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What should a beginner charge?
Thread poster: Armorel Young

Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:36
Member (2004)
German to English
Sep 11, 2002

I\'m in my 50s, live in the UK, currently working towards the IOL diploma after having spent 25 years in other sorts of work. Can anyone tell me what sort of rate I might reasonably charge, for example if bidding for ProZ jobs? I\'d like to get translating work for the experience and so would be happy to do it at this stage for quite a low rate, but I appreciate the importance of not unfairly undercutting those who need to make their living from it. Because I have little knowledge of rates I would welcome some concrete suggestions if possible.

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Ingar A. Milnes  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Try agencies for experience Sep 11, 2002

As a beginner with some kind of credentials and a record of linguistic experience (which means command of source and target), I would apply for work at an agency first. You\'ll be helped there and automatically, of course, earn less than you would attending to your own clients. At the same time, you become familiar with quality control procedures. At the moment, I should believe a charge of about 3.8 pence to 6 pence per word working for a UK agency as a beginner would be adequate. What do my colleagues think?(I\'ve been Germany-based for 10 years now, so I\'m not completely sure)

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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:36
English to German
+ ...
At least £60 for 1000 words Sep 12, 2002

Less ist just not enough by UK standards. Life is expensive here. If you charge too little you will be better off doing other jobs. When I started out I charged £60, now I have variable rates depending on clients, subject matter and work flow but I never worked for less than £60. If you pass the diploma is proof that you are a good translator and being in your fifties you might have lots of expertise in other fields which is a definitve advantage. If you start out with very low rates you might find it difficult to raise them later and anyway many agencies might not take you seriously. Don\'t take the rates offered by some clients on this site as a guideline, some of them are just ridiculous. Don\'t forget that translation is very hard work and if your rates are too low the reward might be disappointing. The start might be pretty hard though.

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