Monday, September 28, 2009

3 About Mox's rates and other FAQs

What are Mox’s rates? May I use one of Mox cartoons? Do you really think that PMs are so evil?
These are some of the frecuently asked questions of Mox's blog. I have started a FAQ to answer them and I will try to keep it updated with new frequent questions as they arise.

1. What are Mox’s rates? And Alejandro's?
This is by far the most common question J
Mox’s rates start from 0.02 per source word, though in some special cases he will accept less than 0.02. His friend and colleague Calvo's rates start from 0.48 per word.
Alejandro’s (the author of this blog) rates vary from project to project. They usually range from € 0.10 to € 0.12 per source word. He started translating 11 years ago and he charged € 0.042 per word for his first translation.

2. May I use one of your comic strips?
This is the second most common question.
If you want to use them in your personal or professional blog, I am more than happy to give you permission. You are allowed to use them as long as you include a link to and do not abuse this privilege (e.g. not copying 10 cartoons in a row). If you drop me a line in order to let me know, that would be nice.
If you desire to include them in a magazine, newsletter, public presentation, etc, please write me for permission and I will analyze on a case-by-case basis (so far, I have authorized almost all requests).
Please note that I reserve the right to modify these conditions at any time.

3. Hey Alejandro, thanks for the blog. Are you the author of both the text and the drawings?
I am the author of both the text and the drawings. However, the characters are so fat that they require quite a lot of ink and time to draw and I wonder if I could outsource that task J. If I had known that so many translators from all over the world were going to follow Mox stories, I would have put more effort into the drawings.

4. Why do you earn so little? I would be asking the university for my damned money back!
I think you are mistaking the author with Mox. This is a comic strip about the fictional misadventures of a fictional translator called Mox, although many of the events are freely based on my personal experience.
I, the author, do not have two PhDs (I am just finishing a dissertation for one) and I earn more than the minimum wage. In fact, I left a very good job as an engineer when I realized that I could earn more as a technical translator and be able to manage my work time.

5. Is the character of Calvo inspired in…
…the inventor of Esperanto?
…an American German to English translator?
…a Spanish famous engineer?
No. I guess that Calvo must have a common face. Everybody seems to think they know him.

6. Would you accept suggestions for your comic strips? I can think on a fabulous idea…
Suggestions are welcome! I am sure that each of you has many stories to share, and reality often beats fiction. I will credit your idea in the strip (if you wish so).
You can post your suggestions as a comment to a post, or drop me a line at

7. I bet you are not only a wonderful cartoonist, but also an excellent translator. Are you available for a project?
Thank you! To check my availability for Fr>Sp or En>Sp, please contact me at

8. Do you really think that all project managers are as evil as PAM? You’re biting the hand that feeds you...
Most PMs I know are charming. I guess that if you are not a people’s person, you do not work in a position that requires writing and receiving hundreds of emails every day. However, along the last eleven years I have known some “evil PMs” whose techniques are too wicked to be described here.

9. How much of Mox’s life is inspired in Alejandro’s?
About 40%.

10. What are the PhDs of Mox?
Translation Studies and Economics.

11. You seem to be a polymath: engineer, translator, cartoonist, which activity do you prefer?
When I was younger, I also worked delivering newspapers and brochures, as a private tutor, bartender, Spanish teacher, testing games for Nintendo and selling dancing floors at Harlquin. Later, I worked as a Professor Assistant at the ICAI-Pontificia de Comillas University, agricultural engineer at Umbría del Villar, electromechanical engineer at Red Eléctrica de España and technical translator (since 1999 to date). So far, cartoonist is my favorite one, but I guess that if I had to draw cartoons 8 hours a day, probably I would not like it so much!

12. You seem to have an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Where do you find inspiration?
The more I write, the more inspiration I get. It was funny to discover how characters seemed to become alive after the first dozen strips or so. Since then, I have the sensation that they want to share their own stories.

13. Where do your visitors come from?
Top ten: Spain, France, Italy, Germany, United Stated, United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Argentina.


  1. quizas deberia practicar mi lengua y escribir mis comentarios en espanol.. pero tengo miedo de hacer faltas, entonces lo dire en ingles :)

    I find it interesting that there are so many blogs out there dedicated to translation. I'm a translator myself, from Lebanon, and I rarely use my blog to talk about my work. I rather consider it a stress reliever, where I take my mind off all the tensions I encounter in the course of my job. Basically, I just rant and rave about everything except translation.

    Your blog is a welcome breath of fresh air, keep up the good stuff! Mox is my (anti-)hero :)
    And thanks for your useful FAQs!

  2. Hello!

    Am I allowed to put a link and one of your comic strips or your wife's ones on my personal facebook page? I'd like to share both websites with some teachers and translators friends. I find your work great. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous, you are more than welcome to do that, thanks a lot for your feedback.


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