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Translator rates calculator

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xxxnrichy
Francja
Local time: 10:39
francuski > niderlandzki
+ ...
This was how we invoiced long ago May 24, 2013

Lienka77 wrote:

I find it very difficult to decide what price I should ask per word or per hour. I (and so do my customers) am used to be paid by standard page (1800 characters including spaces). Depending on the nature of the text, I can translate 5-10 pages per day. None of my colleagues in my country uses this kind of rate, so would you help, please?


Before we had wordprocessors. I saw senior translators do that, they had standard page formats and were asked to type (with their Selectric!) 30 lines on a page. Lines which were half empty were combined for counting purposes (5 words +5 words = 1 line). A standard page was then considered to have 30 full lines or 300 words. Of course, there were no formatting issues, it was plain text, which had to be typesetted on professional equipment or which were photocopied properly.
I am talking here about manuals, but also about huge annual reports and legal texts.


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Denise Baldry
Local time: 09:39
francuski > angielski
+ ...
300 words per hour, 3 hours a day, 3 days a week... really? Jun 2, 2013

Gabriela Hebin wrote:

Please, just look at the default values on this formula.

A newbie translator might see this formula and expect to support his/her family's lifestyle by translating during only 70% of their "working" time, yet expects to do so by only translating 300 words per hour. Of course he/she feels it is perfectly reasonable to expect 4 weeks a year of what amounts to a paid vacation, and then to only work for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week.

Hello??? ON WHAT PLANET can you support yourself working 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, 48 weeks a year, if you're only good enough to produce 300 words an hour?

THEN someone else chimes in agreeing that they can only manage to produce some 1000-1200 words per day, so the newbie feels justified in the presumptions.

REALITY CHECK: 1000 words per day is NOT a professional rate of production! All of the translators who I work with can produce a minimum of 4000 words per day, some of them up to 8000, so let's get real here. Step it up.

What is the amount that you are willing to earn while you sit at home in front of your lapton in your jammies?
What is the value of being able to watch your own children rather than send them off to be "cared for" by strangers?
How cool is it to be able to take a break from your emails to move your laundry from the washer to the dryer?
Or to water your garden between assignments?
What is the value of NOT having to wear a suit and tie (or nylons and heels)?
Of NOT having to commute X number of hours each week?
Of NOT having to waste the the gas and wear and tear on your car?
How amazing is it to be in touch with people from all over the world and not have to sit in some fluorescent-lit office listening to some yahoo spouting the usual office gossip and politics while you pretend to care?
And what could be better than to avoid ALL of those things and still earn MANY times more than what an office worker earns?

To me, that kind of freedom is priceless.

Please enlighten me, even in the most Socialist of societies, since when does 300 words per hour X 3 hours a day X 3 days a week constitute an effort to earn a living? A business owner always works MORE than a full-time employee, not less. Greater freedom only comes with greater responsibility.

Enough said.

I'm sure this post will create hate mail, but so what? I'm sitting at home making my own coffee and listening to the TV while I laugh at the flames from the newbies who can only translate 1000 words per day.




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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Polska
Local time: 10:39
angielski > polski
+ ...
Possible but Jun 16, 2013

hsnava wrote:

Although this post is not recent, I would still like to comment. I think 8000 words per day is a crazy number. I worked at a translation agency for about three years and there are only a handful of translators who would accept that volume. In fact, I think I have never even dared to ask a translator to do 8000 words in one day. As far as I'm concerned, it's not possible or I would seriously doubt of the quality of such translation.


It's possible to get 10,000 and more (although less so to sustain that rate), but you need some really serious language competence, ease of writing, fast typing, a familiar subject and a proofer. Language competence, familiarity with the subject field (a product of knowledge and experience), and typing speed make a lot of difference.

Tony M wrote:


Well, I've always thought the generally German etc. way of charging per page / per line was rather odd, but is of course a relic of the olden days of typed documents with monospaced fonts in a very limited range of sizes. It seems to me this way of costing jobs is way behind the times these days, and with word processors in almost universal use, a word count is nowadays probably the easiest and fairest to implement (though I do have one publisher customer who works on a character count — which suits me just fine, as they always have lots of long words )


Poland still operates on the standard page, save for most CAT work. (Speaking of which, CAT character counts exclude more than just spaces. Be careful about that. There's a 15% loss compared to text editor character counts.)

I don't trust word counts. I've worked in litigation. I know how easy it is to dispute the definition of a word, and then stall, stall, stall. Far easier to agree on something that ultimately comes down to byte size after saving to pure .txt. Divided by 1800, charged per-byte, whatever suits you.

A good thing about word count is that it deals away with complaints based on the fact that a shorter word could plausibly have been used instead.


