On the unilateral decision of Penguin Random House to lower the rates of its literary translators

March 5, 2015

Nuria Cabutí
CEO, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial
Travessera de Gracia, 47-49

Dear Ms Cabutí,

It is with deep concern that we have learned of your decision to downgrade the rates of translators with whom you have maintained prolonged working relationships, especially since your company is regarded as a publishing world benchmark. This is all the more unfortunate since these professionals’ success and survival have also, in part, been the result of long-term investments, including man-hours, made by companies like yours. Their skills have increased and improved over the years, despite the quantitative ceiling to which all physical productivity is limited. This is why any cut in their current rates cannot reasonably be sustained.

The fact is that it takes many years to train and develop a translator who, in the end, contributes thousands of readers to your value chain, even creating new consumers from childhood. On the other hand, it might take only a few months to convince translators who are shown so little appreciation for their invaluable task to find work in another field with more reasonable prospects and remuneration.

We are hoping that you will reconsider your position.


Aurora Matilde Humarán
International Association of Professional
Translators and Interpreters