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Trend to reduce translation rates
Thread poster: Friedrich Reinold

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:42
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
@Colleen Jan 28

Colleen Roach, PhD wrote:

Robert wrote:

I work/worked for 2 of them (Europe based), and they are lousy payers.

Two out of three 07:41

Liviu-Lee Roth wrote:

Colleen Roach, PhD wrote:

I’ll weigh in with some points here. Excuse me for being a bit US-centric.

- “America’s Translation Rate Holds Firm at USD 0.22,” was published last December https://slator.com/industry-news/americas-translation-rate-holds-firm-at-usd-0-22/

-the title of the report is totally misleading. It provides data indicating that the “Big Three” (all US based translation agencies) in terms of “proposals” (i.e. bids) to the U.S. federal government for translation jobs charge rates of .22, .25 and .26 cents per word (rounded off). Of course, this doesn’t mean – at all – that these are the rates being earned by freelance translators working for these agencies.

-there is an enormous difference in the language pairs providing work to translators



Correct assessment.
I happen to work with all three „Big” and they charge .28/word for our work (meaning translation and review) and pay us .20/wd (which I consider fair) with a constant high volume of work for the US government.

So far, I did not notice any drop in rates for my language pair, or, maybe I disregarded the low offers.


I work/worked for 2 of them (Europe based), and they are lousy payers.

Agree

Me: Robert, maybe it's the language pair? Fewer translators with Romanian to English?


Yes, different language pairs = different rates. I translate EN/ES/DE > NL, and I think that I am asking a reasonable price for my services as senior translator.

One of the 3 B's only pay me my price in case of winning a new client. In that case the mail I receive starts with "Dear Robert" in stead of "Hi everybody" (or something like that).

Coleen, another, more personal thing. I noticed that you copy and paste the threads, while Proz has such a nice tool for that. Check the "Quote Post" feature next to the agree button.

[Edited at 2019-01-28 14:44 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, but Jan 28

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

Friedrich Reinold wrote:

Despite the fact that everything around you gets more expensive, translation agencies have started a trend to REDUCE translation rates and to even force their existing pool of linguists to accept reduction percentages from a certain PO amount or annual overall total.

  • What is your experience with this?
  • What are your views about this?
  • How do you respond to this?

  • It would be interesting to see whether this is typical in certain regions/countries and/or language combinations or a general trend. I, for my part, have noticed this trend particularly in English to German for European agencies.

    Since translation agencies are customer, and customers don't determine how much they will be paying for a product, they cannot set rates, therefore this is an impossibility. Of course they can always try to get us to reduce our rates (they cannot reduce our rates), and some translators may fall for it. But they cannot actually reduce the rates that after all, we charge them.


    A lot of agencies do set their rates. You may reject the rates they have set but a lot of translators do accept the rates set by their agencies.

    Their not being supposed to set their rates does not mean thy will not do it. The term that is relevant here is "offer". They do offer their own rates.

    [Edited at 2019-01-28 14:31 GMT]


    Colleen Roach, PhD
     

    Friedrich Reinold
    United States
    Local time: 05:42
    Member (2003)
    English to German
    + ...
    TOPIC STARTER
    Market price Jan 28

    Maxi Schwarz wrote:
    Since translation agencies are customer, and customers don't determine how much they will be paying for a product, they cannot set rates, therefore this is an impossibility. Of course they can always try to get us to reduce our rates (they cannot reduce our rates), and some translators may fall for it. But they cannot actually reduce the rates that after all, we charge them.


    I totally agree with you. But set or insist on your rate, and you won't get jobs or only very few. The market dictates the price, and unfortunately agencies are at a better negotiating position choosing from an (over)abundance of resources - at least in the common language pairs. I think the only way to combat this is specialization. But I'm afraid the agencies' clients only care for the price - since "everybody can do translations with the help of Google." It's like the struggle of professional photographers justifying their rates, since "everybody has a camera and Photoshop", as someone in the industry told me.


    Tanami
    Laura Kingdon
     

    Friedrich Reinold
    United States
    Local time: 05:42
    Member (2003)
    English to German
    + ...
    TOPIC STARTER
    Demand and Supply Jan 28

    Thank you all for your valuable input. Based on your comments, it seems indeed that lowering translation rates is mainly driven by an abundance of resources in the common language pairs of English to/from Spanish, German, French, etc., while Japanese or Chinese into English appears to be in high demand against a relatively small pool of capable linguists.

    Colleen Roach, PhD
     

    Paweł Hamerski
    Local time: 14:42
    English to Polish
    + ...
    maybe there is such a trend but I keep to my rates last 10 years or so Jan 28

    deigning only for charitable reasons (unless I am sometimes mistaken)

     

    Gloria Teixeira
    Brazil
    Local time: 11:42
    English to Portuguese
    + ...
    Trend ? Jan 29

    I am a translator since 2012 from English, French, Spanish to Portuguese (BR) my rate is 0.07USD or 0.07EUR, so far only one agency in China after completing the test is whoever proposed to pay the word value of 0.25 cent, I think very low, unfortunately chose to refuse.

     

    Michal Fabian  Identity Verified
    Canada
    Local time: 08:42
    Member (2012)
    Dutch to Slovak
    + ...
    For translators with such experience, I always have the same question: Jan 29

    What is your USP?

    Also, this is fun:
    http://www.globalrichlist.com/


    Daniel Coria
     

    henryalianel
    United States
    Translation fees Oct 27

    Back in 2003, when I started as a freelance translator for television and film, there weren't as many translators and agencies offering translation services as there are today. I used to charge $0.18 x word (from 2003 to 2016) to my direct clients (never worked for an agency). But starting back in 2016, my clients starting asking about my fees and giving me less and less work. Today I charge $0.12 and clients are calling back. So my professional opinion is that... while I concur business is toug... See more
    Back in 2003, when I started as a freelance translator for television and film, there weren't as many translators and agencies offering translation services as there are today. I used to charge $0.18 x word (from 2003 to 2016) to my direct clients (never worked for an agency). But starting back in 2016, my clients starting asking about my fees and giving me less and less work. Today I charge $0.12 and clients are calling back. So my professional opinion is that... while I concur business is tougher and margins of profit have been severely cut (mostly from increased competition), working for an agency means working for someone who marks-up our professional fee. So I would encourage everyone here (particularly the new additions to this wonderful and gratifying profession), to consider flying solo, get clients directly bypassing the agency. How? I can only speak of my personal experience. I did it by joining associations, playing tennis, rowing, and bicycling, going to ALL my church's events...where everyone new you meet invariably asks: "What do you do?". And that's exactly how I built my long list of clients which include Univision, Telemundo, NBC and several TV and film production companies around the world. Check my site at www.alianelli.net. If I may inspire just one person here to do just that, it'll make me very happy. Cheers and blessings to all.Collapse


    John Fossey
    Julie Barber
     
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