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Why most rates proposed and/or expected by potential clients are below ProZ "Average rates"?
ناشر الموضوع: CARLIER BRUNO

Adieu  Identity Verified
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Depends on what it is Apr 3

Philippe Etienne wrote:

(Sorry for mentioning personal experiences again)

2020 (before COVID) - Large European agency, first contact, prospective - Direct e-mail through my proz.com profile
Reasonably large technical EN>FR project, with weak CAT discounts attached and 50 days end-of-month. Looking for good quality-price ratio, serious volumes and blah-blah, so competitive rate needed.

Conditions not optimal, but I must have been in a good mood. I offer EUR0.12/word if volume >30kwords (full equivalent)

Their reply:
"We know that it's a normal rate for [Subject], but [Limitations] able to offer a specific rate around 0,09 /word."

Why indeed not ask for a 25% rebate for starters. Because they can?
I didn't get the assignment, and they didn't get my work.

Bottom line:
For technical EN>FR, EUR0.12/word is a standard rate according to large agencies.
My own conclusion:
If it's standard, it's not even high.

Community rates: standard 0.11, min 0.08.
(EDIT: I wrongly assumed that agencies would state rates paid to translators in the community rates)

Philippe

[Edited at 2021-04-03 10:13 GMT]


Could be pretty decent, could be downright atrocious. Depends on what sort of "technical" it is.

In any case, they're not exactly the kind of blatant offenders that usually come to mind.


 

Sadek_A  Identity Verified
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..... Apr 3

This is an important point I wrote in my reply to Dan, which got blocked in order to not upset his feelings I assume (didn't contain anything that should do so, though), on the unending belittlement of everyone complaining:

"The danger signal everyone is flashing, but you are unable or unwilling to see, is that things now are far beyond the need for a further-polished supplier/supply. It's about a demand/demander getting increasingly flawed by every day passing."

I hope
... See more
This is an important point I wrote in my reply to Dan, which got blocked in order to not upset his feelings I assume (didn't contain anything that should do so, though), on the unending belittlement of everyone complaining:

"The danger signal everyone is flashing, but you are unable or unwilling to see, is that things now are far beyond the need for a further-polished supplier/supply. It's about a demand/demander getting increasingly flawed by every day passing."

I hope this one gets published.
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Marcel Karl Gomez Galarza  Identity Verified
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There is another reason Apr 4

You forgot to mention the most important reason:
The best way to get well paid translation jobs is TO LIVE IN EUROPE.
You wouldn't even need to have a Proz account.


Christine Andersen wrote:

I never go below the average rate for my language pair, and most of my clients find me through my profile.
This is true of many users of this site.

The best clients find translators through the directories, and then they negotiate directly about rates, deadlines and whatever else needs to be arranged. Repeat jobs, where the same client and translator work together again, will not involve Proz.com at all, but when both are happy with the arrangement, the rate will often be above the average.

The rates many translators state on their profiles are not visible, but they are used to filter offers that will not be accepted, and the rates are counted in the statistics to calculate the average. Mine are like that - above average but invisible.

In fact, my rates vary quite a lot, depending on the type of job and possibly the client as well which is why I do not show them.

This site is a market place where outsourcers and translators find each other, and then arrange terms between them.
It should really be the translator who sets the rate. There are not many professions where the customer comes in and dictates the price. Agencies have their standard budgets, nevertheless, so they often suggest a rate. The translator is still free to negotiate or turn it down!

The way to get well-paid jobs is to fill in your profile, make yourself visible, and let the good clients find you.


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
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Why? Apr 4

Marcel Karl Gomez Galarza wrote:

You forgot to mention the most important reason:
The best way to get well paid translation jobs is TO LIVE IN EUROPE.
You wouldn't even need to have a Proz account.


Why is that? Is it because of the time difference?

[Edited at 2021-04-04 12:21 GMT]


 

Adieu  Identity Verified
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No Apr 4

Baran Keki wrote:

Marcel Karl Gomez Galarza wrote:

You forgot to mention the most important reason:
The best way to get well paid translation jobs is TO LIVE IN EUROPE.
You wouldn't even need to have a Proz account.


Why is that? Is it because of the time difference?

