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ta_lar
Community Member

Translations

I would like to know what is the general idea in the community about translation rates. It seems to me they are getting lower and lower, with very few exceptions. They seem to be very different from those I can find on other sites: https://search.proz.com/employers/rates.

Thank you for your answers!

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colettelewis
Community Member


Lara T wrote:

I would like to know what is the general idea in the community about translation rates. It seems to me they are getting lower and lower, with very few exceptions. They seem to be very different from those I can find on other sites: https://search.proz.com/employers/rates.

Thank you for your answers!


________________________

Lara, 

 

Translations vary so much that it is impossible to have a one-size-fits all rate. I try to  match my base rate to the complexity and length of the translation.

 

With your qualifications and language abilities, I would not go any  lower than $0.09 per word and your hourly rate should square with your per-word rate. You could offer a small discount on longer texts. 

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22 REPLIES 22
jr-translation
Community Member


Lara T wrote:

I would like to know what is the general idea in the community about translation rates. It seems to me they are getting lower and lower, with very few exceptions. They seem to be very different from those I can find on other sites: https://search.proz.com/employers/rates.

Thank you for your answers!


Not sure why you ask since you already defined your worth. " My current rate starts at $0.03 per source word."

 

Clients get what they pay for. If they only want to pay the price for a machine translation, that is what they get. There are more that enough translators scammers offering translations at $0.01/word.

Dear Jennifer,

would you mind to elaborate your answer?

I set a baseline to my rate on the base of many factors. I joined Upwork a year ago and I noticed that since fall clients are advertising jobs for lower rates. I was curious to see if I was the only one noticing.

I am relatively new to the profession and to the freelance world and it definetely seems you have a better grasp of the situation.


Lara T wrote:

Dear Jennifer,

would you mind to elaborate your answer?

I set a baseline to my rate on the base of many factors. I joined Upwork a year ago and I noticed that since fall clients are advertising jobs for lower rates. I was curious to see if I was the only one noticing.

I am relatively new to the profession and to the freelance world and it definetely seems you have a better grasp of the situation.


It is nothing new.


I am still waiting for my answer.

What does translator mean on Upwork?

A: Someone who uses google translate or other machine translation?

B: Someone who believes some years at school and a dictionary are enough?

C: Someone who is bilingual due to his/her upbringing?

๐Ÿ˜ง Someone who offers translation into several languages?

E: Someone doing it part-time as a hobby and to earn some extra money?

F: Someone offering a low rate just to get any job not carring about the quality because the client most likely cannot confirm the quality?

G: Someone who was stupid enough to study translation for several years, because no qualification is needed to call yourself a translator?

colettelewis
Community Member


Lara T wrote:

I would like to know what is the general idea in the community about translation rates. It seems to me they are getting lower and lower, with very few exceptions. They seem to be very different from those I can find on other sites: https://search.proz.com/employers/rates.

Thank you for your answers!


________________________

Lara, 

 

Translations vary so much that it is impossible to have a one-size-fits all rate. I try to  match my base rate to the complexity and length of the translation.

 

With your qualifications and language abilities, I would not go any  lower than $0.09 per word and your hourly rate should square with your per-word rate. You could offer a small discount on longer texts. 

How do you manage to find clients willing to accept a rate of $0.09 per source word? I find clients are now only accepting the lowest rates, so I'm working less and less on this platform. Upwork is uneconomic for me to use too, owing to the necessity of buying Connects in the first place and then, on top of that, having to pay a substantial percentage of my earnings back to the platform too. I wouldn't mind so much if it was a case of one or the other, ie buy Connects OR pay back a percentage, as I quite understand that people (developers, administrators etc.) need to be paid.

ta_lar
Community Member

Dear Lucy,

 

The $0.09 per source word was a suggestion by Nichola and I wish I could find clients who are willing to pay that fee on Upwork. So far I have not, but I do not have the experience and qualifications of others (MA in translation and so forth) and this could be the reason I personally do not see those jobs. What I see now is a bit discomforting to the point that some post jobs offering less than one cent per word. I have to say that this is not always the case and there are "waves" of bettter jobs. It is possible that once you build a reputation you might received offer for jobs that do not even appear in the thread and pay better.

 

Good luck,

Lara

petra_r
Community Member


Lara T wrote:

What I see now is a bit discomforting to the point that some post jobs offering less than one cent per word.

 


They've always been there, for as long as I have been on Upwork (oDesk originally) - I just ignore them.

The well paying clients are there, too, just as always have been.

 

I try to price my fixed rate contracts in such a way that I make my hourly rate or better. On some contracts that could be 7 Cent per source word (or less), on others that may be in excess of 20 Cent per source word.

 

As long as I earn around my hourly rate per hour (or more) I'm not that concerned about the "per word" rate.

ta_lar
Community Member


They've always been there, for as long as I have been on Upwork (oDesk originally) - I just ignore them.

The well paying clients are there, too, just as always have been.

 

I try to price my fixed rate contracts in such a way that I make my hourly rate or better. On some contracts that could be 7 Cent per source word (or less), on others that may be in excess of 20 Cent per source word.

 

As long as I earn around my hourly rate per hour (or more) I'm not that concerned about the "per word" rate.


Thank you for the advice. I do try to ignore them and move on, but instead I see that often times they have a market with 20-50 or 50+ applications. Nichola and Rene seem to agree with you that it is possible to do fine, maybe it's my language pair.


