Hourly charge for translation.
Thread poster: Jane Kim
Jane Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 01:25
English to Korean
May 12, 2004


I am Korean translator and offered a translation from an US agency.
They expect an output 320 word per hour and offer USD 14 per hour. This would be approx USD 0.045 per word and quite low rate comparing my standard rate. But I am thinking to accept as long as they provide continus job.

But I am quite confused about why they want hourly charge for translation. I've never met an agency to pay the translation in hourly charge. Do you think it is OK?


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:25
English to German
+ ...
Not really an hourly rate May 12, 2004

Hi Jane,
IMO this isn't really an hourly rate, as they determine the minimum hourly output, in effect setting a per-word price without openly telling you so.

Best regards, Ralf

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Paul Weideman  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
Spanish to English
Be careful - agree with Ralf May 12, 2004

If they expect a minimum output of 320 words, what happens if you find that your output is lower than that? Will they pay you for the actual time you work, or will they just divide the word count by 320 and multiply that by $14? In that case, you can expect to be paid less than the $14 hourly rate.

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Stuart Allsop  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sweat shop for translators.... May 12, 2004

"They expect an output 320 word per hour and offer USD 14 per hour. "

Clearly, the agency has no interest at all in quality, only quantity. 320 words per hour average is pretty tough to keep up for any stretch of time, especially if the subject matter is complex. That's one and a one third pages per hour, or 11 pages per day (assuming an 8 hour day). What tools to they give you to work with? Does this include editing / proof reading, etc.?

I'd be wary of this. An agency who doesn't value quality transaltion is not likely to value you as a person, either. I'd try to talk to someone who has been working there for a while already, or even better an ex-employee, to get their opinion.

This sounds kind of like a sweat shop for translators.

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