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Poll: Do you feel that your work is worth more than you actually charge?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:59
SITE STAFF
Oct 26, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you feel that your work is worth more than you actually charge?".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
How about "often"? Oct 27, 2005

Given the competition on ProZ, it's not unusual for me to lower my price to get new clients (some of my regular clients pay more than my declared range on ProZ). When I do this, I feel that I am delivering a product that is worth more.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 11:59
English to German
+ ...
especially when the outsourcer absconds from paying Oct 27, 2005

and puts up a quality issue, that was neither a big discussion prior to beginning with the project nor while testing phase. Brandis

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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:59
English to German
+ ...
There is, obviously, something wrong in the industry Oct 27, 2005

As the poll shows, nearly 95 % of the participants feel (often or time to time) dissatisfied with what they are being paid - me including.

Only 5% seem to make a decent living on their job.

Why then do we continue working for less than we think we are worth?

Is it that most clients think that anyone who had some language training can work as a translator (I get this feeling very often when communicating and negotiating with clients)?

Many clients seem to suppose that the work of a translator "isn't really work" and that "if they had the time they could do the translation themselves" - this is why they don't really appreciate our work.

They seem to neglect the fact that, to be a good translator, you are forced to have knowledge of the SUBJECT (which the client's staff may have themselves) AND THE LANGUAGE (which they lack).

So, in fact, you have to have MORE knowledge and education, while the client may tend to think you have LESS than him.

They may find it perfectly right that a good engineer, investment banker, stock broker or doctor should have USD 5-15K per month, whereas a translator should be happy to have 3K and to somehow make ends meet. And they are just not aware that the really professional translator first had to become a professional engineer, investment banker, stock broker or doctor. And that he will have to follow the development within his industry of choice (engineering, medicine, etc.) just as close as the doctors and engineers themselves, in order to keep up to date and deliver professional translations.

Teach your clients to make them aware of these facts!

Good luck
Steffen


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:59
SITE FOUNDER
Obviously an area for improvement Oct 27, 2005

In my view, translators are not yet paid an amount commensurate with the skills required. I do not advise anyone to lower their rates due to competition (or the *perception* of competition -- often it is less severe than some imagine). You should calculate the rate you need to charge to afford your standard of living, with holidays, and never go below it for commercial clients.

Let's focus on this as an area for progress to be made.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Perception? Oct 28, 2005

Henry, you said: "I do not advise anyone to lower their rates due to competition (or the *perception* of competition -- often it is less severe than some imagine)."

I recently saw a job posted for a medical translation and the rate being offered was about what I was making in 1970. And people were quoting on it!

[Edited at 2005-10-28 05:18]


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