rate for translating Chinese non-fiction book from Ming dynasty
Thread poster: Mi Ling Tsui
Mi Ling Tsui  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
English to Chinese
+ ...
Mar 4, 2006

Dear colleagues:

I’m considering taking on a large volume project translating a non-fiction Chinese book from the Ming dynasty into English. Aside from the language – which is in my mind the equivalent of Chaucerian English -- the original text includes many specialized terms for foodstuff, vessels, and measurements, etc. So, it will be difficult translation. I’ve never done a project of this size -- in the hundreds of thousands of Chinese characters – and would be grateful for any advice on the following questions/issues:

1) Should I charge by the source or target word?
2) Based on my experience, 1000 Chinese characters in contemporary text roughly equal 580 translated English words -- is this an accurate ratio?
3) What would the ratio be if the source is a Ming text (presumably denser, which will translate into more English words)?
4) What percentage would you add onto the rate per estimated word/character for the higher degree of difficulty?
5) And then, what percent should one discount from that rate to reflect the economy of scale in such a large project?
6) In the event that royalty will be part of the compensation (let’s say 5%), how much should one discount from the rate per word/character?

Many thanks.

Mi Ling Tsui


Direct link Reply with quote
 
adj600
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:52
English to Chinese
+ ...
wordcount for ancient Chinese Mar 6, 2006

I think you'll have to discuss with your outsourcer/publisher about wordcount/specific rate, as it's very hard to make assessment without acturally seeing the book.

But just for your reference, I think it's better to

1) charge by the source word,

so that the outsourcer/publisher won't get annoyed if you put a lot of 'translator's notes' within the book;

2) convertion ratio: when I did a piece from Tang dynasty, I used a ratio of 1.8 (1 ancient Chinese character=1.8 English words). But for a book in Ming Dynasty, the ratio should be lower.

3) Double your normal rate for difficult ancient piece, as long as your outsourcer can endure.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

rate for translating Chinese non-fiction book from Ming dynasty

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs