Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >
Unbelievable rates charged by translation agencies
Thread poster: Bruno Depascale

Bruno Depascale  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:47
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 27, 2016

Hi everybody, I have just read this article regarding the US marked and I've been astonished at seeing that the same agencies that ask translators to work for 0,05 € per source word charge their direct clients more than four times that rate!
Here's the article: https://slator.com/deal-wins/usd-0-21-per-word-americas-translation-rate/


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:47
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
:) Jul 27, 2016

What's so new about (some ) agencies charging a good rate, then leave their LSP's some peanuts? I'm yet to find an agency that pays me USD 0.59/per source word.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:47
English to German
+ ...
We are the ones setting the price Jul 27, 2016

Thayenga wrote:

What's so new about (some ) agencies charging a good rate, then leave their LSP's some peanuts? I'm yet to find an agency that pays me USD 0.59/per source word.


Just to clarify because someone could get the impression it's normal to work for peanuts if they miss your smiley.
We are the ones setting the price. No one can force anyone to work at ridiculous conditions. We are all flexible when it comes to prices and working with agencies, but all translators (especially new colleagues) should know what is acceptable and what is not. If you can do the job accurately, you deserve a fair price.

[Edited at 2016-07-27 13:10 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:47
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
How would they know? Jul 27, 2016

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

... all translators (especially new colleagues) should know what is acceptable and what is not. If you can do the job accurately, you deserve a fair price.


Then perhaps someone should/could do something to actively let them know and at the same time discourage predatory/cartel tactics, instead of subserviently accept them as part of the "free market"(?) dynamics.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:47
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
(Un)Believable Jul 27, 2016

I fear it's pretty much believable, although I personally think it's also unethical, even discounting the fact it's about the public sector (or even more so?).

However, on a more general note, what kind of surcharge could be considered "OK"?

For instance: X% of (Y psw for translation + 1/2-1/3Y for editing/proofing). Something like 30-50%? I honestly hope >100% is not the rule...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:47
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Where is the problem? Jul 27, 2016

Bruno Depascale wrote:
Hi everybody, I have just read this article regarding the US marked and I've been astonished at seeing that the same agencies that ask translators to work for 0,05 € per source word charge their direct clients more than four times that rate!


The problem is not that they are charging their clients >20 US cent per word, this sounds like a decent rate that can be achieved even by translators working for agencies. The scandal is that there are translators WILLING to work for 5 cent per word.

There are not many topics where I share the same opinion with Bernhard, but this is one of them.

We are the ones setting the price.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
SusieSmith
United Kingdom
I agree with Siegfried. Jul 27, 2016

Agencies would happy to pay USD 0.001 per word if they can find some mug willing to do it who produces good quality.

You would also be happy to buy an ice cream for USD 0.03 and a sandwich for USD 0.20 if someone was willing to sell you them at such a silly price.

The responsibility lies with the translators. Know your value, do some research and do not ever agree to work for low rates. You will damage your income and the translation industry as a whole.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Absolutely Jul 27, 2016

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:
The problem is not that they are charging their clients >20 US cent per word, this sounds like a decent rate that can be achieved even by translators working for agencies. The scandal is that there are translators WILLING to work for 5 cent per word.

There are not many topics where I share the same opinion with Bernhard, but this is one of them.

We are the ones setting the price.


I for one am really not interested in knowing what agencies charge my jobs, I understand they have expenses and it is perfectly ok to charge 0,30 if they pay 0.10 (just for example) the problem is accepting 0.05 US cent per word. This is a scandal indeed.

[Edited at 2016-07-27 14:58 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bruno Depascale  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:47
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Profit margin should depend on the added value Jul 27, 2016

Angie Garbarino wrote:
I for one am really not interested in knowing what agencies charge my jobs, I understand they have expenses and it is perfectly ok to charge 0,30 if they pay 0.10 (just for example) the problem is accepting 0.05 US cent per word. This is a scandal indeed.

[Edited at 2016-07-27 14:58 GMT]


I disagree with you because I think that many translation agencies simply don't deserve a 50% or higher share on the final rate, because they don't add any value to the delivered product.
For example, if a translation agency send a document of 5000 words to be translated in 10 languages, they charge the final client 10.000 euros and pay the translators 2500 €. They have earned 7.500 € which is a 75% profit obtained in most cases without adding any value to the translation itself..


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:47
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do not care at all Jul 27, 2016

I do not care at all about what my agency clients charge their clients. What I care about is what I charge them, and I try to ensure that it is sustainable.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Sorry but Jul 27, 2016

Bruno Depascale wrote:
I disagree with you because I think that many translation agencies simply don't deserve a 50% or higher share on the final rate, because they don't add any value to the delivered product.
For example, if a translation agency send a document of 5000 words to be translated in 10 languages, they charge the final client 10.000 euros and pay the translators 2500 €. They have earned 7.500 € which is a 75% profit obtained in most cases without adding any value to the translation itself..


What others deserve or earn is not my problem, my problem is what I earn...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Perhaps most revealingly... Jul 27, 2016

"There is hardly any mention of machine translation, post-editing, not even good old translation memory in the publicly available proposals."

In other words, it appears that most US translation companies are (quite rightly) not passing on any saving from TM. So I hope they're not forcing their translators to provide discounts.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:47
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Who sets the rate? Jul 27, 2016

SusieSmith wrote:

The responsibility lies with the translators. Know your value, do some research and do not ever agree to work for low rates. You will damage your income and the translation industry as a whole.


I fully agree with Susie. Though I can't remember the times I've stated in the forums that we, the service providers, are to determine our T & C's, including and especially our rates, I don't mind saying it again.

Whenever a prospective customer sends me a proposal for collaboration, I simply ignore the rate they offer and instead state my own, along with my terms of payment. After all, I am the one who runs this business. As it is my prerogative to set up my T & C's, it's the customer's prerogative to accept or refuse. And frankly, it matters little to me how much they charge their clients because the contract (if one materializes) is between the agency and me, and not between their client and me.

@ Bernhard, indeed, the smiley is important in my previous post. 'Thank you for ensuring that it doesn't go unnoticed.



[Edited at 2016-07-27 16:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:47
Member
Italian to English
The most annoying thing Jul 27, 2016

is the sounding of a death knell for rates and "our profession" by a certain site user every time the mention of low prices comes up. And frankly it's getting a bit boring.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 23:47
German to English
+ ...
US companies taking part in tendering procedures Jul 27, 2016

The companies mentioned by Slator are US companies which took part in tendering procedures launched by the US government. I don't know anything about American public procurement law but in Europe individual translators are allowed to take part in tendering procedures. But each time I bring up the topic here in the forum, colleagues tell me that participating in tendering procedures is out of the question because of all the red tape involved. Well, these companies are ready to face all this bureaucracy to win contracts. If individual translators want to get higher rates, all they have to do is participate in the bidding procedures themselves.

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 »

Unbelievable rates charged by translation agencies

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



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