Rates: Relative newbie interpreting at therapeutical training, what should I charge?
Thread poster: Constanza Fest (X)

Constanza Fest (X)
Local time: 03:58
French to German
+ ...
May 12, 2011

Dear all,

Sorry this got a bit lengthy, but I wanted to give you a good idea of the circumstances.
In short, I'd like your feedback on whether the prices I plan to quote are adequate to the circumstances. Read on for those...

My experience in interpreting consists of a good 30 hours. I have only worked for one client, he is a trainer in bodywork, native English speaker who now lives and works in Germany. So his audience is German, and alhtough some participants
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Dear all,

Sorry this got a bit lengthy, but I wanted to give you a good idea of the circumstances.
In short, I'd like your feedback on whether the prices I plan to quote are adequate to the circumstances. Read on for those...

My experience in interpreting consists of a good 30 hours. I have only worked for one client, he is a trainer in bodywork, native English speaker who now lives and works in Germany. So his audience is German, and alhtough some participants speak English, most do not. Thus, he always needs an interpreter to be present at trainings. I will whisper to the trainer in English what the German-speaking participants are saying, and interpret into German for the group what the teacher is saying in English.

So far, I have been paid 150 Euros per day, time in attendance being roughly 8 or 9 hours, pure work time more like 6, sometimes even less. Participants have told me I did a superb job representing the teacher and their own contributions, and the teacher has said repeatedly he really likes working with me.
Let me say that working with about 15 individuals who are getting into their psychological traumas needs a lot of stress-resilience and empathy, besides the normal level of concentration and skill.
As the teacher often improvises, there is little I can do in the way of preparing, except reading about the field, of course. Once, he sprung an unannounced PP-slide show on me, full of medical terminology. I did good on that, too.

The trainer has so far relied on me only to fill in for the guy who regularly does the interpreting (not a pro, either) in city A.

Now the trainer has asked me to interpret during the whole of his upcoming two-year training in city B, six six-day periods over the next 2,5 years, plus additional workshops. He has made it clear to me I'm his choice, and asked me: "How much money do you want?"
Don't cringe, but I literally said: "Well, I'm glad you ask that, I was wondering whether you were willing to pay me at all." I said this because I think he pays too little, and so far I have accepted to work under these conditions because a) I was desperate for work/money b) had low self-esteem and self-confidence, and c) being a counsellor and body-worker myself, I was interested in getting to know him and his teachings.

Now things have changed, since I'm not that desperate anymore, not that lowly anymore, and have decided that although I do have some natural linguistic talent, and enough interest in languages to keep honing my skills, there are things I'd rather do. Like working with my own clients, expanding my counsellor business etc. Which to me changes my bargaining situation.

So, reading some posts, I thought that I would like to try quoting 600 Euros per day if there are 20 and more participants in the group, 500 per day if there are 10 to 19 participants, and 450 per day if there are less than 10 participants. Of course, he'd have to front my travel and lodging costs, as well (he's already told me I could stay at somebody's house in city B., so not hotel).

Here's the but, where I'd like your input: 600 Euros would be four times what he's agreed to pay me, or anybody else for that matter, so far. He seems to usually get translations or interpretations done against free attendance at his trainings, which I'm not really interested in. I'd rather he pay me and, if I am interested in taking part, I can spend my money on the training, but am free to do otherwise if the fancy strikes me.
Do you think that to quote that much is way over the top?
Note that I'll be working 6 days in a row, solo, as much as 3 hours at a time nearly without breaks (I'm not counting going to the bathroom as break).

I'm not interested in earning my living solely as an interpreter, but it is a skill I'd like to market and use more to earn part of my income by. I would like to specialise in interpreting for English-speaking spiritual and body-work (+ related areas) teachers, and also as translator for written material in that area (I have worked on translating a book in that area). So I'd like to get used to charging professional rates.

Glad to get your input.
Conny

[Edited at 2011-05-12 15:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-05-12 16:50 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-05-12 16:52 GMT]
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Rates: Relative newbie interpreting at therapeutical training, what should I charge?

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