Poll: Do you apply different rates depending on the client, or a standard rate for all?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:04
Jan 1

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you apply different rates depending on the client, or a standard rate for all?".

This poll was originally submitted by Carla Lopes. View the poll results »


Jan Truper
Local time: 05:04
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Other Jan 1

My rates vary depending on the client as well as on the nature, scope and deadline of a project.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 1

All of the above.
Happy New Year everybody!


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:04
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It mostly varies depending on the client Jan 1

With my main clients(international organizations), I have no choice in the matter. Some pay more generously than others for rush work, extra research, fancy formatting, etc. I rarely have a say in the matter.

In fact, I've been observing that freelancers have less and less say in their rates, except to say "No" when a rate is unacceptable.


Wendy Streitparth  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
Other Jan 1

Agree with Jan and Neil and Muriel's last sentence. Just glad I'm not dependent on translating to survive!


Teresa Borges
Local time: 04:04
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jan 1

I apply different rates for different clients and at least in one case I apply different rates for the same client (a translation agency) depending on the subject. I have a range of 9 cents word between my highest and my lowest-paying clients. I would like to charge more to some of them but I am already charging more than a number of my competitors… For new clients, I have started transitioning towards a flat rate for each project.

Happy New Year!


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
difference of 5 cents here Jan 1

I have a handful of direct clients I charge my top rate, one direct client who is a friend who gets 2cents a word less, good agencies at 2cents less again and one last agency at 1 cent less than them. Hoping to ditch the cheapo one this year.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:04
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I keep translation costs and financial costs separate Jan 1

I like transparency in my work, kinda making my clients proud of having chosen me from every decision I make in the entire process, even though they'll never know 99% of the issues I faced and the decisions I made.

When it's about pricing, I leave the decision to them.

My translation rates for each type of service (and there are several - e.g. text translation, DTP, video subtitling, editing, etc.) I provide are fixed in either BRL (domestic) or USD (int'l). I try to offer them an attractive value for such rates in the marketplace.

However financial costs can make my total "rate" higher. As a professional translator, I have NO interest whatsoever in providing financial services; I do it only because some clients demand them from me. I think they are entitled to have a choice on financial services, so I'm quite open about what they cost.

As PayPal was devised for, and is owned by eBay, they have some strict policies to forbid surcharging the "buyer" for the hefty fees (6.5% fee + 3.5% in lower-than-market exchange rates) they deduct from the what "seller" is paid. Therefore I state my rates for payment via PayPal, and offer a 10% discount to clients who choose to use some different payment method. PayPal cannot impose any penalties on me, if they were not part of the transaction.

Wire transfers? I've seen banks (worldwide) charging from USD 20 to GBP 60 from the sender. As my client is free to choose their bank, they should cover the fees charged by whatever the bank they chose. Likewise, as I am free to chose my bank, I cover the BRL 115 fee my bank charges for each such transaction.

Then there is deferred payment. A client willing to pay 30 days after delivery is equivalent to getting a loan for that amount and period from me. I happen to live in Brazil, where banks charge a 2-digit % interest rate per month (sic!) on such loans (equivalent to overdraft, credit card revolving credit, etc.). These banks are pros in financial services, and they compete on which one offers loans at lower interest rates. As a translator, I am an amateur in such services, so my monthly interest rate is 20%. If the client doesn't have the cash flow to pay me COD, I leave them the option to get a loan in their country, if the rates there are lower.

For a comparison, the interest on a 30-day loan in Brazil (or Argentina, plus a few - not so many - other countries) in one month would take years to accrue in the USA or Euro countries.

And yet many translation clients insist in paying 30 days after EOM, because it's their carved-in-stone policy. If they ever complain about my rates, I'll have evidence that I showed them what my translation rates are, and how much they are spending in financial services. I've checked, my bank here does NOT offer translation services.

Answering the OP, I always apply the same rates for translation and related services, while financial rates are at the client's choice. Some of my clients shift between different payment options now and then.


Lenka Červená  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:04
Member (2014)
English to Czech
+ ...
Will things ever become better? Jan 1

I apply different rates for different clients - but only because the client is unwilling to pay my usual rate. Actually, one long-term client made me agree to lowering my rate a few months ago.


Joohee Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 13:04
Member (2017)
English to Korean
+ ...
Standard rate Jan 1

I apply a standard rate for all clients basically. I hope I can raise the rate this year...


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:04
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Several rates for several reasons Jan 1

I always offer the same rates to all clients, with a major difference according to the country and to the payment method.
1. Clients in Brazil get a lower price, or I don't get local clients.
1.1 - Higher rate for clients that require an official invoicing document, as it implies
15% more taxes
1.2 - Lower rate for clients that do not require this document.
2. The rates for clients in Europe and North-America are according to the local markets, so rates are higher than in Brazil, but not high for any of them.
2.1 - Rates atre 7% higher if payment is through PayPal.
2.2 - Regular rate for other payment methods or bank transfer abroad.
3. Rates also vary according to the type of job.
3.1 - Regular rate for jobs in my areas of expertise
3.2 - A little higher rate for areas that require a lot of research
3.3 - A lot higher rate for student papers in human sciences
3.4 - 25% to 50% higher rate for urgency (above 3000 wpd)


Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Rates depend on several reasons Jan 2

Happy New Year 2018.

I have different rates for different clients. The rates that I quote for different languages depend on the language combination and nature of the document.

I have rates in Euros and Indian Rupees.

I work as a translator in the following languages – Hindi, Punjabi (Gurmukhi script), English and French (as in France).

Some of the official languages of India are - English, Hindi and Punjabi.

Here’s an article about the official three language policy of India -


I started using these three languages when I was really young. Both my father and my mother know and use these three languages – English, Hindi and Punjabi. I have travelled a lot with my family and that is the reason why I can read these three official languages of India as well as Bengali and Gujarati. I master Sanskrit as well – learnt when I was really young and my father used to teach others as well because he had and still has knowledge of this language. I am a readaholic so I read a lot. I read books in most of these languages.

I also speak Urdu which is another official language of India. I work as an interpreter for Urdu, too.

I learnt French from Alliance Français de Delhi when it used to be based in South Extension, New Delhi later in life and can use that as well. I have studied in Delhi University (India), École Supérieure d’Interprètes et de Traducteurs (at present it is part of Université Sorbonne Nouvelle) based in Paris (France), Cambridge Conference Interpretation Course and several other small time courses.

As a citizen of India it is easier for me to use Indian Rupee as a currency. I usually live between India and France so to not at all difficult between these two currencies – Indian Rupee and Euro.
Regarding rates, it depends on the text that I have to translate and I request for the document before I quote a rate.

Rates depend on the following factors:
1. Language combination between the languages that I use.
2. Type of document – I request for the document before I quote final rate.
3. Specialisation fields such as law, medicine, civil aviation cost higher.
4. Country (lower rates for India and higher for those who pay in France). Those who pay in France have to pay a higher rate because of the French laws for Freelancers. Income Tax, URSSAF and other such payments are necessary in France

Avoid clients who have not really official translation agencies and unknown to most of us.

I have tried to answer this question.


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Poll: Do you apply different rates depending on the client, or a standard rate for all?

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