Per thousand words legal translation rates?
Thread poster: Franjo Varšić
Franjo Varšić
Croatia
Jun 11

I've been contacted by a UK translating agency to do legal translations in the pair English and Croatian (don't know which direction) and they asked me for my rate per thousand words in GBP.

I've no idea what a reasonable rate would be here, could anyone tell me?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Are you qualified and/or experienced? Jun 12

If you're used to doing legal work, then you just multiply your per-word rate by a thousand, and convert it to GBP. Mind you, a straightforward conversion at today's rate is a really bad idea if you intend to apply it to all future jobs - sterling is a very volatile currency at the moment, as us Brits abroad who get income from the UK know only too well . Personally, I'd either insist on payment in euros - which shouldn't be difficult for an agency - or tell them that the rate is subject to change along with major exchange rate fluctuations. If you're working into English then you'll probably need to add on the cost of having it checked by a native English speaker who's got legal experience.

If you're asking because you aren't used to translating legal texts, and have no qualifications in law, perhaps it would be best to check out the texts even before quoting, and maybe reject the offer. Most need a specialist's touch.

It would be really helpful if you'd complete at least the most important areas of your profile if you're going to ask questions here, Franjo. If we knew about your location (i.e. country), your source and target languages, your qualifications and experience, and your specialisations, then it would be easier to give specific help.


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Franjo Varšić
Croatia
TOPIC STARTER
, Jun 12

Sheila Wilson wrote:

If you're used to doing legal work, then you just multiply your per-word rate by a thousand, and convert it to GBP. Mind you, a straightforward conversion at today's rate is a really bad idea if you intend to apply it to all future jobs - sterling is a very volatile currency at the moment, as us Brits abroad who get income from the UK know only too well . Personally, I'd either insist on payment in euros - which shouldn't be difficult for an agency - or tell them that the rate is subject to change along with major exchange rate fluctuations. If you're working into English then you'll probably need to add on the cost of having it checked by a native English speaker who's got legal experience.

If you're asking because you aren't used to translating legal texts, and have no qualifications in law, perhaps it would be best to check out the texts even before quoting, and maybe reject the offer. Most need a specialist's touch.

It would be really helpful if you'd complete at least the most important areas of your profile if you're going to ask questions here, Franjo. If we knew about your location (i.e. country), your source and target languages, your qualifications and experience, and your specialisations, then it would be easier to give specific help.


I'm not used to doing legal work, that's the thing, and I've never worked with a UK agency, that's why I don't know what a reasonable rate would be. Can you tell me, if you know?

The reason I'm asking about GBP is because they said in the email that they'd prefer a GBP rate.

Regarding the experience, they'll be sending me a text for test translations which they'll have checked by someone, so this is a test run. However, they're asking for my rates already.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There is no standard rate Jun 13

Franjo Varšić wrote:
I'm not used to doing legal work, that's the thing, and I've never worked with a UK agency, that's why I don't know what a reasonable rate would be. Can you tell me, if you know?

I certainly don't know, in fact I don't know what a fair rate is for anyone doing anything, apart for me doing what I specialise in. We all have different rates, and agencies have their budgets. In my translation pair, the figure given in the ProZ.com Community Rates tool is a good guide. Maybe it works well in your pair too, but it's a statistic derived from all our stated rates, and can be skewed if the sample size is small. But while the overall average in my pair is (I think) EUR 0.12 per word, I regularly see agencies "offering" EUR 0.02, and I know some specialists quote at least EUR 0.20 per word. As for the UK, they are no different from agencies anywhere else in the world, in that they will work with translators and clients worldwide. In their case though, being desk-bound in the UK, they have to pay UK tax, buy bread at UK prices, etc., and do it all in GBP.


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Mark Hemming  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:26
Slovenian to English
+ ...
Depends on the agency Jun 13

This really depends on the agency. If they are on the cheap end and into cutting costs, you might find them accepting around £60 per 1000 words. If they are more specialised and understand that you are worth the extra and that there are not many others doing the same type of work in your language pair, you might be able to command £100 or higher. I guess the real answer is probably between those two figures.

Caveat - rates of course vary between language pairs, and Croatian>English is not one that I work in, but I can't imagine those figures are too far out.


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Franjo Varšić
Croatia
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jun 13

Appreciate the help!

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