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Article: Prices, Service et Marketing
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 20:44
Oct 16, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "Prices, Service et Marketing".

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youth mentor
Local time: 22:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very true and Useful Information Mar 1, 2007

I enjoyed reading this article as it is very true, it is all in what you are able to negotiate and based on the experience you have in that particular field.

I definitely do not bid on projects that I know I don't have expertise in but those that I am excellent in, I judge the material and decide what it is worth to me in terms of time and deadlines.

Very good article.

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amj_services  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Great article Apr 18, 2007

Thanks for posting this great article!

It helps translators a lot, considering we are mostly all
self-employed and need to learn how to negotiate our rates.

Fellow translators: let the world know what you're worth! If we start lowering rates, we'll end up working for free!


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Albert Stufkens  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
Member (2008)
Dutch to English
+ ...
What rates? Apr 30, 2007

The entertaining theory on how to negotiate on prices/rates does not adequately take account of two factors:

- what is the market rate?
Unlike a lone translator the customer will survey the
marketplace and gets a fair idea of the market rate, or he
simply opts for the cheapest translation.

- does the client know what quality he might get?
I guess not, unless he is a seasoned translator himself
being familiar with the languages concerned. This leads to
the dilemna for a truly quality translator how he should
convince the customer that varied rates are justified.
It would be painful to deliver quality translations at market
undermining bottom prices.

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MariusV  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:44
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
I do not quite agree to some things Jun 13, 2007

Well, I do really agree that many translators, esp. beginners, make a big mistake trying to offer a lower rate and thus to "attract the client". But it is the same in all areas of business - if there is a new company selling computers, it does have to find something "extra" to attract new customers and very often they give big discounts.

But I do not agree to the idea that almost everything depends on how much the translator is able to negotiate. There are many more factors, in my opinion. Such as market price, such as types of clients, such as a budget for the project. And there is a rule that money is paid for something - if you want to get paid more, you should have a reason why. It is not negotiation actually, but some added value, more exactly - a reason to pay a big amount. Why people pay for a Ferrari 300 000 EUR ? It is not because the seller or the producer has a super skill to negotiate for such a price, but because of something else - it is a super brand, a sign of a luxury and so on. The buyer pays for that (if he/she can afford it). And not all people can afford, nor need a Ferrari - some poeple just need to have a vehicle to go from A point to B point. Maybe an old car for 3000 EUR is just the one they really need (or can just afford to buy). Moreover, there is such a thing as a market price. If an old Ford car of 20 years costs 3000 EUR in the market, you can negotiate to death, but you will never get 300 000 EUR for it. At the best - a little bit more than 3000 EUR. So, in my opinion, negotiation matters, but in general not all things depend on it - I can ask for 0.50 EUR per word, but if the market price is 0.20 EUR, and the client knows it, I will never get 2 EUR per word. Well, if I have a skill and can offer something special to the client, maybe I can get 0.25 or 0.30 EUR, but not 2 EUR. And even for that difference there shall be something offered extra to the client (say, a very good support and help after the project, super duper quality that he cannot get for 0.20 EUR, and so on).

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Chidubem Akinyede
Local time: 04:44
French to English
Informal indeed, but a great article! Also... Jan 8, 2008

This article actually had me laughing. It is very informative and useful, down to earth and indeed informal, easy to read.

Also, I would want to comment that sometimes the amount bidded is not completely dependent on negotiation, to my mind. It could be dependent on the agency, the budget for the particular project, if known, etc. In other words, one may decide to accept a job from an agency or outsourcer, not just because the translator/interpreter has no choice, but because he would really would want to get the job done regardless of how low the amount being offered is. Moreover, there is no rule that one cannot take up voluntary jobs, for instance, or a very lowly paid job at that, if your heart tells you to, at the time. Others will come that will compensate. Taking a low paying job does not mean that you do not yet know your onions. I however do not recommend fixing a particularly low amount that will be difficult to change later.

I like this article because, even in its informality, it deals with reality. It makes one really think of why one would bid for a particular job, etc. People usually bid for so many reasons. Do you have to, should you or can you jolly well do without this one job or even, is it time to drop it like a hot piece of cake or totally disregard it? Does one even qualify for the job in question or is one just bidding for bidding's sake, in this case out of desperation to get a job,etc?.

Three words which come readily to mind right now are: intergrity, consistency and flexibility...

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