Literary translators' rates officially "catastrophic"
By Nicky Harman, published
The CEATL (Conseil Européen des Associations de Traducteurs Littéraires) has recently published a report on literary translators' rates and working conditions. The report can be downloaded from here
It's interesting to look at how much other translators/languages are getting paid compared to the rates Chinese to English translators get. On page 20, the UK rates are right at the bottom and, on the far right, it has a box "rate per word = 10 [euro cents]". The Euro:pound rate today (18 May 2010) = 0.86:1, so that would be equivalent to GBP£86, in other words about the same as the rate recommended by the UK Translators' Assocation of GBP£85 per 1000 words.
Of course, Chinese to English rates are often calculated differently if the deal is done in China, ie RMB per Chinese character. Further conversions needed!
I understand that CEATL is currently conducting a new survey along the same lines, for 2010-11.