Letters to the Editor

Why Can’t I Raise My Rates? | John Milan

I searched the article expecting to find the word “efficient” or “efficiency,” but to my surprise they were absent.

The article states: “Let’s assume that said freelancers are already working as many hours as possible and producing as many words per hour as they can.” Why would we want to assume that? A translator can always sharpen his or her skills, acquire better tools, and organize in other ways, and, as a result, make more money without raising the rates.

I learned this principle many years ago. I hired a Cuban Mariel refugee and his son to remodel my house in Miami. I watched in total amazement how skillfully and efficiently they worked, without wasting any time. They produced the same, if not better, quality than their competitors. They were cheaper and more efficient than the competition. For that reason they made more money and had more jobs. As far as I know they never had a shortage of remodeling projects.

Raising rates will negatively affect the volume of translation request.

That is my answer to the question posed in the article title.
Risto Siikarla | Boca Raton, Florida

Copyediting for Stand-Out Style in Any Translation | Carolyn Yohn

I just read Carolyn Yohn’s article on copyediting and translation. I wish that translation schools had courses like this! Always refreshing to see translators who understand this part of the craft. Great piece!
Amy Butcher | Montreal, Canada

1 Responses to "Letters to the Editor"

  1. Gabe Bokor says:

    Re Risto Siikarla’s Letter to the Editor: While it’s true that “raising rates will negatively affect the volume of translation requests,” any translator can only do a certain volume in a given time, and if the volume of jobs offered exceeds the time available for satisfying all requests, there is no reason for not raising the price charged. The law of supply and demand applies to our industry/business/profession as it does to any other, except that we cannot increase the volume we produce beyond a certain point, even if we lower our price to zero and consequently receive a huge amount of work offers. The individual translator is better served by the principle of “charge what the market will bear,” also keeping in mind the volume you are willing and able to do.

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