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Rates from and into your native language
Thread poster: Sara Colombo

Sara Colombo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
Mar 6, 2012

Hi there!
Do you apply different rates depending on the language combination and on the fact you are translating out or into your mothertongue?
I was wondering how to manage this thing and couldn't find enough info on the web.
Besides, and this is for those who work with foreign clients: which currency do you use or would suggest me to use? Yours or the clients'?
It's pretty much new to me, as I have been mainly working within the same country, can you help?
Thanks!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some personal opinions Mar 6, 2012

Saretta9 wrote:

Hi there!
Do you apply different rates depending on the language combination and on the fact you are translating out or into your mothertongue?
I was wondering how to manage this thing and couldn't find enough info on the web.
Besides, and this is for those who work with foreign clients: which currency do you use or would suggest me to use? Yours or the clients'?
It's pretty much new to me, as I have been mainly working within the same country, can you help?
Thanks!


Hello Saretta,

Well, most of us calculate our per word rate depending on the target language, and for very many of us this means that we only have one rate as the generally-accepted practice is to translate solely into your native language. In-house translators often translate into other languages, and there are exceptions in the world of freelance translating, but generally speaking you should be a native or native-equivalent speaker of the language.

If you are offering the reverse pair then I would imagine that there would normally be a different rate to apply. I only translate from French to English, but I know that every translation ends up shorter in English. I imagine I'd want to charge more for the reverse pair as it takes longer to type than to read. As I said, though, I'm not really qualified to advise.

For currency, that was discussed somewhere here just a few days (weeks?) ago. It seems as though some people accept all their clients' currencies whilst others only accept their own or the major currencies. Personally, I would imagine an Italian living in the UK should accept EUR and GBP; your choice whether you accept USD and others. I accept EUR, GBP and, if pushed, USD. But I don't let clients depend on quotes in GBP and USD from one job to another. If the exchange rate changes, so does my quote (sometimes in the client's favour).

Hope that helps.

Sheila


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Sara Colombo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clear! Mar 6, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

1-Well, most of us calculate our per word rate depending on the target language, and for very many of us this means that we only have one rate as the generally-accepted practice is to translate solely into your native language. In-house translators often translate into other languages, and there are exceptions in the world of freelance translating, but generally speaking you should be a native or native-equivalent speaker of the language.

2-If you are offering the reverse pair then I would imagine that there would normally be a different rate to apply. I only translate from French to English, but I know that every translation ends up shorter in English. I imagine I'd want to charge more for the reverse pair as it takes longer to type than to read. As I said, though, I'm not really qualified to advise.


1-I was thinking in some cases one should accept the reverse mode. I mean, it depends, you are right. But let's say my rule is that I accept those texts I can handle, general/marketing/commercial are quite common. But again, as you said, it depends. Would you accept a 'general reverse translation'?

2-I thought the same!

Thanks for the answer!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No, I wouldn't Mar 6, 2012

Saretta9 wrote:
Would you accept a 'general reverse translation'?


I've never asked for payment for a translation into French and I doubt that I ever will. I write my own correspondence etc in French, of course, and I have on occasions translated texts for people as a favour. But I've always refused payment apart from in "local currency" i.e. the local red

Sheila


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:13
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just a quick opinion... Mar 6, 2012

"Thou shalt not translate into languages other than your native language."

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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 09:13
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Official/certified translations Mar 6, 2012

The countries where I studied (Argentina) and where I now live (Uruguay) require that certified or legally valid translations be translated by "Public Translators". This is a university degree obtained after 4 or 5 years of linguistic and legal studies (depending on the country) and is only valid in the issuing country.

As I have never met an English native who graduated as a Public Translator, we Spanish native official translators must translate into and out of our native language.

Our translators associations publish recommended minimum rates. Recommended rates for translating out of our native language are quite a bit higher than those recommended for translating into our native language.

I hope hearing a different point if view helps.

[Edited at 2012-03-06 23:54 GMT]


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Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:13
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
golden rule: Mar 7, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

"Thou shalt not translate into languages other than your native language."
:P


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:13
English to German
+ ...
Translations out of my mother tongue are more expensive Mar 7, 2012

That is because it takes two people to handle certain texts, and my translation will be edited by my business partner who is a native speaker of my source language. Otherwise I wouldn't take on any projects in my reversed language pair (it takes much longer and is not profitable). Those projects, however, are assigned to a non-native speaker on purpose and for particular reasons, i. e. when regional dialects, slang, handwriting, illegible copies or historical texts need to be deciphered.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:13
English to German
+ ...
Currency Mar 7, 2012

My estimates and invoices are always based on my own currency and the invoice will also contain the amount payable in the client's currency according to the exchange rate at invoice date. This way I am in better control of the amounts that I want to receive, no matter from which country they were sent.