[Edited at 2021-04-04 12:21 GMT]


Because it is an odd multinational confederation that overly emphasizes member state "equality" and obsessively translates its documents into languages nobody would ever do business in otherwise

Like, seriously. When rich-AF Korean or Norwegian multinationals do market research abroad, for example, what language do you think they pay for? Usually just English, I can attest to that from personal experience. Nobody bothers with Russian to Korean or Russian to Norwegian en masse.

But the European taxpayer springs for stuff like Bulgarian and Romanian, including on documents nobody in Bulgaria or Romania even cares about. They even use Irish, which the Irish themselves don't use!!!


 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
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The "data" Apr 5

Baran Keki wrote:

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Here's another piece of info while I'm at it. US hospitals pay agencies from $95 to $145 for single-page medical reports. Agencies are then asking the translators to get paid 5-7 cents per word for the final (usually less than $25 in total).


I'm speechless. Where did you get this data?


I work for them too - that's how much they pay. If you are trying to find "data" on the internet, you're lost.
Of course it's a vastly lucrative business for agencies - their profit margin is enormous. Why do you think more and more of them popup like mashrooms by non-translators?

It's not new - market a product people need and find cheap labor to produce it. And strap them all up with NDAs so that nobody spills the beans.


Kaspars Melkis
Baran Keki
Adieu
 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
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Twice is actually pretty decent Apr 5

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

by mistake... the agency charged the client twice my rate...


Twice is actually pretty good! They have to pay taxes too you know. I wish my clients paid 50%. Because the average markup in large agencies is 2.2-4.0 (220-400%).


Kaspars Melkis
Baran Keki
 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
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handwritten physician's notes Apr 5

I did those translations for 0.12 USD/word for one agency (about $40 per page, I think) and stopped doing them because for the amount work they involve, the pay seemed too low. It wasn't the only reason why I quit this type of work. The agency required a special encryption software that they monitored centrally. I understand that it was due to HIPPA regulations to make sure that those documents are kept secure and yet I would have preferred to control my computer myself by providing necessary ce... See more
I did those translations for 0.12 USD/word for one agency (about $40 per page, I think) and stopped doing them because for the amount work they involve, the pay seemed too low. It wasn't the only reason why I quit this type of work. The agency required a special encryption software that they monitored centrally. I understand that it was due to HIPPA regulations to make sure that those documents are kept secure and yet I would have preferred to control my computer myself by providing necessary certification and/or technical training. At the end one of their PM was really rude and unprofessional and that was my last straw.

Translation market is really wide and varied. My stated rates on Proz are actual and correct. I do most jobs at those rates and they are higher than the average community rates thus I was surprised about this thread.

I believe that translation as a profession undergoes significant changes. Due to MT becoming more common, clients are no longer impressed by ability to transform text from language A to language B. Rather translators should become knowledge workers who validate that the target text is appropriate for the target audience and adequately serves their needs.
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Adieu
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
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Just curious Apr 5

Kaspars Melkis wrote:

The agency required a special encryption software that they monitored centrally.


Did that translation agency also ask you to install their own virus/malware program on your computer?


Kaspars Melkis
 

Adieu  Identity Verified
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The bigger scam is in interpreting Apr 5

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Baran Keki wrote:

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Here's another piece of info while I'm at it. US hospitals pay agencies from $95 to $145 for single-page medical reports. Agencies are then asking the translators to get paid 5-7 cents per word for the final (usually less than $25 in total).


I'm speechless. Where did you get this data?


I work for them too - that's how much they pay. If you are trying to find "data" on the internet, you're lost.
Of course it's a vastly lucrative business for agencies - their profit margin is enormous. Why do you think more and more of them popup like mashrooms by non-translators?

It's not new - market a product people need and find cheap labor to produce it. And strap them all up with NDAs so that nobody spills the beans.




Medical interpreting is the big time opportunist scam.

All these firms billing insurance $100 & up per appointment (as best I can tell) and subcontracting to unemployed somewhat bilingual immigrants for $8 - 20...per HOUR.

I read an offer from one of them out of idle curiosity, and guess what? Not only that, they PAY IN 10 MINUTE INCREMENTS.

Bye-bye 2 hour minimum...hello TWO DOLLAR minimum.

Lol.


