Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: Do you change your rates according to the country a client is from?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:45
SITE STAFF
Mar 23, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you change your rates according to the country a client is from?".

This poll was originally submitted by Frances Bramer

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:45
English to French
+ ...
Never Mar 24, 2008

I don't take into account the country my client is from, just like I would not accept to be paid a lower rate if I was a translator in the developing world (and I know at least some of our colleagues living in developing countries have managed to be paid international rates). I determine my rates based on the degree of difficulty presented by the source text and the amount of term research and other related tasks that will be required, which means I ultimately determine my rate based on the time it will take to finish the job. An hour of my time is an hour of my time. Period.

By the way, I don't even have a rate I can change, really. I propose a different rate each time I quote because each job is different and thus takes more or less time to finish. If I am accustomed to charging 15 cents per word and normally produce 300 words per hour, I will not use that same rate if I am dealing with a text that will only let me produce 100 words per hour. It simply makes business sense. This is one of the reasons why I don't display my rates publicly - I don't have a standard rate.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 15:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
No. Mar 24, 2008

I charge the going rate for my product - that is, top quality services based on European expectations.

Everything else that I'm aware of is cheaper (quality-wise and price-wise), but that's not my problem - or my market.

Buyers: don't say I didn't warn you!

MediaMatrix


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 00:15
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
It is necessary Mar 24, 2008

Rate geography is as follows in my experience:

Very High rates: USA, Canada, northern Europe (like UK, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, etc.), Australia

High Rates: France, Italy, Japan

Medium rates: Argentina, Spain, Thailand

Low rates: Egypt, China

Very low rates: India


If I apply the same rates to all these, I will either be underchanging in the case of the top end clients or pricing myself beyond the means of the lower end clients.

I need to use pricing as an instrument to keep in work throughout the year and I am frequently in a position where I have to adjust the price in accordance with the price geography given above.

I would of course love to be in a position like mediamatrix where I can stick to one rate, which would essentially mean working for clients located in certain geographical areas only, but as of now that strategy won't work for me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:45
Member
English to French
Yes: local rates and international rates Mar 24, 2008

I could practise one single rate and not work at all for my host country. And I would pay less taxes by not earning any local income.
There is no logical ground to making a difference in pricing, but Morocco made it possible for me to start a career as a translator, so I can make an effort toward the country by making my rates accessible to some local customers (in other words, my international agency rates roughly match my local end-customer rates).

Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
Not exactly Mar 24, 2008

But I did reply "sometimes".
The reason is that I have my regular pound sterling rate, as well as a US dollar rate for US clients and a euro rate for European clients. When the pound goes up against the dollar or the euro goes up against the pound, I don't immediately amend my dollar/euro rates, as that would confuse my US/Europe clients. So I can occasionally charge lower/higher because of the location of my client.
Right now, the dollar has dropped so low that can no longer keep up, so I've just stopped dealing with US clients for the moment.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:45
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The differences are narrowing Mar 24, 2008

Years ago, there were huge differences between countries: Europe was the highest, followed by bilingual Canada, the US was much lower, and Latin America was in the basement.

The Internet, especially Proz, has changed that situation to a degree. However, the Internet has also opened the profession up to a lot more competition from undercutters - a problem that I imagine occurs in most countries.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 15:45
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
World market = narrowing gaps, but several qualities available as well Mar 24, 2008

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:
Years ago, there were huge differences between countries: Europe was the highest, followed by bilingual Canada, the US was much lower, and Latin America was in the basement.
The Internet, especially Proz, has changed that situation to a degree.


I agree with Muriel that the gap is narrowing. More precisely: as the translation market becomes global, the obvious thing is for the same service and the same quality, a similar rate on offer.

But, precisely as I say it: "for the same quality". If the service provider specializes in a very specific field, then s/he will get offers from wherever... ready to pay a special price.
Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:
However, the Internet has also opened the profession up to a lot more competition from undercutters - a problem that I imagine occurs in most countries.

Yes, there are undercutters who make things harder for competition. But sooner or later, many undercutters show themselves as low-quality service providers, and in the long run quality shows by itself, for its fair world market price.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rocio Barrientos  Identity Verified
Bolivia
Local time: 14:45
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ditto! Mar 24, 2008

Philippe Etienne wrote:

but Morocco made it possible for me to start a career as a translator, so I can make an effort toward the country

Philippe


I strongly feel I need to help my country, I need to contribute with something. It is tough sometimes to reject projects that would pay me twice the rate because I am busy with local translations, but I know that what I am translating, at that moment, will help poor people that are suffering the effects of natural disasters, for example.

I strongly believe I have to help my country,

Rocío

[Edited at 2008-03-24 12:15]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:45
English to French
+ ...
Sorry if my remark will sound sharp, but... Mar 25, 2008

Rocio Barrientos wrote:

I strongly believe I have to help my country,



You might as well be a volunteer translator then, don't you think? You didn't start working as a translator so you can feel good about yourself, did you? How do you think the money your clients save/gain through your work will help your country? I don't think your country gains anything from your charging less - in fact, the GDP of your country is lower thanks to your charging lower rates.

