The Busy Bee Guest Posts Series - "Give us your best rates!" by Frederique Marcou

Anastasia Giago... 0
The Busy Bee Guest Posts Series - InGreek Translations

Hello there! Happy February!

How was your January? Mine started with a great boost and a lot of plan-making! January is usually the month that we all concentrate our efforts on our business development. We have to find the right strategies to help us grow our business and set our goals straight for the coming year.

A difficult dilemma most of us have to deal with, especially at the beginning of each year, is to find the right rates to charge for our services; a headache-topic for most freelancers. Well, this is the topic of our first guest post for 2015. The lovely, Frederique Marcou, freelance translator and co-owner of the V and F airspace, writes an interesting post and shares some thoughts about rates and translation work. Enjoy!

"Give us your best rates"

Translators. Us that is. How many times have we heard that question?

Rate per word, as if all words and texts were the same, like potatoes.

We've all seen rates thrown at us by would-be employers that are just embarrassing and undoable, even without considering the tremendous overhead generated in a country like Greece by the Tax Office, State insurance, etc., not to mention professional expenses. 

The highly skilled and dedicated professional easily falls victim to an unforgiving, even degrading market in which even the often costly CAT tools that he or she must invest in, become just another means by which clients lower the translator's income even more by paying less or nothing for repetitions, like the old analogy of a dentist who, by this logic, should not be paid for repeated tasks.

As translators, we see many things that make us wonder. Have you ever been sent a "proofreading job" that is obviously nothing more than a machine translation? Or the reviewer who is clearly having a "bad day" and gets out all their tension at our expense?

Professional courtesy...

An old adage says, "It takes many years to build a reputation, just five minutes to ruin it".

The occasions when our work is truly appreciated though are golden and it's better for us to focus on those!

Happy New Year!


Here are my two cents: I, surely, cannot tell you how much to charge, but you can definitely figure out how much you can charge your clients for your work. So, sit down and clear your head, take a notebook and a pencil and start answering questions like these: How much do I want to earn? What are my expenses? How many hours do I want to work?

Just be realistic and never settle with anything less than your work deserves!

Till next time,



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Anastasia is a member of: American Translators Association | Associate member (membership number: 254614)  Anastasia is a member of: IAPTI - International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters | Member (membership number: 730)  Anastasia is a member of: Institute of Translation & Interpreting | Associate member (AITI) (membership number: 00013479)  Anastasia is a member of: Panhellenic Association of Translators | Full member (membership number: 399)  Anastasia is a member of: Certified PRO Network Translator | Full member  Anastasia is also a volunteer Translator for Translators Without Borders  Anastasia is a member of: Business School for Translators  Anastasia is a member of: Hellenic Tourism Society