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Translator rates calculator

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Khaldun Alqaisi
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 02:26
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Please do not accept low rates Aug 20, 2015

Hi Gregory,

I read your post and I would like to answer your question:

Ya, please do not offer low rates even if you are beginner ... your rates should be average NOT low


because agencies may be worried about the quality of the translation for beginners have no experience, they gonna pay by reviewing and proofreading ...etc.

You will gain experience with time so please do not worry much.

Best luck


 

Gregory Lassale  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:26
Member (May 2019)
English to French
follow up question Aug 20, 2015

Khaldun Al-Qaisi wrote:

Hi Gregory,

I read your post and I would like to answer your question:

Ya, please do not offer low rates even if you are beginner ... your rates should be average NOT low


because agencies may be worried about the quality of the translation for beginners have no experience, they gonna pay by reviewing and proofreading ...etc.

You will gain experience with time so please do not worry much.

Best luck


Thanks for the feedback! What do you then do when you receive a job offer with a flat-rate that, when calculated on a per-word basis, equals about $0.04-$0.05 / wrd? Do you just turn those down?

Thanks again.

EDIT: Oops nevermind, I just noticed the header of your post says "do not accept low rates". I guess that answers my follow up question as well. Thanks!

[Edited at 2015-08-20 12:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-08-20 14:38 GMT]


 

Khaldun Alqaisi
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 02:26
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Try to negotiate but turn it down eventually Aug 20, 2015

Yes you can turn the request down if you really find it necessary

Gregory Lassale wrote:

Khaldun Al-Qaisi wrote:

Hi Gregory,

I read your post and I would like to answer your question:

Ya, please do not offer low rates even if you are beginner ... your rates should be average NOT low


because agencies may be worried about the quality of the translation for beginners have no experience, they gonna pay by reviewing and proofreading ...etc.

You will gain experience with time so please do not worry much.

Best luck


Thanks for the feedback! What do you then do when you receive a job offer with a flat-rate that, when calculated on a per-word basis, equals about $0.04-$0.05 / wrd? Do you just turn those down?

Thanks again.

EDIT: Oops nevermind, I just noticed the header of your post says "do not accept low rates". I guess that answers my follow up question as well. Thanks!

[Edited at 2015-08-20 12:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-08-20 14:38 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:26
Member (2008)
French to English
Don't sell yourself short Aug 21, 2015

Gregory Lassale wrote:

...

I once read on this forum that even a beginning translator should never offer to work for very low rates and that they should still charge a reasonable fee of around $0.08/$0.09 per word in order not to undermine other freelancers. Does everyone agree?

...


Yes, I agree, especially in your language pairs. Even the prices you mention should be the low end of what you should consider. If you are getting offers lower than that you are not reaching the right people.

If you want to work for agencies, the simplest thing is to sort through the BlueBoard for well rated outsourcers, then go to their websites to find out how to register with them. All agencies today have somewhere on their website where you can register as a service provider. If they have special requirements they will say there. You will also be asked to register your price - don't sell yourself short. You will find that if you are a reliable translator there will be work for you. At a higher price you will attract a higher-paying clientele.

Whether you work part-time or full-time is not the point, the point is knowing your capacity (XX words per day) and never being late. If you only have time for 1000 words per day, that's fine, just know it and commit to it when you are asked if you are available.

[Edited at 2015-08-21 00:39 GMT]


 

Alena Kandratchyk  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 01:26
English to Russian
+ ...
Great Oct 6, 2016

A very good summary.

 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
German to English
+ ...
but is it? Oct 6, 2016

Alena Kandratchyk wrote:

A very good summary.

I just looked at that summary. Among other things it suggested discounts for "bulk" work and for the use of CAT tools. A translation is not like a bulk industry. For example producing bottles of ketchup where the initial time and monetary cost consists of setting everything up, and after that the more you produce, the more lucrative it is. In translation the last word is as hand-crafted as the first, and large quantity translations carry their own risks and difficulties. I don't see it as an authoritative article, and would be said to see the ideas of of those kinds of discounts take hold as something "one does".


