# How much do you charge per character ?

How much do you charge per character ?
Thread poster: Julie BEILLE - FOLTZ
Julie BEILLE - FOLTZ
France
Local time: 18:51
English to French
+ ...
 Mar 15, 2005

A company asked me for a quotation per character :

Length of SMS messages: 160 chars.

Max length of WAP messages: 1.200 Characters.

This would be on a regular basis for several months. Anyhow I don't know the charging difference between character and word.
Thanks for your help.

Daniela Gardini
Italy
Local time: 18:51
English to German
+ ...
 I suggest converting Mar 15, 2005

Hi Julie,

the only suggestion I am able to come up with is the following:

If you consider a page to be 55 characters per 25 lines one page equals 1375 characters. So if you charge (let's say for the sake of my weak mathematics) 13,75 Euro per page, one character would cost you 1375/13,75 = 1 cent.
You have to find out the size of your standard page and the divide the total characters by the total cost of your page.

I hope it will be of some help.

Ciao
Daniela

[Edited at 2005-03-15 18:06]

[Edited at 2005-03-15 18:07]

PAS
Local time: 18:51
English to Polish
+ ...
 Words and characters Mar 15, 2005

Apart from the fact that asking for a quote per character seems somewhat silly to me...

Take a document which you have translated at your standard rate. Calculate the total number of characters in that document using the MS Word document statistics function or whatever other tool you use.

Divide the sum you received (e.g. in Euro) for that document by the total number of characters.
For example, if you earned 120 EUR for a document that had a total of 15 000 characters
120 EUR/ 15000 chars. will give you a rate of 0.008 EUR/ character - that is to say eight tenths of a cent.

The character count in Word comes in two flavours - including spaces and without them.
If you include the spaces, you will be dividing by a larger number and thus your rate per character will be less.

If you don't include the spaces, the rate will be higher.

Either way, this should give you an idea of what to charge.

HTH
Pawel Skalinski

write me an e-mail if you have any questions...

Hans G. Liepert
Switzerland
Local time: 18:51
English to German
+ ...
 quotes per character Mar 15, 2005

PAS wrote:

Apart from the fact that asking for a quote per character seems somewhat silly to me...

In my opinion a quote per character makes much more sense than a quote per word or per line: how many characters does a word have? 1 (engl. 'a') or much more (the infamous German 'Donaudampfschifffahrtskapitänswitwe'- Germany, Hungary and Finland are countries with a long tradition of starving translators who were stupid enough to quote per word).
Or, how long is a line? 50 characters? 55? 60?
A character is a character - quite simple!

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 18:51
German to English
+ ...
 Character Rate Mar 16, 2005

Hans G. Liepert wrote:
In my opinion a quote per character makes much more sense than a quote per word or per line: how many characters does a word have?

I have to agree with Hans. In fact, that is usually how I calculate my price: down to the last cent (I also charge for incomplete lines).

Assuming a price for a line amounting to 1.25 EURO, I arrive at 0.025 EURO / character. I think you could justify charging 0.01 - 0.03 EURO / character. I would argue that there is some amount of administrative work involved even in very short translations (German law provides for a minimum amount of around 13.00 EURO no matter what the size for translations done for the German government): you still have to turn the computer on, create a document, compose at least one e-mail, and write an invoice.

Hans G. Liepert wrote:
Or, how long is a line? 50 characters? 55? 60?
A character is a character - quite simple!

BTW - A standard line should, of course, contain 50 characters (including spaces and all other formatting).

[Edited at 2005-03-16 07:47]

PAS
Local time: 18:51
English to Polish
+ ...
 You're right Mar 16, 2005

Hans G. Liepert wrote:
In my opinion a quote per character makes much more sense than a quote per word or per line
uote]

I'm sorry. I made a mental "skip" when writing this post and I also didn't want to muddle the issue.

In Poland, a standard quote is per "standard page", which contains any nyumber of characters (actually keystrokes). This number varies frorm 1600 to 1800 keystrokes per page. This is a memento of days gone by: a standard page of typewritten text (i.e. on a typewriter) was 30 lines of 60 keystrokes each.

So we quote, say 12 EUR per 1800 keystrokes, do the translation, calculate the total number of keystrokes, divide that by 1800 and multiply by the rate.

What I did mean, however, is that quoting in tenths of eurocents or ten thousandths of Euros is a little unclear.

For a job like this I would try to negotiate a price per message. That would be simpler, IMO.

Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski

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