Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
How are North American translators with an EU client base dealing with the plummet of the Euro?
Thread poster: Bryan Crumpler

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jun 4, 2010

I have invoices that are still outstanding from this past February, and the Euro keeps dwindling and dwindling and dwindling, meaning that when the $$$'s will eventually convert, I'll have 15 to 20% less income. Clients who pay in dollars are also becoming less willing to make payment on time because they automatically have to pay 20% more just to make an equivalent dollar payment.

So it's a lose lose situation for me. By the time these euro invoices are paid, I will be losing about 10 months of rent payments just from late payers and the fall of the euro in the process. The dollar invoice amounts are just not being paid at all since their relative cost is going up.

So I'm dying here...

How are Western (i.e. North American) translators whose primary, if not entire, client base is based in the EU dealing with this plummet of the Euro?

[Edited at 2010-06-04 21:59 GMT]


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
German to English
Just turned down a job from Europe Jun 4, 2010

The client's rate was already on the low side of what I normally accept. With the current low value of the euro, I'm not taking any more jobs from them for a while. I also took a hit on an invoice for some work I did last month for another client. They pay pretty well, so if more works comes in from them, I'll consider taking the job unless the euro slides more.

 

Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:01
Danish to English
invoices in USD Jun 4, 2010

I always send my invoice in US dollar amounts, and expect the client to pay at whatever the going rate is. If the Euro falls, then they just have to pay more of their money. Nobody has complained so far. But most of the payments are made to a bank account that I have in Denmark. I don't know what the Danish currency is up to, and I can't be bothered to worry. I use that money when I go to Europe, and don't really need to get it paid out here. So I don't really know what to advise. Maybe the Euro will come up again?

[Edited at 2010-06-04 23:52 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:01
Member (2008)
French to English
A real problem Jun 5, 2010

Yes, this is a real problem I am also facing. I have raised my EUR prices recently to compensate, but still lose out when payment is delayed. Some large companies use hedging of currencies to control exchange rate changes, but I am not sure how that would work for small users like individual translators.

 

Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:01
Member (2004)
German to English
Check out the graphs Jun 5, 2010

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=EUR&to=USD&view=10Y
http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=EUR&to=GBP&view=10Y

In other words the Euro is still higher (to the USD or GBP) than it was for a long time after it was launched. Or to be blunt you are still benefitting from the high Euro. We all just got used to it being high...
So maybe you need to adjust rates or billing methods - it will probably fall further.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:01
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Great link Jun 5, 2010

I often use the xe site for checking currency rates, but had never spotted the chart feature.
Thanks for sharing, Gillianicon_smile.gif


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:01
Flemish to English
+ ...
No parity. Jun 5, 2010

The euro is still worth more than the dollar, which does not make it beneficial for European translators to work for the other side of the ocean. Rates in $ are low and if you convert it in euros, you almost work for free.
I can imagine that vice-versa translators in North-America did good business, especially last year when 1 euro was the equivalent of almost 1,5$.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:01
Member (2008)
French to English
Not the rate of exchange but the rate of change Jun 5, 2010

Its not whether the Euro is high or low that matters, but the rate of change. When it loses 10% of its value between the time you quote a job and the time you get paid, that's money lost forever.

[Edited at 2010-06-05 14:29 GMT]


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:01
English to German
+ ...
Hm. Jun 5, 2010

Whenever I send invoices to European clients, I always add the line: "The amount payable has been determined according to the currency exchange rate at XE.com, 1 US $ = xx Euro, as of [date xx. xx. xxxx]"

Done.

The amount stated has to be paid. I am a translator, not a broker. And most certainly, not a bank. Or a victim.

icon_smile.gif


 

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Benefitting? Jun 5, 2010

Gillian Searl wrote:
In other words the Euro is still higher (to the USD or GBP) than it was for a long time after it was launched. Or to be blunt you are still benefitting from the high Euro. We all just got used to it being high...
So maybe you need to adjust rates or billing methods - it will probably fall further.


I've been living in the Eurozone up until the end of 2008, so it's hard to say I have benefitted from the USD exchange rate on the Euro. I have only been using dollars for the past year and a half or so after relocating back to the US... and even then, I had to increase rates to compensate for the increased cost of living.

As for "adjusting" - my rates are like airline prices it seems - so I'm constantly doing it. That's not helping.

As for changing billing methods, what would you suggest, Gillian? If clients are paying late, it doesn't matter much because the money's already gone from the currency value. Yes, I can always demand a due date and slap on charges, but until there is a court judgement, they only really have a moral obligation to pay... and extra charges only makes it more prohibitive for clients to pay.

