Hourly rates: is yours the same for different kinds of work?
Thread poster: Ali YANDIK
Ali YANDIK  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 11:13
English to Turkish
+ ...
Aug 26, 2003

Regarding the hourly rates, I wonder whether you apply a standard rate to all kinds of work (proofreading, dtp or typesetting etc.) which is billed in hours.

For example, if you charge X dollars for an hour of editing, do you again charge X dollars for an hour of typesetting?


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:43
English to Tamil
+ ...
It depends on what you can do in an hour Aug 26, 2003

Suppose you can translate 500 words in an hour, this multiplied by the word rate should be your hourly rate.Once this is settled, if you are asked to edit, just quote the same hourly rate, as you would have earned this amount by translation. An hour is an hour. If you edit faster than you do translation, the client will be automatically benefited. Same holds good for interpreting. You are dedicating the hour to your client and do not take up any other work in that period.
Now the next step. Also have a minimum billing for say 2 hours. This is to compensate your taking the trouble of going to the client's place. Add the taxi fare both sides plus the cost of tea/coffe/lunch as applicable. Now you can quote in a scientific manner. Let not the client tell you that during interpreting you are idle some of the time. It is not your fault. You are available to him and if he doesn't utilize you properly, it is his lookout.


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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:13
Chinese to English
+ ...
Don't agree entirely... Aug 26, 2003

I would never charge the same hourly rate for interpreting that I earn for translation. There is a much higher learning curve for conference interpreting, and I cannot consult references, relax, have a cup of tea or whatever while I'm working. Also, interpreting requires travel, which is often uncompensated, but cuts time off from work in one's office. The law of supply and demand, finally, exists -- I don't think I can charge the same for editing English text as I can for translating from Chinese to English, for example, because there are far more people qualified to do the first than the second; likewise, I can charge more to do an hour's simultaneous interpretation than to do an hour's translation work, as there are far fewer people who do the former.

Just some thoughts...


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:43
English to Tamil
+ ...
What I meant was the barest minimum Aug 27, 2003

What I suggested was just a basis for working out a logical rate. Once you comprehend it, the rest follows. You can always ask more but never accept anything less the basic amount. This covers the difference between the consecutive and simultaneous interpreting as well and the latter is paid at a higher rate. Word rate translation in an hour was chosen, as it is a quantifiable item and is comrehensible to all. And translation is an important activity, which laymen too can appreciate.

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