So what about minimum and standard rates?
Thread poster: Marysha

Marysha
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:39
English to French
+ ...
Sep 7, 2010

Hi everyone,



I have recently joined this site as well as a couple of other similar ones and have diligently read through the "what to dos and what not to dos" found on their very valuable forums.

Everywhere, freelance translators seem to agree on the same range of acceptable rates for their work, and urge their peers to ignore job offers where a minimum decent rate is not respected.

Yet as the weeks have gone by, I haven't found a single post that matched this idea – today again the rates stated on various posts are $0.05 per word (half the accepted minimum!), and I have frequently seen £0.03 offered, as well.

Where no rate was stated somehow the job poster stopped being in touch after I had submitted mine - which was always on the "very minimum" side of the standard rates for the kind of job offered.

So I wondered, what does everyone else do?? Are you taking the poorly paid jobs all the same, does it work out long term to do so, or how do you phrase your rate offer so that the client takes it seriously?

Please help me understand what it is I seem to be missing, because at this rate it doesn't seem likely to me to find work through these websites.



Thanks a lot,

Marie


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Job postings defy everything that's "standard" Sep 7, 2010

You're quite right - if we relied on publicly posted jobs on ProZ or elsewhere, we would either be working for peanuts or we'd have given up.

I personally do quote sometimes, but I get a very small percentage of the jobs and I'm sure this is because my rate is often as much as four times what they are prepared to pay. But I'm not overly worried, particularly now that rate information cannot be supplied to non-members - that is a big improvement IMO as they should not be dictating the rate to freelancers. [BTW: you aren't a paying member, are you, Maryse? How often do you see quoted rates offered?]

The majority of work that comes my way through ProZ comes through job offers sent to a selected list of freelancers chosen from the directory, or directly through my profile. These outsourcers are normally happy with my rates and terms and we all live happily ever after.

So, don't give in to these bottom-feeders. You can command decent rates - it just requires more marketing, more exposure on ProZ and some serious belt-tightening at the beginning until you have built up a solid client base.


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Idalia Martin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Economies! Sep 8, 2010

I entered the forum to post my question, and found Marysha's which was basically my same question or situation.

The jobs posted are all below our standard rates, some more than others. Could part of this be because of the economy in the poster's country? I am sure that in some countries the posters have the ability to pay more than those in other countries.

Sheila mentions in her response, "The majority of work that comes my way through ProZ comes through job offers sent to a selected list of freelancers chosen from the directory.." I am a paying member of Proz. Could you, Sheila, or anyone else tell me how to get on that "selected list of freelancers" so I can work towards that?

Thank you so much for your help!

Idalia


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Marysha
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:39
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 8, 2010

Thank you Sheila for your answer, it matches what I do already and it's good to know that other people see it that way, too. I'm getting a clearer picture of what this site is about and where it fits for me.

Idalia, I'm very interested in your question, too!

Cheers

Marie


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:39
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
off topic about selected lists Sep 8, 2010

We seem to be going a bit off topic here, but since 2 people are interested in how to "get on selected lists" here's my 2 cents:

A selected list is when an outsourcer goes to the translators' directory and filters according to his/her needs. http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/

To get near the top of a filtered list, you need to fit the bill in terms of what is being sought.

I reckon pretty common filters used are likely to be:
1. native language
2. field of expertise
3. software used
Other important filters, IMO, include country of residence, Proz Cert holders, client feedback ...

Then the results that come up are ranked by
1. All filters met
2. Being a member
3. Number of Kudoz points earned

Your success will then depend on the offer/demand for your language pair and speciality, and what your profile says about you if the outsourcer checks it out.

Good luck!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Off topic but ... Sep 8, 2010

As Emma says, we're going off at a tangent here but if you look under the "jobs and directories" tab you'll see "my directory ranking" (may be a members only feature, I'm not sure). This will tell you where you are now and how to improve your ranking. Getting onto page 1 is important and of course being in the No 1 spot is what you need to aim for.

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 01:39
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My spare time Sep 9, 2010

Marysha wrote:

Yet as the weeks have gone by, I haven't found a single post that matched this idea – today again the rates stated on various posts are $0.05 per word (half the accepted minimum!), and I have frequently seen £0.03 offered, as well.


When the job rate declines, I go out for my physical readiness e.g. travelling, exercise, family affairs, resting. I seldom hit good jobs these days, partially due to many competitors. But later days are sure to be back on my trace: my field of specialty in translation jobs.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Milos Prudek  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:39
English to Czech
+ ...
Better rates through directory search Sep 10, 2010

Marysha wrote:
Thank you Sheila for your answer, it matches what I do already


Good rates come from outsourcers who find you through directory search on Proz (Jobs and directories - Translators and Interpreters). Your profile is on top of the list, outsourcers opens your profile, he/she likes your profile, offers you (and 2-4 other translators) a job.

Most jobs which are posted have poor rates. Not all, but most. Most of the outsourcers who post them care about the price and price only. Not all, but most.


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