[Edited at 2010-06-05 18:43 GMT]


 

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
RE: Just turn down a job from Europe? Jun 5, 2010

This is entirely infeasible. My entire client base - excluding perhaps 2 agencies, are based in Europe or elsewhere. It's a product of the demand for my language pair. Unless the Netherlands, or Belgium, somehow makes it easier for internationals like me to live in their countries to work, I don't have much of a choice.

[Edited at 2010-06-05 18:44 GMT]


 

Lise Leavitt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
Member (2008)
Danish to English
+ ...
=( Jun 5, 2010

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

I have invoices that are still outstanding from this past February, and the Euro keeps dwindling and dwindling and dwindling, meaning that when the $$$'s will eventually convert, I'll have 15 to 20% less income. Clients who pay in dollars are also becoming less willing to make payment on time because they automatically have to pay 20% more just to make an equivalent dollar payment.

So it's a lose lose situation for me. By the time these euro invoices are paid, I will be losing about 10 months of rent payments just from late payers and the fall of the euro in the process. The dollar invoice amounts are just not being paid at all since their relative cost is going up.

So I'm dying here...

How are Western (i.e. North American) translators whose primary, if not entire, client base is based in the EU dealing with this plummet of the Euro?

[Edited at 2010-06-04 21:59 GMT]


I was wondering when this matter would hit the Forum!!

Not dealing well at all!!

I guess, yes you can adapt your rates to the decrease of the euro with new clients. It has happened to me that I recently quoted a dollar amount per 1000 w. The client paid in euro, by the time the job was actually paid, the amount I quoted was significantly less when converted from euro.
I suffer major losses from a European client, with whom I began working last year. It is an ongoing project and the rate (in euro) was set last year. I have no problems with late payments in this case, but at this point I am loosing almost 3 pennies each translated word, which runs up very easily when the word count is in thousands. I understand that sometimes you loose and sometimes you win with the conversions, but this has been a very long and painfully expensive process and NOT fun at all =( Will it stop and settle or are we looking at an even euro-dollar??


 

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 05:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't recall ... Jun 6, 2010

John Fossey wrote:

... When it loses 10% of its value between the time you quote a job and the time you get paid, that's money lost forever.

[Edited at 2010-06-05 14:29 GMT]


... seeing anyone here complaining when it gained 10% (or more...) of its value between the time you quoted a job and the time you got paid. That's money won for ever - money that sensible business-people put it a safe place for a 'rainy day' (or week, or month, or quarter ...).

MediaMatrix


 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:01
English to Polish
+ ...
exactly Jun 6, 2010

John Fossey wrote:

Its not whether the Euro is high or low that matters, but the rate of change. When it loses 10% of its value between the time you quote a job and the time you get paid, that's money lost forever.


As you pointed out, what matters is the change. If the "static" parity (or lack thereof) mattered, the Russians would only have to work about 20 minutes a day (1 rouble = $0.03).

To address the hedging issue, since the smallest currency derivatives have a face value of about 10,000, you'd probably have to run an agency to benefit (unless you have long payment deadlines and thus very large receivables). I use currency futures at times to hedge a part of my currency loan.

[Edited at 2010-06-06 07:03 GMT]


 

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Complaining? Jun 6, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:

John Fossey wrote:

... When it loses 10% of its value between the time you quote a job and the time you get paid, that's money lost forever.

[Edited at 2010-06-05 14:29 GMT]


... seeing anyone here complaining when it gained 10% (or more...) of its value between the time you quoted a job and the time you got paid. That's money won for ever - money that sensible business-people put it a safe place for a 'rainy day' (or week, or month, or quarter ...).

MediaMatrix


First of all, the key point here was not to complain, but rather to get feedback on how colleagues are dealing with it. Hence, the question as the forum topic. Solution seeking is not complaining...

A 20% drop of this magnitude in the short term (1.485 to 1.197 between Dec/Jan - the time my projects were quoted - and now) with outstanding receivables in the upper thousands is significantly damaging, and it is much less beneficial than a 20% rise in the ROE.

The last time there was a 30 point increase in the reverse direction (c.a. 1.196 to 1.483) was 16 Dec 2005 to Feb 26 2008 (3 years). I don't know about you, but I don't grant my clients 3 years to pay invoices with the hopes that the rate will increase so that I can recover money lost. So, please do not attempt to trivialize the situation without doing the math.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


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


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

How are North American translators with an EU client base dealing with the plummet of the Euro?

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »



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