The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2022 - 21

a translator feels more
personable and intimate
as a result, meaning that
our profession facilitates
approachability and
friendliness. As mentioned
previously, advertising what
you charge (or providing a
summary of ballpark figures)
on your website breaks
down taboos and makes you
stand out as a professional,
especially because so few
translators are doing this.
However, while we should
encourage more talk about
rates among ourselves, we
should remain tight-lipped
with our clients. One of the
greatest, yet simplest, tips
I was given was to remain
tight-lipped whenever a
client was starting to quibble
about the rate. Stand firm,
don't waver, remain quiet,
and see what happens after
you've quoted a fee. People
pleasers will often try to
attempt to justify the rate
without realizing that the rate
needs no justification. This
tactic has worked time and
time again for me. In essence,
then, disclosing rates can
be done at any time the
translator feels comfortable,
and can occur both manifestly
(e.g., listing them on your
website) and discreetly
(e.g., during a one-on-one
conversation at a conference).
Choosing Not to Disclose
If you don't want to talk
about what you charge, it
doesn't mean that you're
not a team player or letting
your colleagues down. I
personally don't disclose
my rates on my website
because I mostly work with
agencies (including those
that specialize in the legal
field), so haven't thus far felt
it necessary.
www.ata-chronicle.online
We must remain sensitive
to those translators who
simply don't want to
disclose their rates for
whatever reason. After
all, translators should feel
absolutely zero compulsion
to do so. It should be made
clear from the outset that
discussions about rates are
not intended to pry, but
to increase awareness and
bargaining power among
translators. Those who
aren't earning what they
would like can always join
in the discussion by stating
what they would like to be
earning in the future, with
other translators helping
to brainstorm so their
colleagues might visualize
achieving their income goals.
I guess a rule of thumb here
would be to wait until people
volunteer the information
while encouraging the more
confident higher earners
among us to disclose
information about their rates
at every viable opportunity.
NOTES
1
Most translators tend to have a more
introspective, introverted nature and
work as freelancers, so it's difficult
to get collectively and professionally
organized around discussing money.
The Future Is Bright!
Over time it's hoped (sooner
rather than later) that this
increased awareness of
potential earnings on the
part of translators and the
adoption by the latter of a
similar " pricing strategy "
will translate (pun intended)
into a new reality for
translators (i.e., no more
working for peanuts). The
news is bright for budding
and experienced translators
alike. Translation as an
industry is set to grow
exponentially on a global
scale.7
What needs to grow
alongside this is knowledge
about earnings potential.
Hickey, Sarah. " The 2022 Nimdzi 100: The Ranking of the Top 100 Largest Language Service
Providers in the World " (Nimdzi, 2022). Also see: Nicol, Victoria. " Translation Industry Trends
and Statistics " (My Language Connection, August 12, 2022).
2
3
" How Much Does a Translator Make? " (Zippia, August 22, 2022).
Wozniak, Ted. " Summary of the ATA Compensation Survey, " The ATA Chronicle
(March/April 2022).
4
Leonhardt, Megan. " 60% of Women Say They've Never Negotiated Their Salary-
and Many Quit Their Job Instead, " CNBC (January 31, 2020).
5
McKay, Corinne. " Secrets of Six-Figure Translators, " Training for Translators
(November 12, 2008).
6
7
ATA Antitrust Compliance Policy.
Ludgrove, Louise, and Lyon, Peri. " Seven Translation Trends That Are Driving Growth in the
Industry " (The Maverick Group, July 22, 2021).
Justine Raymond has been a freelance Spanish>English translator since 2009,
translating official documents and contracts for law firms based in the U.S. and the
U.K. specializing in immigration law, as well as business, and marketing material.
She also translates for the nonprofit sector and nongovernmental organizations.
She has lived and worked in the U.K., U.S., Mexico, and Spain. She has an MA in
translation studies from the University of Sheffield, U.K. justine@jr-ts.com
American Translators Association 21
https://www.nimdzi.com/nimdzi-100-top-lsp/#size-of-the-market-and-projection:~:text=Size%20of%20the%20market%20and%20five%2Dyear%20growth%20projection https://www.mylanguageconnection.com/translation-industry-trends-and-statistics/#:~:text=Translation%20Industry%20Statistics,America%20follows%20this%20at%2039.41%25 https://www.mylanguageconnection.com/translation-industry-trends-and-statistics/#:~:text=Translation%20Industry%20Statistics,America%20follows%20this%20at%2039.41%25 https://www.zippia.com/translator-jobs/salary/ https://www.ata-chronicle.online/featured/summary-of-the-ata-compensation-survey/ https://www.ata-chronicle.online/featured/summary-of-the-ata-compensation-survey/ https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/31/women-more-likely-to-change-jobs-to-get-pay-increase.html https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/31/women-more-likely-to-change-jobs-to-get-pay-increase.html https://www.trainingfortranslators.com/2008/11/12/secrets-of-six-figure-translators/ https://www.trainingfortranslators.com/2008/11/12/secrets-of-six-figure-translators/ https://www.atanet.org/about-us/policies/antitrust-compliance-policy/ https://maverick-group.com/translation-trends/ https://maverick-group.com/translation-trends/ http://www.ata-chronicle.online

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2022

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