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would you lower the rate?
Thread poster: Mueen Issa
Mueen Issa  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:39
English to Arabic
+ ...
Mar 21, 2006

Hi all,

here is the case:
* I was contacted a few moths ago by a translation office for a long term project.
* They set the rate (for translation and proofreading) and it was accepted by me, actually it was good.
* The work has been going smoothly, but I get so little translation and so much proofreading
* I know they want me to give my final look and I like that
* but I feel that the other translator's rate is way less than mine, that is why he/she gets more translation than me

Now, I talked to them about this, they said that they wanted me to give the final eye on it and as I said I like that. But I think maybe I should talk to them on the rate issue, so that I get a little more translation work, what do you think?

Thank you all, Shukran


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Patricia Fierro, M. Sc.  Identity Verified
Ecuador
Local time: 05:39
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't lower your rate Mar 21, 2006

Hi,

I wouldn't lower my rate in the circumstances that you describe. I think that your rate depends on factors such as your monthly budget, your expenses, and your rent, and that if you lower your rate you might not be able to make ends meet. If there were translators who charge 1 cent, I wouldn't lower my rate just to get those clients, for example.

If you need more work, why not try to find other agencies or direct clients to work for? I think that you can find more clients here in proz, too.

Good luck,
Patricia


[Edited at 2006-03-21 17:45]


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Mueen Issa  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:39
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The rate is good Mar 21, 2006

Patricia Fierro, M. Sc. wrote:

Hi,

I wouldn't lower my rate in the circumstances that you describe. I think that your rate depends on factors such as your monthly budget, your expenses, and your rent, and that if you lower your rate you might not be able to make ends meet. If there were translators who charge 1 cent, I wouldn't lower my rate just to get those clients, for example.

If you need more work, why not try to find other agencies or direct clients to work for? I think that you can find more clients here in proz, too.

Good luck,
Patricia


[Edited at 2006-03-21 17:45]


Thank you. But as I said, Patricia, the price is good and I am not lowering it so cheep. For example if I lowered it 15% it would still be excellent and within my range.


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Sam21
Egypt
Local time: 12:39
Arabic to English
+ ...
Don't Mar 21, 2006

I think the client will not accept your lowering the rates. Till now, you don't know how much the other translator charges. Also you don't know if you charge a bit less, the client would accept you as a translator and a proofreader.

It seems that the client likes it that way. A cheap rate for the translator, and a higher rate for proofreader (just take a look to see if it is ok). The client, if it needs you, might have contacted you to take some translation tasks. But it seems that the other translator is doing fine, and there would be no need for the client to pay for two translators (and a third proofreader).

If you are so keen to take up the translation task, do lower your rate. You seem to be determined on that. But I think the client would find a way or another to simply say NO!

I wouldn't if I were you. So many jobs you ((we)) lose for being taken by other lower-rates bidders. Sometimes clients don't like your lowering the rates, and look down upon the translator "Why haven't you charged from the very beginning?"


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:39
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
I would raise the rate Mar 21, 2006

Hi Mueen,
Lower rate + more work + more time = same money
or
Higher rate + less work + less time = same money
or
Higher rate + same work + same time = more money


More money can be cool, but time = life


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Ahmed Dahman  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 12:39
English to Arabic
+ ...
WOW! What a happy ending Mar 21, 2006

Jo Macdonald wrote:


Hi Mueen,
Lower rate + more work + more time = same money
or
Higher rate + less work + less time = same money
or
Higher rate + same work + same time = more money


More money can be cool, but time = life

Jo Macdonald, I think you brought us a great happy end. I really liked your words.
Any way Mueen, to that client you have only two choices wheather to get the same or raise your rates.
In the case that you want to get you rates lower I think you better try this with a new client but not the existing one.

Kind Regards
A.H.Dahman


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
There must be a justification when you change your rates Mar 21, 2006

Hi,
You may put up your rates at the end of a year, when you buy a program or do some training to get specialized. You give an added value to your client and you want to charge accordingly. You think you've become a better translator, you justify it, you demand better money. That's simple and acceptable.
But to put your rates down, out of the blue! Would that mean that you've become a worse translator and you admit it?
J.


