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One of the first things a translator has to do is decide what kind of Spanish translation rates to set. This can be a difficult thing to do when first starting out because many other translators are reluctant to share their rates with fellow translators. Well, before you do set your Spanish translation rates, there are some things you should be aware of.
First of all, translators set rates differently. Most translators charge by the word, but there are times when translators charge by the hour, or even by the page. The reason that translators charge by word is because the amount of words on a page can vary. It's not fair to translators to get paid by the page because the client could put more words on a single page in order for the cost of the job to be less.
As I mentioned before, one of the hardest things for translators to do is to actually set their English and Spanish translation rates. Well, rates can be decided by a number of factors. One of the factors that decides translation rates is the language pair that you translate in. For example, if you are a translator who translates a unique language, you can command a higher rate than someone who translates in Spanish, since Spanish is a more common language.
Another factor that determines translation rates is the type of material that you will be translating. Typically, more technical material will be able to command a higher translation rate. For example, if you are a medical translator, or an engineering translator who translates scientific or engineering technical papers, you will be able to charge more. On the other hand, documents that are more general in nature will usually only get the basic Spanish translation rate.
Another factor that sometimes plays a role in how much you can charge is the reputation you have as a translator, or how long you've been in the business. Competition is pretty tough these days, partly due to the fact that everyone that speaks more than one language thinks they can be a translator. Because of the competition, Spanish translation rates are often driven way down. However, paying the lowest cost doesn't mean the client will get a good translation, so by keeping your translation rates at a fair price for translators and clients, you'll be keeping the industry fair.
Once you understand the factors that go into setting Spanish translation rates, you can go ahead and set rates. One of things that can give you an idea of what kind of rates to set for your translation business is to check out freelance translation websites and see what kind of rates other translators set. One such site is Proz.com. One this site, clients can post their jobs and translators can bid on them. To get you started in setting your Spanish translation rates, I will say that I've seen rates anywhere from .15 to .70 cents a word, so taking the above factors into consideration, you should have enough to decide what rates to set.