Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
How much less should I ask for creative translations vs technical? Is there a ratio?
Thread poster: Jonathan Beaton

Jonathan Beaton  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:03
German to English
+ ...
Mar 19, 2013

I wanted to start supplementing my usual legal/business/technical translation work with more creative translations, but I've been offered a rate of pay that seems low in my language pair (6 cent a word for Dutch to English).

In your collective experience, should I expect to be paid less for this subject area? If so, by how much? I would argue that it requires an equal amount of time, but I suppose there are fewer people capable of doing specialized translations, so that's why the rate is higher.

So what would be a fair ratio? I'm currently asking 8 cent for other areas, which I think is very low for a quality translation by a native speaker of the target language, but I'm still building up regular customers.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:03
Member
English to French
Not sure Mar 19, 2013

Jonathan Beaton wrote:
... I suppose there are fewer people capable of doing specialized translations, so that's why the rate is higher...

Writing marketing blurb in your native language is not easy either.
AFAIC, I charge the same for technical translations and commercial communications, because I spend about the same time translating a maintenance manual for a machine or a customer brochure for the latest car.
For technical copies, I spend time to research the subject, and for marketing texts, I translate 20 times the same sentence until my ears and consumer reptilian brain are satisfied.
Jonathan Beaton wrote:
...I'm currently asking 8 cent for other areas, which I think is very low for a quality translation by a native speaker of the target language...

I think so too.

Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

James Calder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:03
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Charge less? Mar 19, 2013

Hi Jonathan,
Why charge less for creative translations? It's a very important skill and from what I can see, there aren't that many people who are good it at. If you have a flair for it and are confident in your ability to deliver polished texts on time, then charge just as much as you would for any other type of translation.
Find clients who appreciate good writing skills. They are out there and they pay a lot better than the rates you mention. I wouldn't work for anyone who asked me to accept a lower rate for a job just because it's "creative".
Best regards
James




[Edited at 2013-03-19 17:27 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 04:03
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
My Personal Opinion Mar 19, 2013

I honestly would not change my rate of pay depending on the subject area. I understand that the lower rate is due to a supply demand relationship. I would perhaps start with my regular rate of pay, and lower it one cent at a time just to test the waters. I guess this is a matter of balance, one end being your regular rate and the other end the rate they offer to pay. In any case, I would not accept their rate of pay without any negotiating. Good luck!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:03
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
What do you mean by "creative translations"? Mar 19, 2013

Are you taking about transcreation, copywriting?
If yes, you may want to search the forums for past discussions.
I would recommend these for starters:
http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_theory_and_practice/159214-what_role_does_creativity_play_in_translation.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/245110-what_are_the_standard_rates_for_transcreation_services.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/194326-transcreation_rates.html


Direct link Reply with quote
 

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:03
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Agree with Philippe Mar 19, 2013

Creative translations are actually sometimes much more difficult than technical ones (particularly if you use a CAT tool for the latter and it's a subject area you are familiar with).

In fact creative translation is one of the areas where machine translation will take much longer to replace human translators – if it ever can – so you should definitely not be charging less!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jonathan Beaton  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:03
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 19, 2013

That's very encouraging and uplifting to hear, as I'd rather do more creative translations.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with James Mar 19, 2013

Why charge less? I like to think that all my translations are "creative" to a certain extent.
BTW, I think the 8 cents/wd is quite low for the Netherlands, but it's about average for Spain, where I work. However, I don't see anything wrong with charging lowish rates when starting out.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:03
Russian to English
+ ...
You have to charge slightly less for literary translation as opposed to legal, or technical Mar 19, 2013

I don't think too many clients will pay the same rate like around $0.15/w for literary translation, which is a common rate for legal translation -- about $0.15-0.20/word. It is usually 2/3 of legal translation, in my experience, but sometimes you can also ask for a part of the royalties.

And yes, this is true -- literary translation will never be replaced by machine translation, but many other typos won't either, especially in very distant language pairs.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 03:03
English to Russian
+ ...
On the contrary Mar 19, 2013

Jonathan Beaton wrote:

In your collective experience, should I expect to be paid less for this subject area? If so, by how much?


Be paid less for creative translations? No way! On the contrary: the rate for creative translation is usually 30-50% higher. Or even more.

Nikita Kobrin


Direct link Reply with quote
 
SBlack
French to English
+ ...
I second Nikita Mar 19, 2013

Copywriting lends itself less to the use a TM and usually takes longer than technical translations, I find. All that staring out the window until just the right words come to mind.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
If you are talking about transcreation, Mar 19, 2013

I never charge by word, but by the hour or a flat fee. Most of these texts are rather short but require writing skills, creative flair and a lot of imagination in order to maintain the intent, style, tone and context of the original.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 03:03
English to Russian
+ ...
Exactly! Mar 19, 2013

Teresa Borges wrote:

I never charge by word, but by the hour or a flat fee. Most of these texts are rather short but require writing skills, creative flair and a lot of imagination in order to maintain the intent, style, tone and context of the original.


Nikita Kobrin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jonathan Beaton  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:03
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
creative translations Mar 19, 2013

SBlack wrote:

Copywriting lends itself less to the use a TM and usually takes longer than technical translations, I find. All that staring out the window until just the right words come to mind.


I will start charging an extra percentage towards window cleaning.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 02:03
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
MORE Mar 19, 2013

For "creative" translations (marketing copy, etc.) I usually get up to 2-3 times more per word than for regular technical/financial documents.

For very short copies (taglines), the ratio is even higher. The catch is that some clients require several possible adaptations, each with literal back-translations and reasoning why you chose those particular words.

For an average tagline of 5-6 words you may have to write at least one full page, and a good client rewards this effort accordingly.

Csaba


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How much less should I ask for creative translations vs technical? Is there a ratio?

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search