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Poll: In your country, is there a fixed/official price for translation/interpreting?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:09
SITE STAFF
Sep 22, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In your country, is there a fixed/official price for translation/interpreting?".

This poll was originally submitted by Gianfranco Manca

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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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 22:09
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
National authorities Sep 23, 2006

In Romania, there is an imposed price for translations provided to official institutions by certified translators. Needless to say it is next to nothing, so working for the State institutions is not very popular among translators. The worst is that some local clients take this price for reference. However, most good translators stopped doing this kind of translations and earn fair prices on the global market.

[Editat la 2006-09-23 09:36]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:09
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Where is it compulsory? Sep 23, 2006

Hello all

I think it would be interesting to know in which countries the official/fixed rate is compulsory.

May I ask to colleagues living in those countries to let us know?

Have a great week end!!

Angioletta

[Edited at 2006-09-24 06:42]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:09
English to Polish
+ ...
In Poland Sep 23, 2006

A ceiling rate for translation / interpreting provided to the judiciary, law enforcement services etc. It stopped to be obligatory with other certified translations not so long ago, but customers have been used to it for years so you cannot go much up.
On the other hand, the official table is very useful for supporting the claim that rush jobs entail 50% extra and the rate on highly technical / legal etc. jobs is officially higher by 25% (you see, dear Customer, it's not my idea, this is legally regulated ...). I simply provide a link to the official regulation or present a table printout for the customer to read (with extensive legal reference - five lines of Title and Article numbers). All discussions cease)


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Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:09
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Certified translation Sep 23, 2006

There is a set tariff for certified translation. However, as the fee is higher than it used to be, some translators (and especially the local one-man-band agencies that win the state tenders by bribing) tend to lower the rates in order to win the customers (which is, BTW, illegal as the tariff was set and defined by the state).
The government's regulation also defines the "standard page", which is equal to 1500 characters with spaces (most agencies and translators often use 1800 chaqracters per standard page).


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Andrea Lorca  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:09
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Monopoly in legal translations Sep 23, 2006

In Chile, the is no official price for translations or interpreting but the one charged by the only institution providing official translations of legal documents: a deparment of translation within the Foreign Affairs Ministery.
The funny thing is that they do not provide translations for less frequent languages like Ukranian and many others; You have to bring your own translation but, they still charge you for it!


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 15:09
English to Russian
+ ...
One option in the U.S. Sep 23, 2006

U.S. State Department has set rates, at least for 3 categories of interpretation - escort, conference and simo, but those are compulsory only for SD-certified interpreters working SD's assignments. Also, SD uses federal per diem and lodging rate matrix and pays both upfront, no reporting required - one can stay and dine at Ritz covering the difference, or curl up under the bridge, enjoy McDonalds and pocket the difference - it's your choice, no one cares.

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Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 15:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Court translations Sep 24, 2006

In Costa Rica, official translators are regulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Supposedly the is a commission in charge of setting rates twice a year, but it doesn't work.

The Court set its own rates for both interpretations and translations. However since they are well below standard prices, hardly any translator works for the Court.´

For non-official translation/interpretations, each one sets its own rates.


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Bonita Mc Donald
Local time: 14:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure if this is the right place to make a suggestion, but... [fixed by staff, thank you] Sep 24, 2006

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In your country there is a fixed/official price for translation/interpreting?".

This poll was originally submitted by Gianfranco Manca

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


I don't know if I'm in the right place or not to make this suggestion, but the question would be more grammatically correct if it could read "In your country is there a fixed/official price for translation/interpreting?" Can someone from Proz (staff or moderators) with the right privileges go to the poll and fix it? Also, if I'm in the wrong place, would you please move this post and notify me of where it was moved to so that I know for the next time? Thanx.

