A Certain Employer Recently Posted an Offer, Thus:
We are beginning a project processing Mandarin market reports from China into marketable English form.
[depends on how marketable you need them to be.]
The reports encompass a wide range of fields and markets, but are all technology-related.
Reports are roughly 30,000 to 60,000 words (Chinese) or larger.
[Well, that’ll keep some people off the street for awhile. Let’s see, 30,000 words would be around 10 days work; 60K, 20 days.]
The first report is now ready for translation to English, and will serve as a test/sample case. About 30 more reports will be processed over the coming year.
It is hoped that the successful applicant will be available for full-time work following commencement of the project.
[Why not just hire somebody now and get them cheaper still?]
This work is case-based, and, as such, does not lend itself well to conventional translation means.
[That is, we’ve already talked to the agencies, and they’ve laughed in our faces about these rates.]
Our rate for translation is NT$25K~35K per case.
[Yup, here we go…a bountiful NT$1.16 per word in the best case…in the worst case listed here, NT$0.41 per word. We’ll take something close to the average and call it NT$0.9]
While this rate may appear low according to conventional “rate per word” standards, it should be appreciated that the volume of work can afford a more than acceptable level of remuneration for the right candidate.
[While it might seem strange that a translator still expects to be paid for having to translate “every word”… an increased volume of work does NOT lead to “more than acceptable levels of remuneration”…if that were so, then doctors don’t need to charge a lot per patient, just take more patients.]
Please do not respond with expectations of word-based rates.
[Wouldn’t dream of it. ]
Sorry, everyone, but I’m sick and tired of people undercutting the translation market. Everyone wants the best quality, the fastest turnaround, the most elegant writing, the most accurate service, the most accomodation to client needs, format, and whatever else…but always, always, “Oh, that price is too high,” “Oh, we can only pay NT$0.6 per word”, “Oh, …” whatever.
And volume discounts – maybe for a total beginner, that might be OK, but those of us with regular clients find volumes of work a disadvantage – it might mean having to put off a regular client while getting a “large project” out (and that for the discounted rate these projects try to offer.)
If you’re trying to get your foot in the door, and you believe that the full-time potential is good (although I’d hate to think what the salary might look like…) then go for it. Me, I’m holding out for a wage at least equivalent to what native English speaking translators were being paid 5 or 6 years ago (NT$2), preferably with a signed contract for a “certain volume” of work. 30,000 words ain’t volume…