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1 Euro per 100 words-Fair price?
Thread poster: Translatorprof

Translatorprof
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2014

Hello fellow translators!!

I'm new to freelance translation and have a prospective first client offering 1 Euro per 100 words, judging by most of the standard rates on-line (EUR 0.10 per source word) this is ridiculously low, would anyone outright advise me to refuse to work for such a low price?-I wasn't sure if it'd be a good idea to maybe just take it on seeing as it's a first job to put on the CV and all that but nor I do I want to be potentially undercutting other translators and setting a standard for clients offering lower prices.

In these situations do people barter?-As you can see, I am very green so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks and bon weekend!


 

Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:59
Member (2002)
English to German
No Jun 14, 2014

When someone offers such a ridiculous rate there's no point in bartering, you just say no.

 

Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 04:59
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Which figure is correct? Jun 14, 2014

Translatorprof wrote:

Hello fellow translators!!

I'm new to freelance translation and have a prospective first client offering 1 Euro per 100 words, judging by most of the standard rates on-line (EUR 0.10 per source word) this is ridiculously...calculated.......


"EUR 0.10 per source word" is by no means unreasonable.
EUR 0.01 per source word is.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The only way to go Jun 14, 2014

Andy Lemminger wrote:

When someone offers such a ridiculous rate there's no point in bartering, you just say no.

Don't go down that route; you'll regret it forever.


 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:59
Russian to English
+ ...
A few words of advice Jun 14, 2014

I think the key word from your message is OFFERING. Keep in mind that they are the client and should not be offering anything. You set your rates and it's best to have a range of rates to take into account a number of factors such as difficulty level, file format, etc. Then the client can either accept your rates or not. Think of it this way: you can't walk into a store and "offer" them X amount for a certain project. It's the same way for translations. Set your rates and stick to them.

 

Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:59
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Is €0.10 a low rate? Jun 14, 2014

I don't know many people in Spain who can work for more than that rate. Actually, that's an exaggeration, I don't know anyone in Spain who charges more than €0.10 per source word.

 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:59
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Just treat this offer like a businessperson would Jun 14, 2014

Hi Translatorprof,

Before offering any advice with regards to the particular situation you are facing, I would like to re-iterate some of the relevant points which have been emphasized on multiple occasions elsewhere on this portal.

1. I'd suggest using your real name here, unless you have a specific reason not to do so, e.g. you don't want your current employer (if any) spot you asking questions here when you are supposed to be sweating it out at your workplaceicon_smile.gif

2. One of the top priority items on your agenda should be providing at least some basic details in your ProZ profile.

3. Clients may be very choosey when they look for a language professional. The big thing that you need to remember at any given time is that you are entitled (by definition, as an independent language professional) to be just as choosey... or even more soicon_smile.gif

Well, here come my two cents for you... no offense meant, I swear

Each independent language professional is a businessperson by definition, which means you need to try and consider this situation from a businessperson's point of view.

1. You are unlikely to do more than 3,000 words per day at this point, lacking heaps of hands-on experience, and certain indispensable tools of the trade, such as licensed CAT tools that generally come at a rather hefty price.

2. Let's assume that you're willing to work 365 days per year (it's not that I am recommending it, mind you), without any holidays, sick leaves, weekends, etc.

3. At €0.01 per source word, your highest gross income in this (rather unrealistic:)) scenario would amount to:

3,000 x 365 x €0.01 = €10,950 before taxes. The take-home amount is likely to be a little bit (trying to apply the famous British "understatement" technique here:)) lower, depending on the current taxation rates in your country. Luckily, sole traders in Russia may opt for being taxed at 6% off their gross revenues (the so-called "simplified taxation system", whereby you are not required to account for your costs and expenses).

Fine, you will have grossed €10,950 by the time the music stops in 2014... or in any other year.

Would you be happy if someone has offered you a salaried position with an equivalent compensation package? Do you think your wife or girlfriend would cry out of sheer joy when you share this mind-blowing piece of news with her?

You get the idea, don't you... Don't think globally... about "potentially undercutting other translators and setting a standard for clients offering lower prices"... In my own case, based on almost three decades in the industry, I am quite confident that such undercutting would not have any tangible impact on my business situation, because sophisticated clients always place quality, integrity and reliability well above price per se.

Hope it answers your today's question

AN UPDATE

If you are going to translate just 2,000 words per day, 5 days a week, i.e. 260 days per year, your potential income would appear even more 'mind-boggling':

2,000 x 260 x €0.01 = €5,200 before taxes

icon_frown.gif

Note: Had to update my comment, to get rid of a few typos; sorry for any resultant overflow in you "Inboxes"icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2014-06-15 00:18 GMT]


 

Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:59
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Maths is obviously not my strong point! Jun 15, 2014

Translatorprof wrote:

(EUR 0.10 per source word)



I understood 10 cents per word, not 1 centicon_redface.gif No wonder I was confused by the comments.

Nobody in their right mind would ever work for €0.01 per word. The cost of electricity is more expensive than that and then you need to consider tax and VAT, etc. You would end up paying instead of getting paid.


