Cost principles for interpreting services
As a general rule, the interpretation cost is calculated on a daily basis.
There is no hourly rate.
There are four reasons for this:
Every assignment, no matter how long it lasts, takes time to prepare. It takes just as long to prepare for a one-and-a-half-hour meeting as it does for a day-long conference.
What’s more, on short assignments, interpreters have to hit the ground running.
Interpreters simply cannot work at two or more meetings in one day, given the meticulous preparation that each job requires.
If your meeting runs late or gets extended or if your agenda changes at the last minute, you need to know that your interpreter will be there for you until the end. That is why interpreters set aside the entire day and do not commit to other jobs.
Are you holding your event far out in the countryside? At an industrial site? In another city or another country even? Interpreters will travel to your event’s location and no matter how long the event itself lasts, that travel time remains the same.
There and back
The fees charged when the interpreter needs a half-day, additional day or more to travel to the assignment location, then back home when the assignment is over.
This is to compensate for the time when the interpreter is not working but is unable to accept other assignments.
We often joke that interpreters on business are like children: we have to put them up, feed them and organise their journeys.
We can, of course, manage the logistics and book the interpreter’s transport and hotel.
As well as the fees and expenses, the client pays the interpreter a per diem (with the set amount agreed in advance) to cover the interpreter’s meals when they are not organised and handled by the client themselves.