Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Why are so many translation jobs hourly rate?

Ace Contributor
Erik S Member Since: Apr 6, 2018
1 of 9

Translator here. This has been bothering me for a while. Seems a large majority of translation posts are hourly rate. Upwork should discourage this.

 

No professional translator offers hourly rate – you want price/word. You make more money that way (and therefore, so does Upwork). Translation is more about getting paid for your skills than time spent.

 

I’m tired of job posts with hourly and you mention your word rate in the proposal and if you win the job, the client has to change the contract to fixed rate…or they ignore you and hire someone with a low hourly rate and nobody benefits (not even the client since again, few professional (read: good) translators works with hourly). Sometimes the hourly clients try to get a cost estimate by asking “please estimate how long this would take you”…so they want to multiply your hourly rate with an estimate time. This is just wrong. 

 

From Upworks side, is it possible to encourage clients that translation = fixed rate when they post jobs?

 

Edit: Example attached. Why does this client even post a hourly job? Upwork should help them know they should post a fixed price job and take fixed price bids - instead freelancers need to jump through hoops to get the same result.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
2 of 9

Hi Erik,

 

Thank you for sharing this information with us. Clients are not always sure about what their project entails, so they might be uncertain about how they should process the payment for the freelancer. This is why we encourage freelancers to discuss with the client further so that before entering into a contract, both parties are clear about what needs to be done, including the price of the project and how the completed work should be submitted and paid for. You can also include this information in your proposal as this can also help them in deciding during the hiring process. 


-Joanne
Untitled
Ace Contributor
Erik S Member Since: Apr 6, 2018
3 of 9

Well, most clients know exacly what they want - they have a document they need translated. They also want to know how much it is going to cost. But, for some reason so many of them post hourly job posts, when in reality they want your per word-rate or a total cost estimate. This creates needless hassle from both sides.

 

I am wondering if there is something in the Upwork UX that needlessly steers them towards posting hourly jobs (a default setting perhaps?) rather than a fixed price job? It makes no sense so many tranlsation jobs are hourly posts. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 9

Erik S wrote:

Well, most clients know exacly what they want - they have a document they need translated. They also want to know how much it is going to cost. But, for some reason so many of them post hourly job posts, when in reality they want your per word-rate or a total cost estimate. This creates needless hassle from both sides.

 

I am wondering if there is something in the Upwork UX that needlessly steers them towards posting hourly jobs (a default setting perhaps?) rather than a fixed price job? It makes no sense so many tranlsation jobs are hourly posts. 


______________________________

 

I think clients are either unsure of how the system works, or are unsure of themselves and feel they are protected if a freelancer is tied to a tracked hourly job - something I never do on Upwork. I usually translate on a per word basis, but when I trust a client, I have worked on an  hourly basis (off Upwork), because I have found that a one-size fits all does not necessarily work for all translations. A run-of-the-mill technical translation (depending on niche) of 500 words can take far less time than 500 words of fiction, where interpretation and keeping the writer's voice are as important as accuracy. 

 

That said, I have never had a problem with asking for a fixed price on Upwork when a client has posted  an hourly job. 

Community Guru
Sarah B Member Since: Dec 15, 2017
5 of 9

I base my translation pricing per word too, but I'm happy to bill the client however they want. Clients are often not too comfortable with the platform or aware of their options, or just have a preference one way or the other, so I don't like to give them many hoops to jump through. I typically just include my per word rate in the proposal and bill the same amount whether they prefer hourly or fixed rate. 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 9

Erik S wrote:

Translator here. This has been bothering me for a while. Seems a large majority of translation posts are hourly rate. Upwork should discourage this.

 

No professional translator offers hourly rate – you want price/word. You make more money that way (and therefore, so does Upwork). Translation is more about getting paid for your skills than time spent.

 

I’m tired of job posts with hourly and you mention your word rate in the proposal and if you win the job, the client has to change the contract to fixed rate…or they ignore you and hire someone with a low hourly rate and nobody benefits (not even the client since again, few professional (read: good) translators works with hourly). Sometimes the hourly clients try to get a cost estimate by asking “please estimate how long this would take you”…so they want to multiply your hourly rate with an estimate time. This is just wrong. 

 

From Upworks side, is it possible to encourage clients that translation = fixed rate when they post jobs?

 

Edit: Example attached. Why does this client even post a hourly job? Upwork should help them know they should post a fixed price job and take fixed price bids - instead freelancers need to jump through hoops to get the same result.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**


Speak for yourself. They tell me writers shouldn't do hourly either and I prefer it, so speak for yourself and Upwork should discourage no such thing. This is just your preference.

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
7 of 9

Erik S wrote:

Translator here. This has been bothering me for a while. Seems a large majority of translation posts are hourly rate. Upwork should discourage this.

 

No professional translator offers hourly rate – you want price/word. You make more money that way (and therefore, so does Upwork). Translation is more about getting paid for your skills than time spent.

 

I’m tired of job posts with hourly and you mention your word rate in the proposal and if you win the job, the client has to change the contract to fixed rate…or they ignore you and hire someone with a low hourly rate and nobody benefits (not even the client since again, few professional (read: good) translators works with hourly). Sometimes the hourly clients try to get a cost estimate by asking “please estimate how long this would take you”…so they want to multiply your hourly rate with an estimate time. This is just wrong. 

 

From Upworks side, is it possible to encourage clients that translation = fixed rate when they post jobs?

 

Edit: Example attached. Why does this client even post a hourly job? Upwork should help them know they should post a fixed price job and take fixed price bids - instead freelancers need to jump through hoops to get the same result.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**


The hourly is more or less default and clients do not change it because it does not matter to them to start with. I always reply with my hourly rate but also share my rate/word for them to decide.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 9

Erik S wrote:

Translator here. This has been bothering me for a while. Seems a large majority of translation posts are hourly rate. Upwork should discourage this.


No, they shouldn't!

 


Erik S wrote:

No professional translator offers hourly rate


How incredibly insulting and ignorant of you.

 


Erik S wrote:

- you want price/word.


No.*YOU* do. However, nobody died and made you the collective consciousness of translators worldwide.


You do business your way. FINE.  Don't try to dictate how others do or claim to know what they want, especially not to the point of asking a platform to make changes that harm those who do not share your "opinion"!

 

Thank you.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 9

Freelancers set their own hourly rate.

 

I have no problem with any freelancer who prefers to work with fixed-price contracts. Or chooses to ONLY accept fixed-price contracts.

 

But I don't really understand how working for one's own chosen hourly rate would not be considered equitable and appropriate. Even people who are extremely in demand, such as Academy Award-winning movie stars, neurosurgeons, winning attorneys, architects, and ex-U.S. presidents work for hourly rates.