Work for the EU through an agency
Thread poster: Sander Van de Moortel

Sander Van de Moortel  Identity Verified
China
English to Dutch
+ ...
Oct 30, 2011

Hello


I am translating for the EU/EC through an agency. The work consists mostly of boring stuff like notifications about directives etc. Boring, but also hard work because it takes a lot of research to chose the right terminology. The agency told me they can offer 20-22 euro per source page. Admittedly, they do give me a high volume of texts. But they also take much longer to translate than general texts.

A fellow translator who used to work for the EU through an agency told me she was making 40 euro per source page and that she could ask more if she hadn't been a beginner. I on the other hand, have three years' experience (not for the EU though).

Can anyone tell me if that 40 euro is accurate? Does it make sense for me to work for them a month at the rate they suggest and then ask more? Or should I tell them I won't do it for this money straight away?


S


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Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Accept Oct 30, 2011

sandervdm wrote:
Does it make sense for me to work for them a month at the rate they suggest and then ask more? Or should I tell them I won't do it for this money straight away?
S


From your own words, you seem to need the experience in this type of job. That being true, if you also need the money, take the job, and once you've gained experience and/or better clients, ask for more money or stop working for that client in favour of other better paying clients.

Good luck,
Jose Ruivo


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
How much do you need? Oct 30, 2011

I agree with Jose.

I also wonder if you only started to question the amount you were getting when your friend claimed to be getting 40. I often meet translators who claim to routinely charge 50% more than I do, but I already make enough at my own rates so prefer plain sailing rather than relying on hearsay and rocking the client's boat...


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Sander Van de Moortel  Identity Verified
China
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
general idea Oct 30, 2011

Hello


Thank you for your answers and I will indeed roll with it. It does make enough money and I would also go with it, but if they're seriously paying me less than half of what the market price is, then I'm not only damaging myself but also other translators because it pushes the market price down. Well I guess that's the workings of the free market.

I still would like a general idea about the price for this kind of work. Is 40 absolutely over the top?


/S


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Hazel Underwood  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Standard price Oct 30, 2011

I also work for an agency translating Directives and the like for the EU. In fact it may well be the same, as I get 20 euros per page. I think that the rate is more than acceptable, as it works out at slightly more than my per word rate anyway.

Personally I love these texts as there is so much reference available online that once you have worked out the main terms to use it is pretty straightforward.

Maybe spend a bit of time looking at the EU's reference online for translators and time setting up a few references websites to help you (EUR-LEX).


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Marleen Pieper  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:44
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Price per page/ price per word Oct 30, 2011

Could anyone tell me how much 20 euro per page is in word price? Does one page always contain more or less the same amount of words?
I got offered 19 euro per page recently and haven't been able to judge how much that would be per word approx.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
€/word Oct 30, 2011

Same here. I have never heard of being paid by the page. A page could contain any number of words...

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Greffier
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:44
French to Russian
+ ...
Price per page Oct 31, 2011

One standart page ~1 300 chars (52 chars by line, 25 lines per page).

[Редактировалось 2011-10-31 05:00 GMT]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
Number of words. Oct 31, 2011

A page contains about 300 words. 20/300=0.06. How much the agency gets can be found on the website of the CdT-translation, external translations. If I remember well, it is about double.

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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:44
English to Czech
+ ...
Standard page Oct 31, 2011

One page is usually about 250 words (may depend on the language though).

In Czech, a standard page is exactly 1,800 characters including spaces. I believe the conversion to standard pages from the number of characters rather than words would be more fair: if you have a German source text packed with words like "Feststellbremsenfederspeichernotlöseeinrichtung", you get the idea...

[Upraveno: 2011-10-31 09:18 GMT]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:44
Dutch to English
+ ...
My experience Oct 31, 2011

All of my EU work, bar from one agency -- and I do a lot of it -- is paid by the word. That is what I have negotiated with the agencies involved, simply because that is how I invoice all their other work. I am not particularly interested in how they are paid. I am interested in my bottom line and punctual payment.

One agency, for which I only do EU work, does pay by the page (based on 300 words in their case) and although it isn't quite the EUR 40 being spouted by your colleague, I can confirm it is well above EUR 30 for NL>EN.

I have been translating NL>EN docs for EU institutions for a number of years and I'd be inclined to take the "I could ask more than EUR 40 if I wasn't a beginner" claim with a pinch of salt, but if people out there can, then good luck to them.


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Paul Harrison MITI
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
French to English
Words per page Oct 31, 2011

The current EU call for tender defines a page as containing 250 words, or 1500 characters excluding spaces, at least for the pairs I have researched.

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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:44
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
When is something officially EU? Oct 31, 2011

I've translated plenty of docs that were obviously intended for EU desks (or drawers), but the work was not supplied as 'EU work'. Is it only EU if an EU body commissions it? Just wondering.

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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
When they tell you it is Oct 31, 2011

Olly Pekelharing wrote:

I've translated plenty of docs that were obviously intended for EU desks (or drawers), but the work was not supplied as 'EU work'. Is it only EU if an EU body commissions it? Just wondering.


Your agency will tell you and you will definitely know because it won't just be a straightforward translation, it'll come with REAMS of reference material, guidelines, rules, instructions, glossaries etc. More of an exercise in sticking to the rules than in translation (in my experience anyway).


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