Advice on a quotation
Thread poster: Omar Osman

Omar Osman
Local time: 21:59
English to Somali
+ ...
Jan 26, 2005

I had a request for a quote to travel to country X for Government X as interpreter; they will be taking care of transportation, accommodation and food. They asked me to provide my quote for daily retainer or daily charge for my services. In the UK the market price for interpreting is around £20.00 per hour. Would you charge on hourly basis or daily?
Did any of you ever done any travelling for the immigration when taking back failed asylum seekers? How much did you charge per day in that case? The country in question is not safe.
Thank you in advance


Local time: 22:59
English to Finnish
+ ...
Advice Jan 26, 2005


I have been working as a freelance interpreter for some years now and according to my experience the payment per day can vary quite a lot in different countries in Europe (less in southern + eastern Europe). It also depends on your language combination and the method used (consecutive/simultaneous).

In your case, your combination is rare, and supposing you ARE good in what you're doing...I would charge them 500-600€/day + expenses.
You shouldn't dump prices if you're a professional...but on the other hand, they may have other candidates and take the chapest and not the best choice (unfortunately - and this may even spoil the image of those who indeed are real professionals).

It's a delicate question, you'll know probably best yourself how much your work is worth. But definitely charge them per day.

Good luck,

PS. I realize now that the country in question is probably not in Europe, but still...don't take the danger and get a lousy payment for that too!

[Edited at 2005-01-26 12:47]


teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Charge per day Jan 26, 2005

I agree with my colleague, you should not charge per hour. The reasoning behind that is very sound. When you charge per hour, and you have a morning assignment in the city where you live, you are free to take an afternoon or evening assignment. When a client takes you out of your country, for an assignment that will take you away from your other clients, they are paying you around the clock, whether they use your services or not. If you only charged for the actual time that you interpreted, it would not be worth your while to take this job (and to top it off, it may even place you in danger). I think if an interpreting job ever called for premium rates, this is it.
I can't tell you about a specific amount because I only know about US rates, but what the other interpreter suggested sounds good to me. This is a difficult assignment, and you should be able to charge more because of this. And either have your client take care of all your expenses, or charge them a per diem. Good luck to you, and be safe!


Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Dutch to English
+ ...
I would charge based on full days Jan 26, 2005

You will be travelling to another country and as such not available for your normal jobs. Therefore, charge per day for every day that you are away from home. Your rate seems to be on the low side even for the UK but I have no experience in your language combination. I usually charge anything from £250 to £400 a day in my language combinations (depends on the type of job and for whom).


Omar Osman
Local time: 21:59
English to Somali
+ ...
Thank you Jan 26, 2005

Thank you to all. The market rate of £20.00 is not low, in fact if I charge per hour it will be £480.00 per day , which I believe is too expensive. I spoken with another colleague and the rate should be £300.00 to £350.00 per day, if the country is too dangerous he advised me to ask a further £50.00 and guarantees of security (like it makes a difference!!). I will try that and see what happens. By the way the interpreting is "consecutive".
Thank you again.


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