Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Rates for a new translator
Thread poster: PMooney

PMooney
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:38
Dec 26, 2013

Hi,
My name is Phillipa and I'm trying to get some translating experience in order to get a foot in in the industry. I have no idea what normal rates are for experienced translators or otherwise. Is it best to start out for free until I have a little experience? And if so, how do I put that on my profile? The rates part of the profile doesn't seem to register zero as a price. Hoping someone give me an idea.
Thanks, Phillipa


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:38
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
How much are you worth? Dec 26, 2013

Philippa, 0 is not a rate. It's slavery.

Actually it's worse than slavery because at least the master feeds, clothes and accommodates his slaves.

You can try signing up with Translators without Borders if you want to do volunteer work and translate documents that can do some good somewhere but you don't do work for businesses for free!

You should start out billing what you intend to bill when you're set up and working full time because once you've settled on a rate with a client it's very difficult to increase your rate unless you're prepared to lose them. OK, you're a beginner, but you should still be producing a good job.

My point is that beginners need *more time* not less money. I have 15 years' experience under my belt now and I'm much quicker than in the beginning when I would spend ages agonising over which term was best, and so I can earn more money because I can fit more into my day.


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:38
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Pros don't work for free Dec 26, 2013

PMooney wrote:

Hi,
My name is Phillipa and I'm trying to get some translating experience in order to get a foot in in the industry. I have no idea what normal rates are for experienced translators or otherwise. Is it best to start out for free until I have a little experience? And if so, how do I put that on my profile? The rates part of the profile doesn't seem to register zero as a price. Hoping someone give me an idea.
Thanks, Phillipa


Hi Phillipa,

Search this website for the term "rates" before asking difficult questions. Pros don't work for free, hence the name of this website.

Cheers,
Gerard


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:38
Member (2012)
French to English
Hello Dec 26, 2013

Hi Phillipa,

You might try the ProZ mentoring program - it will give you the opportunity to get translation experience, while earning some money at the same time.

Good luck!


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:38
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
No overheads? Dec 27, 2013

Does this mean no commitment? That's a dangerous message. Or does no one pay for a computer these days? Are there no mandatory charges for practising a profession where you live?

For one, your tax office isn't going to like it.

Apart from what my colleagues say, think about this. It's part of being professional.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:38
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Sorry if we come across as hostile here. Dec 27, 2013

Apart from any other considerations, Philippa, if you start working for free you'll be taking work from a translator who needs to earn money to house feed and clothe his children. It's hard enough to find decent paying clients as it is, please don't work for free.

No but honestly, what's next? paying for the right to produce translations?


 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:38
English to Dutch
+ ...
No way Dec 27, 2013

Have a look at this:

http://shouldiworkforfree.com/

Normal rates for working for agencies are between 0.09 to 0.12 eurocents, for direct clients between 0.15 to 0.25 eurocents. If you work for less, you make life difficult for your colleagues. It's unprofessional.


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:38
Member (2012)
French to English
It's hard to get work from agencies when you're starting out, though. Dec 27, 2013

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

Have a look at this:

http://shouldiworkforfree.com/

Normal rates for working for agencies are between 0.09 to 0.12 eurocents, for direct clients between 0.15 to 0.25 eurocents. If you work for less, you make life difficult for your colleagues. It's unprofessional.


What if agencies won't take you on, because you don't have enough professional experience listed on your CV?


 

Flavio Granados  Identity Verified
Venezuela
Local time: 22:38
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
About... Dec 27, 2013

http://patenttranslator.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/why-do-people-expect-translators-to-work-for-free/#!

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:38
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Your work has the same value for the client as an experienced translator's work Dec 27, 2013

If a translation is fit for its purpose, then in principle it is irrelevant whether it was done by a beginner or someone more experienced. If you are working for an agency, the end client will never know. So don't mention your experience at all until you really have some to boast about.
We who do have years of experience have to make sure it is not out of date - well trained beginners often have plenty to offer.

