Being asked to offer "staggered" translation rates
Thread poster: Anam Zafar

Anam Zafar
Verenigde Koninkryk
Local time: 02:09
Member (2020)
uit Arabies in Engels
+ ...
Jan 22

Hi everyone, new translator here.

I'm looking at a job ad. The agency is asking translators to send, along with their CV, "votre tarif en traduction et en relecture, échelonné : jusqu'à 500 mots, de 501 à 2500 mots, de 2501 à 6000 mots, de 6001 à 12 000 mots, et de 12 001 à 25 000 mots"
[trans.: Your staggered translation and proofreading rates: up to 500 words, 501-2500 words, 2501-6000 words, etc.]

I've never been asked to do this before, and don't under
... See more
Hi everyone, new translator here.

I'm looking at a job ad. The agency is asking translators to send, along with their CV, "votre tarif en traduction et en relecture, échelonné : jusqu'à 500 mots, de 501 à 2500 mots, de 2501 à 6000 mots, de 6001 à 12 000 mots, et de 12 001 à 25 000 mots"
[trans.: Your staggered translation and proofreading rates: up to 500 words, 501-2500 words, 2501-6000 words, etc.]

I've never been asked to do this before, and don't understand why I should charge differently for different word counts. When giving an initial offer of services, I usually give a single per-word rate, followed by a quotation once I know the word count of the specific text.

Does anyone else have experience of being asked for/offering "staggered" rates?
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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
uit Deens in Engels
+ ...
Nonsensical Jan 22

I wouldn't do that and no decent agency has ever asked me for that. We are not widget manufacturers. Same rate for all word counts or no deal.

Ornella Parodi
Elena Feriani
Tina Vonhof
Teresa Borges
VeroniqueVan
Philippe Etienne
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denemarke
Local time: 03:09
Member (2003)
uit Deens in Engels
+ ...
They may be assuming your administrative costs are higher for small jobs Jan 22

Many translators charge a minimum fee (or should do) for small jobs. E.g. they charge for an hour of their time or a minimum number of words, perhaps 300 or so, no matter how small the job may be.

You still have to read the client's mail, register the job, research terminology perhaps, or check client preferences, and then make out an invoice...
That kind of thing can take up as much of your time for a letter or press release of 300 words as for a much larger job.
Snip
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Many translators charge a minimum fee (or should do) for small jobs. E.g. they charge for an hour of their time or a minimum number of words, perhaps 300 or so, no matter how small the job may be.

You still have to read the client's mail, register the job, research terminology perhaps, or check client preferences, and then make out an invoice...
That kind of thing can take up as much of your time for a letter or press release of 300 words as for a much larger job.
Snippets of 20 words without context can actually take a long time, believe me!

While it is often assumed that once you have set up your project, it will go faster after a few hundred or thousand words, so you can charge a lower rate.

You also have to include overheads in your rate.
That is probably what the agency is thinking of.
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Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Sheila Wilson
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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Duitsland
Local time: 03:09
Member (2009)
uit Engels in Duits
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A misconception Jan 22

Some agencies believe - for whatever reason - that the rate needs to be lowered as the word count increases. As if working on 5000 words reduces the time you would need to translate 500. Because you will need approximately 10 x longer to translate 5000 words there is absolutely no need to reduce your rate due to volume... unless you are willing to work a certain amount of time without getting paid.

State your regular rate. If they insist on staggered rates, then wish them well and m
... See more
Some agencies believe - for whatever reason - that the rate needs to be lowered as the word count increases. As if working on 5000 words reduces the time you would need to translate 500. Because you will need approximately 10 x longer to translate 5000 words there is absolutely no need to reduce your rate due to volume... unless you are willing to work a certain amount of time without getting paid.

State your regular rate. If they insist on staggered rates, then wish them well and move on.

[Edited at 2021-01-22 13:13 GMT]
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Christine Andersen
Vera Schoen
philgoddard
Teresa Borges
Philippe Etienne
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Philip Lees
 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Duitsland
Local time: 03:09
Member (2016)
uit Engels in Duits
Put your regular rate in the highest tier Jan 22

What Christine said: there is a certain overhead in small jobs, so introducing a very slight price scaling can be justified. Most translators simply solve this by asking for a minimum rate per job, though.

Lets say your standard rate is 20 cubits per word (using a fictitious currency here). You could offer 23 cubits/word for jobs below 500 words, 22 cubits/word for jobs below 2500 words, 21 cubits/word for jobs below 10000 words and 20 cubits/word for jobs above 10000 words. Your st
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What Christine said: there is a certain overhead in small jobs, so introducing a very slight price scaling can be justified. Most translators simply solve this by asking for a minimum rate per job, though.

Lets say your standard rate is 20 cubits per word (using a fictitious currency here). You could offer 23 cubits/word for jobs below 500 words, 22 cubits/word for jobs below 2500 words, 21 cubits/word for jobs below 10000 words and 20 cubits/word for jobs above 10000 words. Your standard rate should of course appear in the highest tier, so that you cannot lose anything by making this offer.

On the other hand, if you are not interested in this kind of scaling, simply put the same rate in all tiers and that's it. You are not required to make an offer that follows the agency's suggestion.
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Christine Andersen
Ivana Kahle
Teresa Borges
Philippe Etienne
Philip Lees
Diana Obermeyer
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Verenigde Koninkryk
uit Sweeds in Engels
+ ...
To stagger or not to stagger Jan 22

Why don’t you respond with some staggering rates?

Thomas T. Frost
Mervyn Henderson
Christine Andersen
Philip Lees
Teresa Borges
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
uit Deens in Engels
+ ...
Or do like the taxman Jan 22

Chris S wrote:

Why don’t you respond with some staggering rates?


Or do like the taxman and impose progressive rates, as the more you earn, the higher marginal tax you'll have to pay (except for a few flat-rate jurisdictions).


Chris S
Teresa Borges
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spanje
Local time: 03:09
uit Spaans in Engels
+ ...
Simply staggering Jan 22

Good one, Chris!

 

Adieu  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:09
uit Engels in Russies
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Sounds like a different take on minimum fees and rush rates and/or match discounts, I guess? Jan 23

Anam Zafar wrote:

Hi everyone, new translator here.

I'm looking at a job ad. The agency is asking translators to send, along with their CV, "votre tarif en traduction et en relecture, échelonné : jusqu'à 500 mots, de 501 à 2500 mots, de 2501 à 6000 mots, de 6001 à 12 000 mots, et de 12 001 à 25 000 mots"
[trans.: Your staggered translation and proofreading rates: up to 500 words, 501-2500 words, 2501-6000 words, etc.]

I've never been asked to do this before, and don't understand why I should charge differently for different word counts. When giving an initial offer of services, I usually give a single per-word rate, followed by a quotation once I know the word count of the specific text.

Does anyone else have experience of being asked for/offering "staggered" rates?


For example, I have a client that pays a $50 minimum no matter how short a job, a 30% rush rate for huge translations with tight deadlines, and does that annoying "CAT match discount thing" for repeats... this looks to be the same general idea with a different billing method.

Make the shorty rate a LOT higher and ask if they mean overtime rush rates for longer translations or not. If yes, higher, if no, slight discount versus medium length rates for not having to do as much research and prep per word translated.

No overtime:
Shorty 3x, Medium 1x, Very Long 0.9x

Overtime:
Shorty 3x, Medium 1x, Very Long 1.3x



[Edited at 2021-01-23 08:41 GMT]


Diana Obermeyer
 


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Being asked to offer "staggered" translation rates

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