Rates! need advice
Thread poster: Solange_Sarasua
Solange_Sarasua
United States
English to Spanish
Dec 9, 2013

Hello everyone!

I was wondering if you could provide some advice on a situation I'm kind of stuck with. There is this agency that I signed up to work with; they never contacted me for any projects until yesterday when they offered me to work on a project but on the condition that I had to give them a discount and include proofreading in my rates, by a different translator. I already feel like my rates are pretty competitive ($0.09/word ENG-SPA), so I don't really know if I should accept or not.

Have you had to lower your translation rate to get a particular project or client? What services do you provide for your translation rate? Translation only or translation with proofreading?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some agencies will try anything; others try everything Dec 10, 2013

Solange_Sarasua wrote:
they offered me to work on a project but on the condition that I had to give them a discount

For what? Discounts are offered against something (extra time to do the job, less perfection...), not just out of the blue. Even the promise of "large volumes" doesn't cut much mustard with me, I'm afraid - it's too easy for those other n-thousand words to disappear.
and include proofreading in my rates, by a different translator

WHAT??? I'm speechless!
I already feel like my rates are pretty competitive ($0.09/word ENG-SPA), so I don't really know if I should accept or not.

The fact that you've thought fit to post here shows that you're already thinking this is a bit odd - and you're right! Your rates are already competitive.

Edited to be more explicit about proofreading: your agency rate includes a careful proofreading by yourself. You really owe it to yourself not to leave any typos in the translation, and to make it sound as natural as a target-language text. But one reason we charge an agency a little less is because they are expected to pay for the vital "second pair of eyes", to catch the errors that are notoriously difficult for the writer to catch. We charge our direct clients more to cover that.

[Edited at 2013-12-10 19:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:40
English to Polish
+ ...
I have zombied but... Dec 10, 2013

I won't tell you what I put up with when I was new, but including and arranging for proofreading by a different person is a no-no. I'm a translator, not an extension of the PM.

I don't know the customs of the market in which your client typically operates, but I'd normally believe that it belongs to the agency to do all the PM'ing, even though the more respected and established translators sometimes come in teams or even offer project supervision.

I'm not sure if I'd like to work with somebody asking for discounts, eithers. Lower rates please – perhaps. But a discount? On what ground? In exchange for assigning the job? Ugh...

This said, there's reportedly as USD-0.06-per-word tendency in the US market, even though it a market that also has the highest top rates for those who actually get to charge them.

Finally, don't be too responsive to the magic of fancy words like 'competitive'. Nobody says you have to be competitive. On the ethical side you should be good, diligent, conscientious, if you take it a notch higher and venture into the realm of morality, then you shouldn't overcharge, either. But competitive? Bah!

Or perhaps I'm just allergic to that world. I've never liked competing for girls or clients. I've always wanted to make them chase me rather.

[Edited at 2013-12-10 19:21 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Domenico Trimboli  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:40
Member (2013)
English to Italian
HMM Dec 10, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

Finally, don't be too responsive to the magic of fancy words like 'competitive'. Nobody says you have to be competitive. On the ethical side you should be good, diligent, conscientious, if you take it a notch higher and venture into the realm of morality, then you shouldn't overcharge, either. But competitive? Bah!


On the other hand, what's competitive for you may be cheap or expensive for me.

At €1/word, I may consider my rates fairly competitive. Why not?

@asker: as Lukasz pointed out, many new translators did horrible things at the very beginning of their careers (you can't imagine what I did!), but (1) arranging proofreading (2) at a discounted rate (3) with no reason at all... HMM. I wouldn't do that if I were you.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:40
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Treat or Trick Dec 11, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Solange_Sarasua wrote:
they offered me to work on a project but on the condition that I had to give them a discount

For what? Discounts are offered against something (extra time to do the job, less perfection...), not just out of the blue. Even the promise of "large volumes" doesn't cut much mustard with me, I'm afraid - it's too easy for those other n-thousand words to disappear.
and include proofreading in my rates, by a different translator

WHAT??? I'm speechless!


Starting an possible new collaboration with a translator based on a demand for discounts is not exactly speaking of high regards of the translator and the quality of her/his work.

My cordial reply to the requests regarding "my best rate" (I actually only have 3 rates: one each for translations, proofreading and full revisions) on the promise of large volumes usually is that I might consider giving a discount (at my own descretion) for the second, third or maybe even as of the fourth badge of at least 10 K words each.

Since a thorough proofreading of a translation is included in the price (before delivery), the request to pay for the services of another translator to proofread strikes me as being a little odd. After all, if an agency wants or needs a second proofreading, that's their prerogative and... their duty to pay the second translator, not mine. IMHP a translator is a business just like an agency with the same responsibilities. If I ordered a proofreading of any translation by an agency, will they pay me for giving them this job? Most certainly not.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Seriously? Dec 11, 2013

I'll admit, ENES is a competitive pair, but asking you to take a discount PLUS pay for someone to review your translation, is crazy.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Rates and separate proofreading Dec 11, 2013

I am not familiar with rates in your language pair in your region (or the region where the agency is located), so I can't comment on the numbers.

In answer to your questions:

1) I rarely lower a rate I've quoted to a client.

There are occasionally times when it may seem acceptable, but this needs to be considered Very Carefully. As most of your colleagues will tell you, it is very difficult to raise your rates - even "back" to your "standard" rates - once you have lowered them.

So not only is it important to ask yourself if you will receive fair compensation for the work involved, it is also important to consider what kind of precedent you want to set with this (or any other) client.

2) Of course I have collaborated with colleagues, so that one us provides separate proofreading of the other's work. Many clients want this added value, even some agencies.

Usually the *additional cost* is about 1/3 of the price quoted for translation. For most of us, that means it is *added* to your original quote of your "standard" rate, especially for agencies, which (as someone pointed out) usually arrange for proofreading on their own. I do know a few colleagues who always include separate proofreading by a colleague in their quotes, but generally their rates are higher already to include the additional cost.

It sounds like this agency just wants you to work very cheaply, and take on a lot of responsibility on top of that. Given the brief description of what's going on here, my answer would be "No, Thank You". If I had some extra time on my hands, I might give them a more detailed explanation of why what they are requesting is completely laughable, but then, sometimes I'm just in that mood.


[Edited at 2013-12-11 19:16 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Audra deFalco
United States
Local time: 20:40
Italian to English
+ ...
... a discount? What for? Dec 11, 2013

Was there any reason for this demanded discount? Or did they just ask for it out of the blue?

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Rates! need advice

Advanced search







WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search