The credit crunch has just affected one of my projects seriously. Usually I try to pay for translations that I commission as we go along, at 10 cents a word. That way I get a chunk of translation every week or two, and a small bill which I pay immediately, by cheque or Paypal. At the end we have a ‘sweep-up’ process, and I pay for that at some hourly rate related to the per-word rate. This works well, because it means I can see progress, and nothing nasty happens financially. It’s not much different to buying a CD or two every couple of weeks.
However with the translation of the Commentary on the Nicene Creed of al-Majdalus which I commissioned last year, I agreed to a final bill system. But… a year ago, $2 = 1 GBP. Now $1.40 = 1 GBP; a fall of 30%! Effectively that adds hundreds of dollars to the price, without benefitting anyone! The word in the UK is that the pound will fall further, because the UK government is printing money like fury. No-one in mid-2008 could have foreseen a fall of that size.
Just a thought, if you have some kind of commitment in a foreign currency. Have a plan to handle this kind of situation, agreed with the translator.
I’m going to keep commissioning translations, but cautiously!