Pages in topic:   < [1 2]
Please help build wiki article: "Determining your rates and fees as a translator"
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Frauke Joris (X)
Italy
Local time: 06:57
Italian to Dutch
+ ...
The vital importance of a GENERAL calculation model Mar 17, 2010

Hello to all of you.

I will try to explain here in my poor English and a kind of a spontaneous translation of what I've finished to write 3 minutes ago on another translators forum.

I had a quick look to the Wiki, Henry. I ask your patience, not only for my bad English, but also for the verbs I will use, urging verbs, only intended to emphasise what I think to be urgent and of extremely important for the wiki and all other valid models for rate calculations circulatin
... See more
Hello to all of you.

I will try to explain here in my poor English and a kind of a spontaneous translation of what I've finished to write 3 minutes ago on another translators forum.

I had a quick look to the Wiki, Henry. I ask your patience, not only for my bad English, but also for the verbs I will use, urging verbs, only intended to emphasise what I think to be urgent and of extremely important for the wiki and all other valid models for rate calculations circulating in the web since a few weeks and days.

I thinl we have to include immediately a GENERIC calculation model for freelancers of all kinds, and a generic method to apply this generic calculcation specifically to freelance translators. I base this urgence on the generic model of a Dutch author who has created such a generic model for every freelancer in the Netherlands. He calculated that every freelancer in his land should billing not less than 54thousand euro per year. NOT LESS. He based this on national tax and health assurance systems + the financial needs of a freelance to "buffer" his own finances (three times a monthly salary. I arrived to the same result calculating this in Italy, but not with standard or classic methods, I'm not able as so many other translators, but with my numbers, typically the ones of an longly experienced translator, 50 years old, freelance since 10 years. The generic model for a generic freelancer is based on a medium person of 40 years old, with medium invariable costs for home (rent or loan), energy and so on with a medium car, a medium amount for assurrances and so on, all reported to a medium town in the national situation in which the model is builded, with medium numbers for holiday, illness and old age pension and other basic factors.

Of course we need also to make the same "medium" typical calculation for any translator with about 8 to 10 years of translation experience, with the hours(days) he spend for updating his knowledge, to his administration, and so on, with gives a medium ammount of HOURS left to such a medium experienced translator to TRANSLATE with the typical technological instruments of a professional translator today. When you have the generic base and start with a MINIMUM billing ammount per year and you compare that with the hours left to translate, you immediately see what must be the minimum hourly rate you have to calculate and thus also the ideal rate for your words or whatever you use to calculate rates...
This minimum ammount per year however, is not what every translator who _starts_ to work as a freelancer MUSt bill. But it is ecxactly what he must _reach_ in a reasonable ammount of time /years. It is his minimum goal. Only in this way, one comes to a personal calculation as you have put in the wiki, but with the minimum rates which allow him to reach that goal in a reasonable ammount of years.

With kind greetings,

Frauke
Collapse


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I agree Mar 17, 2010

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:
I would like to suggest a separate forum for the wiki. That way whenever anyone starts a new article or topic (apart from the one on rates you've already started), they can announce it in the forum and people can contribute. Any discussion on that particular article or topic can also be conducted in the forum.


Yes. A separate forum for wiki articles would be nice. Also, whenever someone creates an article, it should be "announced" on the wiki forum automatically, so that people who wish to discuss it, can do so in that thread.

The wiki pages have their own discussion pages linked to each page. But I agree that linking it with the forums is a good idea.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Frauke Mar 17, 2010

Frauke Joris wrote:
He calculated that every freelancer in his land should billing not less than 54thousand euro per year. NOT LESS. He based this on national tax and health assurance systems + the financial needs of a freelance to "buffer" his own finances (three times a monthly salary).


I think something like this is a good idea. The ProZ.com rate calculator is too simple and it doesn't give any real example amounts, so I wonder how many translators come up with useful answers using the rate calculator. A more comprehensive calculator, with sample amounts for various countries (contributed by ProZ.com users, of course) would be useful to show translators what their ideal income should really be to survive.

Would your Dutch friend be willing to let his list of items be published on the ProZwiki, so that it can be in table format with a column of amounts for various countries?

Samuel


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:57
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Frauke Mar 17, 2010

Good post, Frauke.

I agree that country-specific information is needed. I will think about how to establish a framework for that in the wiki.


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:57
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
The target reader is a translator seeking information on setting rates Mar 17, 2010

I have noticed that the voice of the article is somewhat inconsistent. I would like to point out that as suggested by the title (which refers to "your" rates), the target reader is a translator seeking information related to the question of how he/she should go about setting his/her rates.

