Residents wonder why same translation job has different rates

Qatar residents have pointed out that customers have to pay different rates for the same translation work at different places.

Wondering why they have to shell out more money at some places for a job that costs less at others, they claim the difference in rates can be quite significant at times. This is happening at a time when more expatriates of different nationalities arrive in the country for employment and the demand for translation to Arabic reaches an all-time high.

As government offices generally require documents and forms to be provided and filled up in Arabic, residents have little option but to use the services of translators to get their work done. The rates charged by agencies to carry out different kinds of translation work, however, are not uniform, as mentioned by many expatriates. While the standard rate for a translation job is QR40 per page at most centres in Doha, there are agencies that charge at least 50% more, it is learnt. “If the work needs to be done on a war footing, translators may levy even double the normal rate for each page,” said an Egyptian expatriate.

It is felt that rates in Industrial Area are usually lower than those prevalent in most places in Doha. Charges could be significantly higher at some of the professionally run agencies in posh areas. However, what is surprising to most people is that the rates levied by individuals or agencies operating from small or makeshift offices can also be quite high at times. Residents who have used translators’ services in recent times said though some of them make tall claims about their credentials, there have been instances of their translations being returned by the local authorities due to their “poor quality”. “However, even these people have no qualms in charging exorbitant fees from customers,” said an Asian expatriate.

Those seeking translation services at regular intervals complain that except for documents to be submitted in courts, they have found “glaring errors” in some of the papers to be delivered in local offices. An Arab expatriate said he had to intervene more than once recently to point out major corrections in documents that had to be submitted to a local government office. Similarly, documents for medical purposes, too, have seen poor translations, sources told this newspaper. Meanwhile, some customers claim that there are translators who use online services to get the job done without paying heed to the finer aspects. “Some of the documents that these people prepare have no head or tail,” complained one such customer.

Of late, there have been reports that a law will make it mandatory for translators, among others, to register with the Ministry of Justice.

Source: Gulf times