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How much to charge this person for my whole day?
Thread poster: Arturo Villasenor Garcia

Arturo Villasenor Garcia  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 01:32
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 11, 2012

So I spent my whole Sunday translating and making a power point presentation about a health program. It took me 8 hours and constantly being on Skype receiving orders from this person who made constant mistakes on the order of the slides and stuff like that.

In terms of words, it was about 500 words but in terms of slides it was about 70 slides of constant picture and text management and arrangement, editing and all of that. Plus being on skype, stressing out, etc.

This person is currently the only person giving me translation jobs and she likes being cheap, pays me .04 USD per word and .02 USD per word of proofreading. She once asked me to edit a presentation card for her and asked me how much I would charge, I said $50 and she freaked out.

I don't know how much you guys charge for 8 hours of making a power point presentation, editing and all that, but I'm thinking no less than $100.

I want to know what are acceptable rates.

Thanks.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:32
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Look for more customers, now! Jun 11, 2012

Seriously my friend, my cleaning aid makes more money than you in 8 hours. You really want to look for more customers and start charging professional rates, or nobody will take you seriously.

Good luck!


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:32
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Charge by the hour Jun 11, 2012

For the kind of work you describe, I think you should charge by the hour, not by the word. A pity you didn't establish this before embarking on the job.
You need to work out what a reasonable hourly rate for you would be. Think what a plumber, repair man, carpenter, etc. would charge you per hour, and charge at least that rate. For example, 8 hours at $50 per hour (I don't know if that's what they'd charge) would bring your bill to $400.
Best of luck,
Jenny


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Pete in Finland
Finland
Local time: 09:32
English to Finnish
+ ...
$350 Jun 11, 2012

My charge for an 8-hour work would be around $350 (plus VAT, if applicable).

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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:32
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
so you are saying Jun 11, 2012

.... you accepted a job on Sunday, for 500 words, knowing they normally pay 0.04 USD?

So the client is expecting to pay 20 USD?

... pay peanuts - get monkeys....


Take the money and consider it a lesson!

As above, my cleaning lady makes 15 USD/ hour!!

===
my 2 ct
Ed


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Arturo Villasenor Garcia  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 01:32
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not really Jun 11, 2012

not really, I told her I was gonna charge her by hour and was gonna think about the rate. I just know she's cheap but is the only person who has constantly hired me since 2 years ago. To be honest, being a Spanish English Translator is a bad job, nobody wants to pay for a translation.

Many of you will think it's due to my low rates but most people who contact me are Mexican companies that don't wanna pay a dime for a translation job, so even when I give them a good rate for documents of several hundred pages they never answer back.

Americans or English companies only wanna hire Americans or English. My sister-in-law is English and she was getting all the well paid jobs.

So my rate has to reflect the "Ok I know you've helped me a lot all these years by giving me work but I don't want you to take advantage of me as well".

[Edited at 2012-06-12 00:35 GMT]


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xxxchristela
Acceptable rates Jun 11, 2012

A freelance translator is the boss of his small company. A company which sells translation services. Besides the cost of his translations (his "salary", 50%), he pays his own taxes, social security, professional insurances, old-age pension and other costs such as computer and internet connexion (another 50%). These percentages are a rough guideline. Therefore, your absolute minimum should be the double of the hourly minimum rate for salaried workers in your country. If this is $15/hr such as for cleaning ladies, then charge $30/hr (again, this is a minimum, you don't build up cash flow with this and you cannot put money aside).

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xxxCristina Koe  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:32
German to Italian
+ ...
I can perfectly understand your problem Jun 11, 2012

I can perfectly understand your problem, sometimes I'm actually in the same situation (even if I'm withouth the work permit problem).
I have no idea what is an acceptable rate in the U.S.A, but in such situation I always consider two things: what the client can afford, and what I can afford to "lose". It's true and clear that you shouldn't sell yourself cheap, but sometimes there are also exceptions to this rule and sometimes money is not your only benefit (when I translate something for my brother in law I get babysitting and tea as payment.
In Europe I'd charge normally not less than 20€ per hour according to the job, but you might also decide to be paid (in this particular case) per job and not per hour, but surely in this case not per word. I think anyway that 100$ is quite little, try and ask more. You can always tell her that, since she is such a faithful client, you will negotiate.


