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rate per word for balance sheet translation
Thread poster: Michael Engley

Michael Engley
United States
Local time: 10:28
German to English
Jan 11, 2006

Does anyone have any suggestions for what rates to charge for translating annual reports and balance sheets? There are many more near and exact repititions in such documents than in other types of text, and many numbers which of course don't have to be translated, but still must be brought into the target language's proper format. How could a fee for such a job be related to one's standard rate per source word? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 21:28
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Hourly Rate Jan 11, 2006

With regard to the characteristics of the text you mentioned, the hourly rate is quite pair to prevent you from having an unnecessary quarrel with the agency later.
Based on my experience, you can charge £35/US$53 per hour. May this input be useful to you.

[Edited at 2006-01-11 11:45]


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Michael Engley
United States
Local time: 10:28
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your help Jan 11, 2006

Thank you for the suggestion. An hourly rate is a good idea.

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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not so many repetitions Jan 11, 2006

mengley wrote:
There are many more near and exact repititions in such documents than in other types of text, and many numbers which of course don't have to be translated, but still must be brought into the target language's proper format.


I don't think there are so many repetitions, and the cumbersome vocabulary, wording and formatting usually compensate for considering numbers in the count.

You could analyze the text with a CAT tool to verify the actual number of repetitions and give a discount based on this information if it is requested.

Fred

[Edited at 2006-01-11 13:27]


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Michael Engley
United States
Local time: 10:28
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the suggestion Jan 11, 2006

That is also a good suggestion. I'll contact the agency to see which method they prefer before I begin working.

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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:28
German to English
A number of issues involved here Jan 11, 2006

Nowadays, primary financial statements and notes for translation out of and into German mainly come in two formats:

1) PDF
2) Narrative in Word, tables in (embedded) Excel

though of course there are always exceptions (e.g. Word with Word tables).

In the case of 1), you'll have to convert first, using one of the really good PDF converters such as ABBY or Gemini, both of which handle tables very well indeed, then charge as for narrative text. In the case of 2), the general rule is a per word/line price for the narrative, Excel tables charged by the hour.

The price you charge depends very much on the client, and if you're working for an agency, the price will certainly be lower than for an end-client. Please remember that as a US-based platform, ProZ is subject to United States law, which prohibits even the discussion of concrete prices in many situations. Similarly, the laws in many European countries (including Germany) also restrict open discussion of prices in situations where there could be even the slightest indication that some sort of price collusion could emerge.

mengley wrote:There are many more near and exact repititions in such documents than in other types of text


Really? I've translated many hundreds of financial statements, and I'm always surprised at how little actually repeats across F/S from different preparers. When you think how many potential translations there are for e.g. simple things like Umsatzerlöse or Abschreibungen, I think you begin to see the magnitude of the problem, which is compounded by having two different accounting standards with often radically different terminology (HGB and IFRSs; there aren't that many US GAAP translations around nowadays).

and many numbers which of course don't have to be translated, but still must be brought into the target language's proper format.


Because this certainly involves an effort on the translator's part, the general convention is to charge figures as part of the narrative text rate. If the customer refuses to pay that, negotiate an hourly rate for that work. Or simply leave the commas and points unchanged (that normally gets the customer to change their mind quickly!).

Robin


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Michael Engley
United States
Local time: 10:28
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jan 11, 2006

Thanks for the thorough response! It was a big help in clarifying the issue.

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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:28
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
A number of issues Mar 9, 2010

Dear readers of the Forum,

I researched the archives before posting (good idea) and found this old thread, so allow me to pick it up again and ask you about my recent dilemma 3 years down the line...

RobinB wrote:
Nowadays, primary financial statements and notes for translation out of and into German mainly come in two formats:
1) PDF
2) Narrative in Word, tables in (embedded) Excel
(...)
In the case of 1), you'll have to convert first, using one of the really good PDF converters such as ABBY or Gemini, both of which handle tables very well indeed, then charge as for narrative text. In the case of 2), the general rule is a per word/line price for the narrative, Excel tables charged by the hour.


I completed the translation of a general ledger statement (PDF) last week. The agency was only willing to pay for the text but not the numeric content, so I delivered a Word file where I simply copied/pasted the numbers (about two thirds of the job) as is. Today, I received a follow-up request from the end client through the agency; they are happy with my translation but they ask that I place it in MS Excel format.

Would you charge an hourly rate in this case?
Thanks in advance for your input.
Ildiko'


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Ahnan Alex  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 21:28
Member (2010)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Ask your client Mar 9, 2010

In translating such a text, it also needs high focus in case that we mistype. So my suggestion is you had better ask your client which method of translation rate should be best for both parties. I got one and my client didn't complain about my applying per word rate. We're still cooperating until now.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Straight per-word rate Mar 9, 2010

Michael Engley wrote:
Does anyone have any suggestions for what rates to charge for translating annual reports and balance sheets?


The time it takes to format numbers is offset by the fact that you get so many 100% matches on your old TM. Also, learn how to use wildcard/regex find/replace so that you can change the numbers' formats more easily.


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