Actual average rates?
Thread poster: Alex Farrell

Alex Farrell  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:59
Japanese to English
Sep 6, 2009

Hello everyone,

Recently I've been wondering how accurately the "aggregate rate information" at ProZ represents real rates. (If you don't know how to access this info, click "Rates" under the "Jobs" heading.) These are target word rates, but I wonder how much lower actual rates are? I know that I sometimes charge less than my target rate (up to 20% or so) if other conditions of a given assignment make it a good deal overall.

What do you all think?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Italian to English
Sample Sep 6, 2009

Surely, individual users can only say if their own particular rates match the figures shown; anything else will be pure speculation.

You could look at a sample number of profiles, e.g. all Japanese to English translators in Japan with surnames starting with F (and G, H, I if necessary to give an adequate number) and see what percentage display their rates in public.

I guess the hidden ones were entered on registration and have not been updated since, which will tend to depress the average (unless I have misinterpreted the effect of current economic issues on rates generally).

At the same time you could look at how long these users have been registered on the site; I guess the average will be about 3 years, so if the rates entered initially were at all accurate, actual changes in that period are unlikely to be significant.

There could be wide variations between different language pairs of course.

If I find time I might try the exercise in my languages and report back.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rates Sep 6, 2009

Two years ago, I was overworked and I posted a small job (1600 words) in a pair that is supposedly famous for paying low (Spanish > English). Admittedly, this was a small job and I requested the translation of a sample paragraph which automatically lowers the number of quotes received. These were the quotes I received:

.025 1 quote
.03 2 quotes
.04 1 quote
.05 3 quotes
.06 5 quotes
.07 1 quote
.08 3 quotes
.09 1 quote
.10 1 quote
.12 1 quote



[Edited at 2009-09-06 11:30 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:59
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Suggestion to ProZ.com Sep 6, 2009

I'd suggest Proz gave some barely nominal number of Kudoz, Browniz, whatever internal currency, to translators who manually updated the rates on their profiles - even if hidden from the public - say, every 6 months or so.

I'd suggest requiring Prozians to manually retype all rates to earn that "money". This would increase the value of the averages shown there.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-09-06 14:20 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mette Melchior  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:59
English to Danish
+ ...
Good suggestion, José! Sep 6, 2009

I agree that it would be a good idea to encourage people in some way to enter or update their rates in the system at certain intervals to get a more accurate picture of the rate scales. Maybe just once a year or once every two years.

This information is really helpful for newcomers in the industry like myself and can help you get an idea about how to price your services. - Of course, it can be interesting data for others as well.

Even so, it would still just be a rough indicator.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cathy Flick  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
figure out what you need, work backwards for your rates Nov 2, 2009

Alex Farrell wrote:

Recently I've been wondering how accurately the "aggregate rate information" at ProZ represents real rates. (If you don't know how to access this info, click "Rates" under the "Jobs" heading.) These are target word rates, but I wonder how much lower actual rates are?



My feeling is that the rates graphs are shifted to the low side because they represent so many different subject areas and countries. The averages are certainly too low for the United States in highly technical areas. So without some indication of country and specializations - they aren't too useful.

To make sure your rates are reasonable - just keep track of time for projects and figure out how much you really are making per hour. Compare that with reasonable expectations for disposable income while working a reasonable number of hours each week on the average, after you have deducted the percentage going for taxes and business expenses. Basically, figure out how much you need to make each week, month, or year in disposable income in order to pay all your personal bills, have a good emergency fund and money saved for retirement, and have some fun ...

Peace, Cathy Flick

Ph.D. Chemical Physics/M.A. Physics/B.S. Chemistry
Scientific Translator since 1978
Russian/French/German/Spanish/Italian into US English


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Monika Elisabeth Sieger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Rates depend on the sort of job you accept Nov 2, 2009

Some months ago I was wondering why I was suddenly not getting any translation jobs anymore and so I asked my agency I am working for to get some quotes on rates of other translators. So they took one of my past projects and andvertised it on several websites.
I fell flat on my back (sorry for my French) when we got the result: We were offered the translation for 1 Eurocent per word.......
I got 12 Eurocent per word on this job...... Do I have to say anyhting more?
These lists are nice but especially in Law and Finance the jobs differ a lot from each other for reasons of terminology and research requirements, so rates are difficult to be set up and I decided not to put any in my profile.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Did quality go hand in hand with price, Jeff? Nov 2, 2009

[quote]Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Two years ago, I was overworked and I posted a small job (1600 words) in a pair that is supposedly famous for paying low (Spanish > English). Admittedly, this was a small job and I requested the translation of a sample paragraph which automatically lowers the number of quotes received. These were the quotes I received:

.025 1 quote
.03 2 quotes
.04 1 quote
.05 3 quotes
.06 5 quotes
.07 1 quote
.08 3 quotes
.09 1 quote
.10 1 quote
.12 1 quote


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Rates for some language combinations are essentially flat or are dropping Nov 3, 2009

Because I do not even attempt to get work through ProZ, I had not updated the rates on my profile for several years. When I checked them a few months ago, I noticed that I'm still charging the same rate I entered 4-5 years ago.

In the EN>SP combination, the downward pressure is still strong, and I have found it effectively impossible to raise rates without fear of client loss. Over time this is equivalent to lowering your rates, of course.

Points for updating rates in your profile? Many people don't care about the point system, so it may not be too meaningful, some rates would continue not to be updated. In any case, such a scheme would need to include the possibility of acknowledging that the rate remained flat


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Actual average rates?

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search