Is 0,027€/word normal for a Spanish-Greek translation?
Thread poster: Zoi Gialitaki
Zoi Gialitaki
Spain
Local time: 18:55
English to Greek
+ ...
May 14, 2010

Mostly, for all the Greeks out there...

Hi! I'm Zoe, and I just began working for a translation agency, translating a children's magazine from Spanish to Greek. Every issue has about 1500 words, and they offered me 0,027 €. Is this normal price? I mean, for 1500 words, I'll get paid around 40 euros. I have no idea what the prices are, but it seems quite low...

What do you guys think?

Thank you very much!


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Julie Fragkaki
Local time: 18:55
English to Greek
+ ...
definitely too low! May 14, 2010

I don't do Spanish to Greek but I would swear that this is a rip-off!!!! English to Greek is the most common pair and still prices start (or so they should) at 0.08 EUR/word! Do the math now on how much money you lose by agreeing to these terms!

[Edited at 2010-05-14 10:17 GMT]


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Karletto
English to Slovenian
+ ...
too low May 14, 2010

It's ridiculous. Block them and case closed. >:(

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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
IT'S NOT A MATTER OF NORMAL OR NOT May 14, 2010

It's a matter of being paid what you need to live as you deserve (well).

Here two recommendations:

- Check this useful calculator:
http://www.proz.com/translator-rates-calculator/

(and be truthful while entering numbers: you will not work 80 hours a week nor without vacations nor with the same computer forever)

- Send this offer to where it deserves: see a Trash bin somewhere?

I absolutely agree with others: this offer is ROBBERY.

Best luck!!!

Ruth @ MW


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My advice: ditch them! May 14, 2010

Zoi Gialitaki wrote:
I just began working for a translation agency, translating a children's magazine from Spanish to Greek. Every issue has about 1500 words, and they offered me 0,027 €.


I do hope you've just stopped working for this agency, Zoi.

Working for such a derisory rate when the text is just 1000 words is a hard lesson, but one that teaches you the value of your time.

Working for this same rate on a regular basis into the foreseeable future would be a catastrophe.

Apart from anything else you will be forced to rush, rush, rush and the quality will suffer. If you're going to be responsible for a magazine to be read by thousands, you really want it to be polished work that you can be proud of - you owe it to yourself.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:55
French to German
+ ...
De facto monopoly May 14, 2010

Hi Zoi,
are you aware that translators working from any language into Greek have a worldwide de facto monopoly?

Try to build on this instead of wondering about (lowest of the low) rates.


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shiba
Local time: 19:55
English to Greek
+ ...
Regarding the de facto monopoly May 14, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Hi Zoi,
are you aware that translators working from any language into Greek have a worldwide de facto monopoly?

Try to build on this instead of wondering about (lowest of the low) rates.


Could you please elaborate on that worldwide de facto monopoly... I would greatly appreciate it.



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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:55
Flemish to English
+ ...
Economic theory. May 14, 2010

Into Greek is a niche market, where for once I agree that it can only be done by educated native speakers of Greek. Not too many around worldwide. Especially in combinations like German-Greek, French-Greek, Spanish-Greek. A bit more in the combination English-Greek.
According to economic theory a monopolist (like Microsoft) sets its prices and the buyers of the product have no other option but to buy the product.
I think that for Greek, you are in an oligopoly position. A couple of players on that market-niche. In an oligopoly, the rate of the one determines the rate of the other.
In your case, it is not up to the outsourcer to determine the rate, but up to you.
What about 0.12 eurocent per word and no reductions for the use of any CAT-tool.
The outsourcer can go elsewhere, but what if there is not elsewhere???
I am in the same position. Why is it that agencies based in Spain suddenly are able to pay 0.09 eurocent for a translation from say Spanish into Dutch or German into Dutch?
















[Edited at 2010-05-14 12:12 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:55
French to German
+ ...
Exactly my point... May 14, 2010

Thanks, Williamson!

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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 14:55
English to Spanish
RE: Is it normal? May 14, 2010

ermmm... NO!!

[Edited at 2010-05-14 15:12 GMT]


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Zoi Gialitaki
Spain
Local time: 18:55
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. May 14, 2010

Hi all... Thanks for your answers, I think they are enough... I've already called the agency and told them that I wouldn't do it...

First of all, you don't have to be all ironic about it.

Secondly, both Williamson and Laurent KRAULAND are right on the fact that we shouldn't be selling our translations (and ourselves) so cheap, but you should both know that it's not entirely like this. Obviously, the agencies give these amounts to people who may not have any degrees on the source languages, nor any translation studies, and quite often these are the people who sell the prices. Much more now, with the economic crisis and all.

I was just asking a question, I haven't worked in the translation field for quite a while now. This is why I asked you guys, because you have much more experience than I do. I don't think I should be "genetically programmed" to know these things.

Excuse me if I misunderstood your answers, and, again, I'm very grateful to all of you for taking the time to answer me.


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Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 18:55
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
No theory helps May 14, 2010

@Williamson

There being fewer Greeks around the globe makes no significance in respect of the price the clients are ready to pay. My language is spoken by about the same number of people worldwide as Greek, but do you think it helps us land higher paid jobs? No. Actually, we are some of the worst paid professionals on the web...

It is a strange thing - how much do you think a Spanish native would charge for translating from Greek into Spanish? Compare that to the Spanish-Greek combination.

For example, average rates in the English-Serbian combo are 0.03 EUR/word (my estimate), whereas in the Serbian-English it is rather 0.08 EUR/word. Are the English better professionals than the Serbian? I don't think so. It's economy.

If it is too low for you - do not accept the job. I never accept jobs which are below the rates which allow me to work comfortably and deliver consistent quality throughout (this is also one of the points in the proz.com professional guidelines). You are the market setter, at least one of them...


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:55
Flemish to English
+ ...
Meek and weak May 15, 2010

It is the "meek" attitude of translators, who rely on intermediaries (translation portals, agencies) to get work.
What else will you accept before you start to say "No".

All translators claim to be "professionals", but do not charge professional rates.

Professionals: Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers, Barristers, Notaries, Architects, Interpreters ... will not even blink when they charge you their fee, using the same instruments, templates or interpreting exactly the same words and sentences.

Only translators are meek and weak. If you don't like the proposal say "no".

I come from a time when there were no word-processors, no CATS, no portals. Back then I had to find work too. Taking a day or two to look for jobs the "old" way has proven to be financially more interesting than a bidding system, which attracts all in the market. In that case, it is you who determines your niche and your rates without any intermediaries.
If it is the economy why do I get 0.12 eurocents from an agency for a legal text from German into Dutch.

Do you want to end up with a bunch of low-paying/ late paying customers offering voluminous jobs asking for CAT-reductions or do you prefer a high paying customer who pays on time with no CAT-reductions and a shorter job, which generates the same amount of money.

0.027€ is a MacDonalds rate. Shouldn't you be serving hamburgers at MacDo for that rate instead of translating.

[Edited at 2010-05-15 08:06 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Learn to say "NO!" May 15, 2010

Williamson wrote:
It is the "meek" attitude of translators, who rely on intermediaries (translation portals, agencies) to get work. What else will you accept before you start to say "No".

All translators claim to be "professionals", but do not charge professional rates.

If you don't like the proposal say "no".

0.027€ is a MacDonalds rate. Shouldn't you be serving hamburgers at MacDo for that rate instead of translating.


I totally agree with all these comments. At least Zoi had the good sense to check with other translators here on ProZ. I hope that many others are taking note of this discussion and will learn to say "NO!".


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