PROZ.COM COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER
Access Covid-19 jobs, answer relevant terminology questions, read industry news and more.

Pages in topic:   < [1 2 3] >
Does money matter or not?
Thread poster: Iuliana Bozkurt

Maaike van Vlijmen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:30
Member (2009)
Italian to Dutch
+ ...
of course it does Nov 17, 2011

I actually get a lot of small jobs about pens as well, from an agency, and they pay me 5 or 10 euros each time for a couple of words. I didn't ask, they suggested it and I was fine with it. You should definitely ask 5 euros each time, or summarize all the small jobs at the end of the month and charge a fee you think is appropriate, like 15 or 20 euros for 3 or 4 small jobs. Tell your client you work for it so you should earn a fee, you're running a business, after all. Good luck!

 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 20:30
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Reasonable Nov 17, 2011

Nani Delgado wrote:

I´ll try to explain what I think you could do (I sometimes have difficulties expressing myself in English). I´d suggest that you invoice him once a month and that you offer the client an arrangement that could be like this: if he doesn´t send you within a month enough work that would exceed your minimum fee, then charge your minimum fee at the end of the month. If he sends you bigger jobs and some small jobs (couple of words) in between, then I would charge them at my normal per word rate and invoice them together with the other jobs.

This way maybe he thinks twice before sending three words to translate and/or he learns to manage his projects in a more efficient way (he could e.g. accumulate several sentences before he actually sets up a job).


I think this is a very reasonable suggestion. That is what I would do, with my minimum rate the same as my hourly rate.


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:30
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes, it matters. Nov 17, 2011

I would start charging him in periods of one or two weeks. What you have done for free is called the past. I personally do not have a minimum charge but some people do. If this keeps on going (i.e. translating for free), there will come a time that you will feel horrible about it. Now is the time to take action. And you can do it.

 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Minimum or retainer, but make it count! Nov 17, 2011

It sounds like we're all on the same page here, with some slight differences in method and amount.

Like Jeff, I tend to charge a steep minimum because, as everyone points out, everything takes time, and I don't like to waste mine - and I especially don't like agencies to think they can waste it.

At this point, you have certainly done enough to show your good will toward this agency, it's time to take action.

I agree with either option, but don't sell yours
... See more
It sounds like we're all on the same page here, with some slight differences in method and amount.

Like Jeff, I tend to charge a steep minimum because, as everyone points out, everything takes time, and I don't like to waste mine - and I especially don't like agencies to think they can waste it.

At this point, you have certainly done enough to show your good will toward this agency, it's time to take action.

I agree with either option, but don't sell yourself short. If you charge a minimum, I would not simply charge $5 or even $10. Considering the fact that this is real marketing we're talking about (labels for pens - these are products that go to thousands of people!), a minimum of $20 is the least you should consider, IMHO.

The same concept applies if you would like to ask them for a monthly "retainer". Don't sell yourself and your brainpower short!

---
Now, did you ever wonder why you get so few projects from them, but now so many of these "short requests"? Maybe they don't have any projects in your language pair, that could be true. Or maybe they have another linguist they have been working with, and only contact you a) when that person is busy, and/or b) because you are the cow that gives away the milk for free.

If a) or b) were true, how would you feel then about a minimum charge?

I'm not saying this is happening, of course, but it is something to think about...
Collapse


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Worth a try... Nov 17, 2011

Nani Delgado wrote:
I´d suggest that you invoice him once a month and that you offer the client an arrangement that could be like this: if he doesn´t send you within a month enough work that would exceed your minimum fee, then charge your minimum fee at the end of the month. If he sends you bigger jobs and some small jobs (couple of words) in between, then I would charge them at my normal per word rate and invoice them together with the other jobs.


This sounds like a great solution but I suspect the client will vanish as soon as it is proposed...


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:30
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
In complete agreement with Jeff... Nov 17, 2011

...and Henry's suggestion is also viable.

