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Monday, November 11, 2013

What is normal English into Arabic professional translation pricing?

What is normal English into Arabic professional translation pricing?

what has made the issue of pricing more in momentum these years is the lowering rate this language pair has witnessed.  Apart from the economic conditions leading to the acceptance, and even suggestion of low payments, the increase of supply compared to the low number of demand have made it impossible to stay afloat without lowering rates.
However, how can we judge a rate to be low or high?
Based on the level of allowed wages in the West, people can judge which rates are low.  Working for peanuts can be easily identified if the rate accepted is lower than the standard and widely used rate range in that language pair and within the field of the text.  A professional translator should refrain from working below the widely agreed range.  This is not only unethical, but also very dangerous for the profession.
Since rate is a matter of agreement between two parties, there is no official body in charge of calibrating rates and salaries, especially in freelance translation.  Meanwhile, any rate agreed upon may not be made public.  Hence, the estimations of how low a rate can be are only known when a client suggests a very low rate, based on a previous work performed by another translator.
When demand is very low and the supply is high, based on the large number of bids received once a job is published on a translation portal, the client looks at the lowest rate suggested and starts to bargain.  Apparently, there is no harm in trying to guarantee a high profit.  However, maximizing profit may result in the lowering of work quality. 
Not all professional translators are ready to go down below a certain rate.  Meanwhile, a beginner, an intruder may very well accept an extremely killing pricing in order to get established in the domain and secure an income.  Relying on claimed expertise and experience as well as on certification alone will not ensure that the work is in good hands.  In addition, assuming that a native speaker of standard language is fully proficient is also more misleading than any other assumptions.
On the other hand, translation companies are forced to lower their profit in order to survive.  The increasing number of companies and agencies is also a challenge for them.  The internet has enabled people to set up companies and pretend to be offering translation services.  This enabled them to lower costs and to compete with others who have been well established in the translation markets for years.  Thus, what is about translators also applies to companies and agencies.  It is the need to compete and win.  The fiercer the competition becomes, the severer the output quality is affected.  
There have been attempts to save the market from more degradation and to help translators save their profession.  The condemnation of people accepting or suggesting low rates was to certain extent successful.  There was a campaign on Proz and against its allowing of people expressing low rates.  The translation portal had to respect the ethics of the profession.      

1 comment:

  1. Although what you have said sounds good. But, this indicates that you need to lower charges and profit without employing translator for low salaries.


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