You are providing a service and trying to draw in clients, which is not the same as applying for employment. You don't start at the bottom and get promoted. If you want to earn more, you have to specialise more, or work faster, build up a network and attract the best-paying clients. So you show what you are worth and charge accordingly.

You do not state which languages you work with, and some are a lot more competitive than others, but in all of them it is important to flesh out your CV with experience you have of other subject areas besides languages. You will find you have plenty to justify professional rates.

I suggest you add keywords and information directly on your profile too. If it is interesting enough, it will attract good clients, and if not, then they will never get as far as looking at your CV.

Mention the experience you have of clothing, cosmetics and fashion - they are really specialised areas. Make it clear what you specialise in: for instance, if you have a knowledge of fabrics and the B-to-B terminology in the clothing industry. That kind of detail is at least as important as your actual translating experience.

Add any other work experience or hobbies you really know about as well.

You should charge a full rate for that kind of thing - it is what clients pay for!
Check the average rates for your language pair(s) here, and subject areas if possible - and try not to go below them.
http://search.proz.com/?sp=pfe/rates

Just a word of warning: I find some British agencies pay a lot less than agencies elsewhere for my language pairs. They are undercutting those who provide a better service to translators and probably to end clients as well, and it is not possible to make a decent living on their rates. I am not allowed to mention names here, and there are of course British agencies and clients who are really great to work with and who pay fair rates - so I hope you find some of them.

Working for free for Translators Without Borders or other non-profit organisations is fine if you have time, and you can then say how many thousand words you have translated or express it in years, but you need not give details unless they are relevant.

Try adding keywords to your profile to make it easier for good agencies to find you. Look at other people's profiles to see what they do, but make sure yours is your very own! And don't underestimate your market value. icon_smile.gif

Best of luck!


[Edited at 2013-12-27 13:15 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:38
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Freebies Dec 27, 2013



Thank you for the link, Flavio. This article clearly reflects the status quo. For some reason, there are quite a few people who expect translators to work for free. Yes, I do consider per word prices of US $ 0.02 working "pro bono". Even more so when the agencies charge their clients US $ 0.12 - 0.18 per word.

The fact that someone has just earned their degree in translation doesn't mean that they are poor translators and therefore "deserve" pitiful rates. Far from it!

[Edited at 2013-12-27 14:55 GMT]


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:38
Russian to English
+ ...
The rates for a new translator are the same as for an experienced translator Dec 28, 2013

and so is the expected quality of the translation. I think quite fair rates are $0.10-0.15/word, perhaps slightly more for very difficult technical and medical translations.

[Edited at 2013-12-28 14:19 GMT]


 

PMooney
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:38
TOPIC STARTER
OK thanks everyone Dec 28, 2013

OK, thanks, that helps a lot.

Sorry I didn`t mean that I want to take work away from anyone, and I respect now how that is not something that would help everyone else! I didn't really think of that so thanks for the responses.

It did come across a little hostile but I see your point of view! So I guess I just have to have a fair bit of patience.

Thanks again, Phillipa


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:38
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Sorry we came over as hostile! Dec 29, 2013

Welcome to the site, Philippa, and I hope you enjoy it as well as finding useful advice here.

You will find people get passionate about things, and perhaps 'raise their voices' a little. Ridiculously low rates are a problem many people are struggling with, and they are discussed frequently...

Contributors to the forums may be pressed for time, or not writing in their native or working languages, so remarks come over as abrupt at times.

Thanks for the reminder that we need to keep the intended friendly tone... and for bearing with us!

And best of luck!


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 10:38
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Because your colleagues' lives are more important than your own Dec 29, 2013

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

Have a look at this:

http://shouldiworkforfree.com/

Normal rates for working for agencies are between 0.09 to 0.12 eurocents, for direct clients between 0.15 to 0.25 eurocents. If you work for less, you make life difficult for your colleagues. It's unprofessional.

Working for myself is quite difficult enough, thank you very much. I don't need to sabotage myself just so that other people can get more work.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

Rates for a new translator

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »



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