How to respond when told \"Your rates are too high compared to [local] standards\"
Thread poster: Bruno Capitelli

Bruno Capitelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Nov 26, 2001

I sent my CV to the email address of this poster in India with a rate of 0.06USD/word.

The following is the answer I have received this morning:

Your rates are too high when compared to Indian standards. It would be

difficult for us to utilise your services at this rates.

Best Regards,


The best thing is that in my mail this morning I\'ve found a long text explaining how good is an agency in \"India\" (don\'t know if it is the same and don\'t know why they sent it to me) that applies the following rates


German, French, Spanish into English and back - US$ 0.05 per target word

Japanese, Chinese & Korean into English - US$ 0.08 per target word

Indian languages into English and back - US$ 0.06 per target word

Do you think they\'re trying to make me lower the price? Have other translators that sent their curricula received the same answer?

What are you going to do?

I\'d like to have comments from translators with experience with far east posters.


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:55
German to English
+ ...
Bruno, don't even bother Nov 26, 2001

Bruno, as a translator based in the West, you cannot afford to work for an Indian agency - it is impossible. Their rates are simply too low: only local translators can work for them.

So, my advice: don\'t even bother!

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FrancescoP  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
English to Italian
+ ...
Give it up! Nov 26, 2001

I too received an offer in the past from an Indian agency. But their rates were too low.

I simply told them that no-one living in Italy would work at their rates.

I think their problem is they have too many translation\'s requests for western languages and the locals cannot handle them all.

In my particular field of expertice (software localization), almost every job comes from US or Ireland.

Being the final client a US company, I do not bother if the translation agency that assigns the job to me is based in Italy or in Ireland (or even in India).

I make no difference in my standard rates.

Translation agencies based in Italy (or in India) must understand that if they want to get their hands on a 10 millions word localization project from Mic******, they must be choosen not because they offer lower rates compared to their US competitors, but because they can provide a better service at the same price.

Do you see the point?

It\'s like when you go downtown in one of those jeweller\'s shops on Pontevecchio. Prices are higher, because clients come mostly from US. You can call it a turist trap. I call it business.

We must learn to act more like traders. And try to follow our oversea collegues.

Good luck!

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:55
German to English
+ ...
Exactly! Nov 26, 2001



Don\'t lower your rates, but provide better service for the same price.

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Valérie Bellot  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:55
English to French
Same thing happened to me Nov 27, 2001

Hello Bruno,

I answered the same ad as you did and was given the same answer. She even told me the common rates in India were US$0.02, which is absolutely incredible. She will find no one to translate her texts at this so low price. I was proposed US$0.07 by an agency in India some times ago when I replied to a Proz ad, so if they can propose such a rate, the US$0.02 are maybe only meant to make translators lower their prices. At this rate, what a translator can do is have SYSTRAN translate their texts!!!

Stupid, isn\'t it?

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Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
English to Finnish
+ ...
I got exactly the same response, Bruno Nov 27, 2001

I replied to this ad by the Indian agency too and got exactly the same response (\"your rates are too high when compared to Indian standards\"). I then asked for more details about the job in question and what sort of rates they were prepared to pay, and the answer was USD 0.02-0.03 per word!!! My rates are around five times higher than that and I just told them that I won\'t go beyond my minimum rate. I never heard from them again.

This agency will find it very very difficult to get a Finnish (or any western language)translator who can afford to do the job for their rates.

I wonder how many professional Finnish/Italian/German... translators there are living in India..... )

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How to respond when told \"Your rates are too high compared to [local] standards\"

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