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Rates for Russian translations: what's your average?
Thread poster: Prima Vista

Prima Vista
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:30
Russian to English
+ ...
Jul 29, 2014

Dear colleagues, I would like you to participate in this small survey.

As you have probably noticed, the rates for written translation are gradually decreasing over years. This might be due to vastly accessible free machine translation services like Google that at some point mitigate the need for paid translation services. Meahwhile, the competition buils up, as Internet brings out all computer-literate (meaning ALL) freelance translators and TAs to one market place, where the price setting is sometimes based on mere dumping. Still, there is professional ethics and understanding of what the average price range should be established - not taking into account the quality-sacrificing dumping and price-cutting.

So here's the question - what's your fair price, which is still market based and can be taken as an average?

The language pairs are the ones that include to/from Russian translation. You can specify the field or specialization if you like.

What's your "comfort zone" price?


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The Misha
Local time: 08:30
Russian to English
+ ...
Why would I tell you? Jul 29, 2014

In case you haven't noticed, rates are the most intimate and closely guarded secret in this business. Why would I want to reveal them to a stranger with an apparent idle curiosity (and pretty much to the entire world too) in a non-anonymous "survey"?

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Alexander Matsyuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 15:30
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Potentially useful idea Jul 29, 2014

This issue becomes increasingly annoying. Therefore, the problem is worth attention.
However, I would add an anonymous survey.
BTW, you can offer specialty areas and other options for price ranges.


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:30
English to Russian
+ ...
why not/ Jul 29, 2014

EURO 0.06 - 0.10 PER SOURCE WORD

of English or Spanish text to translate into Russian.

[Edited at 2014-07-29 14:45 GMT]


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Alexander Matsyuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 15:30
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
* Jul 29, 2014

Sergei Tumanov wrote:
why not


Those who at 0.03 EUR and less will not share their "valuable opinion", and such selected data would not help to understand the situation.


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Andriy Bublikov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 15:30
Member (2009)
French to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
There is a link Jul 29, 2014

http://search.proz.com/employers/rates


The rates from your own profile:
English to Azerbaijani - Standard rate: 0.07 EUR per word / 15 EUR per hour
English to Belarusian - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 18 EUR per hour
English to Georgian - Standard rate: 0.06 USD per word / 15 USD per hour
English to Kazakh - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 13 EUR per hour
English to Kirghiz - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 15 EUR per hour
English to Russian - Standard rate: 0.07 EUR per word / 18 EUR per hour
English to Uzbek - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 20 EUR per hour
German to Russian - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 18 EUR per hour
Russian to English - Standard rate: 0.05 EUR per word / 20 EUR per hour

Why not?



[Edited at 2014-07-29 14:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-07-29 14:42 GMT]


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normann
France
From your own profile Jul 29, 2014

'Our prices range from 0.03 to 0.08 Euros per word, depending on the language pair concerned, the complexity of the text and the urgency of the order.'

Which means that you are a translation agency/broker, and that your translators get half of this. The dumping game got you.

My brother sells his translations for €0.18-0.20/word.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:30
English to German
+ ...
"Employers" rates ?!! Jul 29, 2014

Andriy Bublikov wrote:

http://search.proz.com/employers/rates


The rates from your own profile:
English to Azerbaijani - Standard rate: 0.07 EUR per word / 15 EUR per hour
English to Belarusian - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 18 EUR per hour
English to Georgian - Standard rate: 0.06 USD per word / 15 USD per hour
English to Kazakh - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 13 EUR per hour
English to Kirghiz - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 15 EUR per hour
English to Russian - Standard rate: 0.07 EUR per word / 18 EUR per hour
English to Uzbek - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 20 EUR per hour
German to Russian - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 18 EUR per hour
Russian to English - Standard rate: 0.05 EUR per word / 20 EUR per hour

Why not?



Because:

First, these rates might be something a beginner is interested in, not a seasoned professional.

Second, they are rates calculated from rates reported by a limited number of translators AND AGENCIES, NOT by a representative number of professional translators.

Third, even if many translators in these language pairs charge within that range, it should not be taken as the "standard" because there is no "standard." Every project is different and one needs to charge an adequate price.

Suggestion (for translators):

Understand that you are a professional translator, not a freelancer (= "oh it's what I happen to do because it sounded like a good idea and I didn't know what else to do"), not an employee (although many agencies think so, but then again, do you get sick-pay, leave, a 401K, health insurance from them?!!) and you are not the client but the service provider!!!