 

Cinamon
Spain
Local time: 23:26
Spanish to German
+ ...
Translation is art, not bulk Feb 1, 2017


In translation the last word is as hand-crafted as the first,..


BRAVO and AMEN to this.


 

VPSri
India
Local time: 03:56
English to Hindi
300 words per hour, 3 hours a day, 3 days a week... really? Feb 7, 2017

Gabriela Hebin wrote:

Please, just look at the default values on this formula.

A newbie translator might see this formula and expect to support his/her family's lifestyle by translating during only 70% of their "working" time, yet expects to do so by only translating 300 words per hour. Of course he/she feels it is perfectly reasonable to expect 4 weeks a year of what amounts to a paid vacation, and then to only work for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week.

Hello??? ON WHAT PLANET can you support yourself working 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, 48 weeks a year, if you're only good enough to produce 300 words an hour?

THEN someone else chimes in agreeing that they can only manage to produce some 1000-1200 words per day, so the newbie feels justified in the presumptions.

REALITY CHECK: 1000 words per day is NOT a professional rate of production! All of the translators who I work with can produce a minimum of 4000 words per day, some of them up to 8000, so let's get real here. Step it up.

What is the amount that you are willing to earn while you sit at home in front of your lapton in your jammies?
What is the value of being able to watch your own children rather than send them off to be "cared for" by strangers?
How cool is it to be able to take a break from your emails to move your laundry from the washer to the dryer?
Or to water your garden between assignments?
What is the value of NOT having to wear a suit and tie (or nylons and heels)?
Of NOT having to commute X number of hours each week?
Of NOT having to waste the the gas and wear and tear on your car?
How amazing is it to be in touch with people from all over the world and not have to sit in some fluorescent-lit office listening to some yahoo spouting the usual office gossip and politics while you pretend to care?
And what could be better than to avoid ALL of those things and still earn MANY times more than what an office worker earns?

To me, that kind of freedom is priceless.

Please enlighten me, even in the most Socialist of societies, since when does 300 words per hour X 3 hours a day X 3 days a week constitute an effort to earn a living? A business owner always works MORE than a full-time employee, not less. Greater freedom only comes with greater responsibility.

Enough said.

I'm sure this post will create hate mail, but so what? I'm sitting at home making my own coffee and listening to the TV while I laugh at the flames from the newbies who can only translate 1000 words per day.




LIVIA EPURE
 

IBIDEM GROUP
Spain
Local time: 00:26
English
Consider also the "country" factor Jul 11, 2017

Life cost in Dubai is not the same as in Spain, for instance...
Here in Spain agency translation rates vary from 0.08 USD to 0.12 USD.
Translation agencies usually charge 0.10 EUR per word for a basic Spanish to English translation (see prices here).
A translator would then get paid around 0.06 USD per word, which means he could make more than 3.000 USD per month, if he translates 2.500 words per day (which I co
... See more
Life cost in Dubai is not the same as in Spain, for instance...
Here in Spain agency translation rates vary from 0.08 USD to 0.12 USD.
Translation agencies usually charge 0.10 EUR per word for a basic Spanish to English translation (see prices here).
A translator would then get paid around 0.06 USD per word, which means he could make more than 3.000 USD per month, if he translates 2.500 words per day (which I consider it easy for a non technical text). But again, bear in mind minimum wage in Spain for 2017 is less than 1000 USD, so that would tripple that amount...
At the end, it all depends, but clearly the more specialized you are in a specific field, the higher you can charge, rise can go upto +50%. That's the way to go!
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Tony M
France
Local time: 00:26
Member
French to English
+ ...
"Country factor"? Jul 12, 2017

Unlike factors relating to difficulty of text, experience (and quality!) of translator, supply-&-demand vs. availability of resources in a particular language pair, which all have a legitimate effect on rates, I don't actually believe that "where the translator lives" should really have that much bearing on the cost.

