per page rates or per hour rates for Japanese to English pair
Thread poster: nikoniko4649
nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
Nov 12, 2013

Hello Prozians,

I have been asked to do translation for a document which have around 360 characters in Japanese.
And in all these years of work that I have done, I have never done or taken up such requests for a very minimal rate. The genre is Education/Pedagogy. And its only because I know this person on a friendly level and upon his request thought to take it forward. The content is pretty simple and should not take more than an hour to do. Even an hour would be an underestimate, probably.

In such a case, how much would be a fair rate to be charged as the minimum rate (in USD) ?
I tried to Google but I get varied rates and not getting a clear picture.

So I thought to check here with those who may have done such jobs in actual.

Hope someone can guide/help me out with this...

Thanks...


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:44
Japanese to English
+ ...
For free? Nov 12, 2013

If it is a friend, why not do it for no charge? Sometimes good will is worth more than the pittance that might be gained from such an endeavor.

However, if you want to give them a "friendly" rate, I'd say $20 is a nice even number. That's about 5.5 cents per character, which is on the lower end of the spectrum - though by no means unheard of.


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nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
:-) Nov 12, 2013

Your feedback made me smile....I know it may sound odd, but can I say something like I am on friendly terms in the professional front !

You are actually right when you said :

"Sometimes good will is worth more than the pittance that might be gained from such an endeavor."

Actually, this person I know had approached me with a business proposition which we both wanted to take forward, but due to several reasons we could not pursue it. And I have done both translation & interpretation for him for free a few months ago for 2-3 days in a row. He was pretty impressed with the quality of work at that time.

And it was he who asked me to specify the rates this time....and since I also wanted to play it fair, I wanted to make sure that I am not charging a hand and a leg in the name of minimum rates !!! And if he ever takes the effort to check with people around and finds that I am on the higher side, I may end up loosing trust...


$20 seems to be a good one to begin with...Thanks for your input Orrin !


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:44
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There's a good reason for a minimum Nov 12, 2013

nikoniko4649 wrote:
I am on friendly terms in the professional front !

I agreed with Orrin, but it's clear now that this is a potential business partner, not a personal friend.
I have done both translation & interpretation for him for free a few months ago for 2-3 days in a row.

Well, you have to draw the line somewhere soon then.
I wanted to make sure that I am not charging a hand and a leg in the name of minimum rates !!!

But on the other hand, you've got a certain amount of admin associated with any job, so you don't want to end up losing an arm and a leg. At the very least, in addition to the translation and proofreading steps, there will be exchanges of emails, checking file structure and content, calculating the total, invoicing, possible payment chasing (however friendly things were, keeping a record of the client and job, ensuring it's included in your accounting, etc. All those things have to be paid for out of the invoice total, and they are pretty much invariable. In a job for several thousand words you don't need to factor it in at all, but for a tiny job it becomes an unacceptable overhead. That's exactly why I charge for a minimum of one hour normally, though I do sometimes work for less if I feel so inclined.

If you feel this prospect may become a very good and regular client, you could always give him a discount on the next job, providing that it arrives quite soon and is big enough. I've certainly done that. I charged one hour's rate for a job that took about 20 minutes, for a new client. Then when he ordered over a thousand words just a few weeks later, the invoice showed a discount of half an hour. The client was reasonably happy to pay the first invoice (he agreed to it, after all); and more than happy with the second. Happy client = good business.


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nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Agree with you Sheila Nov 12, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Well, you have to draw the line somewhere soon then.


Yes exactly...that's the reason why I didn't decline his offer on rates for translation.
At this point of time, I am not at all sure if this opportunity is going to become a regular one and at the same time I don't want to overrate.

I have written to him that this is just a minimum charge. And for this particular work, I don't see much of admin work except translation. And just so that he feels comfortable, I also gave him an assurance that I can make minor changes after he reviews the translated file.

If I notice that he is going to send me work regularly, then I will tell him my usual rates.


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