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what's the average rate for non-specialized texts in Spain?
Thread poster: Alison Woods
Alison Woods

Local time: 15:21
Spanish to English
Apr 23, 2009

Hello everyone!

I am considering moving to Spain and was hoping that someone would be able to let me know what's the average rate for non-specialized texts there. Thanks!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-04-23 18:16 GMT]


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
In my experience... Apr 23, 2009

I don't live in one of the major cities here in Spain (where I think higher rates are offered).

Most agencies generally start off offering me 0.05euros/word. I always negotiate more out of them though

If you find direct clients, you can obviously charge more. It all depends on your experience, areas of specialization, willingness to negotiate, where you live, etc.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never understood this... Apr 24, 2009

John Cutler wrote:
If you find direct clients, you can obviously charge more. It all depends on your experience, areas of specialization, willingness to negotiate, where you live, etc.


This is something I never understood. The effort of translation is always the same and we should ask for whatever rate we consider fair for our experience and qualification. How come should we charge an agency less, or a customer more!?

I keep hearing this "advice" given too generously to newcomers, in Proz and in other places. Maybe we should think twice about this, because:

A. By charging direct customers more, we keep them from wanting to establish a direct relationship with translators: there is no financial gain in working with a translator, and they end up using agencies.

B. By charging agencies less, we are losing a big chunk of our hard-worked income, and in most cases for no reason at all. I think large customers who need many languages or do big projects requiring teams should definitely go to an agency and in that sense agencies are vital for our business, but for the typical ENG>SPA or SPA>ENG jobs, a direct contact with the translator will prove to be more beneficial for most customers (better price, better communication, faster response times...).


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Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 22:21
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
More or less? Apr 24, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Never understood this...


Tomás, I did not quite get it:

- Shall we charge direct clients less?

or

- Shall we charge agencies more?

Now my rates for direct clients are a bit higher than for agencies.

If I was to follow your strategy, what shall I do?

[Edited at 2009-04-24 06:20 GMT]


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
low rates even for specialized texts Apr 24, 2009

In 11 years of freelancing in Spain, I have been offered very few texts that could really be considered "non-specialized". I've had project managers say "it's an easy text", only to find that it was a tourism text with specialized architectural or difficult culinary terminology, a business presentation heavy on financial terminology, etc.

Having said that, rates even for specialized texts tend to be low here, even in Madrid. Quite a few agencies will pay no more than €0.06 a word, and not many at all are willing to pay more than €0.07--even for highly technical texts. (This is Spanish > English; I have heard that rates from English > Spanish tend to be lower, but I don't work in that direction.)


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
We should charge the same rate for the same job! Apr 24, 2009

Valery Kaminski wrote:
Tomás, I did not quite get it:
- Shall we charge direct clients less?
or
- Shall we charge agencies more?


We should charge all a fair rate for our effort, no matter whether they are agencies, direct customers, bakers, priests or actors...

[Edited at 2009-04-24 06:46 GMT]


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:21
Member (2006)
English to French
Don't understand either Apr 24, 2009

Alison, if you move, will you not keep your current clients-and if you keep them, why would you change (lower) your rate?

Or do you mean you want to find new, Spain-based clients (whether agencies or direct clients)?

Stéphanie

[Edited at 2009-04-24 07:54 GMT]


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Differences Apr 24, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

John Cutler wrote:
If you find direct clients, you can obviously charge more. It all depends on your experience, areas of specialization, willingness to negotiate, where you live, etc.


This is something I never understood. The effort of translation is always the same and we should ask for whatever rate we consider fair for our experience and qualification. How come should we charge an agency less, or a customer more!?


In my case the difference in rates is quite clear.

- If I work for an agency, I know that 99% of the time, they are going to hire a proofreader to check my work. Therefore my rate only includes the translation of the document with my own proofreading.

- If I work for a direct client, I have to hire an external proofreader to check my work. Thus, if I have to pay the proofreader, the rate has to be higher.

Regarding rates in Spain...

Rates is Spain are most of the time ridiculous. Most agencies pay less to their translators that to their cleaning staff… so you tell me. And well.. we have talked long about this.

