Is it possible to have minimum rates for the translation and interpreting services?
Thread poster: Abdisalam Farah

Abdisalam Farah  Identity Verified
Somalia
Local time: 11:32
Member (2011)
English to Somali
+ ...
Jan 28, 2014

Hi,
I was living in the UK and I now live in East Africa. One thing I noticed is that sometimes I am now offered lower rates for my languages pairs. I think this is because FEW job posters (Not the majority) think if you live in a country with low income, you should be happy with whatever rate they offer you. Sometimes the rates they offer for translation are even lower than the proofreading rates. I think new translators may accept anything given to them because they may not know the rates that they are entitled to.

My question is: Is it possible to have minimum rates for the translation and interpreting services?


[Edited at 2014-01-28 10:52 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:32
English to Dutch
+ ...
Of course Jan 28, 2014

In fact, it is usual for translators to have minimum rates. Whether clients will accept that, is another matter of course. But you can always ask.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Abdisalam Farah  Identity Verified
Somalia
Local time: 11:32
Member (2011)
English to Somali
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bedankt Jan Jan 28, 2014

Thanks for the reply Jan.

I am talking about a minimum rate per word which Proz.com implements for example. A rate which everybody knows for example.

[Edited at 2014-01-28 11:05 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:32
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Minimum rates, "best rates"... Jan 28, 2014

If you set a minimum rate for your work (per word or per hour), don't inform the clients/agencies of this rate, because most agencies would simply assume that you agree to accept this rate for any project (and they would surely ask you to further lower this rate because of X, Y, and Z). Instead, set your average rate range and don't accept projects below your miniimum rate.
Location should not matter in our online century. I live in a very expensive city (London), but bottom-dwelling agencies don't care - they simply send their spam (hi dear, 300 pages - 1 USD per page - urgent!) to everyone on their list.

[Редактировалось 2014-01-28 12:38 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:32
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Proz.com cannot implement rates Jan 28, 2014

Hi Abdisalam

You can state a minimum rate on your profile, which will not be visible, unless you choose to show it, but it will be used to filter out some offers of work that would pay you less.
That means some of the jobs circulated from directory searches, or job notifications indicatign a rate, if the rate is below your limit.

However, it cannot filter out offers from clients who mail you directly with offers.

Proz.com does draw attention to the fact that you are always entitled to make an alternative offer, stating a higher rate. If the client's proposed rate is very low, you may still be their best option if everyone bids for the job at a higher rate, or if there are no other qualified bidders.

Rate fixing is illegal in many countries, so it is not possible to set minimum rates collectively. This also means that there are no 'industry standard' rates which you are obliged to comply with. Or whatever anyone chooses to call them. You are free to negotiate any rates you can agree on with the client.

Under the Tools tab at the top of your screen you will find Community Rates
http://search.proz.com/?sp=pfe/rates
where you can see some averages for different language pairs and subject areas.

The samples are not always large, so the averages may cover a very wide range, or only a very small section of the market, but with these reservations they may give you an indication of what to expect.

If it is useful, you can quote them to anyone offering you work.

However, in the end you have to set your own rates and convince clients that you are giving them value for money.

I hope you find some who are prepared to pay viable rates.

[Edited at 2014-01-28 13:29 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
ProZ don't play any part in rates Jan 28, 2014

Abdisalam Farah wrote:
I am talking about a minimum rate per word which Proz.com implements for example. A rate which everybody knows for example.

That would be unworkable, illegal in some jurisdictions and unwelcome to many freelancers who want to be free to fix their own rates.

The big problem you have here is in your mindset, when you say: "I am now offered lower rates for my languages pairs". I'm sorry, but whatever agencies like to think, they DON'T offer rates. They have a budget, of course. But YOU offer to do the work for YOUR rate - this is your absolute right. You would quote your normal, or average, rate, the one that you think necessary to maintain your standard of income. If you particularly want and/or need the job, then you may be prepared to negotiate down to a lower rate that you regard as your absolute minimum. That's for you to decide, and it will be a different rate for each one of us.

If the gap between the client's budget and your rate is too large, then the client will have to go and look for another supplier. The downward trend is a major problem at the moment, as you'll see from browsing this forum, and nobody has an easy answer. But just accepting whatever an agency demands, be it way below your normal rate, means accepting a life of working all the hours you can just to survive. You might find unskilled factory work rather less demanding and no worse paid.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:32
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some leeway using your interest rates Jan 28, 2014

I see that you are in Kenya, and this page tells me that your current local interest rate is 8.5% per month.

