La gestion des tarifs de traduction…

Les tarifs de traduction entraînent souvent des réactions extrêmes de la part des clients qui sont régulièrement peu enclins à investir dans cette partie de leur projet et qui connaissent mal les conditions et compétences requises pour réaliser une traduction. Par conséquent, la rengaine est souvent la même, traduire vite et pas cher. Les traducteurs indépendants doivent donc régulièrement faire face aux réactions hostiles et peu compréhensives de leurs donneurs d’ordre (clients directs ou agences de traductions). Ce vaste sujet mériterait plusieurs billets pour détailler leurs causes, conséquences et peut-être solutions potentielles mais comme il est tard, je préfère vous proposer cet extrait hilarant d’une conversation entre un traducteur et un donneur d’ordre, ou l’art de manier la gestion de ses tarifs avec humour…

What do you do?
- I am a translator.

Oh really? How nice, but I meant what you do FOR A LIVING.
- You mean WORK? I don’t work. I make so much money from my translations that I do not need to work.

Can I have this back within three days? I am really pressed here.
- Sure.

How much will that be?
- USD$ 1500.

Isn’t that too much for a three-day job?
- I can do it in one week if it will make you feel better.

Can I have a discount on that?
- Why?

You make more money than I do!
- You might consider becoming a translator, then.

We have a better quote. Lots of translators are willing to accept the job at more sensible rates, you know.
- Well, lots of clients are willing to pay me the rates I quoted.

We have a quote that is lower than yours by a good 20 percent.
- O [Silence]

Hello! I said we have a quote that is lower than yours by a good 20 percent.
- Yes, I heard you the first time.

Isn’t there anything you wish to say?
- No.

What is your best rate?
- USD X.

Too high for Brazil.
- Yes, I know. That is why I never work for Brazilian clients. I just live in the place. The better of two worlds, you know: work in the U.S., live in Brazil.

What is your best rate?
- USD X.

Jesus, how did you arrive at that astronomical sum?
- Supply and demand.

What is your best rate?
- USD X.

That much for a piece of paper?
- No, sorry, I don’t charge for the paper. That goes free with the translation. The price is for putting words on paper.

You do not have to translate spaces. So we do not pay for them.
- Very good. I will deliver the job without spaces.

I know someone who charges less than you.
- I know a lot of people who charge less than me.

Are they good?
- Wouldn’t know. Never seen their work.

Oh, well, I know someone who IS very good and charges less.
- Then you have a problem, that is, decide who this job is going to.

X charges less.
- You are talking to me, now.

You are raving mad!
- Yes, I aware of that and my shrink charges a fortune. That is why my rates are so high.

Sorry, we cannot pay more than that. It is a very large project. We are bidding for 25 languages.
- I am bidding for Portuguese only.

Sorry, we cannot pay more than that. We are taking a loss at this project.
- Call me again when you get a profitable contract.

There will be more work in the future.
- So you’d better get used to my rates.
Because many a time I have used very similar words while talking with a client.
For example:

Client: When I can get the work done cheaper elsewhere, why should I pay you your high rates?
- Me: When I can get my rates paid elsewhere, why should I accept your low rates?

Client: My secreatary used to do this free of cost.
- Me: Then what’s your problem? Give this work to her.

Client: She resigned her job and went to another company for a higher salary, the ungrateful woman.
- Me: (No comment, just smiled knowingly. The client had the grace to smile sheepishly and blush).

Source :  De traducciones y otras rarezas lingüísticas (excellent blog que je conseille aux hispanophones).

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Nicolas Gouyette is a freelance translator and reviser providing linguistic services, mainly English into French translation, for International Organizations and NGOs.

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