Euro at 12-year low against Sterling...
Thread poster: Tina Colquhoun

Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:42
Member (2005)
Danish to English
+ ...
Jul 23, 2012

With the Spanish crisis deepening, the Euro today hit a 12-year low against Sterling. I was just wondering what most of you (mainly UK translators, I suppose) were doing about this?

Are you raising Euro rates or moving out of the Euro completely? Or do you just carry on regardless and hope that things will turn around - or at least stop sliding?

With the Olympic sun shining at last here in London...
Tina


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Nothing to be done Jul 23, 2012

Hi Tina

THere's nothing to be done about this. The UK should have joined the Euro years ago (and I am convinced that had it done so, none of the Euro's current problems would be happening). Even if the UK wanted to join at some future point, it would have to face great difficulties in doing so.

But that isn't going to happen for the foreseeable future.

All of my clients are in Euroland and there's nothing I can do about the unfavourable exchange rate - though I continue to be shocked at the dramatically reduced amounts I've been receiving recently after my bank applies its exchange rate and transaction charge.

However a few years ago the shoe was on the other foot and the Euro-> GBP exchange rate was excellent.

Sooner or later it will go back to that. Sooner, I hope.

As for the Olympics - they've been taken over by large sponsors who are wrecking people's health with junk food.

[Edited at 2012-07-23 15:48 GMT]


 

Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:42
Member (2005)
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, there is... Jul 23, 2012

At least on a personal level - we can work harder!icon_wink.gif

I was just wondering what others were doing, if anything, about this...

Tina


 

Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:42
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Looks like a 5-year low to me Jul 23, 2012

Hello,

First of all, it looks like a 5-year rather than 12-year low to me. If you look at the chart below, the EURGBP rate has been at a similar level as 'recently' as 5 years ago (beginning in early 2008).

eurgbp.gif

I expect the EURGBP exchange rate may pull back up to around 0.8150-0.8200, and then go down again as low as 0.7100-0.7150 (dark yellow support area), as shown by the red arrows.

However, I hope what really happens will prove me wrong.icon_smile.gif

M


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:42
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I love it Jul 23, 2012

Tina Colquhoun wrote:
Are you raising Euro rates or moving out of the Euro completely?


I actually love it, finally we can lower our USD and GBP rates. Why should always others benefit from a weak currency. The EUR was too high and we could hardly compete with other outfits in the US and the UK.



[Edited at 2012-07-23 18:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-07-24 13:35 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No, you can't Jul 23, 2012

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

......we can lower our .... GBP rates


No, you can't. You need to increase them. Translators who have to convert Euro to GBP are worse off than they ever were. If you think that means you can pay them less, you're making a mistake.

[Edited at 2012-07-23 21:16 GMT]


 

Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:42
French to English
Depends on your viewpoint Jul 23, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

......we can lower our .... GBP rates


No, you can't. You need to increase them. Translators who have to convert Euro to GBP are worse off than they ever were. If you think that means you can pay them less, you're making a mistake.


I suspect he means that in order to receive, say, €1,000 euro for a given job (he's in Germany, so I imagine his base currency is euros), he can now charge less in GBP to UK clients than he did a year or 2 ago.


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:42
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Rates to end customers Jul 23, 2012

Tom in London wrote:
No, you can't. You need to increase them. Translators who have to convert Euro to GBP are worse off than they ever were. If you think that means you can pay them less, you're making a mistake.

[Edited at 2012-07-23 21:16 GMT]


I am not talking about UK translators, I am talking about end customers in the US and GB. We can lower our rates and still pay our translators in the Euro zone their normal rates.

Yes, the rates for translators in the US and UK might go up, but there are enough translators in the Euro zone, accepting Euros. This means that the translators in the UK are really worse off - they will be replaced if possible (not all can be replaced, experts will still be worth their rates).
That is the nature of globalization.

For years, the translators in the Euro zone suffered from the strong Euro, now the situation is changing. When I worked as a product manager for a LSP in the USA, we had real problems with the Euro getting stronger and stronger. Paying decent Euro rates was getting more and more difficult. And I know that too many translators in the Euro zone adapted by lowering their Euro based rates or by sticking to their USD based rates for too long and getting less and less Euros for the USD they earned.

[Edited at 2012-07-23 21:56 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Well.... Jul 24, 2012

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

We can lower our rates


Well, that seems to be the only thing you're interested in. Good luck.


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:42
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Sorry Tom, you really got it wrong Jul 24, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

We can lower our rates


Well, that seems to be the only thing you're interested in. Good luck.