Calculate a rate that allows you to make a good living based on a certain amount of work that you can manage and can reasonably expect, and try to convince your clients that that's what they should pay because it's quality that they get.

Don't work for clients, especially with regard to agencies but with clients who are interested in your services.

You provide the translation service, you run your business, you are not an employee, and agencies can't offer you anything and you shouldn't accept any such offers just because other people do.

There are plenty of discussions on this site and elsewhere that help you figure out what a professional rate really is.

Here is another one:
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/270514-rates_for_end_client.html

Why would you apply rates that are listed under a link which has the name "employers" in it?!!

Here's another link to figure out how to be a professional translator:
http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Determining_your_rates_and_fees_as_a_translator

Here's a quote from that link, and yes, I have a feeling that's very true:
"Unfortunately, the reality is that more and more translators are acquiescing and agree too willingly to the lower rates just to get the work."

A note on CAT tools: Many people think they need to give discounts based on analyses of a machine. That's about as crazy as having your translation done by MT (= machine "translation").

No, using CAT tools is something you offer as a service, it might help you and maybe even the client, but it doesn't mean it warrants an automatic discount. The opposite can be true. Building "correct" TMs and using them correctly is often a difficult task that warrants additional compensation. Just think about it.

And before you quote a rate/price, look at your original text, carefully, and see how much work is really involved. And don't get me started on payment terms etc., etc.

Don't be a translator of the fly-by-night variety. In the end, it's not worth it. You can't win.

HTH


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Andriy Bublikov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 15:30
Member (2009)
French to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
I hope... Jul 29, 2014

I hope it is not destined for me and my colleagues.

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:


Don't be a translator of the fly-by-night variety. In the end, it's not worth it. You can't win.

HTH



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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:30
English to German
+ ...
We don't need standard rates, we need professional standards in our industry Jul 29, 2014

Andriy Bublikov wrote:

I hope it is not destined for me and my colleagues.

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:


Don't be a translator of the fly-by-night variety. In the end, it's not worth it. You can't win.

HTH



Hi Andriy,

Everyone is free to charge whatever they think is fair or good or great or whatever.
But looking at the chart from Proz.com - you quoted this:

German to Russian - Standard rate: 0.06 EUR per word / 18 EUR per hour

That's not what I get - for the category "any field"

This is stated there as minimum rate:

German to Russian - Minimum rate: 0.07 EUR per word / 24.11 EUR per hour

Here is the real standard rate:

German to Russian - Standard rate: 0.10 EUR per word / 34.03 EUR per hour


This "standard" rate might help a newcomer orient himself/herself but we should keep in mind that it's really not good to support the belief in "standard" rates - every project is different, and there are a lot of factors that go into determining the price for a project, and I am sure you know that anyway.

But we need to get our numbers right - and the chart you posted lists rates which I would never recommend to anyone, not as standard and not as minimum rates, no matter where they live. And, these rates were calculated on the basis of translator AND AGENCY input - I would never recommend to anyone to blindly follow this chart.


And the chart is really not "fair" in terms of currency and location.

Try this:
Type in the language combination Russian>German
In USD, the standard rate given is USD .10/word
If you switch to the EUR currency, it will give you EUR .11/word

I am sure you find someone that says I am going to pay you in US Dollars, because that will be cheaper. Trust me, it can happen.

But what is obviously implied here are two separate rates, one for Europe in EUROS, and one for the US, in US DOLLARS. It would also suggest that you make more in Europe than you make in the US for a Russian to German translation.

Even if that's the case, that's not a/ that's no "standard", and it doesn't account for anything important, not for what the project entails and not for how experienced the translator is, no matter where he/she lives.

It also implies that rates are always determined by this: from where (as in from which country) you get your translation/in which country the translator lives.

But that would mean that in your own currency and country, the value of what you're supposed to get will even and always! be lower - just check the opposite direction.

Even though location will always have something to do with how much you charge, it doesn't mean you can't get a very good rate for excellent work or that you have to charge less than what would be charged in the opposite language direction.

I believe a lot more translators should keep all that in mind. I am sure you do when you calculate your rate. Only then can we avoid that our whole industry and we as translators are exploited - every translation lost to a cheap translator has a ripple effect on all of us.

