How do you charge for translation of software strings?
Thread poster: Wenke Geddert

Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Feb 26, 2004

Just got my first (small) project in this area and I wonder how you usually charge for this type of translation.

Obviously, the normal "price per 1,000 words" would not be applicable in this case (or does it, after filtering out all the coding and stuff that has to remain etc.)...

Any feedback is very much appreciated.


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Thierry thierry_lafaye
Spain
Local time: 02:56
English to French
+ ...
I'm new but... Feb 26, 2004

Hi,

I'm afraid I don't have so much experience as a freelancer but I did localization for 5 years. So for sure you should be able to only charge for the actual source wordcount to be translated, not the code.

Therefore, you should use tools to strip out the code (I actually use two proprietary tools developped by Microsoft -ooooohhh- for Microsoft products -oooooohhhh-) but if your project is in HTML for example, I think Trados supports it. If it's more binary oriented code, that could be tricky but I guess there are tools out there to strip out localisable resources (don't know any unfortunately as I'm very specialized around MS for the moment. Bad, bad boy. But I'll eventually come to it shortly).

Not sure if it helps but I hope it does a tiny bit?


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Thierry thierry_lafaye
Spain
Local time: 02:56
English to French
+ ...
Forgot to mention a useful link Feb 26, 2004

http://www.webpersonal.net/dmarques/resources/soft.htm

may contain some tools that could help you out?


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:56
German to Spanish
Why not? Feb 26, 2004

If you translate with a good CAT software (Passolo, Catalyst) there is no difference with a normal tagged doc.

Wenke Geddert wrote:

Obviously, the normal "price per 1,000 words" would not be applicable in this case (or does it, after filtering out all the coding and stuff that has to remain etc.)...

Any feedback is very much appreciated.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Line rate per term Feb 26, 2004

You will have to check every string in the GUI (Graphical User Interface):
  • not too long,
  • suitable for the form,
  • conform to MS or Adobe or whatever,
  • collect it to create a term base for the translation of help docs,
  • search for context,
  • ..

  • That's why you better charge your line rate for each term.
    Of course you can give a discount for a high percentage of repetitions.
    (I had 98 % of them in a lucky case.)

    [Edited at 2004-02-27 00:57]

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  • Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
    Czech Republic
    Local time: 02:56
    English to Czech
    + ...
    Per word, but with a CAT tool Feb 26, 2004

    It's usual to have two different rates, one for documentation and one (higher) for software strings. Both of them are per word (or per 1000 words, if you want).

    Usually it's necessary to use a CAT tool which separates the translatable text from other strings (codes, etc. - if any). This way you can also tell how many words the source files contain.

    The exact procedure depends on the format of the source files. Be careful with complex formats, containing program code, control characters, etc.


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    Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
    United Kingdom
    Local time: 01:56
    Member (2004)
    English to German
    + ...
    TOPIC STARTER
    Thanks... Feb 27, 2004

    ... for all replies and the link, which proved useful. Also: CAT-tools are definitely on the agenda (but this is a totally different "research" project). Thanks again!

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    neilmac  Identity Verified
    Spain
    Local time: 02:56
    Spanish to English
    + ...
    charge per "word" if possible Mar 1, 2004

    What I have done in the past, if the doc to translate is in a .txt file, is convert it to a WORD .doc, then run a a wordcount, and bill approximately. The thing is, you may have to leave in $ " & symbols and write around them, as I did. You could consider charging an hourly rate, as it can be v. time consuming owing to code symbols and polysemy (lack of context), etc

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    Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
    Netherlands
    Local time: 02:56
    Member (2006)
    English to Afrikaans
    + ...
    Charge per word Mar 2, 2004

    Wenke Geddert wrote:
    Just got my first (small) project [of software strings] I wonder how you usually charge for this type of translation.


    If I can only count the target text, I charge per target text, but else I charge per source word as usual.

    If the project is in tab delimited format, you can easily count the words. I import tab delimited files into Excel, copy the source text column and paste it into Word, and then do a word count.

    If the program is not tab delimited but each string has the same format, you can create a copy of the source text and fiddle with find/replace to tab seperate the real text from the gibberish.

    If the project is in POT format, it's a tad more complex counting the words but I have been told there are programs available for that (although I've never seen such programs).

    If all fails, you can install a keyboard capturer and do a word count on the target text after you translated it by reading the capture log


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