Today a "job offer" was posted on multiple sites:
"This is the first project on a long list of documents to be translated.
It has two parts, 18,000 words in each.
We will accept a flat rate of no more than 400 USD for each part, no more than 800 USD for the entire project.
(-> 400 / 18000 = 0.022 USD/word ; this is my calculation)
1. Must be a native German speaker with excellent writing skills
2. Must be near-native fluent in English and have experience translating philosophical, spiritual, and religious documents.
Please contact me only if you're serious about the job ... Payment will be made through paypal immediately upon delivery.
(From the poster's (Qiangwei Wang) profile:)
Preferred currency: USD
Min. rate per word per hour
Chinese > English 0.12 USD 45.00 USD
English > Chinese 0.10 USD 40.00 USD
German > Chinese 0.15 USD 50.00 USD
German > English 0.15 USD 50.00 USD"
So this person works for 0.12-0.15 USD/word. Understandable.
How come everybody else has to work for 18.5%-14.6% of the payment this person considers appropriate for himself?
Apparently the poster assumes, that other translators work purely for fun (translation of philosophical material is definitely not easy) and don't have to pay the rent or buy food.
This is not "An American in Paris" but rather
"A Chinese in America".