This post is a summary of a discussion on fees and rates during a hosted Group Translation Chats (GTC) session It was moderated by Robin Humphrey who kindly gave me his notes to use a basis for this post.
Many newcomers to the profession can find it hard to know what to charge, especially as MA courses often don’t pay much attention to business aspects. Hopefully this post will bring some clarity to the fees and rates discussion and help translators feel confident when speaking about the cost of their work.
Broadly speaking, fee is used to describe an individual service, and rate the price or cost of something per piece (per character, word, 1000 words, page, hour, for example).
The difference between fees and rates matters because we’re running businesses. Some think translation is not a “real business”, that it’s not “real work” and anyone can do it, especially if they have access to the internet. But this is a wrong assumption and although our job requires skill, training and time, we’re not generally overpriced. We offer a professional service and should charge accordingly.
Members of translation and interpreting associations will know that a lot of emphasis is placed on CPD (continuing professional development). The ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting), which I’m a member of, recommends we log 30 hours of CPD every membership year (in my case from May to April) and issues a certificate when the record is complete.
Given that ongoing training is so important, we discussed our future CPD plans in a hosted session of the Group Translation Chats (GTC), moderated by Jenny Zonneveld, back in February. This is a summary of what we talked about containing many links to CPD you might like to try.
This is a guest post written by Danilo from Espresso Translations, a translation agency specialising in translation and transcription services. It was founded by two translators working in tandem and has grown to become a leading language services provider.
One question we’re often asked is whether translation and transcription are the same thing. Sure, they both sound similar, but it’s safe to say they’re actually quite different. Both services have amazing benefits and can help your business, but it’s important to know how they differ and which is the right approach for you.
In a recent panel discussion during a Wordbee webinar on freelance translation management, we talked about how it’s important to specialise. This helps you stand out from the crowd of translators that offer to translate everything or almost everything under the sun. It also makes you more credible. Because being good at every subject is impossible, even if you do pride yourself on your research skills.
The general advice regarding clients is that you should be actively seeking new ones all the time because you never know what’s around the corner. Not only should you be looking to replace clients already in your circles that you are not overly keen on working for, but you also need others to fall back on if you lose some. This post is going to focus on why an agency might stop working with a translator, although some of the reasons will hold true for direct clients as well.
Don’t you just love it when the agency says in the very last email of the exchange about a job, when the conditions are supposedly already done and dusted: “Oh, by the way, the client says this translation is extremely important so please make sure you pay special attention to doing it well.” Even when they sweeten this a little by adding “We know you always do”, it still exasperates me no end.