Rate? --- No problem!

Patent drawing of flight simulator by Rougerie...
Patent drawing of flight simulator by Rougerie (France - 1928) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Japanese Language Book
Japanese Language Book (Photo credit: born1945)

The other day I was asked, whether I can translate FOUR related patent specifications, 2 from Japanese and 2 from English, into German. The Italian company (CAESAR SRL) wrote in its mail:
"We evaluated this job as:
- 5055 words from English / - 4000 words from Japanese
approx. qty: 9055 words / fixed price: € 780,00 --> 0.086 Euro/Word"

0.08 Euro/word for a patent specification from Japanese to German???

A few days after I reclined the offer, I got a mail from "wagner-international", asking me, whether I can do PRECISELY the same job (J-G portion only).
That made me celebrate. WONDERFUL!!!
Apparently nobody else is working for so low rates (for material of this complexity). And I told Wagner so.

That company says of itself: "We specialize in cost–effective, expert communication and media solutions ..."
Meaning: we squeeze every last drop of sweat and tear out of the translator to provide clients with CHEAP (the magic word of our time) product.
If it kills a few (thousand) translators ... well, that is their problem.

On the other hand ...
I got an inquiry --- by telephone! --- about a patent translation from France.
Once I had a look at the text, got a better readable PDF file here in Japan and told them my rate (the due date was fixed up front), the person at the other end of the line said: Rate? -- No problem!
That was not a translation agency, it was a patent office:
International Patent-Translation Bureau (IPTB)

On the one hand you have the agencies (sounds like "agent" from the movie "Matrix") that try to cheat and possibly kill translators,
and on the other hand you have companies knowing that some things simply have their price.

Opting for "cheapest is best" will run people/companies into trouble sooner or later. I have seen it many times ... those companies for which I was too expensive receive claims from their customers and then ask me (or anybody else) to have a look at the tranlation and "brush it up a little" ...

Oh, how stupid!
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