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Poll: In your opinion, the minimum rates suggested by your local translators' association are
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:10
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Mar 31, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In your opinion, the minimum rates suggested by your local translators' association are".

This poll was originally submitted by Susana Magnani. View the poll results »



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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 31, 2016

In the United States, it's illegal for translator associations to "suggest" minimum rates. They could face a stiff fine.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I haven't the faintest idea... Mar 31, 2016

There are several translation associations in Portugal and I don't think they suggest a minimum rate...

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
About right Mar 31, 2016

AFAIK, my local association (http://www.xarxativ.es/) usually gives pretty sound advice on most issues affecting translators. I expect any guidelines offered about rates will be up to the same standards.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
High - and they should be so! Mar 31, 2016

The only reference I know is the Brazilian Translators' Syndicate - Sintra suggested rates, which IMHO should include a considerable amount of "wishful thinking".

This empowers every translator - including non-members like me - to adopt sensible rates and then invite prospects to compare theirs with Sintra's.

Also, nothing is said there about payment terms.

These are often irrelevant in countries that haven't been under a succession of reckless governments for decades like Brazil, where the current monthly (sic!) interest rate is around 15%. Argentina had the same, just came out of it; Brazil is hopefully the next in line.

So if a client says, "Okay, I'll pay you X% below Sintra rates, but 30 days after month-end", it's still covered.

If Sintra's suggested rates were LOWER than sensible market rates, they'd be pestered all day long by bottom-feeders asking for references of members who adhered to their published rates.

Statewide Brazilian rates for sworn translations are mandatory by law. No point in arguing, since compliance is required.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Other Mar 31, 2016

None of the translators' Associations I belong to suggest rates. It would probably be illegal in most of Europe too, but it is far too complicated for suggestions anyway.

While agencies are fond of blanket rates on a 'one size fits all' principle, translation is not a commodity you can sell by the kilo. There are so many different factors - language and word counts, resources available, subject area and degree of complexity, CAT tools or not, formatting...

It is up to the individual translator to negotiate reasonable rates for individual assignments, and we sould NOT accept 'industry standards' and averages.

I do work for agencies for fixed rates that we agree on, and they are high for some jobs, low for others, but reasonable on average for the work I do for each agency.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:10
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Mar 31, 2016

Never really looked into it

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
No idea Mar 31, 2016

I left my local association years ago and I have no idea whether it still suggests rates and if so, what they are. Even if I did - what is low, what is high? They would be certainly higher than what is mostly practiced on my local market, but much lower than what is normal in most European countries.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:10
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Just right Mar 31, 2016

All it takes now is that the customers see them and act accordingly.

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Marta Cervera Areny
Spain
Local time: 12:10
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
Not allowed to suggest rates! Mar 31, 2016

Associations are not allowed to suggest rates in Spain as it's considered to be against the Defense of Free Competition Act. I know of at least one association that got quite a severe fine just for having their suggested rates on their website!

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Suggested rates Mar 31, 2016

Leaving aside American libertarian ideas, there is an intrinsically intractable problem with a professional association (not just of translators and/or of interpreters) suggesting a price list: marketplaces are not made of brick and mortar, but of people. The speed at which changes occur in any given marketplace, fostered by a number of factors (legal, financial, commercial, etc.) will make price suggestions all but impossible to follow and maintain.

The activity of price (or rate) fixing, leaving aside its legality for a moment, should always be separate from the main functions and goals of a professional association. It is important, however, that translation and interpretation students, and newcomers with little knowledge or interest in the basic workings of markets, to find in an association an open discussion of the topic, instead of a big door with a NOT ALLOWED taped on it.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 05:10
German to English
+ ...
I don't think associations suggest rates Mar 31, 2016

Do they?

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Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:10
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
The Norwegian NFF(O) Mar 31, 2016

..where I'm finally becoming a member after 17 years of working as a translator, does have a suggested standard contract. Unfortunately, the drop in rate of Norwegian crowns (NKR) means this will be of no benefit to me - at least not immediately.
The fact that setting a standard for what's acceptable among freelancers (not companies) is seen as price-fixing I find ludicrous. It makes about as much sense as banning trade unions because they develop standard contracts for workers within a sector.


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Wilsonn Perez Reyes  Identity Verified
El Salvador
Local time: 05:10
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
In Costa Rica, the answer is yes for official translations Mar 31, 2016

¿Cuál es el costo de una Traducción o Interpretación Oficial?

El Decreto Ejecutivo No. 34292-RE de Honorarios de Traductores e Intérpretes Oficiales indica:

Por la traducción de un idioma a otro de documentos públicos nacionales y extranjeros, cuya traducción tenga de 1 a 400 palabras, se cobrará un mínimo de $ 20,00 (veinte dólares exactos) y un máximo de $25,00 (veinticinco dólares exactos).

La traducción de un idioma a otro de documentos públicos nacionales y extranjeros o documentos en general, cuando medie urgencia, lenguaje técnico o especializado, se cobrará por palabra un mínimo de $0,05 (cinco centavos de dólar) y un máximo de $0,18 (dieciocho centavos de dólar).

Recuerde que aunque existe un mínimo por palabra, cada traductor está en libertad de cobrar el monto mínimo a discreción en particular si se trata de documentos con vocabulario técnico y de alta complicación.

http://www.antio.co.cr/preguntas-frecuentes/


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:10
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very high, if you consider the reality Apr 1, 2016

The rates suggested by SINTRA in Brazil are only applicable to sworn translators. If you are very lucky, you may find a direct client that will pay that rate, but it's very, very rare. The agencies in Brazil offer 25% of the suggested rate, and they will simply not negotiate these rates, which means they do find translators that accept these rates.

However, my clients abroad pay that rate without questioning it.

So the "official" rates proposed by the SINTRA are actually pretty fair, although they simply do not apply in Brazil. So it's either based on the rates abroad or it's what they wish it was, but not based on market research at all.

[Edited at 2016-04-01 05:40 GMT]


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