Clients and potential clients need to hear from you when they demand unfair, unacceptable rates. Here’s a sample letter you can use to communicate that you don’t work for peanuts! (Feel free to modify according to your needs. Copy and paste the text below or click here to download as a .doc file.)
I am writing with regard to your recent job offer [**add details if desired**].
Though I am fully qualified to provide the services you have requested, I cannot consider your offer. The compensation you indicate is not sufficient for the services you are seeking and, in fact, denies the translator a decent quality of life.
As part of the No Peanuts! for Translators Movement (https://nopeanuts.wordpress.com), I have joined a growing international group of colleagues united in opposition to unfair, exploitative rates.
I urge you to revise your rate policies immediately. Here’s one good place to start: In a proper client/service provider relationship, translators and interpreters establish and communicate the cost of their services. It is not the role of the client to impose rates on the language professional.
When you recognize that translators, just like members of other professions with specialized experience and training, deserve to earn an adequate living, I would be happy to reconsider a collaboration with you. Until then, together with translators from all over the world, I refuse to work for “peanuts.”