Interesting issues, folks, you put in this weekend's chat -
Potter - I like "Potter and Spinning Grave of Tolkien" (or something like this - correct me if I'm incorrect but I guess it is in Czech "Potter a Tolkien obracej�c� se v hrob�");
Rates - puhleeeaaase, don't give that rap about Czech market rates - are we supposed to be dupes and gullible workaholics (arschl�cher)??? We pay global prices comparable to German, Austrian etc. ones for everything from Skoda car to office paper, including overpriced telephone, electricity, gas etc. (compare to US prices...).
Why on earth are we supposed to receive Eastern remuneration and pay Western costs? (Wish I were with you in Buffalo pub - I would gladly raised my voice, and got drunk (just kidding, I'm teetotaller [ha, ha, kidding, again]) If this is not exploitation, what is?
I agree, nevertheless, with Otto Pacholik, that minimum rates (like minimum wage) are necessary for beginners (again, who would work for $ 3.85 or 4.25 or whatever is minimum wage in the US now, but folks at MacGreedies need it...]. Nevertheless (do I like this "nicm�n�?")again, in the US I had whatever market could bear
- from $ 25 per hour with 2 hours minimum assignment at local hospital as an interpreter for olf folks from Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia, and, more than once from Subcarpathian Ruthenia,
to $ 25 per hour with 4 hours minimum plus travel hours plus mileage as interpreter at local county court and circuit court systems for DUI (driving under influence for tiny minority at this group)(once the honorable judge finished with my Czech "client", and, as another, Russian sad guy arrived, he told me to stay and interpret, and as I told him that I cannot, he told me "you are paid interpreter, so, hell, stay and interpret, this is my order", so I once and never again, shamefully moonlighted and did Russian<>English interpreting...[never got guts to send an invoice anyway...])
to $ 200 per day minimum assignment with some commercial assignment
translating in the US ranged from $ 0.09 per word for easy and/or repetitive jobs to $ 0.12 to $ 75.00 for evaluation and review, with minimum rate from $ 25 to $ 50.
Even though I might sound as "translators-of-the-world-unite guy", I say it again (and back up Otto P. et al) - competition is good thing, but let us stick to reasonable rates, i.e. calculate how much do you want to earn per year, deduct all (I say all, including educational trip do UK and weekly meeting at Buffalo and greeting cards to clients, colleagues and friends etc.), divide the number by word count you are reasonably capable of doing in 44 working weeks (52 weeks minus vacation days minus holidays minus sick days), and what you get is YOUR per word rate. And stick to it, otherwise your gonna poor heavy working from carpal tunnel syndrome suffering a..
About clauses (fidelity, loyalty, stupidity, obedience...?), the thing to say is that, globally (here we go again, am I masked antiglobal anarchist? - well, after being in Prague again since January 1999, maybe), well, globally, employers of the world united in not being loyal to their employees (see that damned newspeak about cutting costs, lean companies, downsizing) - one example - US companies off US do things that they would never dare inside US (not paying wages to their employees in the Let Kunovice, the pride of the aircraft industry - however silly that may sound - in Moravia, is the one example,"hell with environment, employee's Biblical right for fair wage, protection of working place against sexism, racism, ageism, etc., bucks bucks bucks is the name of the game" is their stand.
So, to make it short, if they are not loyal to us (I appreciate duly many examples of fine honest guys, mostly ex-translators/interpreters), we would be stupid gullible guys, again, if loyal to dishonest greedy whatever-is-his-name agency...
Enough keyboarding, have to work, too...
PS I guess I am patient enough to wait till Potter's author dies and/or till I read everything by Tolkien, all Dunes, all Oz, all Alice, all �apek and Ha�ek and Chesterton and... and... (do not like being pushed d.. week to another Hollywood movie, another No. 1 book of the week, another issue of ...)
PPS Sorry for overclogging the net, but does not she deserve it once in a while? (No, I am not unabombers pal, even though some of his general ideas of this lonely guy would deserve being published in the Czech Republic as a counterweight to comrades-turned-capitalists and to fair-capitalists-of-the-20th-century-turned-to-greedy-19th-century-robber-barons...)