Assume that your client wants to pay you 30 days after you deliver that job. Supposing you need that money to pay some bills due in the meantime, any bank in Kenya will charge you at least 8.5% interest. In fact, by getting paid in 30 days, you are loaning that money to your client for that period. Being in Kenya, you are subject to local interest rates.

If your client is in the Euro Zone, their local interst rate is 0.5%/mo. If in the USA, it's 0.25%/mo. So a loan/overdraft is much cheaper there.

So, being in a comparatively higher interest rate country, you should have your rate geared to it. Calculate it for a 30-day (or any other) payment. Whenever they ask you for your "best price", you can tell them that your best price is (to simplyfy matters here) is your regular 30-day price with an 8.5% discount in exchange for COD payment. You'll earn the same, and your client stands a chance to improve their profits, even if they need a loan to have the cash to pay you.

I think it's foolish to lower your rates simply because the client asked you to. This will mean that your initial rates were in fact an attempt to rip them off. Calculate your rates properly, and only change them for a logic and explainable reason.

(FYI I've tried it and it works. I live in Brazil, where the present interest rate is 10.5%/month.)


Direct link Reply with quote
 
JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:32
English to French
+ ...
Not in the real world Jan 28, 2014

If you have connections to let me have a 0.25% loan, please let us know.


[quote]José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
[snip]
If your client is in the Euro Zone, their local interst rate is 0.5%/mo. If in the USA, it's 0.25%/mo. [snip]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:32
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A couple of figures on overdraft interest Jan 28, 2014

[quote]JL01 wrote:

If you have connections to let me have a 0.25% loan, please let us know.


José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
[snip]
If your client is in the Euro Zone, their local interest rate is 0.5%/mo. If in the USA, it's 0.25%/mo. [snip]


Scotiabank - USA:
Fees
$5.00 fee applies in each month in which your account is overdrawn a day or more. In addition, interest is also payable on overdrawn balances, calculated daily at 19% (per annum), charged monthly.


Banco Itaú - Brazil:
TAXA DE JUROS MENSAL = 9,430 %
TAXA DE JUROS ANUAL = 194,874%


Translating, 9.43% per month; 194.874% per annum.

I mean that the proportion is disparaging anyway, tenfold, twentyfold, whatever..


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Abdisalam Farah  Identity Verified
Somalia
Local time: 11:32
Member (2011)
English to Somali
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for your comments. Jan 28, 2014

Thank you all for replying.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Mark Benson  Identity Verified

English to Swedish
+ ...
Kenya is very expensive! Jan 29, 2014

Abdisalam Farah wrote:

Hi,
I was living in the UK and I now live in East Africa. One thing I noticed is that sometimes I am now offered lower rates for my languages pairs. I think this is because FEW job posters (Not the majority) think if you live in a country with low income, you should be happy with whatever rate they offer you. Sometimes the rates they offer for translation are even lower than the proofreading rates. I think new translators may accept anything given to them because they may not know the rates that they are entitled to.

My question is: Is it possible to have minimum rates for the translation and interpreting services?


[Edited at 2014-01-28 10:52 GMT]


Dear Brother,

It seems that your clients are misunderstanding your situation. Please contact your local translator's association. They might be able to help you.

Perhaps they will allow you to quote a standard minimum. Or if that's not possible, which I suppose, then just state that you have a minimum based on your own professional ethics.

Regardless of ethics, you can also point out how it turns out Kenya isn't a 'cheap country' after all, and gently ask for a few cents more, with consequences of an eventual refusal depending on your actual position.

I would reply to a 'no' that 'then I will gratefully receive any projects you may have for me inasmuch as it doesn't interfere with engagements for clients who have chosen to understand and accept my new terms,' or something like that. You know how you like to express yourself. - This reflects a reality where if you had the option, you would be working with somebody more willing to support you in your development.

I advise you to think carefully about how to present your case individually to each agency you work with. Even if you want to state a 'minimum everybody knows,' and sort of play the 'standard procedure' card, don't let that principle slip into your relationship with them.

You will want to be aware that since they are misunderstanding, your help with that is valuable to them. There is no standard solution, as the facts aren't the issue. Since it's your relationship, it's also very hard to try to enter into it, as it were, and imagine how to overcome your differences.

Best regards/
Mark


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 »

Is it possible to have minimum rates for the translation and interpreting services?

Advanced search







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



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