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Sandra K Leira
Meksyk
Local time: 03:39
angielski > hiszpański
+ ...
Gabriela Hebin Wrote Jun 16, 2013

I cuoldn´t agree more with you, Gabriela.

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Alex Kalani
USA
Local time: 04:39
arabski > angielski
+ ...
you are good at your language Sep 23, 2013

everyone is good in what they do in their native language.

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Tony M  Identity Verified
Francja
Local time: 10:39
Członek ProZ.com
francuski > angielski
+ ...
I don't agree! Sep 23, 2013

Alex Kalani wrote:

everyone is good in what they do in their native language.


Alex, I couldn't agree with that as it stands; it needs to be qualified.

Yes, one can assume that most literate, articulate people will be the best-placed to judge the quality of a piece of work, from pure native-speaker experience and 'feeling'.

However, in terms of translation, not every good native speaker of EN (say) who masters a second language will necessarily be a good translator! And by a long way! Translation needs a very special combination of skills; certainly, IMHO, being a native speaker of the target language is a fundamental pre-requisite; but lany other skills come quickly on its heels, including good (source and target) cultural awareness, analytical and research skills, ... I could go on and on. And of course, if you are a freelancer, then good business sense and sales / management skills are also a key factor.


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Christian Esquivel
Kolumbia
Local time: 03:39
angielski > hiszpański
+ ...
What about supply and demand on a given language pair? What about slow weeks or months? Jul 4, 2014

I've read through the posts on this page and there are far too many things for me to list here that are not being considered. Nevertheless, I'll list two that I think are of great importance:

1. Language pair: In my case (English > Spanish) there is a high supply so that means that unfortunately prices are much lower than other language pairs, however, the slver lining here is that there is much more work in my language pair. I've noticed that most people charge USD$0.05 in my language pair and well that's pretty low. I personally charge USD$0.07 at least, sometimes USD$0.10 if it is a rush job.

My point here is that pricing depends a lot on your language pair's supply and demand.

2.Slow weeks or months: Most of us occassionally suffer this situation. There are times when you have so much work you can barely find any time to do anything else other than translating, but the opposite is also true. I think one has to consider this, so you can save some money when there is a lot of work for those very slow times when you get few or no words to translate in a given week/month.

I believe that newbies should start translating only a few words and charge a rate toward the lower end of the standard rate, i.e. if standard rates for a given pair are of USD$0.10 to USD$0.20, then maybe charge USD$0.10 - USD$0.12 for the first year.

In my case, I started nearly 5 years ago with a rate of USD$0.05 and made a couple of mistakes accepting rates of USD$0.04 a couple of times. Now I charge at least USD$0.07 and I'm looking forward to increasing my rate to USD$0.10 within a year, maybe a bit lower for existing recurring clients, but definetely USD$0.10 for new ones. (I know many of you guys will probably think my rates are too low but it is because of my pair as I explained before).


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 03:39
niemiecki > angielski
+ ...
Discounts Jul 5, 2014

(from the article)

There are reasons to give discounts, but volume is not a good reason. The last word must be translated as carefully as the first. I disagree that the translation "gets easier" as you go along. That is often not the case.


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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 09:39
Członek ProZ.com
od 2014

angielski > niemiecki
I am quite new to the industry and reading this with interest ... Sep 24, 2014

So far I have been getting work from various websites (ODesk and Elance) but the best rate I can possibly achieve there is not a living wage or maybe I am slow, that probably anyway. I am always annoyed about how little I work for but I saw it as practice and to find out whether I am any good. Now I think it might be time to become a member at Proz.com, invest in a translation software (which one?) and charge, hm, what?? What is recommended on the website for my language pair?

Why do I feel I am ripping people off by charging a living wage? Maybe because clients at the above websites kept pushing prices down. On these sites I have to fight to get $0.04 and I often work for less.


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Little Woods  Identity Verified
Wietnam
Członek ProZ.com
angielski > wietnamski
Gabriele, there is no limit to exploitation but there is a limit to what we accept Aug 11, 2015

Believe me when I said the rate of $0.04 Gabriele mention is now considered the last line rate in my language pair. This was common agreement between my colleagues. They also said they don't want to review work from newbie anymore because it is a nightmare when those don't want to do due research and under time pressure they dump the hard parts to reviewers or editors. And working as a translator, there is something called responsibility and in many jobs, people have what is called responsibility allowance which is an encouragement.

You should also be aware that working as a translator has many hidden health risks that you can't see now but many years later when it is too late. Some of the health risks I mentioned are bad vertebrate, stressed finger and hand joints, strained eyes, and varicose veins due to sitting long hours.

Take into accounts those things when setting a rate. The community rate is good indicator. The new minimum must be more than $0.05.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
USA
Local time: 04:39
Członek ProZ.com
od 2002

hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
Rates Calculator Aug 11, 2015

Good article.