Twelve people have now contributed to the article. This is great.


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:57
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Madeleine Mar 17, 2010

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

"Most translators do what they do, first and foremost, because they love words. How they sound, look and smell; how a certain choice of word might affect the reader.

Thanks for coming back to this, Madeleine. Others have since edited that sentence, otherwise I would have put this in for you. If you have anything else to change or add, please go ahead and do so by clicking "Edit" and overwriting directly. There can be a psychological hurdle to overcome, but that is how these things work, so feel free!


 

imatahan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Financial needs vary from country to country Apr 1, 2010

[quote]Frauke Joris wrote:


I arrived to the same result calculating this in Italy, but not with standard or classic methods, I'm not able as so many other translators, but with my numbers, typically the ones of an longly experienced translator, 50 years old, freelance since 10 years. The generic model for a generic freelancer is based on a medium person of 40 years old, with medium invariable costs for home (rent or loan), energy and so on with a medium car, a medium amount for assurrances and so on, all reported to a medium town in the national situation in which the model is builded, with medium numbers for holiday, illness and old age pension and other basic factors."


 

Eileen Brophy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Country to Country Apr 1, 2010

I think that one problem is the country of the person or organisation requesting a translation. I translate from Spanish into English and it is not the same translating for a Spanish client as for a client in Argentina for example!! I have seen such absurd rates offered for an Argentinian Spanish project that I wouldn´t even contemplate doing the translation, the same occurs for India or China. They seem to think that "Globalisation" prices also can be applied to translation services and tha... See more
I think that one problem is the country of the person or organisation requesting a translation. I translate from Spanish into English and it is not the same translating for a Spanish client as for a client in Argentina for example!! I have seen such absurd rates offered for an Argentinian Spanish project that I wouldn´t even contemplate doing the translation, the same occurs for India or China. They seem to think that "Globalisation" prices also can be applied to translation services and that is often where the down pricing problems arise. (In my humble opinion).Collapse


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Flemish to English
+ ...
In Europe Apr 2, 2010

Why not take an annual E.U.-translator's net-salary at starting grade AD5 with(out) perks as a target. This amounts to about 50000 euros for a years work with 1 month of paid-vacation. P.A.: 11 months of 5 days of work.
For those who go up the career ladder, it is 7000 euros net per month.
-*--*-
In the E.U. : If you take living costs, social security contributions, taxes, investments into consideration a rate of less than 0.10 euros should be banned.
As a comparison: I
... See more
Why not take an annual E.U.-translator's net-salary at starting grade AD5 with(out) perks as a target. This amounts to about 50000 euros for a years work with 1 month of paid-vacation. P.A.: 11 months of 5 days of work.
For those who go up the career ladder, it is 7000 euros net per month.
-*--*-
In the E.U. : If you take living costs, social security contributions, taxes, investments into consideration a rate of less than 0.10 euros should be banned.
As a comparison: I got 0.08 eurocents p.w. in 1988.
In the meantime, the euro has been introduced and prices of basic goods have doubled, but rates have gone down.
In some countries like Italy and Spain, the rate I got back in 1988 is considered a high-rate.

Why does Proz.com insists on the implementation of a European guideline with regard to electronic commerce, but allows it that posters ignore the European guideline with regard to late payments in commercial transactions, implemented into law in all Member-States.
Thus, it should be impossible to post jobs with Italian (after 90 days) or French (60 days on an average) payment terms. Those payment terms are against the law.
Isn't it possible to implement a system that eliminates postings with late payment terms?
We have to pay our invoices, mortagages on time too and not after 60, 90 or more days.
Delivery before yesterday and late payments don't match.

What I don't understand either is why Proz.com makes a lot of publicity for a certain brand of CAT, but on the other hand allows posters to ask for reductions for the use of the same tool?

These reductions were introduced by the former owner/producer of that tool as a means of cutting costs and get their product sold. The current producer does not formerly supports that policy any longer. Who benefits most of the reductions of the use of such tools?
Not the translator, but mostly intermediaries, who have grown because of these reductions.
Like speech-recognition, CATs are tools for consistency and for helping to increase productivity, not to give discounts.

If the quoting system is going to be eliminated, will this also be the case of the possibility to ask for reductions for the use of CAT-tools?

How is it that job-posters in the Eurozone can post jobs intended for the Eurozone market in $?

For those outside Europe:
In Europe: Rates of 0.02-0.03$ equal that you work for nothing taken into account the exchange rate $-€/£.




