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Price for translation for EU
Thread poster: Zuzana Gombikova

Zuzana Gombikova  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 05:16
English to Slovak
+ ...
Oct 7, 2014

I supposed to collaborate with an agency on a EU translation and Im supposed to give them my rates. What are the approx. rates for EU translations, editing and proofreading?

thank you all

[Edited at 2014-10-07 13:56 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
English to German
+ ...
Stick to adequate rates Oct 7, 2014

Zuzana Gombikova wrote:

I supposed to collaborate with an agency on a EU translation and Im supposed to give them my rates. What are the approx. rates for EU translations, editing and proofreading?

thank you all

[Edited at 2014-10-07 13:56 GMT]


Hi Zuzana,

There is the rate the translation agency that got the contract from the EU wants to pay you, and then there's the rate you should/want to charge. Those two usually differ very much from each other in that the first one is most probably very low and inadequate. You should never accept inadequate rates, meaning rates for which you provide extraordinary "brain" work but which are comparable to rates/wages unskilled laborers receive (calculate the time it takes to do the work and compare). That's my stand.

For average rates suggested by many Proz members, look here:
http://search.proz.com/employers/rates

Note: from experience, the rates called standard rates on that Proz.com translation rates page are already at the LOW end of the spectrum of rates charged by professionals, especially because they are collected from independent translators AND translation companies. So I don't recommend working for less (than the standard rate posted there).

Here is also a wiki page that talks about how to become a successful translator (I support most of it except the paragraph about giving discounts for repetitions and fuzzy matches based on CAT tool word/segment analyses).
http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Determining_your_rates_and_fees_as_a_translator


If you do excellent work which requires extraordinary skills and tools which you acquired throughout your life, education and practice, you should always be compensated adequately. Otherwise, you will work incredibly hard and get paid so little that it's not worth it and eventually realize that you can't build a successful career that way. In the end, you are the one that must decide how much you charge. Don't let anyone tell you what is "appropriate." You're the service provider, they are the clients.

PS: Be careful when it comes to editing/proofreading. Most often, the work involved applies to comparing the original document with the translation and finding and fixing mistakes or finding and fixing mistakes AND improve the style. That's not proofreading. That's revision and if you have to do a lot of other things, might be called editing. It is very important to look at the original text, then the translation and figure out how long it takes you to do it. Figure the hours, calculate a price based on that or if it's necessary (and it is, very often) and quote a per-word rate that will be equivalent to that.
Rule number one: very thorough analysis of the texts you are expected to work with or a representative sample (which is often hard to come by when agencies want you to quote on future work). Average charge for revision (suggestion): at least half of what you charge for translation.

[Edited at 2014-10-07 15:06 GMT]


 

Zuzana Gombikova  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 05:16
English to Slovak
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Bernhard, Oct 7, 2014

for the information, it was very useful.

I found this article on editing/proofreading, I find it interesting, too:
http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/543/1/The-difference-between-editing-and-proofreading

that helped tooicon_smile.gif

all the best


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, absolutely. I agree with Bernhard. Oct 7, 2014

You alway have to quote your own rates--what makes sense to you--on what money you can survive and what rates your work deserves. (Taking into consideration such factors as fluency in both languages, education and experience).

The rate for Slovak to English should be about $0.12-0.20/word, I guess--similar to Polish.

The editing rates are usually half of the translation rate, but some badly translated texts cannot really be edited.

[Edited at 2014-10-07 15:19 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:16
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Does anyone know what the EU pays? Oct 7, 2014

Assumeing we're talking about official EU texts here, does anyone know if there's a set figure that the EU is prepared to pay for each language pair? Or does each job just go to the lowest bidder?

What I do know is that the selected provider will then outsource the work to the lowest bidder. Who, if they are themselves an agency, will outsource it to the lowest bidder... At the bottom of the pile is the humble freelance translator. Some piles are deeper than others.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
English to German
+ ...
Not pretty Oct 7, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:
... At the bottom of the pile is the humble freelance translator. Some piles are deeper than others.


Yes, some piles are deeper than others. The top of the pile used to be around the minimum rates posted on the Proz.com translation rate page. And then they would still play the fuzzy game and deduct.icon_frown.gif

[Edited at 2014-10-07 17:30 GMT]


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
Russian to English
+ ...
It is good that most European countries have good social benefits Oct 7, 2014

because this all looks like starvation rates, really outrageous. What has happened to Europe.

