Posted by: patenttranslator | October 29, 2013

10 Signs That Your Rate Per Translated Word May Be Too Low

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Beginning translators are often not sure how much can translators charge for their work.

That is why I decided to put together a handy list of signs indicating that the rate that you are charging for your expert translations may be too low.

This is not a definitive list. Other rules of thumb are certainly also possible and translators are encouraged to contribute their own guidelines for setting a correct translation rate.

1. Your rate is too low if it is the same as or less than the rates advertised on “portals for translators”.

2. Your rate is too low if it is the same as or less than what large translation agencies pay these days to translators.

3. Your rate is too low if it is the same as or less than what a seamstress in Bangladesh is making per hour.

4. Your rate in cents per word is too low if it is the same as or less than what a typical Wall Street criminal is making in thousands per hour or millions per year.

5. Your rate for your expert translations is too low if it is the same as or less than what qualified experts specializing in finding empty beer cans in garbage can get for an empty beer can at an authorized recycling center.

6. Your rate is too low if it is the same as or less than the cost of a sheet of paper and the cost of the ink used for the lines printed on the sheet of the paper.

7. Your rate is too low if it is the same as or less than what machine translation software would charge for the same translation.

8. Your rate is too low if it is accepted by a translation agency in India.

9. Your rate is too low if you are always working but never have enough money to pay your taxes.

10. Your rate is too low if you are willing to do so much for so little that your client can’t respect you in the morning.

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Related article (meant slightly more seriously than this post): http://thoughtsontranslation.com/2013/10/29/what-is-the-right-rate-for-your-translation-services/

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Responses

  1. 11. Your rate is too low if every time you bid for a job you get it.

    Like

    • I really like your post, Steve, but I have to say that this is my favourite!

      Like

  2. @Chris

    Of course. How did I miss this one?

    Like

  3. Your rate is too low if everyone pays it unquestioningly, without trying to get you to push it lower. 🙂

    Like

  4. @Jetranslate

    Unquestioningly.

    Like

  5. @Veronica

    The best posts attract the best commenters.

    Like

  6. But here’s a thought, Steve: you’re spending too much vital energy on the negative stuff. That’s a minus. The posts about missing Lucy were much more engaging.

    Like

  7. Vital energy was given to us by the great clockmaker to turn negative stuff into positive stuff, which is what I am trying to do.

    Like

    • Fortunately or unfortunately, the clockmaker is blind while we are not.

      Like

      • Either that, or he’s having so much fun watching us screw up everything.

        Like

  8. 11. Your rate is too low if every time you bid for a job you get it.

    🙂 Best “guest post” ever.

    Like

    • It’s a comment, not a guest post, at least not yet.

      But it could be if Chris is willing.

      Like

  9. I love this post, especially the point “Your rate is too low if it is accepted by a translation agency in India”. Steve, would you mind if I translate your post and publish it (with a link to the original of course) in my Russian blog?

    Like

  10. @Olga

    Please go ahead and let me know when it’s on your blog.

    (As long as it is not a devious plan to send me an invoice!)

    Like

  11. […] Стив опубликовал новую статью под названием 10 Signs That Your Rate Per Translated Word May Be Too Low. Статья отличная, комментарии стоят отдельного […]

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  12. […] Out for in Translators’ Résumés Review Gone Out of Control? Focus Your In-Country Reviewers 10 Signs That Your Rate Per Translated Word May Be Too Low First international IAPTI conference in London, October 2013 Language professionals: are you […]

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