In the UK, I think people talk of the ‘recession’, but here in Spain we’re not mealy-mouthed – no tenemos pelos en la lengua – so it’s a full-blown ‘crisis’.
Despite the world’s financial problems, though, I’ve been fortunate to have a reasonable amount of work, and I’d begun to hope that things were getting better for other people, too. So I was a bit taken aback to receive this in an email from a translation agency this week (my emphasis):
Dada la situación actual de crisis, algunos clientes nos están solicitando un precio muy competitivo, sólo por un tiempo, en principio. A cambio, nos proponen un volumen grande de trabajo. Por esa razón, solicitamos tu colaboración para que nos indiques cuál sería tu precio más reducido en los próximos meses.
Years ago, I sent out my CV to a number of such agencies, but have never taken any work from any of them.
A couple of them did ring, but since the call usually came at 7pm on a Friday, with texts that were needed first thing Monday at the latest and were only paid at five or six pesetas a word when the going rate was ten for non-urgent work, I was persuaded by my partner that my weekends could be better spent.
I’m not sure how I came to be on this particular agency list, but the question “Just how little are you prepared to work for?” doesn’t lead me to believe I’ll be accepting any jobs from them.
Incidentally, the ACEtt website has some interesting information on (suggested) prices for literary translation. I particularly like the part in the section on translating poetry where it says,
Por poema – mínimo 60€
I don’t know many magazines that pay that much for original works, so maybe I should simply give up trying to write my own stuff and concentrate on re-writing other people’s.