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Poll: During the last 5 years, the rates for translation/interpreting in my country of residence have...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:51
SITE STAFF
Apr 29, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "During the last 5 years, the rates for translation/interpreting in my country of residence have...".

This poll was originally submitted by Monika Jakacka. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 29, 2013

My own rates have stayed more or less the same (low to average), although I would have raised them a couple of years ago if it wasn't for the economic crisis. As I perceive it, the financial situation has led to clients pushing for lower rates and/or discounts whenever possible and a general reluctance to spend on translation if it can be avoided.
I do have colleagues who claim to charge 25% more on their basic rate than I do, but I suspect they maybe allow discounts for repetitions, fuzzy matches etc, which I don't, as a rule.
So, to sum up, I'd hazard a guess that - for the average translator, if there is such a thing - rates are either the same as five years ago or slightly lower.


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:51
Turkish to English
+ ...
I don't know Apr 29, 2013

I rarely work for local clients.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Couldn't say it better! Apr 29, 2013

neilmac wrote:

My own rates have stayed more or less the same (low to average), although I would have raised them a couple of years ago if it wasn't for the economic crisis. As I perceive it, the financial situation has led to clients pushing for lower rates and/or discounts whenever possible and a general reluctance to spend on translation if it can be avoided.
I do have colleagues who claim to charge 25% more on their basic rate than I do, but I suspect they maybe allow discounts for repetitions, fuzzy matches etc, which I don't, as a rule.
So, to sum up, I'd hazard a guess that - for the average translator, if there is such a thing - rates are either the same as five years ago or slightly lower.


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:51
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I don't know Apr 29, 2013

I think rates are falling here in Greece, but that's just an impression, I don't have statistics to prove it. Like Tim, I have few local clients.
I base my assumption on the fact that these cold calling job offers I receive from time to time from local clients/agencies are lower than my rates and I would say my rates are average for my language combinations.


 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
German to English
Barely holding their own.. Apr 29, 2013

I agree with Neilmac that rates haven't changed much in five years, although the cost of living in the UK (for me) has probably gone up by close to 25%. Pressure for reductions, "Trados grids" etc. is very high, especially from Eastern European countries, but I am maintaining my flat rate charge at present. My verdict: It's not looking good! I would not recommend anyone to start a career in the translation business at present.

Steve K.


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:51
German to English
+ ...
Stayed the same Apr 29, 2013

Although some agencies have dropped half a euro cent per word in Portugal, rates have generally stayed the same.
I normally ask agencies to raise the rate to include that half a cent, especially if the job involves dead PDFs.

Some agencies have dropped their rates even further, but I do not work for them.

I continue to quote direct clients at way above what agencies pay me - which may or may not be on a par with, or slightly more than, the average agency charges.
Sometimes it gets me the job; sometimes it does not. This is just my way of reinforcing the message that there is no such thing as a cheap translation. Of course, a client is welcome to "save on translation costs" if they like, but that could prove to be a costly mistake in the long run.

[Edited at 2013-04-29 12:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-04-29 12:16 GMT]


 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
German to English
Dead PDFs Apr 29, 2013

Allison Wright wrote:

dead PDFs


What a lovely way of describing them! The bane of every translator...

Steve K.


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:51
Turkish to English
+ ...
Not me Apr 29, 2013

Steve Kerry wrote:

Allison Wright wrote:

dead PDFs


What a lovely way of describing them! The bane of every translator...

Steve K.


Not me. I am happy to take them on, as I frequently do.


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 23:21
English to Hindi
+ ...
Definitely gone up at least 25% Apr 29, 2013

I have no hard data to share, but my perception is that translation rates have definitely gone up 25-30% of what they used to be a couple of years ago in India.

With the Indian economy doing well in the last few years even when large parts of Europe and America were experiencing recession, many foreign companies have entered the Indian market and are needing Hindi translation. This has pushed up the demand for quality Hindi translators and has had a salubrious effect on the rates too.

Indian agencies however have been slow to pick up the trend, but the better ones are upping their rates to reasonable levels.

The more experienced translators are also finding work directly from big agencies in overseas markets like the US and Western Europe at international rates. Many of these translators then drop their low paying Indian, Chinese and other low-end outsources, who then have to work on their rates to stay in business.

The cumulative effect of all this has been a steady rise in translation rates in India.


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
I can't speak for the country... Apr 29, 2013

But my own rates have gone up. Of course, I was working in-house and only making $9.50 - $13.20 an hour. I'm glad that's over!

 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:51
German to English
+ ...
Cannot take the credit Apr 29, 2013

Steve Kerry wrote:

Allison Wright wrote:

dead PDFs


What a lovely way of describing them! The bane of every translator...

Steve K.


I cannot take the credit for this description. I thought that was what everybody else called them. Hmm. Perhaps I translated to the term literally from something I read in French and Portuguese?
Perhaps the original French or Portuguese writer was being original in their description? Who knows?

I don't mind them so much, but having relinquished the really wonderful articulated paper holder I once had for these occasions, I do not like the sore neck I get from reading these documents as print-outs.


 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:51
German to English
Paper holder? Apr 29, 2013

Allison Wright wrote:

I don't mind them so much, but having relinquished the really wonderful articulated paper holder I once had for these occasions, I do not like the sore neck I get from reading these documents as print-outs.


Takes me back to the 1990s... grins


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:51
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Rates have dropped slightly Apr 30, 2013

But I am rebuilding my customer portfolio and picking up more customers who pay higher and letting the less generous ones die a natural death.

Steve Kerry wrote:

Allison Wright wrote:

dead PDFs


What a lovely way of describing them! The bane of every translator...

Steve K.


@Steve
I'm positive PDF stands for Pretty Dead Format?
Also, dare I mention mechanical typewriters. Ahhh, the good old days! icon_smile.gif


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
I wonder... Apr 30, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:

But I am rebuilding my customer portfolio and picking up more customers who pay higher and letting the less generous ones die a natural death.

Steve Kerry wrote:

Allison Wright wrote:

dead PDFs


What a lovely way of describing them! The bane of every translator...

Steve K.


@Steve
I'm positive PDF stands for Pretty Dead Format?
Also, dare I mention mechanical typewriters. Ahhh, the good old days! icon_smile.gif


If one day we'll say the same thing about keyboards or computers. I'm looking forward to the technology that will allow me to translate while I'm asleep.


 
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