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Poll: What is the highest rate you have ever been paid? (per word in USD)
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:28
SITE STAFF
Jul 20, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the highest rate you have ever been paid? (per word in USD)".

This poll was originally submitted by Sven Petersson

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


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure if I understand this poll Jul 20, 2009

From the results in so far, it appears that more than 50% of respondents have never worked for more than 2 cents/word US. Pay peanuts get monkeys, anyone?
Two cents word would be the lowest I have ever worked for, and on that occasion it was because a colleague gave a client an estimate based on earlier projects which had been rated at around 5 cents a word, but which turned out to be much longer (and more complicated) than originally proposed, so, to honour his original estimate we ended up working for something in the area of 2 cents a word.
I would never gladly the repeat the experience, which sorely dented my self respect and tried my patience to the limit.
My own current rates are what I consider average for Europe, for normal texts in workable formats. This has remained static this year as well as in 2008, despite the economic situation, which is actually a price cut in real terms since my overheads have gone up (electricity, transport, taxes, social security dues, etc)
I will, however, work for lower rates when the need obliges, but 4 cents/w would probably be as low as I'd be prepared to go nowadays in any circumstances.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Think you may have misunderstood... Jul 20, 2009

neilmac wrote:

From the results in so far, it appears that more than 50% of respondents have never worked for more than 2 cents/word US. Pay peanuts get monkeys, anyone?


It's 20 US cents, isn't it? which is about 14 euro cents. That's why the percentage is so high...


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Dan_Lambert_MBA
Germany
Local time: 00:28
English to German
+ ...
It's 20 Cents, not 02 Cents Jul 20, 2009

Luckily for all of us, you don’t understand this poll. The first bracket is

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philippid  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Member (2007)
German to English
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inflation Jul 20, 2009

I think the poll is asking rather high figures

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Spiros Doikas  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:28
Member (2002)
English to Greek
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One zero missing Jul 20, 2009

I think you meant:

0.02 (i.e. 2 cents)

instead of

0.20 (i.e. 20 cents)

This is why you get these results.

[Edited at 2009-07-20 12:16 GMT]


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Yaron Dahan
Local time: 01:28
French to English
+ ...
Redo Poll Jul 20, 2009

Yeah. Maybe the poll should be redone witht he lower end parsed out. I am very curious. Also about averages and minimums (My minimum was rather low - ina pasta-eating time)

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:28
Member (2006)
French to English
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Other Jul 20, 2009

I get paid in Sterling or euros, not dollars, so I answered "other".
Jenny.


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:28
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
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my 2 cents Jul 20, 2009

neilmac wrote:

From the results in so far, it appears that more than 50% of respondents have never worked for more than 2 cents/word US. Pay peanuts get monkeys, anyone?

I will, however, work for lower rates when the need obliges, but 4 cents/w would probably be as low as I'd be prepared to go nowadays in any circumstances.


I've never worked for less than $0.06, and that was years ago.
The lowest figure on the poll is US$0.20, which I have never been paid.
Big difference between $0.02 and $0.20/word.

I won't even do proofreading for $0.04. That's an insult.
All the same, my rates are just on the low side of average for my pairs.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:28
Member
English to French
It means what it says Jul 20, 2009

And I don't think there are any mistakes.

As far as I remember from his posts, Sven charges more than the "average" translator (I think he specialises in medical). 0.20 is probably on the low side for him.

I myself have never charged my customers (99% of them agencies) more than 0.20 USD for non-urgent, non-night and non-WE work.

I assumed minimum charges are out of the scope of this poll. Otherwise I could charge up to 20€ a word...

Philippe


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Nika Plevnik  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 00:28
Member (2009)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Awkwardly formulated poll Jul 20, 2009

Yes, it looks as this poll is a bit awkwardly formulated. There are no indications weather minimal charges are also included. And also the ranges are set to high. I believe in reality most of us get about $ 0.10-0.15 per source word for translating regular format documents of general content.

Regards,

Nika


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:28
English to French
+ ...
So far, we know that about 15% make a more than decent living Jul 20, 2009

I don't find that the results of this poll will give us any meaningful information other than that a minority of translators manage to make a more than decent living--we already knew that!

This poll would have made much more sense if the scale was the following:

< 10 cents
11 to 15 cents
16 to 20 cents
21 to 30 cents
> 30 cents


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:28
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Rate Jul 20, 2009

Are there translators charging a 0.46 - 0.50 rate??

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
English to Arabic
+ ...
The highest rate I've ever been paid... Jul 20, 2009

... here in the UK (where the cost of living is among the highest in the world) working for a direct client also here in the UK, was the equivalent of $0.17. This is the highest rate that I personally have ever seen paid to an Arabic translator - and Arabic is one of the more expensive languages. (Of course there may be higher paid Arabic translators out there - I'm just talking about my personal experience).

If that poll is just meant to be provocative, it has certainly achieved that aim!

-------

(I also suspect that most of the currently 8.7% who responded "more than 0.50" have misread that as "0.05")

[Edited at 2009-07-20 16:11 GMT]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:28
Portuguese to English
+ ...
It is a bit confusing... Jul 20, 2009

I understood < 0.20 to mean "twenty cents per word or less" based on the dollar, so that's the one I picked. I've never charged anywhere near twenty cents. True, I live in Brazil, but even when I've worked for companies in the USA the most I've ever gotten was 0.14 per word, and that's because it was a rush job. I'm referring to company rates and not private clients.

I have never heard of anyone making 40 or 50 cents per word.

[Edited at 2009-07-20 16:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-07-20 16:39 GMT]


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