Sorry if I sound sharp, but this is the most ridiculous reason I've ever seen to charge lower rates...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 21:45
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Bills to pay Mar 25, 2008

If an agency from China or India or other low-income country requests a quotation, I always quote my regular price. Sometimes they ask for extra low rates, because of the region they live in. In that case, I politely reply that I live in the Netherlands and that working for low rates simply does not pay my bills.

Besides, the clients of these agencies requesting Dutch translations might just as well be European or US companies trying to cut down costs by outsourcing their work to these cheaper regions.

Therefore, I do understand why translators living in low-income countries, like India, distinguish between local rates and international rates, the way Balasubramaniam does. He's charging local rates to local clients and charging more to clients who are used to, and can afford, higher rates. This way, he can make a decent living in India.

What I don't understand is that translators would choose to say no to international clients paying higher rates in order to work for local clients at local rates. Increasing your income means improving your local economy in addition to improving your own standard of living.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:45
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
other factors Mar 25, 2008

Other factors are more likely to play a role in determining rates, including
the nature and format of the project, the client
I charge law firms more than agencies.
I give public schools agency rates.
I charge private individuals with birth certs and what not the highest per/word
rates, usually, but the volume is low and there's a lot of paper shuffling,
getting notary stamps, etc., that goes along with that.
But, country of origin is rarely a factor.
I should charge foreign companies more, since I lose in exchange,
or when cashing foreign checks, but, usually I don't.
In fact, I often charge US clients more, simply because there's more money
here to be spent.
I suppose there's plenty of dough in most of Europe, too, though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
I don't think you understand, Viktoria Mar 25, 2008

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

Rocio Barrientos wrote:

I strongly believe I have to help my country,



How do you think the money your clients save/gain through your work will help your country?


Sorry, Viktoria, but I don't think you understand Rocio and Philippe's point. This is the same lack of understanding that makes some translators feel insulted and outraged when jobs are offered here at very low rates (as I noted here http://www.proz.com/post/817474#817474 )
The point is that some countries out there have a MUCH lower cost of living, price levels etc. than Europe/North America. As a result, services cost much lower, and translation is considered one of those services. Local clients simply cannot afford to pay the translation rates demanded by translators based in Europe/North America (or by translators like Philippe when he works for his international clients). So what Philippe does is occasionally lower his rates to the levels affordable by his local clients, as a way of saying "thank you" to the country that helped him start up. He's not helping them make gain unjustifiably through his work. He's enabling them to afford translators like him. That's all!

[Edited at 2008-03-25 13:03]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxCynthia Plac  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:45
Czech to English
+ ...
Good translators have the power to sell a country Mar 25, 2008

How do you think the money your clients save/gain through your work will help your country? I don't think your country gains anything from your charging less - in fact, the GDP of your country is lower thanks to your charging lower rates.

Sorry if I sound sharp, but this is the most ridiculous reason I've ever seen to charge lower rates...


If a country is still developing, what better way to speed up that development if not through clear communication?

We are a powerful group of professionals, aren't we?

Cynthia


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:45
English to French
+ ...
Let's not put our apples and our oranges in the same basket Mar 25, 2008

I can relate to people who will offer cheap or free translations to contribute to a cause. In fact, I have done that myself. I totally undertstand that someone wants to contribute by offering what they have, especially if they don't have spare money for a cause.

But, in my opinion, the dollar value of a translation should not be determined by the country where the client is. If an agency approached me with a commercial translation, the subject of which is a humanitarian cause, it is still a commercial translation and I will handle it as such. If a not-for-profit organization offered me the same text, I would most likely translate it free of charge, provided I have time for it (as I said before, time is money). This is a very important distinction. A for-profit translation should be charged at your standard rate. A not-for-profit translation should be either charged at a reduced rate or offered free of charge, or simply refused for lack of time. And this is entirely independent from the country the translation request came from.

So, Rocío may be right in charging less or not charging when translating a text for a humanitarian organization - whether the organization is in Bolivia or elsewhere. But charging less simply on the grounds that the job comes from a client in Bolivia, a client who may well be making profit off of her translation, makes no sense. If rates in Bolivia are three times inferior to rates in Canada, and if the translator lives in Bolivia, I see nothing wrong with charging three times less than I do. Cost of living is different in Bolivia from cost of living in Canada, and Rocío can afford to charge less than I do, and she may be financially better off charging three times less than I am. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I would not lower my rate if a Bolivian agency contacted me for commercial translation - that would be pure business. On the other hand, if a Bolivian not-for-profit organization offered me a text for translation, I might do it free.

Rocío contacted me by e-mail this morning and explained her motivations. I have a bit more insight into her position, and it is valid. But her business, just like mine and yours, is first and foremost for profit. It is our breadwinner. Being nice and well-intentioned has its place in our businesses - but it should not take up all the room.


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


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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

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

Poll: Do you change your rates according to the country a client is from?

Advanced search






SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

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