Jun 27, 2010

Participate in the BDÜ rate survey for 2009

For the past three years, the German association for translators and interpreters BDÜ has conducted a rate survey to provide more transparency with regard to the actual rates obtained by working translators and other service providers. The survey is conducted in German, but it is apparently not limited to BDÜ members. The closing date for the survey is July 4th.

If you have a good reading comprehension of German and are a provider of language services, I would like to encourage you to participate in the survey. I personally have found the results for 2007 and 2008 to be very enlightening, and I have been able to make valuable business planning decisions based on them. Some of the survey results (for language pairs that interest me) have been published here, and a booklet with all the results is available for purchase on the BDÜ web site (www.bdue.de) for € 15. This is business intelligence worth paying for.

To join the survey, go to http://www.honorarumfrage.bdue.de.


  1. "The survey is conducted in English"? Did you mean German?

  2. Oops! What was I thinking? Thanks for catching that.

  3. Thanks, Kevin. We thought one had to be members of BDÜ, but glad to hear we don't have to be. I should consider becoming members, though. We will definitely participate.

  4. BDÜ is an interesting organization. A number of people are justifiably irritated with it, because some of its members are perpetually moaning about the unqualified wannabes on the market and wishing for ways to shut them out. There is a common perception that the membership criteria of the BDÜ exclude a number of the best translators, who have years of experience but no degrees in translation or interpreting. Technically this isn't the case, but special review by the organization's Bundesaufnahmekommission is required. Compared to the ITI's review process this seems a bit unfriendly to me, especially as most of the degreed translators out there aren't worth the paper their diplomas are printed on. The relevant criteria for Quereinsteiger without state exams, foreign masters degrees in languages, etc. are:

    Bewerber, die ein Hochschulstudium (gleich welcher Fachrichtung) an einer in- oder ausländischen Hochschule erfolgreich abgeschlossen haben, eine oder mehrere Fremdsprachen beherrschen und sieben Jahre Praxis als Dolmetscher und/oder Übersetzer in diesen Sprachen ausreichend nachweisen können. Der Erwerb der fremdsprachlichen Kenntnisse ist glaubhaft nachzuweisen.

    As for the rest of the membership criteria (for usual and other cases) go to the organization's web site (www.bdue.de) and look at

    Wir über uns > Regularien > Aufnahmebedingungen

    I have found the listing in the online membership to be very useful for my business. I haven't had time to take advantage of the other benefits, except to use their special rates for insurance to pressure my insurance company to slash the rate I was charged, though I do enjoy reading their monthly magazine.


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