I only work for one Spanish agency and they pay me 0.09 €/word which is not great for me, but it is good for Spanish standards.


And I also don't understand this...

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:

Alison, if you move, will you not keep your current clients-and if you keep them, why would you change (lower) your rate?

Or do you mean you want to find new, spain-based clients (whether agencies or direct clients).

Stéphanie


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The cleaning staff calculation... once more Apr 24, 2009

Penelope Ausejo wrote:
Rates is Spain are most of the time ridiculous. Most agencies pay less to their translators that to their cleaning staff… so you tell me. And well.. we have talked long about this.


Just for the sake of long-term prosperity of translators in Spain, I am repeating the calculation once more:

Translator: 0.05 euros per word x 2,500 words a day = EUR 125 - approx. 20% of taxes - EUR 8/day in freelance Social Security = Eur 92 / 8 hours = EUR 11.5

An average cleaning help in any main city: EUR 10/hour.

WOW! We have the marvelous chance of making EUR 1.5 more an hour than our cleaning help!!!

With that EUR 1.5 more an hour we must pay our usually expensive software, an up-to-date computer, DSL line, a kindergarten if we have small children, association/portal/conference fees, continuous training, dictionaries, etc.


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
or more Apr 24, 2009

About EUR 12/hour... here.

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

An average cleaning help in any main city: EUR 10/hour.



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Ann Krol  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:21
Member (2008)
English to Polish
+ ...
My experience Apr 24, 2009

AlisonWoods wrote:

Hello everyone!

I am considering moving to Spain and was hoping that someone would be able to let me know what's the average rate for non-specialized texts there. Thanks!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-04-23 18:16 GMT]


Dear Alison,

Thanks for this post. I'm planing to move to Spain in May.

One of my Spanish client pay me 0.03 EUR for proof-reading.
I offered my standard rate for translation 0.08 EUR per word and I heard that rates for translation in Spain are lower, but actually I don't have a lot of experience with Spanish clients.

All the best!
Ann


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
How much do Spanish agencies tend to charge? Apr 24, 2009

We seem to have a consensus that Spanish agencies pay between 5 and 7 cents per word for Spanish > English translations. Is there a consensus for what Spanish agencies charge their Spanish clients for the same translations?

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Direct customers Apr 25, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

....By charging direct customers more, we keep them from wanting to establish a direct relationship with translators: there is no financial gain in working with a translator, and they end up using agencies..


Diasagree totally. In my experience direct customers are concerned with quality and value added and very often feel that they'll only get that through direct dealings with a professional and specialist translator.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yep, my Q too Apr 25, 2009

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:

Alison, if you move, will you not keep your current clients-and if you keep them, why would you change (lower) your rate?

Or do you mean you want to find new, Spain-based clients (whether agencies or direct clients)?

Stéphanie

[Edited at 2009-04-24 07:54 GMT]


I don't see that moving should affect your client base much.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
opinion.... Apr 25, 2009

John Rawlins wrote:

We seem to have a consensus that Spanish agencies pay between 5 and 7 cents per word for Spanish > English translations. Is there a consensus for what Spanish agencies charge their Spanish clients for the same translations?


They probably charge the same as the FR, GER or UK agencies .... why wouldn't they - except maybe in a recession when they want to be price compettive, except that maybe at this point - why not - relocate from Madrid to Teruel or Galicia - the nature of the business is practically virtual.

Today I stated my absolute minimum to an agency, just to avoid wasting everyone's time - turned down flat. The same 3 days ago (both Spain-based). Their maximums are about 70% below my minimum rate. Quality is NOT an issue for Spanish agencies, in my experience, with some few exceptions, and even when quality is an issue, the paid rate is decent but stil 20% below what I would charge a private client for the same job. That's fine, I have my minimum, and beyond that I'll take jobs on the basis of what I'll get paid and what I'll learn.

I apply the same minimum to other - private - clients and there are often rounds and rounds of negotiation, so:

if I accepted lower rates for "agency jobs", I'd probably make more all round (translate, send, end of story ..... )

but I am far more motivated by the level of involvement when a direct client sends a text back so we can negotiate meaning. Makes for the near-perfect text.


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