We know that all translators earn at different rates. Literary translators translate stuff like Finnigans Wake and supplement their income by selling matches on street corners. Technical translators are locked into CAT systems and forced into dwindling returns for repeats as a result. Financial translators charge £500 per page for glossy brochures on stock-exchange startups but take several weeks to research them. And then there are those freelances who charge £15 per 1,000 words and make £300 per hour because they employ harems of audiotypists.
On a German translators mailing list, u-forum, there is a heated discussion on this topic (a euphemism for a bit of a free-for-all, with all sides accusing each other of ruining the market). Should I be amazed at the vitriol?
Its focused on an article by Luis Cerna, based on rates in Germany, in which he says you should not work for more than 2000 hours per year for the sake of your health (what health?), and only 1000 of those hours will be translation, as opposed to acquisition, bookkeeping, organization etc.
Bei u-forum gibt es eine Diskussion auf Deutsch über Übersetzereinkommen für Freiberufler in Deutschland. u-forum findet man in dieser Liste bei Alexander von Obert.
Es geht zum Teil um diesen Artikel von Luis Cerna (deutsche Version).