Updating rates due to inflation (Argentina)
Thread poster: Mariela Malanij

Mariela Malanij  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 10, 2011

Hi everyone!

I've been away for nearly 3 years pursuing some personal interests and now I'm back in Argentina willing to resume work as full-time freelance translator and faced with the sad reality: my rates are way outdated. I keep some old direct clients and agencies but working for them at the old rates is not worth it at all.

How should I go about updating the rates so they cover for inflation and still be competitive? I guess it is easier when dealing with direct clients than agencies but would like your input on both scenarios. Should I write an email stating forth the new rates and provide any explanation whatsoever?

For Argentinean colleagues, how often and how do you review/update your rates? Do you use a different update method/percentage for international versus national clients?

I'd really appreciate your comments and experience.

Cheers,

Mariela


 

Romina Eva Pérez Escorihuela
Argentina
Local time: 16:47
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
CTPCBA new rates Jan 10, 2011

Hello Mariela,

Welcome back to Argentina!

I've recently attended a workshop at CTPCBA specifically dealing with this subject: "los honorarios nuestros de cada día".
http://www.traductores.org.ar/nuevo_org/home/cursos_presenciales/?id_ruta=6&nivel2=526&nivel3=130&nivel4=131&id_curso=1161&mes=10%ano=2010

There we were informed about CTPCBA new rates; they are available in the following link:
http://www.traductores.org.ar/nuevo_org/home/default/?id_ruta=38&nivel2=112&nivel3=115&id_nota=223

We also discussed very interesting topics. For example: when you go to see your Doctor, he charges you a fee for your medical consultation and you pay very happy for it, without even daring to ask for a lower rate... Unfortunately, this is not the translators'/interpreters' case... Many times we are asked to lower our rates or we are even not given the job...

Anyway, every year in Argentina we have to increase our expenditures due to inflation, as you say... so, I think that you should not be afraid to increase your rates: that would be something natural! specially if you have been away... Now you are back, I expect your long-term customers to understand your reasons... I suppose they already pay higher rates to other providers... why shouldn't they do the same for your services?

We should always stress and help our customers to understand that high quality services imply professional rates... It is not easy; sometimes it is even disappointing and we feel like starting a new business, but we need to work together (customer+translator) in order for us to provide excellent services at fair rates...

I hope this experience of mine can help a bit! And don't hesitate to contact me...

Love,

Romina


 

Mariela Malanij  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sad reality - Agencies paying a third/fourth of what the CTPCBA suggests Mar 29, 2011

Romina,

Thank you for your response.

My private clients in Argentina obviously understand inflation and the need for me to update my fees. But it is not so easy with clients abroad. I can charge a higher fee for new clients but it is hard to explain annual inflation rates of 30% to Americans or Europeans who have been clients of mine in the past.

I think agencies are a different story. The sad truth is most of the agencies here in Argentina pay a third or a fourth of what the CTPCBA suggests. Please, let me know of any that pays above that standard! Seriously, the gap gets bigger as time goes by. 'Can you imagine yourself trying to impose to the agencies and tell them: Have you recently checked the CTPCBA fees? Any chance I could get at least half what they suggest?' That'd be fun!

In my experience, agencies normally come to you with a fix rate scheme (match, no match, repetitions, etc) on a take it or leave it basis. I have never found much room for negotiation. Since I got back, I have been doing some market research among my closest colleagues and heard most agencies here pay ARS0.10-ARS0.12 per word (ARS0.15 in the best cases), very far from the CTPCBA fees. And to make things worse, these agencies are Argentinean, or based in Argentina. So my guess is as their fix costs have increased (utilities, bank fees, goods, services, etc.) they keep the translation fees for translators as low as possible. But you also need to consider the exchange rate increase in the past three years (USD1=ARS3 in 2007 and USD1=ARS 4 in 2010). So, I can't help but wonder if that difference is going straight into someone's pocket instead of the translators'.

Cheers,

Mariela


 


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