[Edited at 2010-04-02 11:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-04-02 13:28 GMT]
Collapse


 

Linda Bestwalter
Germany
German to English
Rate development over the past 17 years Apr 5, 2010

I live in Germany and have been a freelance translator DE->EN since 1993. My line rate back then was DM 1.80 which is roughly EUR 0.92. After a few years I'd managed to increase my rate to EUR 1,00 which was an acceptable price for me and I was able to put something aside in a pension fund.

When the globalisation of the translation industry started I came under pressure from translators in the UK and US working in my language combination for much lower rates. Some of my colleagues f
... See more
I live in Germany and have been a freelance translator DE->EN since 1993. My line rate back then was DM 1.80 which is roughly EUR 0.92. After a few years I'd managed to increase my rate to EUR 1,00 which was an acceptable price for me and I was able to put something aside in a pension fund.

When the globalisation of the translation industry started I came under pressure from translators in the UK and US working in my language combination for much lower rates. Some of my colleagues from the BDÜ and I decided not to bow to this pressure and managed - on the whole - not to sell our translations at below EUR 1,00/line (the word pricing system was also imported and I started charging EUR 0.13/word - I should have charged more but in view of global pricing this was already regarded as too high).

In recent years maintaining this price has become increasingly difficult. Last year one company I have been working with for more than 15 years asked me to drop my word price from EUR 0.13 to EUR 0.09.

I now constantly receive enquiries for jobs from translation agencies who expect me to work for - sometimes considerably - less than EUR 0.10.

I luckily still have a circle of customers who are willing to pay me either EUR 1,00/line or EUR 0.13/word, but this means that over the last 10 years or so my rates have not kept pace with inflation or general price increases. I find it very difficult to put anything aside.

When Proz.com was set up I joined as I thought the idea was great but I soon decided not to actively participate as I didn't want to join in the price wars which seemed to rage on the site. In my opinion Proz has played a very significant role in the negative price developments on the translation market. I sincerely hope that this trend will be now be turned around and that current activities will help us all as translators stick to our guns in demanding adequate payment for our services.

I would also like to point out that the cost of living in Germany as a whole varies considerably. For example, rents in the south of Germany are literally double what you are expected to pay in the north. Anyone living in Munich will have to charge considerably more to maintain the same standard of living as someone doing the same work in a less expensive area. I even know translators who have moved from the Stuttgart area to northern Germany as the cost of living is lower there and they were struggling to make ends meet in the south.

This also has to be factored in to any calculations.


[Edited at 2010-04-05 11:59 GMT]
Collapse


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:57
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Linda. Apr 5, 2010

Linda Bestwalter wrote:
I luckily still have a circle of customers who are willing to pay me either EUR 1,00/line or EUR 0.13/word, but this means that over the last 10 years or so my rates have not kept pace with inflation or general price increases.

Thanks for your post, Linda.

Out of curiosity, has the speed at which you work changed at all?


 

Linda Bestwalter
Germany
German to English
Work speed Apr 8, 2010

Hi Henry,

Any speed that I have managed to gather as the result of CAT software, for example, is swallowed by the reduction rates for matches and repeats etc. which suddenly swamped the market when translation agencies came into being. I didn't want to agree to these at the beginning because ultimately I am the one buying the software and learning how to use it, but had to give in in the end as unfortunately translators didn't stand together to defend themselves. Everyone seemed to
... See more
Hi Henry,

Any speed that I have managed to gather as the result of CAT software, for example, is swallowed by the reduction rates for matches and repeats etc. which suddenly swamped the market when translation agencies came into being. I didn't want to agree to these at the beginning because ultimately I am the one buying the software and learning how to use it, but had to give in in the end as unfortunately translators didn't stand together to defend themselves. Everyone seemed to be busy undercutting everyone else in offering even more reductions and even not charging anything for repeats and 100% matches, although sometimes the TM wasn't even theirs. This is something I really don't understand.

I wouldn't say that I have become any faster over the past 10 years on my own account, as I was already familiar with the subject matter of my main customers beforehand.

I did at one point think about using voice recognition software, as the main toil in my work is typing, not the actual translation, but what I heard about the time you have to invest put me off. Perhaps I should take another look at it.

As an afterthought - a large chunk of the income of a translator here in Germany goes to health insurance, and contributions have risen considerably in recent years. This is generally expensive and I don't know how it compares with other European or US contributions.