Bonnie

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-09-25 18:03]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 22:09
English to German
+ ...
In germany Sep 24, 2006

One needs to be a certified translator and interpretor or hold a university degree not less than a Masters and register with the courts through legal business registration address. One could also do it being an engineer. Then the authorities have a tariff, that is maintained, beyond which one can stipulate your own prices. I had worked for Siemens for many years as simultan and conference interpretor. They treat you really like a god. You get an automobile special status in the cafeteria and almost everything you need and even your own room and broadband internet access, so that you can do your work peacefully before starting, all that on their own premises. The price range is about €90,- + everything on it for simultaneious interpretation. Best Brandis

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Gabriela Wolochwianski
Argentina
Local time: 18:09
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
in Argentina Sep 24, 2006

As far as I know, there are no compulsory rates in Argentina. However, local Translators Colleges or Associations usually have suggested minimum rates to be taken as a reference by members. I find this quite helpful in dealing with local clients, though sometimes they tend to think you have to charge them exactly that rate.

Enjoy the rest of the Sunday wherever you are!


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:09
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thank you Sep 24, 2006

Thank you to all participants for their vote, and in particular to those posting here to offer more details.
After 1200+ votes and when the time is close for the quick poll to be replaced, I would like to comment on the results.

I asked this question several months ago, when in Italy there was a movement (based on a website to collect signatures) to promote a law that, amongst other things, included the institution of a nation wide rates system for translators and interpreters. They have received 1600+ signatures!!!

One of the major objections was that in no other country such system seemed to exist or work, and this quick poll has, apparently, demonstrated it.


1. Several colleagues have declared that fixed rates, or reference rates, exists for special cases and for public services, such as court interpreting or translations for the tribunals.
Some of these rates are apparently unappealing compared to the normal market rates.

2. Only 1.2% of voters declares that in their country there are fixed rates. It wuold be interesting to know where they are and how such system works.
Please, post in this thread or contact me privately for more details.

3. In general (for about 80% of the voters) rates for general translation are not set by the state or any special public body.


Thank you
Gianfranco




[Edited at 2006-09-25 10:36]


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:09
French to Portuguese
+ ...
The case in Portugal Sep 24, 2006

Hi Gianfranco,

I'm not sure of what I am saying, and that is also why I didn't post earlier in this thead, hoping that a Portuguese collegue would do so.

I've heard long ago and by different people that the Portuguese Translator's Association has got a table with fixed rates for tranlation and (I also guess so) interpretation.

I am not a member of the Association because I don't think it will bring me any advantage, but anyway, the rates proposed (since they are not compulsory) by the association are not practised by anyone because they are too high in relation to the market average in Portugal.

That's all I know.

Regards,
Ivana


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Paulo César Mendes MD, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:09
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some snags with mandatory rates Sep 24, 2006

In Brazil, from time to time one hears talk, including some bitter arguments, about making translation a regulated profession ("regulamentação da profissão"), as defined by the Brazilian Labour Code. This would imply mandatory translation degrees, registration as a translator with the Labour Ministry, and rates fixed by law. Skeptics have pointed out the following caveats:

1) Policing of a globalised market by some form of National Translation Council would be pretty much impossible.

2) Such provisions would be rather easily dodged; e.g., by having a registered translator sign work "ghost-translated" by someone else, or hiring translators but giving them other job titles (say, "editorial assistant").

3) Sifting out which de facto translators without degrees should be allowed to continue translating would be a real headache.

Personally, I think it is more realistic to have in-depth rates surveys -- including averages, percentiles, analysis of trends, correlation with education, specialization, accreditation, etc -- which could serve as realistic guidelines for setting prices. I also believe that movements and legislation projects pertaining to professional regulation generate lofty but unrealistic expectations.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
A good suggestion Sep 25, 2006

Bonita Mc Donald wrote:

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In your country there is a fixed/official price for translation/interpreting?".

This poll was originally submitted by Gianfranco Manca

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


I don't know if I'm in the right place or not to make this suggestion, but the question would be more grammatically correct if it could read "In your country is there a fixed/official price for translation/interpreting?" Can someone from Proz (staff or moderators) with the right privileges go to the poll and fix it? Also, if I'm in the wrong place, would you please move this post and notify me of where it was moved to so that I know for the next time? Thanx.

Bonnie


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