 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
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...more... Apr 5

Adieu wrote:
Medical interpreting is the big time opportunist scam.
All these firms billing insurance $100 & up per appointment (as best I can tell) and subcontracting to unemployed somewhat bilingual immigrants for $8 - 20...per HOUR.
I read an offer from one of them out of idle curiosity, and guess what? Not only that, they PAY IN 10 MINUTE INCREMENTS.
Bye-bye 2 hour minimum...hello TWO DOLLAR minimum.
Lol.


Your assessment of $100/hr is correct.
Most of them then subcontract the contract to other companies.
There are still some small traditional agencies that will pay $30/hr with one hour minimum, but it's video-interpreting and they also require you to be well-dressed etc in a professional noise-free environment. At your expense of course.
The interpreting industry is dead and buried for the freelancer.

Kaspars wrote:
Rather translators should become knowledge workers


We were always knowledge workers. Compare MT text with text actually written by a veteran translator - the latter is quite shorter and easy to understand. But it doesn't matter how well you do it nowadays. Have you noticed that none of the agency owners was ever a translator? (there may be 1-2 exceptions...). Today's fashion is "open up an agency for whatever, from plumping to computer programming, find professionals to work for you and the clients". That's it. The other day I got an email from a company with an offer to "review test translations". You know, 300 words or so a pop. And my question is "if you say you are specialists in the industry, why are you asking me to test your translators?".
You can open an agency for photographers today even if you have no idea what a lens is. All you need is advertisement, a website full of lies, a few first clients, and a ton of "knowledge workers" to jump up and run every time you call them. And to sign NDAs, non-competition clauses, and keep their mouth shut.

On another topic, an agency I used to work with in the past without issues, sent me three (3) times different emails about different jobs to "give them a quote". After that, no reply. And I was cheap too. They take your quote, let's say $100, and then they ask others "can you do it for $90?". And then they tell you they're honest with you, in the most straight manner possible.
I have stopped providing quotes all together - it's like a blind casino bet and a waste of time. Knowing the realities of my new colleagues in Greece, if I give a quote of $10 (for a $100 job), the agency will find someone to do it for $8. My own shame of course is that being in the US, I decided to do a job tied to the Greek market. Big mistake.


Robert Forstag
 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
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"Interpreting Agencies" and free insurance policies Apr 6

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Bye-bye 2 hour minimum...hello TWO DOLLAR minimum.
Lol.


In the area where I operate (large midwestern US city), it does seem to be the case that the longstanding two-hour minimum is on its way out.


The interpreting industry is dead and buried for the freelancer.


Well, maybe not "dead," as long as you are not trying to make a full-time living from doing freelance interpreting assignments in Spanish or another of the very few languages for which there might be a high need for interpretation in a given geographical area.

The problem is that there are people out there trying to make a living by patching together both interpreting and translating gigs - and getting squeezed at both ends! So sad.

Today's fashion is "open up an agency for whatever, from plumbing to computer programming, find professionals to work for you and the clients".
You can open an agency for photographers today even if you have no idea what a lens is. All you need is advertisement, a website full of lies, a few first clients, and a ton of "knowledge workers" to jump up and run every time you call them. And to sign NDAs, non-competition clauses, and keep their mouth shut.


Again, this is what I also am seeing as far as interpretation agencies go. In a given geographical area, interpretation agencies are all typically utilizing the same resources, at least when it comes to onsite interpretation, For example, with the exception of a half dozen or so of the largest US cities, there are very limited numbers of certified Spanish interpreters. And if the need is for a less common language arises, the pickings are slimmer still.

Thus, in some areas of the US, an "interpretation agency" will have established relationships with a handful of the local translators in the languages for which there is highest demand in that area. When the need arises for a less common language, then an agency will search the internet and rosters of certified interpreters in order to try to meet that need.

This indeed is equivalent to someone setting up a plumbing agency on the basis of his friendship with Bill and Joe, who are certified plumbers. For those assignments Bill and Joe can't cover, well there's always the Yellow Pages and Yelp. So now the "CEO" of this plumbing agency can boast of "a vast network of local plumbers."

