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quote suggestion: BIG job
Thread poster: leotodaro
leotodaro
Local time: 18:22
Danish to Italian
+ ...
Dec 21, 2006

Hi

I was requested a quote from a customer: it's a 118.000 words job. It's a not so complex handbook, swedish-italian.

I guess I'll have to charge per hour, eg. 300 hrs. at 40-50$ per hour.

I'd like to find the sweet spot so I get the job, on the other side, I'm afraid of getting it wrong.

Volume discount? Some advice would be most welcome.

best Leo


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:22
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Am I missing something? Dec 21, 2006

leotodaro wrote:

(...)it's a 118.000 words job. (...)

I guess I'll have to charge per hour, eg. 300 hrs. at 40-50$ per hour.


Why would you want to charge per hour if the word count is so precisely known?

What if the book takes much longer than 300 hrs to translate? (If much shorter, good for you.) When you're word-based, the relationship between how much you do and how much you earn is much clearer.

A quick calculation shows that 300 hrs at $45 per hour makes $13,500. This produces approx. $11.5 per word. Whether it's enough for you and how much up or down you can negotiate is up to you to tell.

Regards,
Maciek


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leotodaro
Local time: 18:22
Danish to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ok, but per hour is going to turn expensive for the customer Dec 21, 2006

Maciek Drobka wrote:

leotodaro wrote:

(...)it's a 118.000 words job. (...)

I guess I'll have to charge per hour, eg. 300 hrs. at 40-50$ per hour.


Why would you want to charge per hour if the word count is so precisely known?




thank you for answering!
because I got a feeling that a quote per word would result in a very high price tag. Which leads me to the next question: do you think I should apply a substantial volume discount, if I opt for a per word quote?


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:22
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Never had a job this big... Dec 21, 2006

leotodaro wrote:

thank you for answering!
because I got a feeling that a quote per word would result in a very high price tag. Which leads me to the next question: do you think I should apply a substantial volume discount, if I opt for a per word quote?


You can arrive at the very same price tag regardless of whether you charge per word or per hour. What matters is how to find the point that's high enough for you and low enough for the client. (However, low price may not be one of the client's top priorities. Can you find that out?)

As to volume discounts, I can't advise anything, as I have never been offered a job this big. Let's wait for what more experienced Prozians have to say.

Maciek



[Edited at 2006-12-21 12:27]


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leotodaro
Local time: 18:22
Danish to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
btw...it's a direct customer Dec 21, 2006

just a bit more of info:

- this is a direct business contact, hence no agency in between.


my gut feeling is that applying my standard agency rate (per word) is a fair standpoint. I dunno if a low price is a requirement, cannot really ask the client. I guess they don't buy translations that often.

best, Leo


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:22
Partial member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
My suggestion Dec 21, 2006

Assuming an average of 2,500 words per day, this job will take 47.2 days for translation plus 10 days for revision, i.e. 57.2 working days. This means approximately 3 months of work during which you will be forced to say no to all your other clients with the risk of losing some of them.
This should be taken into account, unless the client agrees to a more comfortable deadline (6 months), which would mean working half day on this project and the other half for other customers.
I suggest you take your average monthly income, multiply it by 3 and add a certain percentage as compensation for being tied to this project. Then you have the total amount which you can divide by word or hour (it does not matter).

I personally consider such huge jobs quite unconvenient: you get bored, you have to say no several times to your regular clients, etc. Therefore I don't see any reason for a discount, unless, as I said, the deadline allows you to accept other jobs in the meantime.

Laura


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:22
Dutch to English
+ ...
Quote per word and add 20% on top Dec 21, 2006

This is what I would do.

You would still be cheaper than an agency so attractive to the direct client.

I have done a few large projects in the past.


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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 18:22
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
That would have been a GOOD price.... ! Dec 21, 2006

Maciek Drobka wrote:

This produces approx. $11.5 per word.



I THINK he meant $0,115, or 11.5 cents per word!

I personally would make use of my CAT here, and go for a word based bid, with a hefty reduction for repeated segments (always a good few of those in a manual), along with a generous volume discount.

I offer volume discounts of between 15 and 25% for all words over 5000, grading the discount upwards as the word count increases, in 5000 word increments. I have never done SUCH a large job, but the principle is the same. You are certainly NOT going to need the same amount of time to translate every word in a task of this size. And if you use a good glossary tool in your CAT, you will be able to offer a very attractive price.

