JPN>ENG rates: Is this low?
Thread poster: ihd (X)

ihd (X)
Local time: 19:19
Jan 14, 2010

Dear Proz members

I have scoured through the net for hours and found out that starting translators should charge 5 yen/word.

I contacted an agency and after completing the trial tests they asked me for my rate. I quoted 0.06 USD/word. I was told that "if it was per ENG word, it is acceptable."

Which made me wonder a little..... Isn't 0.06 USD/word per ENG words (if you were doing JPN>ENG translation) pretty low??? Of course, I know one's earning depends on the speed at which s/he can translate, but something tells me that that rate may be lower than what you get if you were flipping burgers per hour.

I have spent quite a number of hours searching the net for what a JPN>ENG budding translator should be paid.

Can anyone shed any light on this???

Thank you

Best,


 

Alex Farrell  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:19
Japanese to English
That's where I started Jan 15, 2010

When I first began translating, that's around what I was paid. And yes, it's definitely on the low end of the spectrum. Hopefully you're just translating on the side and have a steady source of income from elsewhere. Look at this as an opportunity to build up your experience as you continue to search for better work. If you promote yourself well, you'll eventually be offered so much work that you'll be able to drop the low-paying outsourcers (or jack up your rate for them and see if they agree to pay).

Good luck!


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:19
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
What is "per word" when Japanese is the source? Jan 15, 2010

In my experience, JPN->ENG jobs are charged "per source character".
"Word" does not have a definite meaning when counting Japanese source text.

USD0.06/target ENG word is very low, it would correspond to approx. $0.024/source character, a very low rate. (I am using a multiplier of 2.5 from source rate to target rate, based on my own experience.)

Now, you said you completed a test, and after that they said they would pay this rate.
Did you get any feedback on your test? Is it possible that it was weak, and that's the reason for the low rate?

I started out with $0.05/source character (approx. $0.125/target ENG word), almost 10 years ago.

Katalin


 

jaymin
Canada
Local time: 06:19
Member (2009)
German to Korean
+ ...
too low.. Jan 15, 2010

Hello,

Your rate is a little low, from my point of view. You should think about supply/demand in your language pair. I see there are not many (professional) translators working online in Japanese language so you may want to ask for USD 0.10 per word for non-technical documents. Technical ones could go higher.icon_smile.gif

Hope it helps.


 

conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:19
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Rates Jan 16, 2010

You know, lately I am getting a lot of agencies emailing me with rates like $0.06 USD per E. word or $0.07 per E. word... I have never worked for such a low rate. And it really makes me wonder--Are people who don't live in countries with relatively low cost of living levels (China, India, Bolivia, etc.) really working for these prices? (I would be interested in hearing the comments of other experienced translators.)

I mean I guess I could understand working for those rates to get experience in the beginning, but it might be hard to raise your rates later... that's why I never did that. I don't know. It's up to you what you decide to do.... but at the end of the day, you want to feel OK with doing what you did. If I worked for $0.03 USD per word or some extremely low rate, I would feel like I might as well go work at a bookstore or something instead of translating--I'd be getting paid about the same, and the work would definitely be easier.

The work we do is difficult and not everyone can do it. In fact, the vast majority of people are not trained to do it, and don't have the natural abilities to allow them to succeed in it, even if they studied it. So I think this should be taken into account... what you do is not something anybody can just do. And we should be compensated accordingly. *Steps off soapbox*


[Edited at 2010-01-16 06:47 GMT]


 

Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Too low... Jan 16, 2010

Everything has been said.
My rates start at 0.10 EUR/sc (JP>FR). Maybe it's a bit lower for English, but not much...


 

ihd (X)
Local time: 19:19
TOPIC STARTER
Arigatougozaimashita! Jan 16, 2010

I would like to thank everyone for replying!

Yeah.... I did think it was pretty low.
I am not sure if I would want to work with a rate less than $0.05/JPN character (thanks for the correction, Katalin!).
I guess I might do one or two work with them for experience, and move on.

Again, I appreciate everyone's time. Thank you very much.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Chandrasekaran Rangaraj
India
Local time: 15:49
English to Japanese
+ ...
Rates in India Feb 3, 2010

[quote]conejo wrote:
You know, lately I am getting a lot of agencies emailing me with rates like $0.06 USD per E. word or $0.07 per E. word... I have never worked for such a low rate. And it really makes me wonder--Are people who don't live in countries with relatively low cost of living levels (China, India, Bolivia, etc.) really working for these prices? (I would be interested in hearing the comments of other experienced translators.)

[quote]Katalin wrote:
"I started out with $0.05/source character (approx. $0.125/target ENG word), almost 10 years ago. - Katalin"


Hi

I am from India and the average rate offered for J>E translation by most of the agencies is 0.03 or 0.04US$ per target English word. One of the reason might be that they get the job from the agencies in US/Japan and make a 40~50% profit to cover all their marketing expenses and overheads.
Katalin - $0.125/target Eng word will be a dream rate here.

Chandru


 

hewhew  Identity Verified

Local time: 18:19
Chinese to English
+ ...
rate in China Oct 29, 2012

Recently I got a Jpn-Eng job from a Hong Kong based transation company. It is a trust agreement. I was offered RMB 0.50, equivalent to US$ 0.08 per target word.

 

Nathan Takase  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:19
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Starting Translator? Oct 29, 2012

What is a starting translator? One starting translator may produce translations of a much higher quality than a translator who has been translating for years. I don't think you should set your rates depending on how long you've been translating.

You need to look at supply and demand in your specializations, and then decide how much you think the work that you produce is worth. Personally, I wouldn't accept 0.05 USD per source character whether I was starting out or not. I am confident that I can produce work with much more value than that. I'm not going to put less effort into a translation because I'm getting paid less, so I'm not going to translate for rates that I don't feel properly compensate my effort and quality.

Of course, you have to decide for yourself how much you think the product you can produce is worth. If you feel like you need an agency to check all of your work and do extensive editing before it is worth delivering to the client, then you will need to lower your rate accordingly. If you feel like you are able to deliver a polished product, then your rate should reflect that.


 

Masahiro Imafuji  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:19
Member (2007)
English to Japanese
+ ...
It is low but it depends... Oct 31, 2012

If I am repeating what people have already said, please forgive me.

I used to charge 0.07USD/word for jobs from agencies.

Reasons:

Wanted more experiences
To learn how things work
To earn money quickly
To show how well I could translate (promotion)

I would not work for any agencies for 0.07USD now.
Reasons

- it is too low (translation skills improved a lot)
- I have direct clients
- Do not have time (it is not worth working at that rate)

If you do not have any jobs at the moment and want to earn more experiences and money,
then it is a good rate but you should not keep working at that rate.

My rates vary depends on types of organizations (for or non profit), types of documents and so forth.
But you should get direct clients so you can earn more.

If you want to know how to market yourself, my free course can be helpful.

http://imafujitranslations.com/member/

Good luck!

Hiro Imafuji


 


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