Another thing you might do, just to make it clear that you are not on retainer for that agency is, instead of dropping everything to immediately tend to each request, deliberately wait a day or two before responding.

Free work makes sense within the context of an ongoing relationship that involves receiving paid work (and should be limited in accordance with the importance--in business terms--of that relationship). It is as sim
... See more
...and Henry's suggestion is also viable.

Another thing you might do, just to make it clear that you are not on retainer for that agency is, instead of dropping everything to immediately tend to each request, deliberately wait a day or two before responding.

Free work makes sense within the context of an ongoing relationship that involves receiving paid work (and should be limited in accordance with the importance--in business terms--of that relationship). It is as simple as that.

P.S.
Within the context of the scenario under discussion, an arrangement whereby you were paid $50 for anything between one and four requests per month, and $10 for each subsequent request, might make sense. You are in the best position to decide what would make this kind of work worth your while.

P.P.S.
And if the agency in question balks at some such arrangement, perhaps it would be appropriate to offer them Henry's suggested solution of getting what they need by posting a Kudoz query.

[Edited at 2011-11-17 18:28 GMT]
Collapse


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:30
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
This is closest to my preference Nov 17, 2011

Nani Delgado wrote:
I´d suggest that you invoice him once a month and that you offer the client an arrangement that could be like this: if he doesn´t send you within a month enough work that would exceed your minimum fee, then charge your minimum fee at the end of the month. If he sends you bigger jobs and some small jobs (couple of words) in between, then I would charge them at my normal per word rate and invoice them together with the other jobs.


The only difference for me is that I have both a minimum amount for drawing up an invoice (which needs to cover the admin time for actually doing that, following up payments including reminders as nec., entering the amount in my bookkeeping, etc.), and a minimum for every individual item invoiced for during the month. This is rarely invoked, as it only equates to about 25 words, but it does mean that I get paid enough to read the email, reply and update the invoice, as well as pending a couple of minutes on the translation.

Sheila


 

gad
United States
Local time: 22:30
Member
French to English
About charging a minimum fee Nov 17, 2011

Localize It! wrote:

Another solution that you can adopt is establishing a minimum fee, for example 50 cents.
Independently from the lenght, even if it's under 5 words you will apply that fee.

It is ok to do it sometimes, but here it sounds like they are clearly taking advantage of your kindness

Elena


Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I always charge a minimum fee. One word, two words, etc. will be billed at $50.00 period. Of course, I get fewer requests for smaller jobs, but that is fine with me.

For an agency that provides me with a lot of work, I will do the occasional small job for free, but I always include an invoice indicating that this $50.00 fee was waived.



I agree with Jeff, and disagree with Localize It - $50 sounds like a minimum fee, not 50 cents.

I find it kind of rude that they are clearly taking advantage of you, without even offering to compensate you for your time. Maybe they think of it as nothing, you know "only" a few words or whatever, but it's still work that requires your expertise. Years ago, I worked as an administrator at a couple language centers, and I can remember getting odd phone calls out of the blue "how do you say..." (in such-and-such language). I think that shows a lack of respect for a profession such as translation.

My other concern is actually the lack of context involved in short "translations" such as this. Hopefully these are things that can be accurately translated, I mean hopefully they provide you enough background information to be able to choose the proper translation.

Henry Hinds wrote:

All the client has to do is post his mini-translations as Kudoz questions. Then he not only gets them for free, he will often have several versions to choose from as well.


Good suggestion.

Nani Delgado wrote:

I´d suggest that you invoice him once a month and that you offer the client an arrangement that could be like this: if he doesn´t send you within a month enough work that would exceed your minimum fee, then charge your minimum fee at the end of the month. If he sends you bigger jobs and some small jobs (couple of words) in between, then I would charge them at my normal per word rate and invoice them together with the other jobs.

This way maybe he thinks twice before sending three words to translate and/or he learns to manage his projects in a more efficient way (he could e.g. accumulate several sentences before he actually sets up a job).


Another good suggestion. Don't let this client continue to take advantage of you.


