Translator Rates in the DR?

RainingKarma

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Nov 4, 2009
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Hello, Community. I would very much appreciate if someone could enlighten me about this. I have done legal translations in the U.S., and have been doing literary translations, as a hobby, basically for love of it, as Lit and languages are my passion.

I now have an informal contract to translate a novel from Spanish to English, and want to establish myself as a professional literary translator, and formalize the contract by talking fees. The client is throwing money at me and I'm sitting here going "wait!".

So, what are the going rates here in the DR? If this has been asked and answered, please direct me to the thread, as I have done a few searches here and haven't found the information I need. I'm not a frequent poster, so bear with me. I usually have my nose in a thesaurus.

Thank you!
 

LTSteve

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Jul 9, 2010
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There may be some free lance writers here who can give you their estimates of what they charge or were charged for a translation but I think you should just consider what your time is worth, put it in writing and present it to the client. I would not worry what the "rates" in the DR are. If you think you are worth the amount and can give him an acutal "North American" timeline for completion I would think your potential clent would agree with the amount you are quoting.
 

tommeyers

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Consider first basing your rate upon what the client expects to spend or usually spends rather than DR rates; use market based pricing.

Then, further refine that by adjusting for your capabilities in the clients eyes.

Ultimately, the price should equal the value the clients feels they are receiving.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Translator here (although I have rarely tackled literary - it may be in a different bracket). According to the DR Translators' Association the going rate is around US$0.08 per word. In many cases I end up charging less, depending on the nature of the client and my relationship with them. I know translators in the US and elsewhere charge more.

Nonetheless, I would use the going rate to make an initial estimate - say the book is 100,000 words, that would work out at US$8,000. Then you need to assess how long it is likely to take you to translate 100,000 words. It would take me at least 6 weeks depending on complexity, so I would say 2 months to allow for a comfortable pace.

If you think 8,000 dollars is reasonable for two months' work, quote that sum. If not, adjust as necessary.
 

b?rbaro

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Jul 9, 2014
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Translator here (although I have rarely tackled literary - it may be in a different bracket). According to the DR Translators' Association the going rate is around US$0.08 per word. In many cases I end up charging less, depending on the nature of the client and my relationship with them. I know translators in the US and elsewhere charge more.

Nonetheless, I would use the going rate to make an initial estimate - say the book is 100,000 words, that would work out at US$8,000. Then you need to assess how long it is likely to take you to translate 100,000 words. It would take me at least 6 weeks depending on complexity, so I would say 2 months to allow for a comfortable pace.

If you think 8,000 dollars is reasonable for two months' work, quote that sum. If not, adjust as necessary.
Exactly

It all boils down to this question: how much is your time worth? how many words per day with consistent quality?

Where I come from, in the literary, they charge by page.

What about being entitled to a certain percentage of the sales?

Translators' Associations set the ideal rate, but reality is not always ideal, is it?
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Where I come from, in the literary, they charge by page.
I don't get the point of charging per page. The volume of text on a page can vary enormously so client or translator could end up losing out. Having said that it's about 500 words in 12 point Times New Roman, single-spaced.

What about being entitled to a certain percentage of the sales?
This is not usual practice for obvious reasons, but I know an author and translator who did reach such an agreement. The book is about to be published so they are waiting to see how the sales go.

Translators' Associations set the ideal rate, but reality is not always ideal, is it?
Most of my clients except the large corporations consider it too high. I have to quote lower (6.5 or sometimes even less) for regular clients, especially non-profits and smaller companies or individuals.
 

RainingKarma

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Nov 4, 2009
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Thank you all for your considerate and very helpful responses, they give me food for thought.

I would not charge per page or hour, that much I do know. In Literary, one page of source text may take half an hour to almost nth (within reason) to translate into target, if one wants to achieve that alchemy of making the target read, sound, and feel as if it had been originally written by a native (in this case English) speaker.

I do like the idea of setting my own rate. Based on most of your suggestions, this novel full of lovely flowery and highly descriptive language with a complex subject matter, plus my ability, would yield a quote of around $20,000. I'll do more analysis.

The client has seen my work and we both know I can deliver high quality. I am also extremely lucky that the subject is my soul's passion, and that he wrote an excellent book.

Again, thank you all very very much, I will put you down for a copy. :)

Chirimoya, would you mind giving me more info about the DR Translators' Association via inbox?

Best wishes
Om Namah

Ciele
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Sounds great! I just sent you the info. I can imagine that translating literature, especially Spanish that is so much more flowery and verbose, is a different kettle of fish. I've worked on some very poetic video scripts and it is a challenge to make them sound natural in English.