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Thread poster: John Colangelo

John Colangelo  Identity Verified
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Local time: 02:41
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Jul 6, 2006

A fellow got in touch with me. He needs an interpreter for his business meetings. The interpreter will be with him 5 hours a day for three weeks. What would you charge?

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:41
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More Info Jul 6, 2006

Are you going to be traveling with this fellow, or are these meetings all going to be scheduled where you are based? One thing you have to remember is that if you are traveling you will probably be missing most, if not all other work that may come in and you would need to charge accordingly or you may come out losing. On the other hand, the travel opportunity could also have its attractions.

If it is at your base the work loss factor is not as heavy. I don't know what hourly or daily rates might be there, but you might check locally to get an idea of a prevailing rate and charge that.


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John Colangelo  Identity Verified
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Hi Henry ... Jul 6, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:

Are you going to be traveling with this fellow, or are these meetings all going to be scheduled where you are based? One thing you have to remember is that if you are traveling you will probably be missing most, if not all other work that may come in and you would need to charge accordingly or you may come out losing. On the other hand, the travel opportunity could also have its attractions.

If it is at your base the work loss factor is not as heavy. I don't know what hourly or daily rates might be there, but you might check locally to get an idea of a prevailing rate and charge that.



I will be travelling with the guy. As far as the rates are concerned, we can apply American standards here. What would you ask for?


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 16:41
English to French
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Hi John! Jul 6, 2006

The first thing I would ask for is a second interpreter, as 5 hours by yourself is close to impossible in my experience.

Sarah


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John Colangelo  Identity Verified
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Sarah L ... Nice to see u here ... Jul 6, 2006

sarahl wrote:

The first thing I would ask for is a second interpreter, as 5 hours by yourself is close to impossible in my experience.

Sarah


You are probably right but I still need a price. Stick around kid ...


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 16:41
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Ahlan wa sahlan! Jul 6, 2006

John,

I'll be glad to give you US rates if you're more specific. As an example, I just moved from the mid-west to California and rates are quite different out here as you can imagine, kiddo.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:41
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Probably Jul 6, 2006

I would be of a mind to charge US$400 - US$500 (400 + Euros) a day for that (plus expenses, of course).

Of course you also didn't mention whether you could come home on the weekends or not, that could be some extra charge even though you're off. You could maybe figure it on a weekly basis.

Maybe peg it to the U.S. State Department Conference Rate, I don't know exactly what it is right now, but it should be within the range I have indicated.

Having a relief interpreter would probably be out of the question as too expensive. Hopefully you can get enough breaks so you can manage OK, I would not be afraid of that. Plus, you should get the subject matter down quite well in a short time.


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 16:41
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Rates Jul 6, 2006

$500/day is on the low side, that's midwest rates.

Out here in CA we charge $700/day, usually.


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:41
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
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Interpreting Jul 6, 2006

Hi John,

Congratulations on your assignment. I would say that USD 400-500 is a good estimate + expenses - hotel, food, etc. The rate goes up in California and other large metropolitan cities.

That number of hours is murder, though. Think about relief, what contingencies are in place if you get sick or something as simple as going to the restroom, taking breaks, etc.

And very important! Make sure that you get all this in writing in a solid contract and get a good amount up front before you start. There are too many scams going around not to be careful.

Other than that, take care of yourself. Rest well, drink plenty of water and keep your meals light during the day. A heavy meal makes you drowsy.

Have fun!
Lucinda


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
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Local time: 17:41
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Not a lot of water Jul 7, 2006

The more you drink, the more you have to go to the restroom, and they may not give you a break.

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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:41
English to Dutch
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I would be careful Jul 7, 2006

with offers by travelers who need interpreting.

Did he offer to pay you by certified check?

I'm currently corresponding with a guy who said he needs an interpreter in my area. Only after I told him that I work between Dutch and English did he 'discover' that his companions are native Dutch speakers.

I'm supposed to get 80% of my fee paid in advance through a certified check. I expect to receive this check any day now and then I'll probably get a message that the whole thing was cancelled and could I please return most of the money using one of my own checks..

Hmm, where did I hear about this 'great offer' before? Could it have been in this and other fora where they talk about various variations on scams to get translators to exchange bogus checks for real checks?

Nah, I'm probably way too suspicious!




[Edited at 2006-07-07 04:13]


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:41
French to English
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CYA Jul 7, 2006

Hi John,

Nice to see you here

In addition to all the good advice already given, I'd flag two points:

1. insure half your total fee is in your account before you embark on the adventure. A cleared bank wire would be nice...

2. insure your "large" expenses are prepaid (airfaire, train, hotel) as you do not want to have to chase your client to be reimbursed ex post facto.

And get that in writing!

I am having to front significant expenses on a project through the end of the year, I do get reimbursed monthly, but I still have to make sure my running account can cover things in the interim. A bit of a pain since I am not a bank and moreover, though I get charged for "line movements" by my bank, I can't pass on those charges to the client.....

Cheers,

Patricia


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John Colangelo  Identity Verified
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Wow ... Jul 7, 2006

This is a lot of good advice. If it were up to me, all of you would get enough kudoz to last you through the winter.

I think the 500 euro a day rate would be a legitimate amount to ask for as well as expenses.

You guys can imagine as I do that it´s like a linguistical escort service. So in reality how tiring could it get?

Now the next question I should ask for is how much should I ask for in advance.

I am still not sure to take this assignment though because I really know nothing about the guy, no references, nothing and I think this is decisive.


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:41
French to English
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fatigue? Jul 7, 2006

John Colangelo wrote:

This is a lot of good advice. If it were up to me, all of you would get enough kudoz to last you through the winter.

I think the 500 euro a day rate would be a legitimate amount to ask for as well as expenses.

You guys can imagine as I do that it´s like a linguistical escort service. So in reality how tiring could it get?

Now the next question I should ask for is how much should I ask for in advance.

I am still not sure to take this assignment though because I really know nothing about the guy, no references, nothing and I think this is decisive.


John --

Several of us thought you should get half the total fee in advance.

How tiring could it get? well, depends on 2 things: whether the 5 hours a day are respected (again, get that in writing on the contract; if you are billing 500 euros a day and express it that way, your client may turn around and have you do liaison interpreting all day/evening) and what the content/intensity is...Yes, it can get tiring! Sometimes, when I have US friends come visit who don't speak French and I spend all day translating back and forth for everyone, I am pooped!

You should be able to ask him for information about himself, company, business... that is legit, and I suppose he asked the same of you!

Cheers,

Patricica


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:41
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English to German
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Why am I reminded of the Nigerian scam here? Jul 7, 2006

John Colangelo wrote:
I am still not sure to take this assignment though because I really know nothing about the guy, no references, nothing and I think this is decisive.


Hi John,

I certainly don't want to spoil the party but I received a very similar request through my ProZ.com profile just a few days ago (for interpreting in Germany, obviously, but with the very same setting: three weeks, five hours per day, business meetings, no contact details whatsoever, deficient English in the message text). I moved it to the trash folder immediately as the IP address pointed to Nigeria. With the previous forum discussions regarding scam artists in mind, this sounded all too familiar to me. Interesting detail to compare: the wrong spelling "bussiness meetings" in the message.

Can you perhaps forward the email you received to me privately, including the complete headers, in order to find out where it came from?

Steffen

[Edited at 2006-07-07 10:39]


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