question on price per word
Thread poster: eva75

eva75
English
+ ...
Feb 6, 2006

I'm a freelance translator based in Europe and have been asked to translate a short, general and non-complicated text for 8 cent per word for an agency. Is this a fair price? How much more could one earn working for the client directly?

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:42
German to English
+ ...
question on price per word Feb 6, 2006

Check out the surveys of translators' fees, e.g. the one published by the ITI at www.iti.org.uk.

Marc


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egunn  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:42
French to English
lowish but reasonable rate Feb 6, 2006

The short answer, if you're in a hurry to reply to the offer, is that the rate is a little lower than you should probably seek to set your standard rate, but not entirely unreasonable, in my view - and a good bit higher than for many of the jobs offered here on proz.com! Particularly if it is, as you say, a short and non-technical piece, and if you have nothing else currently on offer at a higher rate, I'd recommend you take the job on and then see for yourself whether you think it's worth accepting further work at the same rate.

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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 12:42
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Take it! Feb 6, 2006

Unless you have plenty of work, don't turn this away! We need to encourage those who pay 8 cents or more and discourage those who want professional results for 2 or 3 cents a word.

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Rebecca Barath  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:42
Member (2005)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
I agree with Jane.... Feb 6, 2006

JaneTranslates wrote:

Unless you have plenty of work, don't turn this away! We need to encourage those who pay 8 cents or more and discourage those who want professional results for 2 or 3 cents a word.


Exactly.....


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eva75
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
two - three cents a word = exploitation Feb 6, 2006

I don't think i would ever accept a job for eight cents or less. Translating costs money (internet access, paper, etc.). There should be some standards set by the industry to protect translators from being exploited.

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trufflejus  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
opinions on what to do Feb 6, 2006

It's funny that someone brought this topic up recently. I am getting started and I just received an offer to do some work for $.04/word. I am not all that comfortable with underselling my work and I wonder what the cons might be of establishing this kind of negative precedent.

[Edited at 2006-02-06 17:01]


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Elena Pavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:42
Member (2005)
French to Italian
+ ...
Where in Europe? Feb 6, 2006

eva75 wrote:

I'm a freelance translator based in Europe and have been asked to translate a short, general and non-complicated text for 8 cent per word for an agency. Is this a fair price? How much more could one earn working for the client directly?


I live and work in France and this is actually the price AGENCIES pay me for translations. Sometimes I could get 9 cents, but when I try to ask more to new clients, they usually say that the average price in France is 8.
But I think that rates are lower in Italy and Spain, while they look higher in Ireland, according to Philip's reply.


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eva75
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
setting a negative precedent Feb 6, 2006

I'm getting started too and tbh, I will refuse to do anything for under 8 cent. I think you just have to say to clients that you are a qualified translator that produces high quality work and if they're not happy with your rates, then tell them that you have plenty of other clients who are and appreciate your good work (even if you haven't). If they still won't increase the rate, then you're better off seeking another client who will be. We're not artists, we're business people!

If you really need money starting off, consider getting a part time teaching position... just my two cents!


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trufflejus  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
that was my feeling Feb 6, 2006

Yes, Eva. That was my gut feeling. I am currently working full-time at the moment and this was more about building my resume rather than an urgent income matter.

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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:42
French to German
+ ...
Recent publications of ADÜ Nord Feb 6, 2006

eva75 wrote:
Is this a fair price?


If you are based in Germany, you might consider looking at the information material of AD Nord. They published the results of a survey concerning translator fees (Auskommen mit dem Einkommen) and a guide for beginning translators (Grnes Licht); the latter features survey data specially concerning beginner's fees. Both publications are quite fresh.

P.

[Edited at 2006-02-06 18:42]

[Edited at 2006-02-06 18:43]


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trufflejus  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
$.15 Feb 7, 2006

I was talking to the head of a translation/interpreting program at a NY city university today and he said that $.15/word should be an industry minimum.

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Mads Grøftehauge  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:42
English to Danish
+ ...
Here's how to calculate it yourself... Feb 7, 2006

Ask yourself:
How much should you be making per month when you have to pay your own pension and other benefits that an employer might otherwise pay - not to mention office rent, internet, computer, reference materials etc.? Compare with the kind of office job you could reasonably get if you weren't working freelance.
How many words can you translate per day and for how many days per month?
How many days per month can you reasonably expect to get work?
You should be able to calculate the reasonable rate this way. And if you don't work full-time and have a family to support, consider those that do.

Justin Aschenbrand wrote:
... he said that $.15/word should be an industry minimum.


At least!


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trufflejus  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
consider those that have a family Feb 8, 2006

Absolutely, I would like to make this my full-time occupation and support a family doing so. Currently, I am doing some volunteer work to get more experience under my belt and I would prefer to do that to demonstrate my qualifications rather than dump prices.

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johnnorman
Portuguese to English
0.15 USD minimum standard May 18, 2006

I don't have a minimum, but my set price is higher than that, and I won't negotiate. If you people want to charge .08/word I guess you are entitled, but you have a responsibility to yourselves and your profession. How do you see the skill of translation? Should you receive less than other professionals? Most good professionals can afford a new car, they take trips, they have a pension plan and etc. Someone lives in those nice houses you see when you are riding past on the bus, right? Is their profession more difficult than translation, does it take more brains, education and experience? Wise up.

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