prices per line when translating directly into various computer programs
Thread poster: katin
katin
Local time: 00:54
English to German
+ ...
Oct 27, 2008

Hi everyone,

I have a question about how much I should charge on top of my normal price per line for translating directly into various computer programs such as Powerpoint, Dreamweaver and Quark X-Press.

Also I am not always doing a word for word translation but creative writing as well.

Thanks for your help
Katin


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:54
English to Dutch
+ ...
Generic answer Oct 28, 2008

If charging by wordcount doesn't work, charge by the hour.

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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:54
German to English
+ ...
More than words or lines Oct 28, 2008

Everything depends on the amount of extra work and expense involved.

For example, who paid for your copy of Dreamweaver and QuarkXpress? If you shelled out a few hundred euros of your own money for Dreamweaver and a couple of thousand for Quark and you have or acquire the skills to handle these programs to designer standards, this would at the very least justify a surcharge, or possibly a separate item in your invoice for professional DTP work.

If your client sponsored your copy of Dreamweaver/Quark things may be slightly different, but you should at least be able to charge for the extra work/skills involved.

Did the client insist that you use Dreamweaver? If your task is only to translate the HTML files, that can be done without this investment. But if your task involves creating or editing the web design or translating text that is more complicated to get at, this would justify a surcharge.

As for creative writing, that is in a completely different league. People who write advertising copy can sometimes charge very much more than we do for translations. It all depends what sort of creative writing, what sort of client, how much design is involved etc. I don't think just adding a percentage to your line or word rate would do justice to this type of work - you need a completely different scale of charges.
For example, recently I did a translation job which was just one (ONE!) word in the German source text. It was to be creative (i.e. to make a specific type of impression on a company's Christmas card). I offered the client about half a dozen alternatives in the target language (English) and annotated them in the source language (German), and the client was happy and chose one of my suggestions. I charged the client 50 euros for that one word, but I feel a bit uneasy about it - I feel that perhaps I undercharged them.


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 00:54
French to Dutch
+ ...
DTP work is invoiced as a commercial service in some countries Oct 28, 2008

Victor Dewsbery wrote:
If you shelled out a few hundred euros of your own money for Dreamweaver and a couple of thousand for Quark and you have or acquire the skills to handle these programs to designer standards, this would at the very least justify a surcharge, or possibly a separate item in your invoice for professional DTP work.

In some countries, DTP work is a commercial service and should be invoiced as a special service, and is subject to VAT.

Creative writing should be charged by the hour, and if your client is an advertising agency it will sell it not as a "translation", but as a "concept" (prices multiplied by five or ten).

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-10-28 11:58]


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katin
Local time: 00:54
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
prices per line when creative translating directly into various computer programs Oct 28, 2008

Hi,

I used to charge by the hour for this kind of work when freelancing but I would be doing this kind of work for a translation agency. They want to charge per line. The programs are from the agency. They want to employ me on a freelance basis and mostly working from their office. They have their own Web/DTP dept- but it would still be required from me to sometimes work with these programs. I have been trained in this programs and have worked professionally with them before.

I know that you can charge a lot for creative text and advertsing copy. I would mainly be doing free translations or creative writing of various texts (not word for word). However, I think there will also be some headlines and taglines or logos to translate, letters, brochures (never copy I created myself- at least I don't think so). These are what I think might be the projects that need to be directly worked on in Quark or Dreamweaver etc.


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:54
German to English
+ ...
Cheap at the price Oct 28, 2008

katin wrote:
... I would be doing this kind of work for a translation agency. They want to charge per line.

....

... I would mainly be doing free translations or creative writing of various texts (not word for word). However, I think there will also be some headlines and taglines or logos to translate, letters, brochures (never copy I created myself- at least I don't think so). These are what I think might be the projects that need to be directly worked on in Quark or Dreamweaver etc.


Do I understand you right: they want you to do advertising-type work (time-consuming creative stuff like headlines, taglines, logos), but to do it for a translator's fee per line?
Would they accept a very high line rate commensurate with the creative task? (Something in the order of 3-5 or more euros per standard line of 55 characters), or are they trying to cut you down to one euro or less per line?


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katin
Local time: 00:54
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
prices per line when creative translating directly into various computer programs Oct 28, 2008

No not quite, that's why I'm writing. We are still negotiating. They are willing to pay more of course. I just don't know how much more per line as I used to do this per hour...

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