After all, where I live is to some extent my choice — if I happen to work in a language pair that is heavily over-subscribed, thus depressing prices, it's my fault i
... See more
Unlike factors relating to difficulty of text, experience (and quality!) of translator, supply-&-demand vs. availability of resources in a particular language pair, which all have a legitimate effect on rates, I don't actually believe that "where the translator lives" should really have that much bearing on the cost.

After all, where I live is to some extent my choice — if I happen to work in a language pair that is heavily over-subscribed, thus depressing prices, it's my fault if I then choose to go and live in a very expensive country.

Conversely, I am constantly irked by the way people living in countries where the cost of living is less practise rates that undercut my own and represent "unfair competition"; I'm sure people in "poor" countries are delighted to earn the low rates they do; but in all fairness, they OUGHT to be getting the same rates as me, irrespective of where they happen to live. I imagine they'd be over the moon to get the same rates as I — always assuming, of course, that they are able to offer the same quality of work! Why should their work — of equivalent quality — be paid at a lower rate just because they happen to live in a "poor" country? That seems to me grossly unfair!

I don't think there is a ready answer to this, other than that I wish there were greater solidarity between translators internationally, in order to avoid undercutting each other to such a great extent as is currently the case.

I am equally appalled by the way some people who "don't need to work for a living but just do it for fun or pin money" undercut those of us who do depend on it for our living — especially as these "dilettantes" are the very people we see all the time on KudoZ, who often appear to be lacking breadth and/or depth of experience and one might surmise may produce inferior quality translations. The only consolation for me is that a very profitable part of my work is examining such translations, reporting on them, and subsequently correcting them.
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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Low to average Jul 13, 2017

Pay no attention to people who tell you your rates are too cheap. My own rates are average/low for my pair, and given my expertise and the quality I provide. At the start of 2016 I raised my rates 20% for one long-standing client, as they wanted a rush job done at the start of January. They agreed, but since then I've heard nothing from them except a request for an estimate for a translation, but when I quoted the new rate, they disappeared off the map and haven't come back.
So, what have
... See more
Pay no attention to people who tell you your rates are too cheap. My own rates are average/low for my pair, and given my expertise and the quality I provide. At the start of 2016 I raised my rates 20% for one long-standing client, as they wanted a rush job done at the start of January. They agreed, but since then I've heard nothing from them except a request for an estimate for a translation, but when I quoted the new rate, they disappeared off the map and haven't come back.
So, what have I learned from this experience? The fact that if you are getting a reasonable rate from a regular client who pays on time, maybe you shouldn't start to get uppity just because some know-it-all tells you your rates aren't high enough. They might well be charging an initial high rate, but then allowing discounts for fuzzy matches and repetitions, which means that they'll end up earning more or less the same as I do, as I can't be bothered with things like that, and prefer to give my own discounts as and when I see fit.
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saaboffice  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 01:26
rates Jul 17, 2017

Regardless of this issue, it is extremely challenging to get a single job in this site.

 

Chakir Mahjo (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
English to Arabic
+ ...
rates Nov 4, 2017

saaboffice wrote:

Regardless of this issue, it is extremely challenging to get a single job in this site.


I subscribed and was guaranteed to receive translation work or been refunded in full. I kept applying for a year.... No work and no refund.


 

Seula Yun  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 07:26
Member (2017)
English to Korean
+ ...
Other website? Nov 14, 2017

saaboffice wrote:

Regardless of this issue, it is extremely challenging to get a single job in this site.


Same here. Is there any other website that can possibly offer better options?


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 18:26
SITE FOUNDER
Did you ask? Nov 16, 2017

Chakir Mahjoubi wrote:

saaboffice wrote:

Regardless of this issue, it is extremely challenging to get a single job in this site.


I subscribed and was guaranteed to receive translation work or been refunded in full. I kept applying for a year.... No work and no refund.

Did you ask for a refund?


 
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