PM underestimates my IQ
Thread poster: wonita (X)

wonita (X)
China
Local time: 11:40
Jul 14, 2012

Dear Bin,

Thank you for your reply. For this first project we would be able to offer £xx per 1000 words.

However, we would be happy to increase this rate for future projects.

Could you kindly let me know if you would be interested in this first project?

Kind Regards,


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:40
English to Czech
+ ...
Been there, done that... Jul 14, 2012

Hi Bin,
I've been through similar requests and "job offers". My reply is usually as follows:

Dear PM [insert name],
thank you very much for your kind reply and offer. However, I regret to inform you that my rate is €XXX per 1,000 source words. I will be ready for this and future projects if you can accept this rate. Please let me know.

Kind regards,

blahblahblah

[Upraveno: 2012-07-14 17:31 GMT]


 

Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 15:40
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
I usually answer Jul 14, 2012

that my rate is € xxx, but we can discuss about some reduction after fifth or tenth translaion from same customer. Interestingly, no one of the "give us your best rate" agencies have bothered to answer.:-)

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

Hi Bin,
I've been through similar requests and "job offers". My reply is usually as follows:

Dear PM [insert name],
thank you very much for your kind reply and offer. However, I regret to inform you that my rate is €XXX per 1,000 source words. I will be ready for this and future projects if you can accept this rate. Please let me know.

Kind regards,

blahblahblah

[Upraveno: 2012-07-14 17:31 GMT]


 

Maja Źróbecka, MITI  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:40
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes, Jul 14, 2012

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:
Dear PM [insert name],
thank you very much for your kind reply and offer. However, I regret to inform you that my rate is €XXX per 1,000 source words. I will be ready for this and future projects if you can accept this rate. Please let me know.

Kind regards,


When I replied to one of the TCs in a similar tone, I got a reply along the lines of "If you do not reduce your rates, there is NO chance of starting a collaboration with you".

What do you say to that?

Maja

[Edited for a typo]

[Edited at 2012-07-14 20:22 GMT]


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:40
English to German
+ ...
Send them a Thank-You note. Jul 14, 2012

Maja Zrobecka wrote:

"If you do not reduce your rates, there is NO chance of starting a collaboration with you".

What do you say to that?

Maja



icon_smile.gif


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:40
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Be aloof and keep your dignity Jul 14, 2012

Or, even better, follow Nicole's advice whenever you can.

Finding a decent French to Dutch or German to Dutch translator is becoming harder and harder, because people with the IQs and skills to do the job have no problem finding better paid work.

The majority of PMs at the bigger agencies could be my daughter. Most new ones get replaced 3 or 6 months after they’ve introduced themselves. Their rate negotiation skill (and/or room) is limited to offering nothing else then the tariffs on the screen before them.

I couldn’t sleep, the first time a 23-year-old PM told me that my rates were “completely out of touch with the industry” and “what we normally pay”. But I’ve grown tough since and now I think by myself: I’ve had a great time, living the life I want and doing what I’m good at, for more than ten years now. There’s no need to be impolite to you because of your insulting e-mails.

People who sell themselves short don’t last long in any “industry”.

Cheers,
Gerard


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Your best rate" agencies... Jul 15, 2012

Every time I read "your best rate", I politely thank them for their email, say that I am too busy for the job, and express that I hope we can cooperate in the future. Unfortunately most "your best rate" agencies seem to follow the same pattern of unprofessional attitude, low rate, slow payment I am not really interested in.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:40
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Or consider this Jul 15, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:


Maja Zrobecka wrote:

"If you do not reduce your rates, there is NO chance of starting a collaboration with you".

What do you say to that?

Maja



Send them a Thank-You note.

icon_smile.gif


Do as Nicole has suggested and then add something along this line:

Dear PM,

perhaps you might be interested in me paying you for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to work for you. Please let me know your very best rate.

Sincerely yours,

the unexploited translator.

Of course I wouldn't send such a note, but it sure is tempting.icon_biggrin.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I think Jul 15, 2012

Bin Tiede wrote:
[i]Thank you for your reply. For this first project we would be able to offer £xx per 1000 words.
However, we would be happy to increase this rate for future projects.[/i/


My approach is to see through the ruse and simply consider the offer on face value. However, I'm beginning to think that one has to make sure that the client knows that that is what one is doing, otherwise they might believe that one had fallen for it.