Lara T wrote:

They've always been there, for as long as I have been on Upwork (oDesk originally) - I just ignore them.

The well paying clients are there, too, just as always have been.

 

I try to price my fixed rate contracts in such a way that I make my hourly rate or better. On some contracts that could be 7 Cent per source word (or less), on others that may be in excess of 20 Cent per source word.

 

As long as I earn around my hourly rate per hour (or more) I'm not that concerned about the "per word" rate.


Thank you for the advice. I do try to ignore them and move on, but instead I see that often times they have a market with 20-50 or 50+ applications. Nichola and Rene seem to agree with you that it is possible to do fine, maybe it's my language pair.


This is because everyone has English at school and believes that is enough to be a translator while clients do not know that anyone can claim to be a translator.



This is because everyone has English at school and believes that is enough to be a translator while clients do not know that anyone can claim to be a translator.


Well, I am not sure whether you were referring to me, but you could have. And so I have a question for you and for anybody who feels like pitching in.
I do not have formal education in translation. I have been working for a year as a translator, I would like to continue to do so and I am debating as to whether I need a degree/certification. I am not an uneducated person, though. I have a PhD in Psychology and I have worked on Language Processing for about ten years. Because of this, I have quite a background in Linguistics: I spent time, working and studying, in various Italian, European and American Linguistics labs and I have, on this topic, (peer reviewed) scientific publications in Italian and in English. For my research I found myself comparing studies in few Romance Languages (Italian, Spanish and French) versus few Germanic Languages (English, Dutch and German) and I did have to translate, or better "localize", the material we used. More recently, I attended a graduate seminar for Literary Translations at Yale and my Italian to English translation for that class was well received, even though my native language is Italian (but you can probably tell). But no formal education, degree or certification.

What would you do?

 


Lara T wrote:


This is because everyone has English at school and believes that is enough to be a translator while clients do not know that anyone can claim to be a translator.


Well, I am not sure whether you were referring to me, but you could have. And so I have a question for you and for anybody who feels like pitching in.
I do not have formal education in translation. I have been working for a year as a translator, I would like to continue to do so and I am debating as to whether I need a degree/certification. I am not an uneducated person, though. I have a PhD in Psychology and I have worked on Language Processing for about ten years. Because of this, I have quite a background in Linguistics: I spent time, working and studying, in various Italian, European and American Linguistics labs and I have, on this topic, (peer reviewed) scientific publications in Italian and in English. For my research I found myself comparing studies in few Romance Languages (Italian, Spanish and French) versus few Germanic Languages (English, Dutch and German) and I did have to translate, or better "localize", the material we used. More recently, I attended a graduate seminar for Literary Translations at Yale and my Italian to English translation for that class was well received, even though my native language is Italian (but you can probably tell). But no formal education, degree or certification.

What would you do?


 

You have a solid background in linguistics which is more than most translators have on this platform. You could try to get ATA certified since you are in the US or check out the Italian organisations.
You could also add editing and proofreading to your profile.


You have a solid background in linguistics which is more than most translators have on this platform. You could try to get ATA certified since you are in the US or check out the Italian organisations.
You could also add editing and proofreading to your profile.


Thank you! ... not sure when ATA will resume

petra_r
Community Member


Lara T wrote:

(I had written) As long as I earn around my hourly rate per hour (or more) I'm not that concerned about the "per word" rate.


Thank you for the advice. I do try to ignore them and move on, but instead I see that often times they have a market with 20-50 or 50+ applications. Nichola and Rene seem to agree with you that it is possible to do fine, maybe it's my language pair.


It might be your confidence level rather than your language pair ๐Ÿ™‚

Often the better paid jobs have (perversely) less proposals. 

 

I translate Italian to German (and sometimes into English) and take my normal rates, but I think Italian to German is a pair that a lot of clients find very difficult to hire for because in general, Italians don't love foreign languages very much as a rule, and those who do don't tend to go beyond English,and possibly Spanish or French and Italian is not a language commonly taught in Germany (English, French and Spanish, yes. Italian, not at schools, anyway.)

 

I only take really easy Italian stuff (Italian as the source language) because my Italian is still not good enough for anything more complicated.

lucyrgay
Community Member

Hi Lara

Thanks for your reply. The trouble is that I do have an MA in Translation, have been registered and working on Upwork since 2016 and have built up a considerable list of successful jobs and great feedback, to no avail it would seem!

Best wishes

Lucy

fe3333ac
Community Member

I also new i have no experience and i wish best clinet contact to me

 


Lucy G wrote:

How do you manage to find clients willing to accept a rate of $0.09 per source word?


All depends on the language, obviously, but there are plenty of people who pay 9 cents a word without hesitation. This is, however, a totally different category of clients. It's not the ones who are focused on the price. It's the ones who need quality and who have the resources for QA.

 

 

 

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless
afroza_khondokar
Community Member

Your idea is wrong. Because this language translate is very useful. Not everyone can speak all kinds of languages. So it is one of the most important medium to translate.


Afroza K wrote:
Your idea is wrong. Because this language translate is very useful. Not everyone can speak all kinds of languages. So it is one of the most important medium to translate.

Who are you talking to and what on earth do you mean?

re: "Who are you talking to and what on earth do you mean?"

 

It looks like Afroza just demonstrated why having a good translator can be worth spending more on.

17334f2c
Community Member

Hi

Good

f5b38274
Community Member

yes translation is very good job

 

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