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Cost per word

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
11 of 47

@Andrea B wrote:

First of all, I'm not a pro translator. I'm doing this in my free time - it doesn't mean I don't struggle to do my best in order to meet my clients' requirements or I don't try and be professional in what I do - and I am aware that I'm probably charging less than the average for my translations. But who cares, I'm happy like this, at the moment at least.


 I tell you who cares, Andrea. (Real) translators care.

 

Clients usually do not know the target language. Therefor they usually don't know the difference between a professional translation and a text that has been flung from one language to another by someone who speaks two languages and thinks that makes them qualified to do translations.

 

With Upwork flooded with well-meaning (mostly) people who just want to make some pennies it is harder for clients to choose, and harder for me to explain why I take $ 0.10 a word or more for some texts.

 

I proofread translations a lot. I see it all the time. Done by natives, factually correct, often grammatically not bad, yet unusable....

Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
12 of 47

@Petra R wrote:

@Andrea B wrote:

First of all, I'm not a pro translator. I'm doing this in my free time - it doesn't mean I don't struggle to do my best in order to meet my clients' requirements or I don't try and be professional in what I do - and I am aware that I'm probably charging less than the average for my translations. But who cares, I'm happy like this, at the moment at least.


 I tell you who cares, Andrea. (Real) translators care.

 

Clients usually do not know the target language. Therefor they usually don't know the difference between a professional translation and a text that has been flung from one language to another by someone who speaks two languages and thinks that makes them qualified to do translations.

 

With Upwork flooded with well-meaning (mostly) people who just want to make some pennies it is harder for clients to choose, and harder for me to explain why I take $ 0.10 a word or more for some texts.

 

I proofread translations a lot. I see it all the time. Done by natives, factually correct, often grammatically not bad, yet unusable....


 I agree with Petra. When I started on Elance two years ago, I was aware that translation is not easy and that just speaking both languages doesn't really qualify me as a translator. I've learnt a lot in these two years. Comparing my translations from two years ago to what I do today, well, there's a world of difference. Today I can also pinpoint areas I simply don't do, like non-technical books.

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
13 of 47

Petra,

I perfectly understand your point of view. And I don't want to start my next sentence with a 'but' because I really agree with you regarding the difference between a real professional translator and a person that has some knowledge of the languages but that has never worked in this field as a pro before and has no idea of how this world works.

Still, Upwork is open to anybody, regardless of the reasons that bring you here. I'm not a TOS expert, but I don't think this platform is open to certified professionals only. I guess this is why my rates are lower than yours.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
14 of 47

Andrea B wrote: I really agree with you regarding the difference between a real professional translator and a person that has some knowledge of the languages but that has never worked in this field as a pro before and has no idea of how this world works.

 

Andrea, I don't want to argue with you because you're a really nice guy, but in fairness, and with all due respect,  reading your profile would give any client the impression that you have worked as a professional translator for 13 years, not that you are "a person that has some knowledge of the languages but that has never worked in this field as a pro before and has no idea of how this world works.!"

 

 

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
15 of 47

Indeed, I have never said that "I am a person that has some knowledge of the languages but that has never worked in this field as a pro before and has no idea of how this world works". I think I'm just in the middle, between many serious professionals and many fakes. In the last 16 years I have always worked as a freelance translator in my spare time - without any professional training maybe - but I think that a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures is still better than nothing.

If you read between the lines that I'm pretending to be a professional translator... well, I'm sorry. That's not what I wanted to say. Peace & love Petra, I really don't want to argue with you on this matter because I really understand your concerns because it's your job, and not your hobby, what we are talking about.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
16 of 47

@Andrea B wrote:

Indeed, I have never said that "I am a person...................


 You are right, I jumped to a conclusion, and should not have done. Apologies!

 

I do hardly any translations these days, to be honest I don't actually enjoy it much Smiley Wink so it makes little difference to me either way. I work full time on Upwork, and have spent less than 30 hours doing translations over the past year, out of well over 2500.

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
17 of 47

Petra,

no problem, I respect every individual working here as a true professional, and I also respect everyone trying to find his/her way, honestly, without being a pro. I don't think I'll ever become a professional translator, but as Joachim pointed out, I am sure I can improve my skills here.

Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
18 of 47

This depends on client and text. A simple straightforward text EN into DE 0.04/0.05 per word. For more challenging texts up to 0.07 per word. Offline the prices are a lot higher, two or three times what you can have here.

 

The main problem here is that most clients have no idea of the quality delivered to them and the quality of the translator. If somebody delivers a Google Translation they will rate it with 5 stars and possibly weeks later - if at all - discover that they have been taken advantage of. The more a client emphasises that he will have the translation checked by a native speaker (friend, colleage etc.) the less likely it is that he will actually do it. 

 

The tests offered by Upwork don't solve the problem and can't solve the problem.

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19 of 47
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@Joachim M wrote:

This depends on client and text. A simple straightforward text EN into DE 0.04/0.05 per word. For more challenging texts up to 0.07 per word. Offline the prices are a lot higher, two or three times what you can have here.

 

The main problem here is that most clients have no idea of the quality delivered to them and the quality of the translator. If somebody delivers a Google Translation they will rate it with 5 stars and possibly weeks later - if at all - discover that they have been taken advantage of. The more a client emphasises that he will have the translation checked by a native speaker (friend, colleage etc.) the less likely it is that he will actually do it. 

 

The tests offered by Upwork don't solve the problem and can't solve the problem.


I do not understand why clients want to pay nearly nothing but expect quality. Nobody can use these low-quality Google translations... The client can just feed Google translate with his text and will have the same (low) quality - free of charge.

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20 of 47
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If somebody claims to be a translator (not just doing translations from time to time), normally this has to be proven by an exam at a university or school or an officially recognized examination. 

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