Why are the rates for African languages so low?
Thread poster: Lesesa Morojele

Lesesa Morojele  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 00:20
English to Southern Sotho / Sesotho
+ ...
Aug 21, 2016

Can anyone give me a reason why rate/word from African languages be undercharged. You will get someone who wants you to charge either $0.05/word; $0.07 $0.08! I have been charging $0.08/word ever since 2013 still people are saying my rates.

I believe if you want quality work, you must pay for it. Lastly my challenge is as I complete the project and send it to you pay me, who says you will not run away without paying me!

Please help, thanks!

Lesesa


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picsellglobal  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:20
English to German
Money Matters! answer to Lesesa Aug 21, 2016

Dear If I were you, before start working or completing the project. After dealing with any price, you should get a minimum deposit to start the job as a Milestone, Otherwise there wouldn't be any commitment to pay you back

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 05:20
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Descending pricing Aug 21, 2016

Lesesa Morojele wrote:

Can anyone give me a reason why rate/word from African languages be undercharged. You will get someone who wants you to charge either $0.05/word; $0.07 $0.08! I have been charging $0.08/word ever since 2013 still people are saying my rates.

I believe if you want quality work, you must pay for it. Lastly my challenge is as I complete the project and send it to you pay me, who says you will not run away without paying me!

Please help, thanks!

Lesesa


Internet based bidding is a kind of free trade. Agencies expected lower, and successively lower quote. They do not imagine how translation quality is badly deteriorated.
Bidders also automatically destroy their reasonable rate.
I remain my quote rates no matters how other bidders act.

Soonthon L.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:20
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Descending spiral Aug 22, 2016

There are agencies that try to get as much profit as they can make (between 50 - 80%). Considering some of the offered rates I've seen here ($ 0.01), $ 0.05 seems to be a "high" rate.

There will always be someone who accepts working for a pitiful rate, thus ruining the market for "serious" translators by financially "spoiling" their customers. For as long as quality isn't included in the required criteria, these bottom-feeders will insist on their rates, never seeming to remember that the service provider stipulates the rate, not the customer.

If you can afford it, keep refusing these offers and look for customers who value quality, and who are willing to pay for it.


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:20
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
The same is true for Eastern European languages Aug 22, 2016

This is because many (most?) people translating such pairs live in countries that are considered low-cost, and some will accept very low rates. This is especially true when such a language is the target - the average price I get for Czech to French, not to speak of English to French, is much higher than for French to Czech.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Well... Aug 22, 2016

I was charging between .09 and .12 in 1994 - or 22 years ago.

Lesesa Morojele wrote:

Can anyone give me a reason why rate/word from African languages be undercharged. You will get someone who wants you to charge either $0.05/word; $0.07 $0.08! I have been charging $0.08/word ever since 2013 still people are saying my rates.

I believe if you want quality work, you must pay for it. Lastly my challenge is as I complete the project and send it to you pay me, who says you will not run away without paying me!

Please help, thanks!

Lesesa


[Edited at 2016-08-22 12:53 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Focus on agencies from rich countries Aug 22, 2016

Lesesa Morojele wrote:
Can anyone give me a reason why rates from African languages are undercharged? You will get someone who wants you to charge either $0.05/word, $0.07 or $0.08! I have been charging $0.08/word ever since 2013, and still people are saying my rates [are too high].


Well, black South African languages generally command higher prices than white South African languages (possibly because there are fewer translators), and white South African languages command prices in the range of $0.09-12 from agencies in rich countries. Agencies in poor countries offer %0.05-08. So focus on getting more clients from rich countries.


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Lesesa Morojele  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 00:20
English to Southern Sotho / Sesotho
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much everyone for your response, I wish I had posted this question much earlier! Aug 22, 2016

Samuel Murray wrote:

Lesesa Morojele wrote:
Can anyone give me a reason why rates from African languages are undercharged? You will get someone who wants you to charge either $0.05/word, $0.07 or $0.08! I have been charging $0.08/word ever since 2013, and still people are saying my rates [are too high].


Well, black South African languages generally command higher prices than white South African languages (possibly because there are fewer translators), and white South African languages command prices in the range of $0.09-12 from agencies in rich countries. Agencies in poor countries offer %0.05-08. So focus on getting more clients from rich countries.



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Lesesa Morojele  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 00:20
English to Southern Sotho / Sesotho
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am more wiser than before Aug 22, 2016

[quote]Lesesa Morojele wrote:

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

Lesesa Morojele wrote:
Can anyone give me a reason why rates from African languages are undercharged? You will get someone who wants you to charge either $0.05/word, $0.07 or $0.08! I have been charging $0.08/word ever since 2013, and still people are saying my rates [are too high].


Well, black South African languages generally command higher prices than white South African languages (possibly because there are fewer translators), and white South African languages command prices in the range of $0.09-12 from agencies in rich countries. Agencies in poor countries offer %0.05-08. So focus on getting more clients from rich countries.

Samuel, LegalTransform, EvaVer, Thayenga and Soonthon thank you a million times. I hope I have acknowledged everyone's contribution. Samuel I had no clue that there's that difference charge between Black and White South African languages; I will keep that in mind. I will also appreciate clientele contacts from rich countries that you guys can recommend if possible. My e-mail address is lesesa.morojele@gmail.com

Thanks a lot

Lesesa


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Egmont Schröder  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:20
Member (2013)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Maybe the rates for every language pair are low Aug 23, 2016

I am translating English to German and Chinese to German, and when I started as a full time freelancer around two and a half years ago I assumed that I would make my living with Chinese to German (which should be a "rare language pair").

But the rates for this language pair are most of the time ridiculiously low, so actually the biggest part of my income comes from English to German translations, although a lot of people told me that the competition in this pair would be very fierce. But it works for me, I get better and better customers and I can slowly increase my rate. I am doing Chinese occasionally only or for a novel I am translating now.
I think that the rates don't necessarily depend on the language pair, they are more a matter of experience and additional knowledge.

I also had the experience that ProZ is not the best source for high paid projects or good customers. I found some of my customers with the help of this website, but most of them are bottom feeders which should be avoided.


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Lesesa Morojele  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 00:20
English to Southern Sotho / Sesotho
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much Egmont, I really appreciate your input. Aug 23, 2016

Egmont Schröder wrote:

I am translating English to German and Chinese to German, and when I started as a full time freelancer around two and a half years ago I assumed that I would make my living with Chinese to German (which should be a "rare language pair").

But the rates for this language pair are most of the time ridiculiously low, so actually the biggest part of my income comes from English to German translations, although a lot of people told me that the competition in this pair would be very fierce. But it works for me, I get better and better customers and I can slowly increase my rate. I am doing Chinese occasionally only or for a novel I am translating now.
I think that the rates don't necessarily depend on the language pair, they are more a matter of experience and additional knowledge.

I also had the experience that ProZ is not the best source for high paid projects or good customers. I found some of my customers with the help of this website, but most of them are bottom feeders which should be avoided.


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Why are the rates for African languages so low?

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