What is the average agencies pay to freelance translator?
Thread poster: Jacqueline Rosa-Kuhn

Jacqueline Rosa-Kuhn
United States
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 14, 2012

Hi,
Can anyone provide information about the average translation agencies pay to freelancers, both per word and per hour?

I think this would be a very important topic for freelancers that normally work on their own (like me), and are planning to join an agency to supplement their income.

I should add that I'm interested in average pay from agencies in United States, and for language pair: EnglishSpanish.

Thank you in advance for your input!

[Edited at 2012-05-14 15:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-14 15:47 GMT]


 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
it depends completely on language combination May 14, 2012

and sometimes location makes a difference too.
Just today there was a job posting for English-Norwegian (a well paying language combinations where hardly anyone would accept to be paid less that 12 cents (usd) per word even for general translation) where it was specified that they preferred vendors from Spain (the outsourcer is Canadian). I presume this depends on the fact that in the current economic climate in Spain, there is an expectation that translators of any language combination would charge less there.

[Edited at 2012-05-14 15:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-14 18:46 GMT]


 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:23
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Average rates and rate calculator May 14, 2012

Hi Jacqueline,

Indeed, it is difficult to give a general figure. Why don't you have a look at the average rates here on Proz.com: http://search.proz.com/employers/rates . It will give you at least a good indication of what colleagues charge for this language combination.

Another useful link for calculating your rates is this: http://www.proz.com/translator-rates-calculator/

Best regards,

Stefanie

[Edited at 2012-05-14 16:21 GMT]


 

christela (X)
Wrong question May 14, 2012

Jacqueline Rosa-Kuhn wrote:

Hi,
Can anyone provide information about the average translation agencies pay to freelancers, both per word and per hour?



How much do freelancers charge the agencies they work for?

Remember that a freelancer = an entrepreneur.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wrong question May 14, 2012

To me, instead of asking how much agencies pay (which will very a lot and is strongly related with your qualification, experience, and negotiation skills), the question is "What should my base rate be?".

Stephanie's suggestions are a good starting point.

[Edited at 2012-05-14 18:05 GMT]


 

Jacqueline Rosa-Kuhn
United States
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification May 14, 2012

Thank you everyone for your replies, however, my question was more directed to working for an agency, as I am under the impression that they will pay freelancers less than what freelancers would charge when working directly with a client.

Should I quote an agency the same rate I charge a client when working directly with them, or should that quote be somewhat lower?

I have no problem with the calculation of my own fees when quoting a client directly.

Thank you for your replies.

[Edited at 2012-05-14 17:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-14 17:20 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not being flippant May 14, 2012

But my answer has to be "as little as possible", which is usually (in my case anyway) at least 20% less than I would like to receive, and sometimes 50%.

 

Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:23
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Your best rate" May 14, 2012

Which means, "we only pay the minimum possible amount", and they will use the global crisis, bla, bla. If you translate into Spanish, they might be willing to pay USD0.03 per source word. If you are located in US, perhaps they offer from USD0.07 or USD0.10.

If you have your own end clients, you'd better stay far away from translation agencies.

Regards

Clarisa


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Member
English to French
A whole range of opinions, strategies and justifications May 14, 2012

already discussed extensively
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/222004-prices_for_customer_and_agencies.html

Agencies can agree to pay from nothing to a few euros per word depending on the assignment.

I work almost exclusively for agencies and what I charge depends on a series of factors. It is easy to find work for less than EUR0.09 in EN>FR, less so at EUR0.12. But it's there.

Philippe


 

Jacqueline Rosa-Kuhn
United States
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you May 14, 2012

Thank you everyone that answered my specific question about agencies.

@Clarisa: you are right, it is better to stick with end clients, but the ones that I at the moment are not offering a steady flow of work, so I am looking to supplement income. That's why I needed some advice because this would be my fist experience with an agency. Thank you very much for your advice in rate, as it falls within the rate I was planning to quote.

Thanks again everyone.


 

Jacqueline Rosa-Kuhn
United States
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Philippe May 14, 2012

Thank you Philippe, especially for the link on the previous discussion. I did try some searches before my post, but could find it. Probably the key words I used....


Thanks again!


 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Of course you should not! May 14, 2012

Jacqueline Rosa-Kuhn wrote:


Should I quote an agency the same rate I charge a client when working directly with them




You should consider the agency a middleman which it indeed is, that for its services needs to be remunerated (by the end client and by you). An agency finds end clients for you and a translator for the end client, to say nothing of other services like proofreading, DTP and so on.


 


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