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Rates for translation of 4 books
Thread poster: Charles Mullins
Charles Mullins
United States
Local time: 06:53
Chinese to English
+ ...
May 29, 2006

I have been asked to translate four books totalling 1,448,000 Chinese characters. My normal translation rates are .12 per word. I have been given a year to perform this assisgnment. I am unsure of what rate to charge. I divided the total number of characters by 2 then multiplied by .12 and subtracted 10%. Can someone give me advice on this?

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Claudio Chagas
Local time: 08:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You need a contract May 29, 2006

Full-length book translations usually require a standard translation contract between the publisher and the translating entity. There are a number of factors that you need to negotiate in addition to length and deadlines, e.g. you need to check if you are entitled to receive royalty on sales, before you can decide the best way to charge for this type of work.

Book Length Translation/Distribution Rate per Country
less than 100 pages $2,500 per title plus 10% royalty on sales
100 pages or more $3,500 per title plus 10% royalty on sales

[Edited at 2006-05-30 18:20]

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Bomi Rosiji  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:53
French to English
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Rates for 4 books May 29, 2006

I do not see any reason why you would need to divide by two. It is normal practice to use the number of words of the translated version not of the original. You cna use your word processor to count the number of words and then charge as you normally would per word. Of course for 4 books I agree with your 10% discount.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:53
English to French
+ ...
Simple plan May 29, 2006

Why don't you simply run a wordcount (or if you can't, calculate the average number of characters there is per word and divide the number of characters - I believe around 1.5 million - by that number to get your wordcount). Just multiply your wordcount by your regular rate. I would say that you need not give any discounts other than free repetitions IF you use CAT. I mean, if they are books, then they are literature-style enough for you to want to charge more than for "practical" translation. So, by charging your usual rate, you are already giving them a discount.

By the way, if you are in Asia and you manage to charge .12 per word, then that means you are a serious translator. This could mean that they WANT YOU to do the job - maybe you could simply ask for .12 and they would be fine with it, knowing you will do a great job.

However, for the discount question, it's better to have an idea of who you are dealing with and see if savings matter to them. If they do, 10% sounds fair (hey, 10% comes down to you working for over a month for free, so that's already generous - don't forget).

Good luck!

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Rates for translation of 4 books

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