Linda
Collapse


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Flemish to English
+ ...
2 suggestions Apr 9, 2010

1. Wouldn't it be possible to post under Tools a link/line to what to do in case of non-payment, containing links to who to contact in case of non-payment: for example: UK: small claims court and local Uk-credit-collection agencies. France: ..... and local French credit-collection agencies or a Google-map with pins linking to those institutions/agencies/lawyers per continent and country.
I am not a paying member (awaiting the result of the changes implemented to become one), but you could
... See more
1. Wouldn't it be possible to post under Tools a link/line to what to do in case of non-payment, containing links to who to contact in case of non-payment: for example: UK: small claims court and local Uk-credit-collection agencies. France: ..... and local French credit-collection agencies or a Google-map with pins linking to those institutions/agencies/lawyers per continent and country.
I am not a paying member (awaiting the result of the changes implemented to become one), but you could earn twice by making this information a part of the Blue-Board, which is accessible for paying members only, by linking and getting a fee from those to whom you link (may be interested also, given that they can earn something with it).
If an outsourcer does not pay/pays too late, you could introduce the option for the member to send a standard letter.
After all, in some cases chasing invoices is part of the job of a translator.

2. In Europe: Given that the E.U. encompasses 27 Members where the European guideline with regard to late payments in commercial transactions applies and has been "translated" into national law", perhaps including a link to it and to the transposition into national law might be helpful. You could either include this link on the BB or one the part of the site where the outsourcer is posting a job.
Now those references can be found scattered on the forums.
Issues like non-payment, late payment, VAT et.al. will pop up time and again.
Wouldn't it be wise to refer to them directly within the framework of Proz.com?

References to text with regard to payment applied in countries would also be welcome.
I haven't the faintest idea what the legislation of Canada or the US for instance says with regard to payment-delays or are those delays determined by the free market?



[Edited at 2010-04-09 19:00 GMT]
Collapse


 

Hermeneutica  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 06:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
Where is the link to the info on rates in the Wiki article? May 3, 2010

Hi all but perhaps especially Henry,

I am taking the time to get well acquainted with the results of the petition, and am finding everything I'm seeing very enlightening - there finally seems to be a fragrance of progress for the profession in the air!
BUT: I read the FAQs and in several places it is mentioned that there is a link in the article on how to determine your rates that leads to ProZ rate information compilations or something of that ilk. Where is it? The only link
... See more
Hi all but perhaps especially Henry,

I am taking the time to get well acquainted with the results of the petition, and am finding everything I'm seeing very enlightening - there finally seems to be a fragrance of progress for the profession in the air!
BUT: I read the FAQs and in several places it is mentioned that there is a link in the article on how to determine your rates that leads to ProZ rate information compilations or something of that ilk. Where is it? The only link I can find is to the excellent ATA presentation.

This interests me particularly because after quoting on a [ProZ] job the other day I was told my rates were "far above the average" -- since I based what I quoted on a mid range of what my translators charge me as an agency [in the same country], I knew this not to be true, so I enquired further. The answer was "it's very simple, we expect to pay the average rates posted on ProZ, that is the world average".

Hmmmm ... I was not fast enough to tell her that my accountant would laugh me out of his office if I told him that I would only consider paying a rate that was the average of the self-reported rates of an anonymous number of accountants without qualification or specialization specification from around the world. But nonetheless, it would be interesting to find out more about what is or is not being shown on ProZ in terms of such "statistics" [are they?].

Many thanks in advance!
Collapse


 

I. Urrutia  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely agree with Linda! Jun 1, 2010

I absolutely agree with Linda! We translators devote our time, our knowledge (generally specialized, which means we have studied other subjects apart from translation and interpreting), our "brains"... to our job. We DO like it, we even LOVE it, but we normally work the same number of hours as anyone else... Why is it, then, that a plumber (just an example) comes to your home to fix something up and charges you, let's say 90 €, only for the time invested in coming to your home (normally not mo... See more
I absolutely agree with Linda! We translators devote our time, our knowledge (generally specialized, which means we have studied other subjects apart from translation and interpreting), our "brains"... to our job. We DO like it, we even LOVE it, but we normally work the same number of hours as anyone else... Why is it, then, that a plumber (just an example) comes to your home to fix something up and charges you, let's say 90 €, only for the time invested in coming to your home (normally not more than half an hour) and WE must ONLY charge, say, 50 € as a minimum rate for a translation??? (this is the case of Spain AND with a final client, because agencies only pay 24-30 € for a translation considered as a minimum).

I guess we (professional translators) should all fix the same MINIMUM rate per translation and the same MINIMUM rate per word/hour (at least, in each European country)... which matches the AVERAGE MARKET RATES for other type of jobs.

This is my point of view, I don't know if you agree!!

Carido.
Collapse


 
Pages in topic:   < [1 2]


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Please help build wiki article: "Determining your rates and fees as a translator"

Advanced search






Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search