On another topic, an agency I used to work with in the past without issues, sent me three (3) times different emails about different jobs to "give them a quote". After that, no reply. And I was cheap too. They take your quote, let's say $100, and then they ask others "can you do it for $90?". And then they tell you they're honest with you, in the most straight manner possible.
I have stopped providing quotes all together - it's like a blind casino bet and a waste of time. Knowing the realities of my new colleagues in Greece, if I give a quote of $10 (for a $100 job), the agency will find someone to do it for $8. My own shame of course is that being in the US, I decided to do a job tied to the Greek market. Big mistake.


This is something that I have encountered numerous times over the years as a translator. This is why, when I receive such a request, I typically impose a time limit by which I need to receive a confirmed assignment for the price that have quoted. Otherwise, I am simply offering myself up as a free insurance policy and/or appraisal service for the inquiring agency. This is unacceptable.


[Edited at 2021-04-06 15:18 GMT]


 

Adieu  Identity Verified
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More Apr 6

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Adieu wrote:
Medical interpreting is the big time opportunist scam.
All these firms billing insurance $100 & up per appointment (as best I can tell) and subcontracting to unemployed somewhat bilingual immigrants for $8 - 20...per HOUR.
I read an offer from one of them out of idle curiosity, and guess what? Not only that, they PAY IN 10 MINUTE INCREMENTS.
Bye-bye 2 hour minimum...hello TWO DOLLAR minimum.
Lol.


Your assessment of $100/hr is correct.
Most of them then subcontract the contract to other companies.
There are still some small traditional agencies that will pay $30/hr with one hour minimum, but it's video-interpreting and they also require you to be well-dressed etc in a professional noise-free environment. At your expense of course.
The interpreting industry is dead and buried for the freelancer.




Doubt it. My guess was PER APPOINTMENT (15-30 mins if that).

$100/hour = an actual American Benjamin in an actual paper envelope was what you got interpreting in Eastern Europe a decade ago.

Surely these crooks milk insurance companies in America for more...


 

Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
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Highway robbery Apr 7

[/quote] Doubt it. My guess was PER APPOINTMENT (15-30 mins if that). $100/hour [/quote]
They do have a minimum, but I know for sure that the subcontracting (agency to agency) price is from $60 to $100 per hour. They find clients (hospitals etc), sign contracts, then subcontract their services to another agency. They do nothing afterwards, the money comes in.
If professional interpreters (full or part time) knew, they would be outraged. They're paid one fifth (1/5) of the m
... See more
[/quote] Doubt it. My guess was PER APPOINTMENT (15-30 mins if that). $100/hour [/quote]
They do have a minimum, but I know for sure that the subcontracting (agency to agency) price is from $60 to $100 per hour. They find clients (hospitals etc), sign contracts, then subcontract their services to another agency. They do nothing afterwards, the money comes in.
If professional interpreters (full or part time) knew, they would be outraged. They're paid one fifth (1/5) of the money the client pays, while they are responsible for all the assignment expenses!!!
Highway robbery!


[Edited at 2021-04-07 11:24 GMT]
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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
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Those are not professional interpreters. Apr 7

Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Doubt it. My guess was PER APPOINTMENT (15-30 mins if that). $100/hour
They do have a minimum, but I know for sure that the subcontracting (agency to agency) price is from $60 to $100 per hour. They find clients (hospitals etc), sign contracts, then subcontract their services to another agency. They do nothing afterwards, the money comes in.
If professional interpreters (full or part time) knew, they would be outraged. They're paid one fifth (1/5) of the money the client pays, while they are responsible for all the assignment expenses!!!
Highway robbery!


[Edited at 2021-04-07 11:24 GMT]


People willing to jump on the “we pay you per minute” train without any minimum are commonly not professional interpreters. Perhaps this can work with some silly informal conversation/meeting but with business/professional meetings they can affect the client’s business. Some of these “professionals” join the interpreting session from their phone while riding on public transport with a great amount of background noise and unstable Internet (eg. on the subway). Then imagine what kind of experience it is for the client paying the x5 rate. They usually ask for refunds.

If interpreters are professional, trained, and reliable, they do have minimums and stick to them. Also cancellation policy. They wait for the interpreting session start time at their workstation. If it’s cancelled, they have a cancellation fee in place. The others don’t, that’s why they ride on the subway when the session’s about to start.

[Edited at 2021-04-07 12:34 GMT]


Adieu
 
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