9 Euro per page is about $13, and if you deduct taxes it becomes about $7.50/page, which usually takes one hour to translate, if you want to do a good job, and proofread it a few times, so we are dealing with less than the American minimum wage--which is usually paid only to some unqualified workers, anyhow--like messengers and maintenance helpers--perhaps not even them.

Just as an example, the construction workers who work on City contacts (NYC) make $35-70/hr, plus one and a half overtime.

[Edited at 2014-10-07 20:12 GMT]


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:16
German to English
And ... Oct 8, 2014

... those are the fees paid by the EU to the agencies - only a part of that fee then goes to the translators.

And assuming that we're talking about an 1800-stroke page, even 50 EUR/page is no more than what I would expect to earn as a successful freelancer working with a direct client - and that is what the highest priced agencies in the best-paid language pairs are charging here.

The enormous price ranges are also interesting:
As a freelancer, it's better to bid high on a lot of projects and only get a few than to bid low and end up with more projects than you can handle at a price where you can't afford to offer quality.
And that is precisely the problem with Euroscript, Lionbridge & Co.: They need such an enormous volume of work just to support their infrastructure that they end up having to bid lower and lower while providing worse and worse quality, making less and less money and becoming less and less attractive to rational customers.

There are no relevant "going" rates for anything: just be realistic and aggressive, that is, if you're seriously worried about paying your rent then you should bid low, and whenever circumstances permit you should bid high. And as a freelancer, you absolutely need savings of at least six months' average earnings or a significant and reliable outside source of income: in case something happens to you and so that you can bid with confidence.


 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 06:16
German to English
+ ...
rates for EU translations Oct 8, 2014

Hi Milan,

could you give me the source of your information? I will do some research into that. I would have to see whether the tendering procedure in question is one with our without lots. A tendering procedure split up into lots is usually aimed at freelancers or boutique translation companies covering only one language direction. In that case the emphasis is more on quality and rates are usually higher. If, however, it's a tendering procedure without lots, the procedure is geared to big multi-language-vendors who cover all languages and the emphasis is usually on lowest price alone.


 

Milan Condak  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:16
English to Czech
EC Europa Oct 8, 2014

Maria S. Loose wrote:

Hi Milan,

could you give me the source of your information?


Hi Maria,

I did not save (on March 2014) an exact URL, I found the data somewhere in section Contracts and grants:

http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/index_en.cfm

There was separate infos on translation from EN, FR and DE. For economics you can google for "ECON EN20", "ECON FR20" and "ECON DE 20".

HTH,
Milan


 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 06:16
German to English
+ ...
Price range: from 10 to 67.5 EUR/page Oct 9, 2014

For translations into German I found the above price range. The cheapest contractor offered 10 EUR and the most expensive one 67,5 EUR. But if the cheapest contractor delivers low quality he/she will no longer get any work.

This information is publicly available on the Commission's website.



[Edited at 2014-10-09 19:10 GMT]


 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 06:16
German to English
+ ...
Many contractors are freelancers Oct 9, 2014

The publicly available website also shows that many contractors are freelancers. They get paid directly by the Commission or the other European Institutions. Freelancers should participate in calls for tenders to be able to earn higher rates.

 

Alexandra Schneeuhr  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 07:16
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
Agencies and what they are prepared to offer... )) Oct 9, 2014

Hi Zuzana,

I hope you do not mean the same agency I was approached by recently (they also went on about "translations for EU", WTO documents, etc.). They asked for my (very reasonable!) rates first, and then offered me something like 6 cents per word for EN>RU translation and about 10 EUR per hour of proofreading. I should say I felt truly alarmed that EU might be suffering a financial crisis of a kindicon_wink.gif


 

Zuzana Gombikova  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 05:16
English to Slovak
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Alexandra :), Oct 9, 2014

I don't know if it is the same agency of not, apparently there is some tender going on in EEA, and I was approached by 3 or 4 agencies, since Im specialized in the environmental science. Of course, they ask for "the most competitive rate", and at the end, one of them asked for 0,055 E/source word, what is absolutely unacceptable. Others just asked for the rates, so I provided my (very reasonable) rates, since this translation would not require only translating skills, but the specialization in the field, too.
Anyway, Im very disappointed with the agencies quite often, apparently the only thing what they (or most of them) care about is the price. And when it comes to tenders, it is even worse!


 
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