Why prices per hour?
Thread poster: Idiomatic

Idiomatic  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:55
Member (2005)
German to Danish
+ ...
Apr 27, 2005

A potential client is asking me for "prices for translation per source word and per hour". As a newly established freelance translator, I am not sure what they need the information about "price per hour" for.

They are in a different country from me, so I don't suppose they are going to pay me by the hour. Does anyone?

What other reason could there be for asking? Do they want to calculate my working capacity per hour from it?

Should I tell them my target earnings, expected average earnings or my minumum prices per hour?

Thank you all in advance.

Marie


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:55
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
For different jobs Apr 27, 2005

I use hourly rates for proofreading (if I can!), editing or modifications to existing translations. Perhaps a customer wants to change 100 words, but it may take you an hour to do it - insert the text in the right place and make sure it still makes sense. You will find hourly rates of colleagues on their profile pages and probably in the rates overviews as well. They have to reflect, in my opinion, your hourly output - i.e. if you ask EUR 0.0x a word, don't ask for EUR x0 / hour unless you are a very fast translator...
Hope this helps,
Anjo Sterringa


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Idiomatic  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:55
Member (2005)
German to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A matter of trust? May 1, 2005

Anjo Sterringa wrote:

I use hourly rates for proofreading (if I can!), editing or modifications to existing translations. Perhaps a customer wants to change 100 words, but it may take you an hour to do it - insert the text in the right place and make sure it still makes sense.


Does this mean that customers simply trust you to tell them the correct number of hours you spent on a job?

Anjo Sterringa wrote:

You will find hourly rates of colleagues on their profile pages and probably in the rates overviews as well. They have to reflect, in my opinion, your hourly output - i.e. if you ask EUR 0.0x a word, don't ask for EUR x0 / hour unless you are a very fast translator...
Hope this helps,
Anjo Sterringa


Thank you for your advice. I have had a look at colleagues' rates already. I was just puzzled over what the hourly rates were used for.

Marie


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:55
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Not in Brazil May 31, 2010

In Brazil we never charge by hour or even by page, but by "lauda". The lauda is like an official page (I think it comes from the pages used in sworn translations, which are all standardised) and has the advantage of being based on characters rather than time - as in theory a translator could do the work more slowly to earn more, and also time is a lot more difficult to check. The lauda does indeed vary between translators (I use 1300 target keystrokes with spaces) but is always based on keystrokes or (less frequently) words, with 250 words being the norm in this case.
In contrast, the Brazilian Translators' Trade Union (www.sintra.org.br) gives a price per word for ordinary translations, but a "lauda" of 2100 keystrokes for literary translations.

The great advantage of the "lauda" is that it avoids differences in pages as well. If one text had 100,000 words in 40 pages (tight spacing) and another had 100,000 words in 500 pages (lots of illustrations, for example) the price would be exactly the same, which would not apply if the physical page was used as a unit.


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Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
A page is a page is a page... May 31, 2010

Paul Dixon wrote:
If one text had 100,000 words in 40 pages (tight spacing) and another had 100,000 words in 500 pages (lots of illustrations, for example) the price would be exactly the same, which would not apply if the physical page was used as a unit.

Your information is quite interesting. However, one might also take into consideration that in this case we have "page" as a totally different notion. Translators use a standard page (you may call it "lauda") that contains keystrokes/symbols/characters (in my country, it can be either 1800 char. or 250 words, and it would of course vary for different languages) no matter how many illustrations the text might have. In contrast, pages you have mentioned are never used to calculate translators' or editors' work, as it's only a way to place one's information on paper.

Good luck!


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