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Is this rate reasonable for a large project?
Thread poster: Claudia Vale

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
Aug 15, 2006

Hi. I've been asked to do a large Spanish to English translation (around 22,000 words). The rate offered is €0.03 per source word. This seems very low to me. Can someone please give me some advice as quickly as possible as I need to let them know whether I can accept the project at this rate? Many thanks. )

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Sean Linney  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:33
French to English
+ ...
No it isn't! Aug 15, 2006

Hi Claudia

If I were you I wouldn't accept it. That rate is far too low.

Sean


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Dina Abdo  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 14:33
Member (2005)
Arabic
+ ...
Too low! Aug 15, 2006

I'm not sure about the rates in your language pair, but this is too low even for my pairs. Beside, 22K is not that large to offer such a rate!

IMO, you should ask for a higher rate or forget about the whole job!

Good Luck


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:33
Dutch to English
+ ...
No Aug 15, 2006

This £ 20/1000 words and is not an acceptable rate. I would at least expect something in the region of £55 as a bare minimum.

If you are lucky you would make £60 per day. My cleaner earns more. The plumber I used a couple of months ago charged £ 200 per day.


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wow! How do they get away with it?! Aug 15, 2006

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I thought it was low because my usual rate is, of course, higher but it's not the first time I've seen a low paid Spanish job. I assumed that a) it's because rates are often lower for Spanish jobs anyway and b) agencies reduce the rate when the job is higher volume. I will push for a higher price and not accept their quoted rate. Thanks!

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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
They said that 0.03 Euros per word was standard! Aug 15, 2006

Okay, I followed your advice and tried a bit of haggling. However, they wouldn't budge and said 0.03 Euros was standard. I have had to decline the job. The swines!

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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:33
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
No way! Aug 15, 2006

The longer the project the less fruitful it is to offer low rates or discounts!!

p.s. Murphy's law would also bring you another project within the next few hours with a good rate which you would have to refuse because you are busy, believe me!!

Ciao, D.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 13:33
English to German
+ ...
no it isn´t Aug 15, 2006

Hi! Large projects need higher, deeper, and wider concentration and they come with many catches. Try agreeing on hourly rate when the projects get large. Best Brandis

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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ah, good old Murphy's Law! ;o) Aug 15, 2006

Daniela Zambrini wrote:

The longer the project the less fruitful it is to offer low rates or discounts!!

p.s. Murphy's law would also bring you another project within the next few hours with a good rate which you would have to refuse because you are busy, believe me!!

Ciao, D.


Thanks for the positive note!


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good idea. Aug 15, 2006

Brandis wrote:

Hi! Large projects need higher, deeper, and wider concentration and they come with many catches. Try agreeing on hourly rate when the projects get large. Best Brandis

I don't have much experience of large projects. Thanks for the advice.


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aug 15, 2006



[Edited at 2006-08-15 17:22]


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Irene Schlotter, Dipl.-Übers.
Spain
Local time: 13:33
English to German
+ ...
Not at all! Aug 15, 2006

Hi Claudia, first of all: 20.000 words are not a large or larger job. 100.000 words are. For 0.03 per word you end up earning more if you serve beers at a bar, and that is a kind of job you definitely di d not study for, right? I live in Spain and prices are pathetically low, but never has anyone offered me to TRANSLATE for that rate. Rates always oscillated around 0.05 or sometimes higher per word, but that depends on the language combination. Mine is English/French/Spanish to German. The jobs offered at 0.03 were not-so-funny proofreading jobs which I usually declined. Anyway, this price is NOT standard and - quite honestly - I cannot imagine that any moderately ambitious or serious translator is willing to work for it unless he/she does not have any other option. This price is strictly not professional. So-called special prices are only worthwhile with long-term clients you have been working with for years, but not with a company you don't even know. When quoting or sending rates you may want to add that your prices are variable depending on volume/nature of the project. This leaves space for (up- and down-) negotiating without inviting agencies to offer dump prices. As I said: For 0.03 I would not budge.

[Edited at 2006-08-15 09:56]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:33
German to English
+ ...
They said that 0.03 Euros per word was standard! Aug 15, 2006

There is no "standard". Charge what you think is appropriate, the way any other business does. For an idea of realistic rates, take a look at the ITI's rates and salaries survey:

www.iti.org.uk/pdfs/newPDF/ITI2001R&S.pdf

And bear in mind that these figures are now half a decade out of date.

Marc


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Marc Aug 15, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

There is no "standard". Charge what you think is appropriate, the way any other business does. For an idea of realistic rates, take a look at the ITI's rates and salaries survey:

www.iti.org.uk/pdfs/newPDF/ITI2001R&S.pdf

And bear in mind that these figures are now half a decade out of date.

Marc


That's a useful link. Ever get the feeling those agencies are laughing all the way to the bank?


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Piotr Wargan  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:33
English to Polish
+ ...
About plumbers and the loughing ones Aug 15, 2006

Claudia Vale wrote:

Ever get the feeling those agencies are laughing all the way to the bank?



Hello,

This paper has some very good conclusions: translators lack business and marketing knowledge, and thus are easy targets for those who 'lough all the way'


We will not reach the 'plumber's rate' but have to work towards a decent one.

Have a nice day,

Piotr


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