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Rate per new words - is that normal and acceptable?
Thread poster: lfchoy
lfchoy

Local time: 01:03
English to Chinese
Jul 4, 2011

Hi all,

I would like to ask you guys a question about the rate, since I am not familiar with freelance job, so please share with me about your experiences. An agency offers me a rate as follow:

USD XXX per new word

PER NEW WORD
Is that normal and acceptable?

Please tell me something about this. I am looking forward for your reply.
Thank you very much.

Have a nice day everybody.


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EMANUELA ROTUNNO  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:03
English to Italian
+ ...
If in test there are repetitions... Jul 4, 2011

hi,
it could be normal if in the test you have to translate there are repetitions, so the client pays only the new words. Sometimes the client pays the repetitions a lower rate.
Emanuela


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lfchoy

Local time: 01:03
English to Chinese
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Jul 4, 2011

Thanks Emanuela ^_^

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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:03
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Normal if you use a translation manager Jul 4, 2011

Hi lfchoy

This kind of calculation (paying new words at a given rate, and repetitions at a lower rate), could be used for texts translated with a translation manager such as trados and the like

Kindest regards!





[Edited at 2011-07-04 09:41 GMT]


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Tanya Toneva  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 19:03
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Yes, it is Jul 4, 2011

Hi Ifchoy,
It is perfectly normal when you use CAT tools such as Trados, etc. New words are being paid at one rate, while repetitions are usually paid at lower rates...

Best of luck with the project!

Kind regards,
Tanya


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:03
Flemish to English
+ ...
No,it is not. Jul 4, 2011

because the agency will charge the full cost to its end-customer and earn double on your work.
How interesting and financially viable is the translation profession, if you only get paid for new words and get peanuts for "old" words.

[Edited at 2011-07-04 15:53 GMT]


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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:03
English to Dutch
+ ...
Agree with Williamson on this point Jul 4, 2011

Williamson wrote:

because the agency will charge the full cost to its end-customer and earn double on your work.
How interesting and financially viable is the translation profession, if you only get paid for new words and get peanuts for "old" words.



This debate has been held in many different fora on Proz and it is neither normal nor acceptable. A good translation agency tends to offer decent rates and no so-called CAT-tool discounts, no matter how certain CAT tool providers pushed such discounts as the new norm in the industry. Nice sales gimmick towards agencies if you ask me, but lending any further value to it is pointless. Also, you offer your services, so you set your rate.

As soon as I can walk into any shop, ask for a bread and state that only want to pay half for it because that is what I think it is worth, I will reconsider my position on such discounts.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:03
French to German
+ ...
"Perfectly normal?" Jul 4, 2011

Tanya Toneva wrote:

Hi Ifchoy,
It is perfectly normal when you use CAT tools such as Trados, etc. New words are being paid at one rate, while repetitions are usually paid at lower rates...

Best of luck with the project!

Kind regards,
Tanya


"Perfectly normal?" To many among us, it may be as it has been shoved down our throats together with the flourishing of CAT tools. Brainwashing goes a long way, especially if it comes as advertisements that have been afloat for more than a decade now.

To others, it is just a clever way to allow the agencies making more markups as Williamson explained it clearly - and we should never forget that the publisher of the "standard CAT tool on the market" also has a branch which happens to be... a worldwide translation agency!


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lfchoy

Local time: 01:03
English to Chinese
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everybody Jul 4, 2011

Thank you very much for your replies.
Now, I do have a concept about being a freelance translator.
Have a nice day. Thanks everyone.


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:03
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
never heard of Jul 4, 2011

lfchoy wrote:

Hi all,

I would like to ask you guys a question about the rate, since I am not familiar with freelance job, so please share with me about your experiences. An agency offers me a rate as follow:

USD XXX per new word

PER NEW WORD
Is that normal and acceptable?

Please tell me something about this. I am looking forward for your reply.
Thank you very much.

Have a nice day everybody.


Is it just a list of words or regular text built of sentences?
Ewa


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Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:03
Polish to English
+ ...
Definitely sentences Jul 4, 2011

They normally mean the words within repeated sentences. I don't think they've gone as far as to only pay you once for translating "the" and "a". I tend to agree with such offers because the number of such repetitions is usually very small in most texts, but if you don't have a CAT tool, then they can't expect you not to charge.

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:03
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Great! Jul 5, 2011

lfchoy wrote:
Now, I do have a concept about being a freelance translator.


Yup. That's all there is to it.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:03
Flemish to English
+ ...
It is "perfectly normal" Jul 5, 2011

because Tanya runs a translation agency.
The more translators she can find who are willing to put up with this scheme, the more profit she makes.


[Edited at 2011-07-05 09:00 GMT]


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Tanya Toneva  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 19:03
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Oh really! Jul 9, 2011

Williamson wrote:

because Tanya runs a translation agency.
The more translators she can find who are willing to put up with this scheme, the more profit she makes.


[Edited at 2011-07-05 09:00 GMT]


Wow, it's been a few days since I've last had the time to check the forums and look what I find....

Dear Williamson,
For your information, so far it has been ME that's been getting paid this way - not the other way around. For example, we are currently subcontracted by an U.S. agency for a large ongoing project. Each time we get payment, it is based on the number of new words, repetitions, etc. We get paid 100% for new words only, while repetitions are being paid at lower rates - and this way of pricing has been mutually agreed upon.
Also, I have recently offered a potential client a substantial discount based on the fact that the texts that had to be translated involved lots of repetitions...According to your "impenetrable" logic, I would have offered him a flat rate no matter what...!

I'm stunned at how quickly people tend to jump to conclusions about someone they don't know!..And all the gall and spite...Wow!
I have never been a negative person, so I have never been able to quite fathom the way negative people think...it really beats me.
Anyway. I do hope you will think twice before you decide to label someone again based on no sound facts/info whatsoever.

Have a great weekend!

Tanya


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:03
French to German
+ ...
But... Jul 10, 2011

Tanya,
no offence intended but discounts are a matter of choice every way you look at it. They are certainly not a "must-be-that-way".

From a personal point of view, I may feel comfortable granting discounts on a case-to-case basis... but I really think that it is not up to the agency clients to decide what they want to pay.

If agencies find it suitable to offer price X to their clients, to have a markup of Y and to pay the translator Z, they also have to find translators agreeing to such conditions.

But no way they can tell me (or any other colleague in this case) that "your rates are too high" and "why don't you give discounts?"...

Agencies have to sell themselves towards translators too. If they fail in doing so, they are the only ones to blame.


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