators working for average rates, and poor translators working for poor rates. There are also good translators working for poor rates, but they will not be seen as good, they’ll be seen as cheap; because if something is cheap its value will be seen as such. That’s how much it’s worth.

There are also good translators who one day wake up and think, “Gee I’m good at this. Damn, I should be getting paid more.”


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 08:18
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Yep, time to raise the rates Dec 15, 2005

I for one will be sending out a letter to outsourcers announcing a rate increase in 2006 - how's that for a NY's resolution that's sure to stick

I'm done with "Can you do us a favour..." because the price of heating fuel has nearly doubled and the furnace people don't do "favours".

Nancy


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xxxaccur@te
Local time: 14:18
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
thanks to all Dec 15, 2005

I'd like to thank you all for taking time to answer my question. Lots of good hints, differing a lot from some agencies' talk. A+

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