HTH

B



[Edited at 2014-07-29 19:24 GMT]


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:30
Russian to English
+ ...
Google translate, and other programs of that kind Jul 29, 2014

I would not worry about them too much. They pose such a treat to professional translators as a "Cook it all in one minute' appliance to gourmet chefs--close to none. They should have realized it by now that serious materials cannot be translated by MT. (documents, research, medical materials, literature, websites, and more)

I translate from Russian, not into Russian. I would love to be paid $0.15/word, but I usually get paid $0.12-0.10, which is borderline bearable. ]

[Edited at 2014-07-29 19:53 GMT]


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:30
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Sceptic Jul 29, 2014

It is often a "take it or leave it" issue in cheaper countries. One can phantasize how much they are worth but clients don't pay that, they just don't. Even the UK agency told me that the rate of GBP 0,06 is higher than the average. And that's for legal, fiscal, technical documentation! Another girl, she worked on aviation projects and would never get more than EUR 0,04/word.
Thus, I always wonder about being free to charge. Are we?


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:30
English to German
+ ...
You can get good rates! Jul 30, 2014

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

It is often a "take it or leave it" issue in cheaper countries. One can phantasize how much they are worth but clients don't pay that, they just don't. Even the UK agency told me that the rate of GBP 0,06 is higher than the average. And that's for legal, fiscal, technical documentation! Another girl, she worked on aviation projects and would never get more than EUR 0,04/word.
Thus, I always wonder about being free to charge. Are we?


Inga, you are free to charge what you want in the sense that no one can tell you what you need to charge.
If you accept a low offer, then that is your decision. If you think there is no way to make more than the horrible rates some people work for, that you must accept certain offers and that you cannot ever get what you deserve, then I am here to tell you it's not true. I am not saying it's easy to find or attract professional clients but it's possible.

One big aspect for and of a professional career is that it will only work if you are able to get paid adequately, have time to do a good/professional job and can enjoy life a little.
No money, constant stress and crazy working hours and deadlines is no way to go through life. That would be absolutely crazy, especially if you are really good at what you do.

Don't believe it's true if an agency tells you, as you stated above, that "even the UK agency told me that the rate of GBP 0,06 is higher than the average. And that's for legal, fiscal, technical documentation!" Hogwash.

And don't believe that because a certain person seems to be unable to get paid more, as you also stated - "another girl, she worked on aviation projects and would never get more than EUR 0,04/word" - you or anyone else can't make considerably more!!


Here's an article that has a lot of good advice, especially with regard to "approaching the job - of a professional translator - from an effective commercial standpoint":
http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Determining_your_rates_and_fees_as_a_translator

Quote:
Unfortunately, the reality is that more and more translators are acquiescing and agree too willingly to the lower rates just to get the work.


But one caution: I don't agree with the notion of giving discounts for using CAT tools as is suggested, even though cautiously, in this wiki article. Discounts should not be based on word analyses by a CAT tool (the fuzzy etc.) - based on a machine, in other words - but discounts, if any, ought to be determined on the basis of human analysis (= your analysis) of the original file.
Even TMs that are sometimes already provided by a client need to be considered carefully - don't think they are always perfect and it'll be real easy to do an accurate job.
And - if you are able to deliver more text faster and correctly because you are using a CAT tool, it might even warrant an additional charge, not a discount.

[Edited at 2014-07-30 00:23 GMT]


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Prima Vista
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:30
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Misha, what's the problem? Jul 30, 2014

The Misha wrote:

In case you haven't noticed, rates are the most intimate and closely guarded secret in this business. Why would I want to reveal them to a stranger with an apparent idle curiosity (and pretty much to the entire world too) in a non-anonymous "survey"?


Well, first of all, being a translator I am not not that strange to you and everyone working here via ProZ. My strong believe is that fair competition supposes prices that are clear and accessible to anyone who wants to know the plain average.

In my case, it's important to me since I am also a job poster and what to differentiate between apparent dumping and a comfortable and reasonable price, which might be higher but is worth to pay.


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Prima Vista
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:30
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
it's just copied average Jul 30, 2014

Andriy Bublikov wrote:

http://search.proz.com/employers/rates


The rates from your own profile:

Why not?



[Edited at 2014-07-29 14:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-07-29 14:42 GMT]


Yes, but I don't usually get orders for such price. It makes me think that the bulk of the rates offered is lower than this.


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