Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >
Agencies lowering my rates over the years
Thread poster: Nathalie Suteau
Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
English to French
Feb 4, 2016

Hello,

My language pair is EN=>FR, specialized in IT.

I've been working for the 3 same agencies for the past 15 years and all of them keep on decreasing my rates. I was at 0.11€ in 2000, I'm now between 0.075 and 0.08€.

The agencies are located in France and Belgium.

They put a huge pressure on me: I have to accept the new rates or they will stop working with me.

I have checked this board carefully and I've noticed that a lot of translators manage to get rates around 0.11-0.13€ through agencies located outside of France and Belgium.

Does some of you manage to get this type of rates for my language combination and specialization or is it such a myth?

Many thanks!

Nathalie


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
They haven't lowered your rates - you have! Feb 4, 2016

Nathalie Suteau wrote:

Hello,

My language pair is EN=>FR, specialized in IT.

I've been working for the 3 same agencies for the past 15 years and all of them keep on decreasing my rates. I was at 0.11€ in 2000, I'm now between 0.075 and 0.08€.



Turn it around: Why should they stop trying to get lower rates from you? It seems to have worked every time so far.

They can't lower your rates. The only one who can do that is you. Just don't.


[Edited at 2016-02-04 14:36 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
OK but Feb 4, 2016

When I receive this type of email, what am I supposed to do:

"In return we can offer you More work. With these new rates, and provided the delivered quality is pristine, we commit to prioritizing you as our Preferred supplier, which will translate into more work coming your way.



On the other hand, if your rates are not in line with [Name of the agency] new rate objectives, we might not be able to work.

I have tried not to lower my rates 5 years ago and I didn't receive any work from this very specific agency. I tried the same with another, ditto.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Erik, you took the words out my mouth! Feb 4, 2016

Yep, couldn't have said it better.

Or ask your doctor, your baker, the taxi driver to lower their wages too!

Stand your ground!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Difficult since the recession Feb 4, 2016

The decrease started first when the € was high to the $, then with the recession.
I have tried what both of you suggested and it failed.
I contacted several agencies in the UK last year and the rates offered were around £0.05.
I don't know how you guys do to find agencies with pre-recession rates, I'm sorry but I can't.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:19
English to Dutch
+ ...
If you can afford it... Feb 4, 2016

If you can afford it, put your foot down. You should have done that way back. €0.11 is a perfectly good rate for quality IT translations in your language combo. €0.08 is not, definitely not.
If you *can't* afford it, you should start finding more clients *now*. You've positioned yourself in a very vulnerable position which isn't viable in the long run.

There are two kinds of agencies: those who care about quality and those who are only in it for the money. The former will always pay *at least* €0.10 per word, the latter will complain about half of that. You want to be with the former, not the latter. That is, if you care about quality and about your income.

Oh, and one more tip: do you have a Facebook account? Then by all means look up and apply for the group Things Translators Never Say. It will give you a whole new perspective on what (rates/methods/etc.) is reasonable in the translation business.

[Bijgewerkt op 2016-02-04 15:05 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
Currency exchange rates Feb 4, 2016

In 2000, the pound was very high against the euro,
(if I'm not mistaken). So what about your rates in pounds?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:19
Member (2009)
French to English
Agencies... Feb 4, 2016

Most of them will try to at least freeze rates. Unscrupulous ones will attempt to lower them. Of course, they will keep raising prices for their own customers (perhaps not as much as they would like), while continuing to treat their freelancers like slaves. Nothing new about this.
It can be hard to refuse since you stand a good chance of being left with nothing...for a while. The odd thing is that better clients are suspicious of excessively low rates since it makes you look like an amateur. Slowly but surely, you need to work on acquiring better clients. I work in France and only yesterday took on a job for which I will be paid €0.13 per word. Just a few months ago, some more specialized work earnt me €0.16 per word. Even lower payers don't get away with paying me less than €0.1 per word. Of course, I still get people whining that they can only afford to offer me €0.05 or €0.06 per word. For the sake of the profession in Europe, I refuse to work for these rates. It may be a good rate for someone else in a different part of the world. So be it. I have to live, and I aspire to more than a bowl of soup and a crust of bread to sustain me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:19
Member
English to French
IT no longer pays Feb 4, 2016

Nathalie Suteau wrote:
My language pair is EN=>FR, specialized in IT.

I've been working for the 3 same agencies for the past 15 years and all of them keep on decreasing my rates. I was at 0.11€ in 2000, I'm now between 0.075 and 0.08€.