Lowering our rates is actually not our main objective.

Our main objective is to increase revenue/margin/turnover. Lowering our rates only makes sense if it helps us to achieve this by becoming more competitive.

Since you did not read the rest of my earlier post and only concentrated on "lowering rates", it makes no sense to tell you that in my opinion increasing revenue/margin/turnover also has an interesting link to quality of service, which has an interesting link to performance of the freelancers you use, which has an interesting link to the rates you pay your freelancers.

Don't start thinking about these links - to make it easy for you:

We are only interested in filling our pockets.


 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:42
English to Polish
+ ...
there's an opinion! Jul 24, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

The UK should have joined the Euro years ago (and I am convinced that had it done so, none of the Euro's current problems would be happening).


Well, I guess I should applaud your sense of humouricon_smile.gif

Unless what you're saying is that the U.K. would have vetoed all the bailouts of sovereigns and money printing so the eurozone would not be able to kick the can down the road, so the collapse would come sooner (say, 2010) and the eurozone would be already recovering.

[Edited at 2012-07-24 14:21 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 02:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Of course, I don't understand economics... Jul 25, 2012

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:
...
Lowering our rates is actually not our main objective.

Our main objective is to increase revenue/margin/turnover. Lowering our rates only makes sense if it helps us to achieve this by becoming more competitive.

Since you did not read the rest of my earlier post and only concentrated on "lowering rates", it makes no sense to tell you that in my opinion increasing revenue/margin/turnover also has an interesting link to quality of service, which has an interesting link to performance of the freelancers you use, which has an interesting link to the rates you pay your freelancers.

Don't start thinking about these links - to make it easy for you:

We are only interested in filling our pockets.


... but from my point of view it's an all-round disaster. Whether it's quality in my work, quality of life or filling my pockets, the Euro has gone the wrong way.

I was already getting lower rates from many clients outside Denmark - Scandinavians are 'expensive'; the Danish Krone is over-valued; the cost of living here is high... whatever.

Now the Euro is at an all time low, and I can't put my rates up for clients paying in Euros - they would run away screaming even faster than before. I can't put my rates up for clients who pay in Sterlng either - they find someone who lives in the UK and charges less.

So I have to work longer hours to earn the same amount in my home currency, DKK, to pay the government's new taxes on top of the old ones...

And I have less time and money for travel, CPD, background research for the extra translations I take on...
In short, all the factors that help to keep quality levels up.

I'm still busy and making a living. I have no dependent children, the house and car are paid for, and I have always managed to keep my tastes frugal, so I can't complain. But I am sorry for those who have not reached that level of security. They are the ones who will be keeping society going in a few years, when I can't keep up with yet another new version of Crados or whatever it's called then, and Microsoft's latest version is incompatible with all my other resources... and I can draw a pension.

It's not that far off! I could in fact draw a pension now, but as things are, I am wating until I have earned the maximum amount - or I really might be in trouble later on.


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:42
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I fully understand your position Jul 25, 2012

Christine Andersen wrote:
... but from my point of view it's an all-round disaster. Whether it's quality in my work, quality of life or filling my pockets, the Euro has gone the wrong way.

I was already getting lower rates from many clients outside Denmark - Scandinavians are 'expensive'; the Danish Krone is over-valued; the cost of living here is high... whatever.

Now the Euro is at an all time low, and I can't put my rates up for clients paying in Euros - they would run away screaming even faster than before. I can't put my rates up for clients who pay in Sterlng either - they find someone who lives in the UK and charges less.

So I have to work longer hours to earn the same amount in my home currency, DKK, to pay the government's new taxes on top of the old ones...


Hi Christine,
I fully understand your position, and I agree with you that the low Euro is a problem for many translators in regions with stronger currencies. In my post I tried to tell it from our point of view inside the Euro zone. For years, the Euro got stronger and stronger and we were exactly in the same position you and Tom are experiencing now - we got less and less for our work from our customers outside the Euro zone. We could not raise our rates, because as you nicely described it, our customers "would run away screaming even faster than before".
Many translators really suffered from the strong Euro, but I can't remember that any translator from inside the Euro zone raised the topic back then, and all translators outside of the Euro zone who benefitted from the strong Euro where just happy and loved the competitive advantage.

Now that the Euro is down a bit, it makes it much easier for translators in the Euro zone and the ones outside are losing the advantage they had for years.

As an agency, I am sure, that given your experience and your language pair, we would be happy to pay you the rate you ask for, because as I mentioned in my last post, paying decent rates to experienced translators is vital to get good translations, which are required to keep our customers happy.


 


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