New to Copywriting in France: Rates?
Thread poster: Chris Pitts

Chris Pitts
Local time: 12:13
French to English
+ ...
Feb 20, 2007


I am an English speaker who has been living in France for several years. I am currently established as a freelance copyeditor and translator in the publishing industry and I am looking to diversify by branching out into advertising copy. I am aiming to work through ad agencies that "translate" French content into English. I have a feel for what to charge US and UK clients, but I'm having trouble finding any info on freelance rates in France. My main concern is that most French companies (in my experience) pay significantly less and that I won't be offering competitive rates. Does anyone have any insight they are willing to offer?


Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:13
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
rates in France (or anywhere else for that matter) Feb 20, 2007

Hi Chris,

Copywriting/advertising for French clients should about be the same rates as for UK clients. Why?
If you continue to do the same amount of work, for the same type of clients why should you cut your prices in France?

If (your) prices where lower in France
a) you would have more profit just serving UK clients
b) UK customers would start looking at French advertising agencies for their work (you would put yourself out of business in the UK and get the same jobs through French agencies for less money)

I cannot give you an exact rate for France, I do have some French clients that need semi-advertising copy & translation every now and again, and they pay quite well...

Ed Vreeburg

French, English -> Dutch


Local time: 12:13
French to Dutch
+ ...
Are you affiliated with Agessa or with Urssaf? Feb 21, 2007

If you are an Agessa translator, there's nothing to do about it. You can only work for publishing houses and they state the rate (about € 15 per hour, € 20 if you are lucky). You can find specialists of this question in the French forum.

If you are an Urssaf translator, you are an independent service provider and you have to calculate your own price. Your hourly cost depends on your skills, your social securities contributions (employer's part and employee's part), taxes, desired income and expenses. Some translators work as low as € 25 per hour, financial specialists charge € 60, others in between.

What you can do in an hour depends of the quality of the translation, your knowledge of the subject, special software to be used (Powerpoint files or software strings is not the same as a simple Word file) and other needs of the client (online work, coordination, subcontracting). Make a quotation after having seen the files, and before beginning your work (a quotation is always in relation to a special job). Legally, supplementary services should be mentioned as a supplement. And have a minimum rate of, for instance, one hour of work.

Remember that proofreading on the screen is very eye-straining (especially on PDFs) and that you, if you have to print thousands of pages, will need a new printer every 3 months or so.


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