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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:13
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
The notion of translating into your native language Mar 7, 2012

is one that is more accepted among our own circle. A lot of people outside our circle, including some end clients, don't understand why that is.

I'm a native speaker of Chinese but I got a lot of Chinese to English assignments. These include:

1. handwritten medical records that is hard to read for native English speakers;
2. back-translation of research-related document, for which they are just interested in knowing if the information has been forward-translated correctly.
3. certificates. Whoever translates it, natives or non-natives, makes no difference.

My English versions sometimes went into publication directly, sometimes were edited by an English speaker. And sometimes those PM's monolingual in English just added/deleted some articles or changed a couple of prepositions before they sent my versions to their clients. It works!

Sometimes I was even asked to proofread, edit, or QA Chinese-to-English projects.

Because it is harder to find an English native whose Chinese is excellent, this pair is definitely more expensive. So I charge higher and my hourly income is almost twice as what I make with my regular pair.

By the way, I usually write much better than my English seems to be when I do a real translation job from Chinese into English. This is simply because I got paid and I'm obligated to spend more time polishing my own writting.

[Edited at 2012-03-07 02:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-03-07 09:47 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Good starting point Mar 7, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

"Thou shalt not translate into languages other than your native language."

I think others have pointed out very clearly that there are exceptions to this golden rule. Still, in the common European language pairs there are so many native translators with good writing skills that reverse pair translation should be restricted to the circumstances Nicole has mentioned.

I know universities teach translation in all languages that you speak (sometimes quite poorly), and I can see that this could be good practice. However, I am at a loss as to why they issue qualifications in all of them. I can only say what I'm sure we all know: speaking a language is not the same as producing a quality written translation.

Sheila


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hear, hear Mar 7, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

"Thou shalt not translate into languages other than your native language."


My sentiments exactly.


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Sara Colombo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
In Italy is almost the same... Mar 7, 2012

Laureana Pavon wrote:

The countries where I studied (Argentina) and where I now live (Uruguay) require that certified or legally valid translations be translated by "Public Translators". This is a university degree obtained after 4 or 5 years of linguistic and legal studies (depending on the country) and is only valid in the issuing country.

As I have never met an English native who graduated as a Public Translator, we Spanish native official translators must translate into and out of our native language.

Our translators associations publish recommended minimum rates. Recommended rates for translating out of our native language are quite a bit higher than those recommended for translating into our native language.

I hope hearing a different point if view helps.

[Edited at 2012-03-06 23:54 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Cuecen habas Mar 7, 2012

Laureana Pavon wrote:

The countries where I studied (Argentina) and where I now live (Uruguay) require that certified or legally valid translations be translated by "Public Translators"...

As I have never met an English native who graduated as a Public Translator, we Spanish native official translators must translate into and out of our native language.
Edited at 2012-03-06 23:54 GMT]


The same situation holds in Spain. I have one friend who is an English native speaker who managed to jump through all the burocratic hoops and finally obtained the arduous "traductor jurado" qualification but as you say, they are extremely thin on the ground. The laughable thing about it all is that the certificate is seen as some kind of guarantee of quality when, at least in my own experience, it is often anything but.


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Sara Colombo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It depends... Mar 7, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

"Thou shalt not translate into languages other than your native language."

I think others have pointed out very clearly that there are exceptions to this golden rule. Still, in the common European language pairs there are so many native translators with good writing skills that reverse pair translation should be restricted to the circumstances Nicole has mentioned.

I know universities teach translation in all languages that you speak (sometimes quite poorly), and I can see that this could be good practice. However, I am at a loss as to why they issue qualifications in all of them. I can only say what I'm sure we all know: speaking a language is not the same as producing a quality written translation.

Sheila



..most unies nowadays tend to teach translation into your mothertongue, unless it is a Translation/Interpreting specific BA/MA. Those courses are quite rounded and try to prepare students with a varied background, which doesn't mean they will become perfect translators/interpreters able of dealing with all languange combination, but at least they will try.
In my opinion, the quality of a translation comes first. So I would accept a reverse translation or a text within a different language combination only if I was sure the job would be what the client asked.
There is no point in producing a sloppy or unclear text that will ruin my reputation and the client job.
I would like to know the opinion of those who are totally against reverse translations, because to me it's something that can be done, at least to a certain extent.


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