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Minimum recommended rates for translators to be referenced on ProZ.com
Thread poster: Jared Tabor

Jared Tabor
Local time: 03:16
SITE STAFF
Sep 10, 2010

Dear members,

Key among the improvements resulting from the changes to the job posting system is making available to translators and clients more information, supplied by the community, concerning the price of professional translation.

In line with this, a link to the minimum rates for translation jobs recommended by the Federación Argentina de Traductores has been included in the ProZ.com Wiki article being constructed on Translation in Argentina.

In order to be able to provide similar information for each country, the collaboration of the community is needed.


If you know of a national or regional translators association issuing similar guidelines in their area of activity, please consider helping add this information. You may post it here, in the wiki article for the given country, or you can also submit the information via support request.

Many thanks in advance!

Jared


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aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:16
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
AGPTI's rates Sep 10, 2010

Hi,

these are the rates recommended by AGPTI (Asociación Galega de Profesionais da Tradución e da Interpretación):

http://www.agpti.org/castelan/tarif_cas.htm

Best,

Marilena


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:16
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very useful Sep 10, 2010

Thanks so much Marilena and Jared!


Cheers,
Andrea


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P Forgas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:16
Portuguese to Spanish
+ ...
Great! Sep 10, 2010

Here are the rates suggested by the Brazilian Sindicato Nacional dos Tradutores (Sintra).

http://www.sintra.org.br/site/index.php?p=c&pag=precos

Regards,

P.


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Daniel Šebesta  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 07:16
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
Czech and Slovak recommended minimum rates Sep 10, 2010

Jared wrote:
In order to be able to provide similar information for each country, the collaboration of the community is needed.

If you know of a national or regional translators association issuing similar guidelines in their area of activity, please consider helping add this information. You may post it here, in the wiki article for the given country, or you can also submit the information via support request.



Hi Jared,

Thank you for your continued efforts regarding the job posting system.

The Czech Union of interpreters and Translators (Jednota tlumočníků a překladatelů, http://www.jtpunion.org/spip/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=34) publishes a summary of recommended minimum rates for the Czech and Slovak markets every year.

As far as I know, the document is not available online; it is distributed to JTP members and other subscribers to the printed ToP magazine. I have scanned the current version (for 2010 but published in the Winter 2009 issue) and it is now available on my own website: http://www.dstranslations.eu/JTP_rates_2010.pdf

Although recommended rates are given in both CZK and EUR, the text is, unfortunately, only available in Czech. If you need any assistance to understand the Czech wording in order to incorporate relevant information into the wiki article, please contact me privately.

Best,

Daniel

[Edited at 2010-09-10 19:38 GMT]


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Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
as far as I know Sep 10, 2010

minimum rates are forbidden in Italy
indeed AITI was forced to remove them from their website ...

Claudio


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Claudia Coja  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
Member (2010)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Recommended rates for Romanian translators Sep 11, 2010

I'm not sure if there are other documents regulating the rates for Romanian translators but here I have one for certified translators:
http://www.untar.ro/OMJ_772_2009.pdf


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:16
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
South Africa Sep 11, 2010

Jared wrote:
If you know of a national or regional translators association issuing similar guidelines in their area of activity, please consider helping add this information.


The South African Translators' Institute does a rates survey every now and then. The most recent one was from 2008. SATI calls it tariffs, not rates. These aren't recommendations, but results of a survey.

They have a short guide for clients about how to determine a fair rate, based on the assumption that a translator can do 450 words per hour.

1999:
http://web.archive.org/web/20010506180917/home.intekom.com/sati/indexes/tariff99.htm

2000:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040820110305/www.translators.org.za/indexes/tariffs2000.htm

2001:
http://web.archive.org/web/20020613160231/www.translators.org.za/indexes/tariff99.htm (sic)

2002/3:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040222070718/translators.org.za/indexes/tariff99.htm

2004:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040820110103/www.translators.org.za/indexes/tariffs2004.htm

2008:
http://translators.org.za/sati_cms/index.php?frontend_action=display_text_content&content_id=2091


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Radovan Pletka  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:16
English to Czech
+ ...
Who profits from minimum recommended rates? Sep 11, 2010

Can somebody explain to me who has benefit from minimum published rates?
I personally believe that buying translation is like buying a car, you usually get what you pay for and therefore I believe that recommended rates just stiff the competition and allow bad translators charge more then they deserve. But I think I am in minority with this opinion.
So who can benefit?
1
I can imagine somebody, who is just starting in translation and does not know how much to charge.
2
But do we really want to encourage such person to charge those rates, especially if he/she is starting with zero experience?
3
Rates also differ substantially from country to country, but in the Internet age you can have your business address in a very expensive country, live and translate in the cheapest country in the world, and benefit from much higher rates in that country. So if we tie the rates to location, we will only encourage more abuse of the published rates system.
4
In some countries the translation and/or interpreting is an open business. If you can do it, you do it and that's it. Publishing minimum rates there is usually the first step toward trying to limit easy entry into translation/interpreting business, together with calls for testing and licensing.
5
In other countries they have two tiered system, licensed and not licensed people. People, who have the government issued “stamp” or permission or license, charge much more, and often use services of non licensed people to do the work, then they stamp it and sell at the government rates. So the system is immediately abused and people, who are not it, are exploited.
6
I personally love competition and cheap translators and I have great respect for them. They work very hard every day to educate my future clients about the simple truth. Buying translation is like buying a car; you usually get what you pay for.


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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:16
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
German rates Sep 11, 2010

@ Jared:

I couldn't find an official recommendation for Germany, but the BDÜ (German Association of Translators and Interpreters) gives a detailed explanation of how to calculate your rates and they arrive at a rate of approx. €0.08 (see http://www.bdue-nrw.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=184&Itemid=99). Actually, they calculate it per line, but assuming an hourly output of 450 words, this equals €0.08/source word). If you assume a few more words per hour, you'll get at least €0.07/word.

