Translation Pricing With Joseph Lambert and Callum Walker

SlatorPod #128 Translation Pricing With Joseph Lambert and Callum Walker

Joseph Lambert (Lecturer in Translation Studies at Cardiff University) and Callum Walker (Lecturer in Translation Technology at the University of Leeds) join SlatorPod to talk about their paper Because We’re Worth It: Disentangling freelance translation, status, and rate-setting in the United Kingdom.

Joseph discusses the top three challenges for translators when it comes to pricing their services, including knowing how to calculate rates, client or LSP resistance to rate suggestions, and being willing to talk about rates in general. Callum shares the motivation behind writing the paper and how they aim to bridge the gap between academia and industry when it comes to pricing.

The duo talk about the lack of recognition of translation as a profession that requires a high degree of specialization and expertise — one of the central issues holding prices down. They address the difference in pay between working as a freelance translator for an LSPs versus acting independently and engaging directly with clients.

Joseph and Callum then unpack the positive and negative impact that machine translation and translation marketplaces have made on freelance translators over the past two decades. They reflect on the growing demand from translators for hourly pricing versus the per-word model, especially when it comes to post-editing.

They agree with the theory that as MT increases in quality, the level of expertise required of a professional linguist becomes ever higher and this should be reflected in teaching. Callum outlines the Leed’s approach to educating students through simulated projects to practice their negotiating skills.

The pod rounds off with advice for graduate students entering the industry — from networking and talking about rates to enhancing professional development with language and business skills.