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Does anybody work on a retainer?
Thread poster: Shaojie Huang

Shaojie Huang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:22
Chinese to English
+ ...
Jun 7, 2006

I know it is common practice for a client to pay a lawyer retainer so when there is some legal work to do, he can be sure the lawyer is available. This is an obvious good thing for the lawyer, too, on the other hand, since he knows he has his minimum income guaranteed whether he has work for a particular month or not.

I was just wondering does any freelance translator work on a retainer or some income guarantee like it?

Best wishes to all.

Jack


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 09:22
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It's a different situation.... Jun 7, 2006

...because I think that those lawyers who are paid a retainer work for a large reputable firm based in a sought after city center address.....and not freelance lawyers working out of their second bedroom converted into a makeshift office:))

It would be a great position to be in though if all of your clients paid you a retainer to be available for any job that came up...although...on the other hand...it would probably be sod's law and like buses, where you wait and wait for ages and then five come along at the same time!...and then you'd find yourself swamped with work!

Best wishes and good luck,
Mark


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 22:22
depends... :) Jun 7, 2006

More often than not, translators don't work on a retainer. It's only ever happened to me for one high-volume project.

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Shaojie Huang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:22
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Mmmm... I see. Jun 7, 2006

So this does happen sometimes, huh?

Thanks.

Orla Ryan wrote:

More often than not, translators don't work on a retainer. It's only ever happened to me for one high-volume project.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Pay it forward Jun 7, 2006

[quote]Shaojie Huang wrote:
So this does happen sometimes, huh?
[quote]Orla Ryan wrote:

Yes, it does.

Typically, in my case:

25% when signing the contract
and
Bi-monthly payments for partial deliveries
or
25% at completion
Rest within 30 days

--
Dyran


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:22
Member (2005)
Italian to English
For interpreting, yes Jun 7, 2006

Hi Shaojie

I've worked on a retainer for interpreting services but never for translation.

I'm an interpreter/translator living in Edinburgh and when the G8 summit was held in Edinburgh & Gleneagles last year I was on retainer throughout that period, ready to be called at a moment's notice.

The retainer is usually set a lower rate than a day's work and any work you actually do on the dates in question is paid on top of the retainer at the standard rate.

I'm not sure how that would work for translation - maybe if a company is waiting for doucments which urgently require translating and need to be sure of a translator's availability - but I don't think this would be a common occurance.

Ivana


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Shaojie Huang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:22
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good score! Jun 8, 2006

So you are doing really great, Dyran!

How come my clients just won't budge a bit when I try to negotiate?

This publisher I have just started working for said I have to wait for payment till the book goes to print. Nothing in advance.

Shaojie

[quote]Dyran Altenburg wrote:

Shaojie Huang wrote:
So this does happen sometimes, huh?


Yes, it does.

Typically, in my case:

25% when signing the contract
and
Bi-monthly payments for partial deliveries
or
25% at completion
Rest within 30 days

--
Dyran


[Edited at 2006-06-08 11:22]


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