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Off topic: Are they asking for too much?
Thread poster: auragun

auragun  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 00:51
Member (2013)
English to Thai
+ ...
Sep 5, 2014

Hello,

I meant to post this in Translation agencies forum but could not open the forum. So please let me post this here - money matters after all.

I was approached by a translation agency. I gave them my EnglishThai translation rate of USD0.05 per source word. They said it was so high! I said I could not lower the rate, considering my PhD qualification, being a certified ProZ.com PRO Network translator and my 17-year experience. They then sent me a test, comprising three parts: 1) I had to do English>Thai translation of at least 500 words, to provide my opinion on the translated contents and to write an essay, at least three paragraphs long, on a topic of good translation; 2) I had to write an English e-mail to the manager as a response to a simulated situation; and 3) I had to do another piece of English>Thai translation of 83 words. Along with the test, they said, 'Your rate is still high with us.' and 'Based on the result, we can discuss more about the rate.'!

I have decided not to respond any further. Any thoughts? Thank you.


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Mariano Saab
Argentina
Local time: 14:51
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't waste your time Sep 5, 2014

I think that, based on your experience, your rate should be higher. Regarding their peculiar test, I would not waste my time with such nonsense. An essay? You have a PhD, you should be testing them.
Best of luck!


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:51
Member (2008)
French to English
Definitely asking for too much Sep 5, 2014

They are not a serious agency.

$0.05 is already way too low.
http://search.proz.com/employers/rates shows the average
English > Thai rate posted by proz.com translators is $0.11

200 words is about the maximum you should do for a free test.

What does writing an essay or opinion have to do with anything?

There are other fish in the sea.


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:51
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Should have stopped at "your rate is too high" Sep 5, 2014

Don't do any free tests or anything else at all before/until you can be reasonably sure the client can pay your rates. You'll save a lot of time and headache that way. Good luck!

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Navarut Y.  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 00:51
Member (2014)
English to Thai
The rate is too low Sep 5, 2014

I have been a full member since July. I set my rate according to PROZ minimum rate ($0.08) and got many clients at this rate. Therefore, I suggest you to raise your rate. My friend having less experience than you always charges her client at $0.1 and she got many jobs as well. I strongly believe you can earn more but do less. ^^

For this customer, just ignore. This is what I normally do with a client offering very low rate.

[Edited at 2014-09-05 15:50 GMT]


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Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:51
Member (2011)
Spanish to French
+ ...
A matter of confidence? Sep 5, 2014

Well, seems like everything has been said: USD0.05 is wayyyyy too low! That would be around €0.038... gosh! I'd rather clean offices for this rate!
Auragun, you are on top of the wave academically.. you should double your rate. I know one has to eat but if you don't respect yourself, who will? Don't sell yourself cheap!
Good luck!


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KateKaminski
Local time: 17:51
German to English
Quality work Sep 5, 2014

With your experience and qualifications you are able to provide a quality service to agencies and their clients. Professional agencies should be charging their clients accordingly (at least average rates) and pass on a decent rate to you.

I would tell this agency that they are paying way below average and that, to be honest, you were offering them a huge bargain. They need to recognise that constantly trying to increase their profit margins or undercut the competition will not pay off in the long run.

Then walk away (unless they agree to pay you $0.10 a word after all).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Too much and too little Sep 5, 2014

They are asking too much from you for free; far too much. I think I'd waste just a little more of my valuable time in that situation and send them a short, informative note, knowing that they'll probably bin it without reading it. I wouldn't advise you to ever consider working with them. Whatever they promise they'll always be wanting more for less.

But I imagine you know all about that type of agency. There are so many of them out there paying those rates. Scant respect for their suppliers and nothing to offer clients apart from low prices. If you were to double your rates you'd enter the parallel world of translating. You'd find agencies and direct clients who would not only accept your rates but would treat you with the respect your education and experience call for. I think you'd find enough volume of work and a far higher quality of professional life.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:51
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Good decision! Sep 5, 2014

auragun wrote:

I have decided not to respond any further.




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Eric Zink  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
Member (2012)
German to English
If it is not sustainable, don't do it Sep 5, 2014

I cannot imagine that you could sustain a reasonable standard of living on that rate -- if you had enough money, you'd always be working (assuming you were taking the necessary time to do a competent job). That is true of everyone else, too. This means that this firm can't be a serious one. They cannot consistently engage translators to do a competent job for them at that rate. Use that knowledge to stick to your target rate in similar future situations.

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Nutthinee Jerachasilp  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 00:51
Member (2014)
English to Thai
Be respect yourself & confidence Sep 5, 2014

Dear professsor

I only earned in translation a Master Degree and possess 7 years experience lesser than yours.
My standard is 0.10 and I won't except such a half lower at all.

Let's set your "reasonable" higher standard and minimum rate and fix to it.
Don't forget to consider ours is a rare and a complex.
Be respect yourself & confidence.
We can help each other level up the standard price in our market.


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Chosana Thanabhumi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:51
Member (2010)
German to Thai
+ ...
Double your rate! Sep 5, 2014

There are agencies and direct clients who pay well. Most of my agency clients pay $0.10 per word for English to Thai translation and pay more for German to Thai translation. A few years ago a European translation agency approached me and offered $0.06 per word for a German to Thai translation project. I declined the job and told them my standard rate which was $0.13 per word. They accepted my rate and sent me a new PO immediately. However, there are bottom-feeder agencies too, but you do not have to accept works from them because there are plenty of well-paid jobs. You have to be confident to negotiate the rate and educate your clients.

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philgoddard
United States
German to English
+ ...
These people clearly have too much time on their hands... Sep 5, 2014

Why not send them a link to this page?

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auragun  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 00:51
Member (2013)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great! Sep 6, 2014

Thank you all! I have now realized that I have not changed my rates since 2000. Because of the low cost of living in Thailand, I have been doing fine. Will definitely change them.

I am wondering though why ProZ returns a search result as USD0.08/word being the lowest rate when at least I have lower rates on my profile.

Anyway, I am so glad that I posted this topic.

[แก้ไขที่ 2014-09-06 04:22 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Typical Sep 6, 2014

auragun wrote:
Along with the test, they said, 'Your rate is still high with us.' and 'Based on the result, we can discuss more about the rate.'!

After wasting my time in a couple of experiences like yours, I decided not to do any translation tests without first confirming that the customer is ready to pay my rate if the test is successful.

What kind of people send you a complicated test and make you waste a number of hours, knowing that they will not pay your rate in the first place? The answer is simple: people who want their problem solved -- supplying a successful test towards the end customer -- and do not care much about what the translator feels about the matter. Clearly not good business partners, if you ask me...


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