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Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:39
Member
English to Spanish
What makes you think the other translator is changing less and why would you rather translate? Mar 21, 2006

Didn't you say the rate was set by the client? In that case, it would seem logical that they offered the same rate to the other translator, and so lowering yours wouldn't have any effect towards the outcome you want.

I think you should focus just on what you are getting for the work you do. If the rate they offer for proofreading is equally good as the one they offer for translation, what's the problem? If you feel the translation you get is of low quality and so you are spending more time to proofread it than you would expect (maybe that's the reason to suspect the other translator charges less?), explain that to them and that you need to negotiate a higher rate for proofreading or else you would in the future be happy to translate for them but no longer to proofread. On the other hand, if the quality of the translation is such that you get a good rate for the work you do and the reason to prefer doing the translation part is that you could do with some more work, I think your best bet is trying to find additional clients and keep this one as is... you never know, they might send you translation work in the future and you won't want to portray yourself as a "translator on sale" to them, would you?

Congratulations on their good feedback, whatever the case!


Mueen Issa wrote:

Hi all,

here is the case:
* I was contacted a few moths ago by a translation office for a long term project.
* They set the rate (for translation and proofreading) and it was accepted by me, actually it was good.
* The work has been going smoothly, but I get so little translation and so much proofreading
* I know they want me to give my final look and I like that
* but I feel that the other translator's rate is way less than mine, that is why he/she gets more translation than me

Now, I talked to them about this, they said that they wanted me to give the final eye on it and as I said I like that. But I think maybe I should talk to them on the rate issue, so that I get a little more translation work, what do you think?

Thank you all, Shukran


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:39
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Always keep in mind that this is a public forum Mar 21, 2006

Your profit as a proofreader highly depends on the quality of the translations you receive. If your proofreading rates turn out to be too low after several jobs for this client, it's time to renegotiate.

You're probably right that the client has found cheaper translators, but if this doesn't influence your calculated proofreading throughput too much they've made the most efficient choice. Your client has found perfect translators and a perfect proofreader.

Regards,
Gerard


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
Let your translation rate stand, raise your editing rate, and raise your minimum charge. Mar 22, 2006

Agencies will take advantage of you if they see that for an extra few cents they can have you polish a mediocre translator's output for them. Raise your editing rate to be commensurate with the time you spend editing compared with the time you spend translating. If you calculate properly, you will make the same amount of money for the same amount of time spent working. You will have time left for other projects.

You may have to continue on this editing rate for this project to honor your obligations, but make a fresh start with the next project. If this project is billed in batches, then each batch is a separate job for which you can establish a new rate. Give your client time to adjust to the new rate. Introduce it ahead of time. You can tell them, for instance, that as of 30 days from now, my new editing rate will be so and so.

Remember this: Set your rates at the higher end of the market. This will help you avoid making a drastic change in your rate. If you raise your rate by 1 cent per word, there will be less resistance than if you raise it by 5 cents per word. It will also allow you to grant some particular clients a slightly lower rate. For example, if you are contemplating raising your rate by one cent, but there is one particular client that sends you a steady stream of work that you wish to keep, it will be possible for you to exempt them from the rate rise, since the change is minimal, but if you are having to change your rate by a large amount, it will not be fair to you to give them an exception. So always be at the high end (relative to the market where you operate).

Another thing you should consider doing is establish a fairly high minimum charge. Small jobs take a good chunk of time, so be fair to yourself. When you establish a high minimum charge, let your client know that you are a fair person, and occasionally, you may charge less than your usual minimum charge if the job is truly a miniscule (15 words, for instance). And, of course, there is always the occasional freebie.

The bottome line is: Do not lower your translation rate. You will be yielding to the exploitative practices of unscrupulous businesses whose business model is based on offering the lowest rate.


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Mueen Issa  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:39
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you all Mar 22, 2006

Thank you Jo for the nice equation, only I have nothing else to do in this time of life.
Thank you all. Thanks Fuad.


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