Hope this helps, and that you land the job!! Good luck and Happy Christmas working!!

Bill


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:22
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
What a mistake! Dec 21, 2006

William [Bill] Gray wrote:

Maciek Drobka wrote:

This produces approx. $11.5 per word.


I THINK he meant $0,115, or 11.5 cents per word!


'course this is what I meant, sorry for the mixup.

Maciek


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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 18:22
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
If only.... Dec 21, 2006

Maciek Drobka wrote:

'course this is what I meant, sorry for the mixup.

Maciek


No problem my friend! I enjoyed a brief moment of hoping to become a millionaire by translating, then reality hit....

Have a wonderful Christmas time...

Bill


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:22
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
Hi Dec 21, 2006

I have done several large projects recently; the largest one was about 800,000 words. The good thing about large projects is that you get used to the style and terminology very soon and the translation advances much faster than you had expected in the beginning. But like Laura said above, you’re risking to lose some of your clients, and they will be your best clients, because it’s almost impossible that your best clients won’t send you at least one order in 2-3 months. Or you really have to negotiate a longer deadline.

Regarding volume discount, I think you don’t need it. If you use your regular rate for translation agencies it will already mean a discount, because you'll save the client the commission they would pay if they worked through a translation agency. But you'll also have to take over all the problems translation agencies face when they work with direct clients, like explaining simple linguistic issues to the client, solving software problems, etc. You had also be better split the order into several parts and ask the client to pay you upon submitting each part. If this is a direct client, they won't have any problem in this respect.


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Tadej Kokalj  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 18:22
English to Slovenian
+ ...
No volume discount, never! Dec 21, 2006

Here is copy of mail:

Agency wrote:

.... Our Client told us that the translation have to be done in
their own cms-system, which require a fast internet connection.
....
In case that we except a volume of 50.000 - 100.000 words(maybe more), we would like to know if you agree
with a price per word of € 0,05. As you certainly know, at project like this, the client always demand a volume discount. I hope that you agree with that suggestion

My answer:
Dear ...,

I understand, that customer demands volume discount, however I don't understand that anybody, who understands translation process can accept it. Translation of 10.000 words lasts almost exactly 10 times longer as translation of 1.000 words, hence I don't see any reason to accept your proposed price.
If you look at my profile, you will see, that I offer price derating following the Trados sheme. This is only "discount" I can offer. I can't know how many internal repetitions will text have, hence I can't accept general discount of 37,5% (!!) as you suggested.


There are some branches where volume discounts are logical (production etc.) and some, where there should be no volume discount, translation is among them.

Does anybody dare to ask his/her dentist and/or lawyer for volume discount?

[Edited at 2006-12-21 16:33]


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:22
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
I love the volume discount idea about dentist Dec 21, 2006

Once, long ago, my friend’s dentist pulled the wrong tooth. And he did give him volume discount ... he pulled the right tooth free of charge But I think my friend would pay twice the price if the dentist could put his healthy tooth back.

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leotodaro
Local time: 18:22
Danish to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you a lot! Dec 21, 2006

thank you everyone, interesting points of view.

I have submitted my quote, taking into account both per word and per hour price.

It's strange because it's by far the largest job I've ever quoted, on the other side I've developed some kind of serendipity when submitting a quote.

I do not always enjoy the loneliness of being a translator, so if the customer expects lower prices, substancial discount, I'd rather not work at all than being their slave.



[Edited at 2006-12-21 17:54]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 18:22
French to Dutch
+ ...
May I suggest something? Dec 22, 2006

I did some of these 100,000 word jobs in the past. The fact that you are always connected is VERY boring, indeed. I was opening and closening thousands and thousands of small windows of 10-80 words each. May I suggest that you do a small part of the job, say 1000-2000 words, you count your time, you invoice the client and you make a quotation for the rest of the job? Otherwise you can make big mistakes (too cheap or too expensive). Three months is a long time, and a quotation should be taken seriously.

Two small points:
- who counts the total number of words?
- the field in which you translate can make a big difference, tourism or commercial texts can be translated much faster than highly medical or technical texts
- in each case, you must stick to your hourly rate which should stay the same.


[Edited at 2006-12-22 09:56]


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