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rate for birth certificate or cv or other one page document
Thread poster: Anik Aminuddin

Anik Aminuddin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:21
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Nov 30, 2006

I have a new client (agency) who asked me to translate a one-page birth certificate. Since the document has only around 100 words, I charged my minimum rate. A couple hours later, the same client contacted me, wanting to add another document to the same PO to make up for my minimum charge. Is this an acceptable practice? Thanks!

[Edited at 2006-11-30 07:08]


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 08:21
English to Indonesian
+ ...
At least US$15 per page Nov 30, 2006

Hi Anik,

For certificates, the rate is usually determined per page. In my experience, my minimum rate is US$15 per page. You should not charge your minimum rate per source word. In principle, the more the source word is, the lower the rate will be (to a certain degree, of course), and vice versa.

Good luck.


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N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:21
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
an opportunity Nov 30, 2006

Hi Anik,
That's happened to me before. For me also it was a relatively new client. I took this as an opportunity to give a marketing push.
I told him that normally signed POs are separate, and each new translation after delivery of the last has to have a separate PO. HOWEVER, in his case, I would make an effort and accept the two translations for this one time, as a special favor.

Maybe you can even use the opportunity to discuss other possibilities for working together in the future, like if they have a lot of incoming translations of the same nature, you can negotiate a good price.

And then, never accept to do it again!


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:21
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
not very nice but Nov 30, 2006

Probably it's not very nice of them, but looking at it from the other side - if they sent you boh documents in the first place you would translate them for the same money.

I don't think that you are obliged to do the second translation - for example you may be too busy. But if you think that you want to work for them in the fuure it may be a good idea to do it.

Cheers


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Anik Aminuddin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:21
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Nov 30, 2006

Thank you all for your reply. Actually I usually charge minimum rate per document. So supposed the client has a 3-page document with total 100 words in it, I will still charge my minimum rate. However, if documents are of different types or belong to different end-clients, I charge each document separately. The reason behind this is, the agency won't charge those documents (which belong to different clients) under one invoice/ PO, so why should I? This thing never happened to me before, so I was a little bit taken a back and honestly, felt exploited.

[Edited at 2006-11-30 13:48]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:21
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Flat rate Dec 1, 2006

For birth certificates, diplomas, etc. I never charge per word, because it is not the translation that is the most time-consuming but the formatting. I charge a flat rate of 1 hour, regardless of word count. For that fee I provide a certified document that is formatted exactly the same as the original (complete with different fonts, lines, etc.), my stamp on it, and a signed declaration attached. If there are more pages, the charge may be more than 1 hour.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:21
English to German
+ ...
Misunderstanding? Dec 2, 2006

Anik Aminuddin wrote:

wanting to add another document to the same PO to make up for my minimum charge.



The way I read your post is, that they gave you an additional job because you were so nice to charge per word only. It doesn't mean that the amount stated in the PO must remain the same. Personally, I have never encountered a translation job regarding birth certificates, etc., that wasn't paid per flat fee. In fact, when I was a newbie and received the first birth certificate translation, I wrote an invoice based on word count. The agency replied with a friendly email and notified me that such jobs are supposed to be paid with a $20 minimum flat fee and if I would please be so kind and increase the amount in my invoice.


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Anik Aminuddin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:21
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
stick to my gun Dec 2, 2006

Thank you all again for your replies. From the way each of us defines our own pricing, it truly shows that translation business is indeed a free market

Since the beginning of my freelance career, I've encountered a wide range of clients, from those who will happily corner me and starve me to death to those who always consider my well-being. So, I've learnt from long ago that as a freelancer, I should always stick to my gun, or else people will happily step on me.

As for my new client, as Nicole pointed out, it was just a case of misunderstanding. I responded to his email and explained further about my rate. Not only he accepted it, he sent me another job.


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