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Translation rates (Mod: German to French, software user guide)
Thread poster: xxxMiam21
xxxMiam21
German to French
+ ...
Aug 30, 2006

Hello,
I'm a translation student living in France and I've been asked to translate a German software user's guide of 50,700 words.
I'd like to know what translation rate I can charge per word, knowing that German and French are both my mothertongues, but my school graduation is only next year, meaning that I'm a "non-official beginner" in that business.
Many thanks!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-08-30 17:23]


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:28
German to French
+ ...
Before asking about rates... Aug 30, 2006

Ask yourself what it is to be responsible of a 50 000 words job.
Even if German and French are your mother tongues (which may for some be prone to discussion), you will spend a huge lot of time having to research about the software terminology if you are not used to it. To make it clear, there is hardly a straightforward software dictionnary for the german to french pair (at least not one that I know of) and oft you need to cut through english databases to get through (not to say that each new software may have its own terminology).

Ask yourself, how much can i cope with one day work? Can I hold having to work full time for at least 6 to 8 weeks (if you are a beginner and don't have any translation memory). How much should you ask to offer two month of stress knowing that if you are studying at the same time, it may influence your study.

As a beginner, one is very tempted to be cheap seeing that it is a huge job. Don't make this mistake. On such a big job, you will probably sweat quite a lot and damn it before you get to the end.
You will have to be as good as an experience translator because some outsourcers will not hesitate (espescially the ones on the low end) to try to find reasons not to pay you if they don't find the translation good enough.

Calculate what you are worth for at least 2 months of your life (calculating that you may have other sollicitations before the end) and go for it. Rates from here are of no use because you are going to be the one who is going to sweat.

Once I read about a sentence from a book translator like:
"I can't help in the end hating a book I am translating. You have to give so much of yourself to get it through".

I always remember this for very big jobs and I also go through this love (at the beginning), hate (at the end) and relief (when it is over).
All of this must be taken into account when making the price.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:28
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
You are the boss Aug 31, 2006

Pricing is one of the most delicate issues in our profession. If you ask for 12 Eurocents per German word you will probably not undersell yourself, provided you are familiar with the subject and have reference material in the target language.

Regards
Heinrich


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