 

Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Dutch to German
+ ...
In dubio pro reo Jun 15, 2014

Maybe they just forgot to add a zero. Otherwise... go hide and $"§$&&"§$

 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:59
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
I'm living proof Jun 15, 2014

Helena Chavarria wrote:

I don't know anyone in Spain who charges more than €0.10 per source word.


You do nowicon_wink.gif
My rates are quite a bit higher than that.

Back on topic: The client is asking for trouble. He/she is likely to get Google garbage delivered from anyone working at €0.01 per word.


 

njweatherdon
Canada
French to English
+ ...
No. But sometimes maaaybe. Jun 15, 2014

Sometimes I take the time to mention that they will probably get very low quality translators at that price and they may lose all their clients due to low quality work.

If you reaaaallllly need some real experience and don't mind to sacrifice some time working for peanuts ... try to find an organization you believe in which needs some translation services and pitch to do some small projects for very low cost. A few years ago I took on a bunch of translations at a very low rate as a part of making various case studies available in English ... the guy had a research budget, but not for translation. He was hoping to find someone who was interested in a given topic and could help bridge his gap. It was a lot of work for peanuts. I learned a lot about areas of research I was interested in. It didn't lead anywhere, but there was no expectation that it would. I probably would not do it again, but I do not regret the experience.

Normally, flipping the finger would be a polite response to such an offer though. It is way to low. To pay your bills you will only have time to do very very low quality work at that price and you will find yourself in the race to the bottom. Good clients need good translators and are not looking to cut corners on the culmination of years of work, for example, to save a couple hundred euros getting the translation done. But as with all businesses, it takes time to build clientele, and there be competition. Compete on quality, not price. You will not win the second of those.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Typo ;) Jun 15, 2014

Helena Chavarria wrote:

I don't know many people in Spain who can work for more than that rate. Actually, that's an exaggeration, I don't know anyone in Spain who charges more than €0.10 per source word.


Well, EUR 0.10 is definately in the medium price range.icon_wink.gif It was merely a typo. (Happens to the best of usicon_biggrin.gif)

Seriously, once you start accepting such a low price, it will be extremely difficult for you to ever raise your price, at least when it comes to this client.

As Sarah stated, you are the service provider, which means that you are the one to state your rate. The old example, try going into a bakery and tell the sales person that you are offering EUR 0.20 for a loaf of bread. Depending on the person's nature, they either laugh at your or chase you out of the store. So why would / could anybody pressume that translators are to accept the rate offered by a client for the service they provide?

Working for EUR 0.01 per word - and I've seen less being offered! - means that you would have to work 24/7 to be able to even pay your rent (unless you own a house, and even that generates costs).

As understable as it is that you are eager to secure your first job, don't . never! - sell yourself short.


 

accents_ie  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
English
+ ...
Low cost offers from translators Jun 15, 2014

Be real

There no need to blame customers and agencies

There are a plenty offers from translators as low as USD 0.01 in the USA, and GBP 0.02 in the UK, Euro 0.03 in France, Spain, Italy etc. That is not always a bad/poor quality work either.

Alternative - if somebody have no money to live... please advice, how they can survive?

Some have no rights for a social welfare either and, if just for Ireland, nearly half of population have an income less than 100 euro per week per person it is about 5000 euro per year or 4000 GBP per year. Is it better to be without any income at all?

There are many people willing to work in the UK just for GBP 2.00 per hour and agree for any paid job at that rates. That is about GBP 8.00 per 4 hours or about 1 euro cent per word.

Be real.

[Edited at 2014-06-15 09:01 GMT]


 

Michelle Kusuda  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not a typo, I got the very same offer! Jun 15, 2014

Working for EUR 0.01 per word - and I've seen less being offered! - means that you would have to work 24/7 to be able to even pay your rent (unless you own a house, and even that generates costs).

As understable as it is that you are eager to secure your first job, don't . never! - sell yourself short.



This is the email I received, I think we are talking about the same offer:


Estimada Michelle:

¡Muchas gracias por su mensaje! ¡Su currículo es muy bueno!

Es la página en facebook de nuestro blog en español https://www.facebook.com/MejorConSalud?ref=ts&fref=ts. Actualmente es uno de los blogs más populares sobre saludicon_smile.gif hasta el momento tenemos sus versiones en portugués, francés, alemán e italiano. Y pronto sacamos una versión en inglés.

Nuestra tarifa es 1 EUR (o sea, 1,35 dólares) por 100 palabras

Si le parece bien, póngase en contacto conmigo, le envío una prueba.




[Edited at 2014-06-15 10:34 GMT]


 

Michelle Kusuda  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly, "no" is the right answer. Jun 15, 2014

Andy Lemminger wrote:

When someone offers such a ridiculous rate there's no point in bartering, you just say no.



Here is my reply:

Gracias XXXXXX por tus dulces palabras.

Desafortunadamente esas tarifas son demasiado bajas para mí. Parece un proyecto divertido pero me temo que no puedo aceptarlo.

Saludos muy cordiales,


 
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