Economic crisis and international business – a translator’s perspective

Over the past few months, the press has been discussing the Greek crisis and the weak euro, which is currently worth  0.707994 British pounds (http://www.xe.com/) compared to in 2011 when they were almost at parity. This has caused concern for many companies which do business in both the UK and the eurozone and the translation industry is no different.

The view of the translation industry

I have recently noticed a lot of debate on translators’ forums about the negative impact the weak euro is having on many translators ‘ incomes and whether or not British-based translators should increase the rates they charge their eurozone clients. Many argue that this would be unfairly punishing clients for something over which they have no control, adding that it is highly unlikely that these translators would decrease their rates when the euro gets stronger. Others argue that if they do not increase their rates they will not be able to afford to work for their eurozone clients and will have to concentrate on their clients based elsewhere, which would be unfair on the former if they are these clients preferred (or only) translator. It has also been pointed out that this may be a short-term problem which will be resolved after a solution to the Greek crisis is found. However since many Greeks are currently fighting with the government and Europe about the conditions required for a possible third bailout, I do not think this will happen anytime soon. In any case, is it not better to have a plan for when exchange rates go to one extreme or the other? My website only provides an idea of my rates, my actual rate is discussed with my clients on a project by project basis.

How does your business manage volatile exchange rates?

 

To see samples of my French into English work please click here.

To see samples of my Spanish into English work please click here.

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