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Payment per line - how does it work?
Thread poster: Ivana de Sousa Santos

Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:50
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Sep 27, 2004

My question may be a bit foolish, but I would like to read some opinions about this issue.

I have got a client who pays me per line. It's not me who does the counting for the payment but him, and mine never matches with his.

I usually count the number of words or lines each time I do a translation, in order to have an idea of how much I will receive for that.

I started choosing the "word count" option in MS Word and it states the number of lines. When I got his counting, the number of lines were less than mine.

I then noticed (by counting one by one) that MS WORD counts not only written lines but also empty ones (like the ones that separate paragraphs). What I started to do was deleting those spaces and have the text with no paragraphs. Afterwards I chose the "word count" option and, indeed, there were less lines.

The last time I did the line counting for this client (the way I explained in the previous paragraph) I was expecting a certain number and the client came up with another one. In relation to money, it's a difference of 100 and some euros (for a whole batch of translations I did)!

I didn't ask him about his counting because I wanted to ask this question in this forum before.

How does the counting per line work? In fact, I sometimes have got a line with just 3 or 4 words.

Do you think that this client puts several of this sentences together in order to form a single line? Is that the way he should do so? Sometimes I translate letters that have addresses. Are these addresses included in the line counting?

Thank you all in advance.
Ivana


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Kirsty Mason  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:50
German to English
Standard characters per line Sep 27, 2004

Hi Ivana,

If your client is working per line, it is probable that they have a defined idea of how many words or characters are in a standard line. If this wasn't clear from the start, you need to clarify with them how they are calculating their lines.

In Germany, for example, a standard line is 55 characters target text, and is an industry standard rather than something defined by MS Word. In this case, to calculate the lines you then take the total character count and divide it by 55. Or you get hold of some line-count/invoicing software and configure it (or Word) to do this for you.

If I were you, I'd ask the client.

- re. addresses, personally I would include these in my word/line/character count as they often need localizing/editing. If the client objects, that's between you and them.

HTH

[Edited at 2004-09-27 14:13]


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:50
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Agree with Kirsty Sep 27, 2004

my understanding is that one frequently used "continental" method is based on a standard line of 55 key strokes (including characters and 'space-characters'), although other definitions of lines may sometimes be used by some people. It's very sensible (and you shouldn't feel foolish!) checking with your customer which definition of a line they wish you to quote for.

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Michael Hesselnberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:50
French to German
+ ...
Exactly Sep 27, 2004

I agree, generally in Europe (and even the Canada) the standard line is 55 caracters/line.
If you are interessed there is an Italian Agency which propoposes a fee wizard (conversion tool between words in source language, target language and lines) you cou see it online or download it, it's quite useful:
http://www.amtrad.it/feewizard.php

HTH
Have a nice day
Michael

[Edited at 2004-09-27 14:46]


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espurna
Spain
Local time: 02:50
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ask the customer Sep 27, 2004

Hi Ivanna,
As Kirsty says, I also think the best way is asking your customer. Yes, most usual lines are those of 55 characters, but I also have to cope with lines of 8, 9 or 10 words, depending of the customer and also the language upon the count is made (original English or target Spanish in my case).
But to answer your question, all of these lines are just assumptions. Is your customer who knows what lines are you working on.

Joaquim


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:50
French to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions Sep 28, 2004

I will talk to my client.

Kind regards to all of you.
Ivana


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