New Here, confused about rates
Thread poster: Mark Hamlen

Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:41
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Aug 25, 2010

I've been translating for many years, but now looking to start freelancing (I'm half time now at my job).

I'm shocked to see jobs posted with budgets of USD 0.01 per word (which is something like EUR 0.008). Are people really accepting this work? How can you make a living working at that rate and turn out work you can still be proud of? Do CAT tools make this possible? I'm really confused.


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 05:41
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Search the forums Aug 25, 2010

I completely understand your confusion, and these things have and are constantly debated vigorously in these forums.

You should sift through some of the threads (perhaps searching for 'rates' or something would turn up quite a few of those), and I am sure you will feel much more reassured and a little less confused after that (perhaps the other way around, I don't know).



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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:41
Member (2009)
French to English
It's not just you Aug 25, 2010

Mark Hamlen wrote:

I've been translating for many years, but now looking to start freelancing (I'm half time now at my job).

I'm shocked to see jobs posted with budgets of USD 0.01 per word (which is something like EUR 0.008). Are people really accepting this work? How can you make a living working at that rate and turn out work you can still be proud of? Do CAT tools make this possible? I'm really confused.


I think I saw the same job which you are referring to earlier this morning. No, those are not widely accepted rates, but think of the profit which the agency could make if someone falls for it.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:41
French to German
+ ...
Accepted rates? Aug 25, 2010

Jenn Mercer wrote:
I think I saw the same job which you are referring to earlier this morning. No, those are not widely accepted rates, but think of the profit which the agency could make if someone falls for it.

I can only second that.

But you should be in the clear, Mark, that the Internet-based translation market is only a part of the global translation market.

There are clients (yes, agencies!) who will post on ProZ and elsewhere only once or twice in a blue moon, to search for competent translators at acceptable rates - and who work for regular end clients. Quality and sustainability are the keywords here.

So even on the Internet, you will find actors of different market segments. There is no need to fall for the lowest of the low.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:41
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Get used to being shocked Aug 25, 2010

Dear Mark,

With your experience you should be able to get work at the rates you mention in your profile.

Good luck,
Gerard


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:41
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Confused about rates Aug 25, 2010

The 64 quotes (so far) include 5 from me (five pairs) for .14 a word.

I suspect that there is no real job, but that they are just trying to see how many suckers they can find to work at that rate.

Jenn Mercer wrote:


I think I saw the same job which you are referring to earlier this morning. No, those are not widely accepted rates, but think of the profit which the agency could make if someone falls for it.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:41
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Direct contacts usually offer higher rates Aug 26, 2010

I have been a user of this site for 6-7 years now, and in that time you could count the jobs I have bid for and done on the fingers of one hand.

But the first client who contacted me directly offered me a job that covered my annual subscription to the site by itself, and I was very happy to work for that client for several years.

The jobs come from people who find me, including colleagues I have ´met´ on the site. The rates for these jobs are generally acceptable, (even to someone living in Scandinavia!) but they are invisible to other users.

Of course, there are always those who try to get a job done at a low rate - for whatever reason... But I think recent changes in the job-posting setup have helped.

Make yourself really visible, so that you attract clients' attention, because the good ones look for you and check your profile, KudoZ activity etc. Keep your network alive and take advantage of connections wherever you have them.

My experience is that CAT tools do NOT justify big reductions in rates. There are many advantages quality-wise, and they are an efficient way of keeping track of terminology and so on, but you still have to buy them and spend the time learning how to use them, maintaining them etc.

Best of luck with freelancing!



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Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't be confused Aug 26, 2010

My advice is: don't even consider offering rates any lower than the lowest rate you mention on your profile. I wouldn't even go that low (I have been a well-established freelance for many years however).

If you look at most job offers on Proz, the best response is to laugh and move on.

You will gradually be able to build up a good client base of serious agencies and direct clients who respect your work and are willing to pay a decent rate for a job well done. The Proz job board is not the place to start.

But as others have said. Decent clients may well contact you through Proz if your profile is good and you are active on the site, helping colleagues and participating in forums, etc.

Good luck!


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