This is also in line with a recent survey (also published by the BDÜ).

@ Radovan:
While I agree with many of your points, we should also take the client's perspective into account. In contrast to buying a car, a client often cannot judge the quality of the translation because s/he doesn't speak the target language. And if some cheap dude from India uses Google Translate to produce something that looks like a decent text in language X, how will the client know the truth?

(P.S.: No offense to all the professional "dudes" from India..)


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Radovan Pletka  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:16
English to Czech
+ ...
Our job is to translate well, not to protect cheap clients Sep 11, 2010

@ Radovan:
While I agree with many of your points, we should also take the client's perspective into account. In contrast to buying a car, a client often cannot judge the quality of the translation because s/he doesn't speak the target language. And if some cheap dude from India uses Google Translate to produce something that looks like a decent text in language X, how will the client know the truth?

(P.S.: No offense to all the professional "dudes" from India.. )

@Simone

It is very nice of you to look at the client perspective, but I don't get your point here.
Uneducated clients want the translation for free or for peanuts. They need to be educated and cheap translators are doing good job educating those clients. If you really want to spend your time and money and effort to protect such clients, go ahead, but don't ask me to support this effort by putting any burden on me.
Do it on your own and remember that every good deed gets punished soon or later (smile).
Establishing minimum rates will not protect those clients from your Indian villains (smile).
If I compare it to cars, do you really believe famous car manufacturer from your country needs protection from Indians manufacturing new cheap automobiles and selling them for $2000, as they are planning to do. I am sure famous car manufacturer from your country people are running scared like chickens (smile).
Will you be petitioning your German government to prohibit import of cheap automobiles to Germany, or will you buy one, if it will be a decent car for $2000?
Why I should be worried about a client buying bad or cheap or any other translation from somebody else.
Life is continuous education and I really don’t see any good reason to worry about getting life education. Our job as translators is to translate well. But it is not our job to protect people against their own not smart action.
Don’t you think you pay enough of taxes in EU to protect less able people already?
Do you really want to pay more and have additional EU office to regulate translation even more than it is?


[Edited at 2010-09-12 16:41 GMT]


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Dr. Matthias Schauen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:16
Member
English to German
German rates Sep 11, 2010

Simone, the BDÜ mentions a rate of €1.25 per line in the link you provided. Based on this figure, I arrive at 0.16 € per word.

The BDÜ also says that when working with easy texts, you can do 30 lines per hour, and that's about 210 words, not 450 or 500!

The BDÜ publishes a yearly report on the rate situation in Germany, based on a survey they conduct. They stress that this is not a rate recommendation.

Jared, I am pretty sure that no official translator's organisation will publish rate recommendations in Germany, for legal reasons (Kartellrecht, competition laws).


[Edited at 2010-09-11 19:36 GMT]



[Edited at 2010-09-11 19:46 GMT]


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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:16
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
calculations Sep 11, 2010

Matthias,

I took that hourly rate the BDÜ site mentions to calculate the word price. And for that I just picked the 450 words already mentioned on here.

Maybe this whole discussion should clarify first what amount of words to use as the basis for rate recommendations?

210 words sounds like a decent amount for, let's say, literary or legal or marketing texts..
But it's much too low for simple product descriptions, manuals, whatever..

For what it's worth, at our university they said that about 400 words an hour was a good average to aim for.


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Claudio LR
Local time: 07:16
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
conversion line to word Sep 11, 2010

Simone Linke wrote:

Matthias,

I took that hourly rate the BDÜ site mentions to calculate the word price. And for that I just picked the 450 words already mentioned on here.

Maybe this whole discussion should clarify first what amount of words to use as the basis for rate recommendations?

210 words sounds like a decent amount for, let's say, literary or legal or marketing texts..
But it's much too low for simple product descriptions, manuals, whatever..

For what it's worth, at our university they said that about 400 words an hour was a good average to aim for.



I think it's misleading to try to convert a line (=character) rate into a word rate by passing through an hourly rate. There is no perfect conversion as it depends on languages (some languages, such as German, have longer words than others). The clients I work with generally convert considering a line (55 or 60 character) as made of around 8.5 words. According to the calculations I sometimes make that is quite close to reality. 1.25 EUR would therefore be between 0.14 and 0.15 EUR.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 13:16
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
I support this idea Sep 12, 2010

Radovan Pletka wrote:
1 I can imagine somebody, who is just starting in translation and does not know how much to charge.
2 But do we really want to encourage such person to charge those rates, especially if he/she is starting with zero experience?
3 Rates also differ substantially from country to country, but in the Internet age you can have your business address in a very expensive country, live and translate in the cheapest country in the world, and benefit from much higher rates in that country. So if we tie the rates to location, we will only encourage more abuse of the published rates system.
4 In some countries the translation and/or interpreting is an open business. If you can do it, you do it and that's it. Publishing minimum rates there is usually the first step toward trying to limit easy entry into translation/interpreting business, together with calls for testing and licensing.
5 In other countries they have two tiered system, licensed and not licensed people. People, who have the government issued “stamp” or permission or license, charge much more, and often use services of non licensed people to do the work, then they stamp it and sell at the government rates. So the system is immediately abused and people, who are not it, are exploited.
6 I personally love competition and cheap translators and I have great respect for them. They work very hard every day to educate my future clients about the simple truth. Buying translation is like buying a car; you usually get what you pay for.

I support this idea. In particular, Proz's minimum rate is to hide out professional translators/interpretors from fair competitive bids on Proz Job pages. Those pages invite many and many novice service providers with risky work output---a worse working standard. And they induce quick and deep diving fee rates.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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