Aug 22, 2018

The Five Million Euro Translator

It's always nice when clients understand the value of your work. So I was pleased this morning to receive the following proposal from one of my oldest and dearest clients, who has stuck with me through thick and thin for some 16 years now:

It's always a pleasure to hear from old friends and clients, especially from those who pay fair rates - something I'm told is an increasingly rare phenomenon these days. I have a bad habit of forgetting to raise rates on old clients, so much so that sometimes they become embarrassed by how cheap I am compared to less qualified alternatives, so from time to time they simply offer increases themselves to overcome a sense of personal embarrassment.

My friend's agency has been doing rather well lately, so I had contemplated sending her a notice of rate increase, maybe to celebrate my upcoming birthday or Christmas. But Mrs. Klaus apparently decided that Christmas would come early this year when she jacked my word rate up to more than €798 per word. The total compensation for the job amounts to about €5.3 million for about 5 days' work that I can do in a day if I push myself. So the next time someone asks me for my "best rate" on a project, I have a new benchmark to quote :-)

For quite a few years now, the Poverty Cult of translators has whined that rates are in decline and that one cannot make a good living as a translator. I beg to differ. But success as a translator requires the right mix of skills, persistence and superior branding. Take it from the expert. Me.

Yours truly,

The Five Million Euro Translator

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