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:40
Portuguese to English
+ ...
A PM Jul 15, 2012

called me last week and told me they had a community interpreting assignment. The rate they offered was £14 an hour. When I told the PM my rate, they burst out laughing.

No commentsicon_smile.gif


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:40
English to Czech
+ ...
Not interested Jul 15, 2012

Maja Zrobecka wrote:

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:
Dear PM [insert name],
thank you very much for your kind reply and offer. However, I regret to inform you that my rate is €XXX per 1,000 source words. I will be ready for this and future projects if you can accept this rate. Please let me know.

Kind regards,


When I replied to one of the TCs in a similar tone, I got a reply along the lines of "If you do not reduce your rates, there is NO chance of starting a collaboration with you".

What do you say to that?

Maja


Hi Maja,
in cases like that my reply is something like "Thank you very much for your time; I will be happy if you reconsider in future."

I don't want to sound arrogant here, but I'm no longer interested in working for just anyone paying €0.0000001 per source word. I used to be interested in the first two or three years in the business, but now I have my clients who have agreed to pay decent rates for my services. Don't forget that you are the service provider and therefore it is you who sets the price.

If I agree to take a job for €0.00000001 per source word, I may be busy to miss a job for €0.08–€0.1 per source word, my regular rates.


 

Maja Źróbecka, MITI  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:40
English to Polish
+ ...
Thanks to all for input Jul 15, 2012

May I just say that the TC I mentioned is a Polish company who regularly does translations for the EU and has been operating for quite a while now.
I was tempted to contact their CEO to say that their PMs are far from professional, but why should I, if it makes no difference probably. What really struck me, is that they totally based their decision on price, they did not want to hear about my experience or quals.
Part of the job, I guess, to be able to handle such replies.

Maja


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:40
English to Czech
+ ...
My two eurocents... Jul 15, 2012

Maja Zrobecka wrote:
I was tempted to contact their CEO to say that their PMs are far from professional, but why should I, if it makes no difference probably.


First, it would probably make no difference, as you noted. Second, if there is such pressure on rates, chances are good that the PMs are paid to push rates downwards. So from the CEO's point of view, they might not be unprofessional at all.


 

septima
Local time: 15:40
EU Jul 16, 2012

Maja Zrobecka wrote:

May I just say that the TC I mentioned is a Polish company who regularly does translations for the EU and has been operating for quite a while now.


I feel your pain, but it's more complicated in the case of EU translations. The pressure there is coming from the EU institutions themselves. DGT et al. are squeezing every squashable thing they can. A public contract for translation services is almost a pure bidding war. The criteria are usually set at 60:40 quality-price, but since every agency is smart enough to list only its top translators in its tender (whether it intends to use them or not), it pretty much comes down to the price component + how much the QC department can spin their brilliant system and make the translators sound like a cross between galley slaves and error-free robots (or rather, not error-free, but soundly whipped for any mistake).

So if an agency has won a piece of an EU contract, you can bet their price was among the lowest in a field already renowned for its unparalleled excellence and innovation in low pricing. After the agency's cut for its fantastic (in all senses) quality control and project management, the freelance translator can expect to see a half to two thirds of that pittance. But the PMs do not lie – the agency really can't work above a set (low) threshold in terms of price or they would be losing money. That might be an issue for them.

The situation is obviously different in the case of corporate clients, where PMs simply laugh and joke about how badly they ripped the last translator off. You can see colored boards with stars in some offices for the cheapest deals of the day. I think the staff get prizes too, and if you get a PhD to work for less than EUR 0.01 you get made Employee of the Month. But not EU work. In their misplaced enthusiasm for what sounded like a good idea at the time, the agency submitted a binding offer, then got well and truly bound by the EU and stuck with their worst possible, blurry-scanned, distorted technical texts that the EU can't put through its MT or feed to its grumbling captive staff. The ripping off thus already happened at (or to) the agency's end. If an agency hires you for EU work, they're probably already at damage limitation stage.

So it's interesting that the EU, which is such a powerful driver for the European (and soon Indian) translation industry, is at the same time one of the most powerful forces driving the translator out of business. I sometimes think they despise translators precisely because they're so dependent on them. But maybe they just despise them like everyone else.


 


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