The agencies are located in France and Belgium.

Indeed, you lower your rates, they don't. I hear that it gets difficult now to ask more than 0.09 for localisation, even SW.

I used to do a lot of localisation, but the 2008 credit crunch gave agencies I used to work with a good excuse to gradually :
increase payment terms to 60 days
change the discount grid in their favour
introduce MT test projects
pressure to lower rates by volume garantees or quicker payment

From the look of that trend, I thought the time had come to reassign my time to other areas, and I increased my rates in order not to get any more work from them.

Luckily there are other, more interesting things to do in IT, like marketing campaigns, sales brochures, training material or press releases, which call for more decent rates. However, it should be noted that it takes more time than UA, where you can hit 4000 words/day without too much effort.

At the end of the day it is really a matter of quantity vs. quality: doing strictly defined, non-challenging stuff and selling it by the bucket, or leverage your "creativity" to write properly translated texts.

In terms of money, you would probably earn more doing quantity in IT sweatshops, but boredom kills.

Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
My agencies require a high level if quality Feb 4, 2016

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

If you can afford it, put your foot down. You should have done that way back. €0.11 is a perfectly good rate for quality IT translations in your language combo. €0.08 is not, definitely not.
If you *can't* afford it, you should start finding more clients *now*. You've positioned yourself in a very vulnerable position which isn't viable in the long run.

There are two kinds of agencies: those who care about quality and those who are only in it for the money. The former will always pay *at least* €0.10 per word, the latter will complain about half of that. You want to be with the former, not the latter. That is, if you care about quality and about your income.

Oh, and one more tip: do you have a Facebook account? Then by all means look up and apply for the group Things Translators Never Say. It will give you a whole new perspective on what (rates/methods/etc.) is reasonable in the translation business.

[Bijgewerkt op 2016-02-04 15:05 GMT]


Thanks a lot for the FB group.
The agencies I work for require a high level of quality: all my translations are reviewed and scored through a sample by the agency or by the final client. That's why I'm here today as it's of course becoming a stressful nightmare.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:19
Member
Italian to English
Rates Feb 4, 2016

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

€0.11 is a perfectly good rate for quality IT translations in your language combo. €0.08 is not, definitely not.


I find it intensely irritating when translators tell other translators what they should be charging. Price is only one part of the equation, and it depends on a lot of factors.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
You're too dependent Feb 4, 2016

Nathalie Suteau wrote:
I've been working for the 3 same agencies for the past 15 years and all of them keep on decreasing my rates. I was at 0.11€ in 2000, I'm now between 0.075 and 0.08€.

You need more clients. You should never stop marketing.

Regards
Dan


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There is worse though Feb 4, 2016

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:
Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:
€0.11 is a perfectly good rate for quality IT translations in your language combo. €0.08 is not, definitely not.

I find it intensely irritating when translators tell other translators what they should be charging. Price is only one part of the equation, and it depends on a lot of factors.

I have some sympathy with that, Fiona. Translators really don't have the right to tell others what they should charge.

But isn't it far worse for a CLIENT to be telling a translator how much to charge, AND reducing that rate regularly, than having a well-meaning peer try to point that person in the right direction when he/she clearly realises that something isn't right? After all, the OP did come here to ask what others manage to charge.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:19
French to German
+ ...
Other customers Feb 4, 2016

It is right that prices often are incredibly low in France and even more in Belgium, but do not lower your rate.

Trie to get some other customers and also go for direct ones.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nathalie Suteau
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all of you Feb 4, 2016

It takes a long long time for my posts to be validated by the admin.

I'm sorry but I couldn't answer to all of you.

I used to have direct clients and I could negotiate my rate. But it was very time-consuming to look for direct clients.

As a result I turned to agencies - large agencies, you would know all of them!

And those agencies dictate the rates.

In 2014, I contacted and passed the test for several smaller agencies in the UK and the result was: "Congratulations, you passed the test. We offer you a rate of £0.55 per source word, £15 per hour etc." When I mentioned that the rates were too low and offered £0.65, I was simply turned down. There is no room for negotiation with agencies.

The agencies I work with require a high quality. As I mentioned earlier, my work is reviewed and scored on a constant basis and I cannot do 4000 words per day with the quality standards required.

I must admit that I don't know where are the agencies which offer room for negotiation. You seem all to be able to find them and it seems I'm unable to find them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Agencies lowering my rates over the years

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



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