 

Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:30
French to English
+ ...
Indeed Nov 17, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

All the client has to do is post his mini-translations as Kudoz questions. Then he not only gets them for free, he will often have several versions to choose from as well.



 

Izabela Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:30
English to Polish
+ ...
What exactly do you mean by a "label"? Nov 17, 2011

If it needs to be changed for every new pen, to me it seems more like a marketing slogan than a label. If that's the case, ask any copywriter if he'd localize those few words for free...

[Edited at 2011-11-17 20:26 GMT]


 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
Finally someone who addresses this important issue Nov 17, 2011

Iza Szczypka wrote:

If it needs to be changed for every new pen, to me it seems more like a marketing slogan than a label. If that's the case, ask any copywriter if he'd localize those few words for free...

[Edited at 2011-11-17 20:26 GMT]


Like.

[Edited at 2011-11-17 20:46 GMT]


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Ahem Nov 17, 2011

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

Finally someone who addresses this important issue


Janet Rubin wrote:

...Considering the fact that this is real marketing we're talking about (labels for pens - these are products that go to thousands of people!)...




 

kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:30
English
+ ...
Exactly Nov 18, 2011

Iza Szczypka wrote:

If it needs to be changed for every new pen, to me it seems more like a marketing slogan than a label. If that's the case, ask any copywriter if he'd localize those few words for free...

[Edited at 2011-11-17 20:26 GMT]


You can also be sure that if it's coming via an agency, they will be charging for it. Why should they profit from your work when you get nothing?

To be honest, these little jobs are actually more demanding than much larger projects, because you have to put so much more thought into them. 100 jobs of three to five words each will take much longer than one 300- to 500-word translation, and that's not taking into account the time spent creating files, reading/sending e-mails and also the disruption to your routine.

I like the idea of charging a fee of $50 for up to four translations a month and $10 for any subsequent requests.


 

Iuliana Bozkurt  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 05:30
Member (2008)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Nov 18, 2011

First of all, I wish to thank you all for your great feedback. Your suggestions are all very commonsensical and helpful.
Noni, you really brought a smile on my face with your story - who knows, maybe one day we could charge some ''special'' clients like that: 1 page = 1/2 kg of cheese, 2 pages = 1 kg of meat and so on
Now, getting a bit more serious - the matter was solved most amicably with my client - we agreed upo
... See more
First of all, I wish to thank you all for your great feedback. Your suggestions are all very commonsensical and helpful.
Noni, you really brought a smile on my face with your story - who knows, maybe one day we could charge some ''special'' clients like that: 1 page = 1/2 kg of cheese, 2 pages = 1 kg of meat and so on
Now, getting a bit more serious - the matter was solved most amicably with my client - we agreed upon a monthly minimum fee and, in case we have a larger volume of work that exceeds that fee, we will apply the regular per word rate. Now, everybody (or, at least, the undersigned) is happy and I do believe this was a good arrangement.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts in this thread!
Collapse


 

Iuliana Bozkurt  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 05:30
Member (2008)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Right! Nov 18, 2011

That's exactly what we did! Great idea!

Nani Delgado wrote:

I´ll try to explain what I think you could do (I sometimes have difficulties expressing myself in English). I´d suggest that you invoice him once a month and that you offer the client an arrangement that could be like this: if he doesn´t send you within a month enough work that would exceed your minimum fee, then charge your minimum fee at the end of the month. If he sends you bigger jobs and some small jobs (couple of words) in between, then I would charge them at my normal per word rate and invoice them together with the other jobs.

This way maybe he thinks twice before sending three words to translate and/or he learns to manage his projects in a more efficient way (he could e.g. accumulate several sentences before he actually sets up a job).


 
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 »

Does money matter or not?

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
SDL Trados Business Manager Lite
Create customer quotes and invoices from within SDL Trados Studio

SDL Trados Business Manager Lite helps to simplify and speed up some of the daily tasks, such as invoicing and reporting, associated with running your freelance translation business.

More info »



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