I haven't read the other comments yet (too busy), so I apologize if this has already been brought up, but I would like to add to this:
"The translator's rate is subject to mainly three factors, namely: How much money the translator wants to earn in a given period of time"

While we all certainly need to reach a certain average monthly goal, I don't think I set my rates based on how much I need to earn, but rather on how much I feel each individual project is worth in terms of how difficult it is, how much time I will have to complete it, etc. and in general, the overall rate at which I will feel satisfactorily compensated for the time I invest in completing the translation.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
USA
Local time: 04:39
Członek ProZ.com
od 2002

hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
Spanish rates Aug 11, 2015

Keep in mind that some agencies in the United States bill clients between .20 to .30 a word for Spanish into English and English into Spanish translations. I have seen the invoices with my own eyes.

Therefore, the problem is not that clients are unwilling to pay a lot for translation, but rather that so many translators are unaware of how much their work is being resold for and have no idea of its true value.



Christian Esquivel wrote:




[Edited at 2015-08-11 21:46 GMT]


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Álvaro Espantaleón  Identity Verified
Hiszpania
Local time: 10:39
Członek ProZ.com
od 2015

angielski > hiszpański
+ ...
Not too fast Aug 11, 2015

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

hsnava wrote:

Although this post is not recent, I would still like to comment. I think 8000 words per day is a crazy number. I worked at a translation agency for about three years and there are only a handful of translators who would accept that volume. In fact, I think I have never even dared to ask a translator to do 8000 words in one day. As far as I'm concerned, it's not possible or I would seriously doubt of the quality of such translation.


It's possible to get 10,000 and more (although less so to sustain that rate), but you need some really serious language competence, ease of writing, fast typing, a familiar subject and a proofer. Language competence, familiarity with the subject field (a product of knowledge and experience), and typing speed make a lot of difference.

Tony M wrote:


Well, I've always thought the generally German etc. way of charging per page / per line was rather odd, but is of course a relic of the olden days of typed documents with monospaced fonts in a very limited range of sizes. It seems to me this way of costing jobs is way behind the times these days, and with word processors in almost universal use, a word count is nowadays probably the easiest and fairest to implement (though I do have one publisher customer who works on a character count — which suits me just fine, as they always have lots of long words )


Poland still operates on the standard page, save for most CAT work. (Speaking of which, CAT character counts exclude more than just spaces. Be careful about that. There's a 15% loss compared to text editor character counts.)

I don't trust word counts. I've worked in litigation. I know how easy it is to dispute the definition of a word, and then stall, stall, stall. Far easier to agree on something that ultimately comes down to byte size after saving to pure .txt. Divided by 1800, charged per-byte, whatever suits you.

A good thing about word count is that it deals away with complaints based on the fact that a shorter word could plausibly have been used instead.


I usually try to avoid very fast translators as it is normally the case that their translations are bad or average. I don't really believe in fast "quality" translations. There is a trade off there. Of course, if the content is extremely simple, more can be achieved.




[Edited at 2015-08-11 23:06 GMT]


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Khaldun Al-Qaisi  Identity Verified
Zjednoczone Emiraty Arabskie
Local time: 12:39
Członek ProZ.com
od 2013

angielski > arabski
+ ...
Rate depends on the nature of the assignment Aug 19, 2015

You can determine your rates based on the nature of the job offered to you.

In general, I maintain my fixed and general rate that is decent in the market but if I find the job more complex and needs extraordinarily further efforts, I increase the rate.

My rate is rarely negotiable ...

As far as my experience is concerned, the daily output of a translator should not exceed 3000 words only to keep the product in quality.


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Gregory Lassale  Identity Verified
USA
Local time: 03:39
angielski > francuski
+ ...
Low flat rate job offers Aug 19, 2015

Hi all,

I do have a question about rates. I am a beginning translator and am very slowly trying to launch my services on the side while still working at my main job full time. This is very challenging because I don’t have much time to allot to it and job offers are being grabbed by full time translators in a matter of minutes when a job offer is mass-emailed. Anyway, my question is a two parter:

I once read on this forum that even a beginning translator should never offer to work for very low rates and that they should still charge a reasonable fee of around $0.08/$0.09 per word in order not to undermine other freelancers. Does everyone agree?

My second question is, I often receive job offers as part of mass emails sent by agencies. They can range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand words. The agencies often offer a flat fee that, when calculated, equals to very low rate, often in the ~$0.04-$0.05 per word range (just saw one for ~ 2000 words paying $80). Is that common for clients to pay that low for smallish jobs? Do any of you take those on or do you still say “nope, my rate is X, take it or leave it”. Just wondering as I’m still trying to get my bearings regarding standard practices for fees and rates.

Thanks in advance!


[Edited at 2015-08-19 16:53 GMT]


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