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Vikki Pendleton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:32
Member
German to English
+ ...
minimum rate Jun 11, 2012

well my minimum rate is £16/hr which is around $25/hr I reckon, so that would be at least $200 for your 8 hours work. I think anything less than that is ridiculous.

You should remember (and I'm sure someone will soon post this more forcefully than I am doing) that when you charge a low rate you're telling people that translating is cheap and making it harder for everyone else to charge a decent rate. You might be able to live on the rates you charge, but we can't...

Why don't you get your sister-in-law to send some of her good clients your way?


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
In a way, you're already screwed Jun 11, 2012

Sorry to put it to you that bluntly, and notwithstanding some of the suggestions here regarding an appropriate "daily rate," the fact is, based on what you've indicated, that the client is most unlikely to be willing to pay you even the (in my view, abjectly low) fee of $200 recommended by Vicki for your day's work.

Your big mistake here was not, first, establishing the fee beforehand or, at the very least, stopping work when it became evident that the project would be more involved than anticipated, and insisting on agreeing upon a fee with the client (or refusing to work further if you could not do so).

So I would agree with Edward here. Take whatever she is willing to give you, and consider it a (very tough) lesson learned!!

(I also would agree with Tomas that you need to look for better clients. If this is the best you can do in terms of "a regular client," then, as a US-based translator, you are on a road to nowhere.)


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Vikki Pendleton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:32
Member
German to English
+ ...
Minimum = minimum Jun 11, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:

the (in my view, abjectly low) fee of $200 recommended by Vicki


@Robert - yes, I should have been more clear that that is an absolute minimum rate for me, which is based on my minimum rate per word working on a job that is slower going than I'd expected (or I wouldn't have quoted my minimum rate!).

For an involved, full day's work I would expect to charge significantly more than that.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:32
English to German
+ ...
You might want to edit this post Jun 11, 2012

Arturo Villasenor Garcia wrote:
I don't have work permit I make a living by doing only translations,


It is a bad idea to publish information like this in a public forum... income is income.



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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:32
Hebrew to English
Don't advertise your flouting of US law Jun 11, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Arturo Villasenor Garcia wrote:
I don't have work permit I make a living by doing only translations,


It is a bad idea to publish information like this in a public forum... income is income.



Agree with Nicole, not the smartest move.

Especially when this was mentioned in a thread not two days ago:

"I'm now in the US on a tourist visa on holiday and Customs have advised it would be definitely illegal for me to take on any translation projects while I'm here."


http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/226546-threatened_with_docked_pay_if_i_dont_take_on_review_of_another_translators_work.html

[Edited at 2012-06-11 15:19 GMT]


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Kaisa Azriouli
Finland
Local time: 09:32
Finnish to English
+ ...
How much to charge this person for my whole day? Jun 11, 2012

Isn't that as simple as either endorsing the official proz.com-rates or defining the rates yourself in the beginning of the translation contract?

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Arturo Villasenor Garcia  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 01:32
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
. Jun 12, 2012

Thanks everybody for your help.

Regarding posting personal information, I was misunderstood: I work online under valid business practices, which is legal under my current Tourist Visa regardless of my current place of temporary stay.

You get my idea. Thanks again.

Ty Kendall wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Arturo Villasenor Garcia wrote:
I don't have work permit I make a living by doing only translations,


It is a bad idea to publish information like this in a public forum... income is income.



Agree with Nicole, not the smartest move.

Especially when this was mentioned in a thread not two days ago:

"I'm now in the US on a tourist visa on holiday and Customs have advised it would be definitely illegal for me to take on any translation projects while I'm here."


http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/226546-threatened_with_docked_pay_if_i_dont_take_on_review_of_another_translators_work.html

[Edited at 2012-06-11 15:19 GMT]


[Edited at 2012-06-12 00:35 GMT]


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