Converting number of words into hours
Thread poster: Olli Leroy

Olli Leroy
Other
Local time: 21:55
English to Dutch
+ ...
Jun 6, 2007

Hello everyone,

I have a small problem with efficiently converting rates from number of words to number of working hours.

I know that I can do around 1300 words a day, but how many hours would I charge per day then? I've never clocked my work as I find that hard. I regularly take breaks and do other tasks, but when the day is over I find I have translated around 1300 words.


TIA

[Bijgewerkt op 2007-06-06 17:11]


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:55
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Hi Jun 6, 2007

Well, i ve got a similar issue.

??


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Olli Leroy
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Local time: 21:55
English to Dutch
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Full time Jun 6, 2007

All in all, I spend most of the day translating. So, I was thinking of charging 8 hours per day. And that, times your hourly rate. But who's going to pay you that?

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:55
English to Spanish
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Easy Jun 6, 2007

At the rate you state you do 162.5 words an hour, so if you were charging US$ 0.10 per word for instance, that works out to US$ 16.25 an hour.

I suggest you work on picking up your speed.


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Olli Leroy
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Good advice Jun 6, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

At the rate you state you do 162.5 words an hour, so if you were charging US$ 0.10 per word for instance, that works out to US$ 16.25 an hour.

I suggest you work on picking up your speed.


That is good advice and working on it already
But seriously, how do you do it?


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CJG  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:55
Dutch to English
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Are you proofreading or translating? Jun 6, 2007

I have never yet come across an hourly rate for translations, at least not in the way you describe it. I do know of agencies which pay based on the hours worked for a certain piece, but not by the day. I agree with Henry that you do need to pick up your speed, but I am curious what sort of agency you work for where you charge a daily rate. Or have I misunderstood your question?

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Olli Leroy
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Translating and proofreading Jun 6, 2007

They did not yet pay me per hour, but on my online account a space is left for filling in an hourly rate. And I was, for myself, comparing the rate per hour with rating per line (they don't rate per word)...It comes out better, you know.

So, at present it doesn't really matter how fast or how slow I work, I get paid per line, not per word and not per hour...Nor for proofreading.

[Bijgewerkt op 2007-06-06 20:52]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:55
Member (2002)
German to English
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Increasing speed comes with experience Jun 6, 2007

However, to work full-time as a freelance translator, you would at least need to double your speed, to ca. 2500 words per day. Nevertheless, that is not your first concern. Your first concern is to produce very carefully-done translations to the best standard you are capable of. That will be the beginnings of building up a good reputation. You can only build up that reputation by being ever so careful with the translations at first - at the expense of speed - and then gradually speed and quality will increase side by side.

You increase speed by increasing your experience of the source language, remembering words, remembering typical grammatical constructions, just getting used to the job. Start making dictionaries for yourself as an aid to memory. A CAT tool will also help you increase your speed, for various reasons. Get a fairly inexpensive one to start with; it will help you a lot.

As for earning money, though, it sounds as if, at this stage, you would be best off taking a part-time job for half of each day and translating for the other half. Everyone needs to have an acceptable income, too.

Astrid


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Olli Leroy
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Local time: 21:55
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Thanks Jun 6, 2007

Thanks Astrid, that definitely was a useful answer.
And now I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

[Bijgewerkt op 2007-06-06 21:55]


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:55
Member (2003)
English to Italian
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Picking up speed Jun 6, 2007

That is good advice and working on it already
But seriously, how do you do it?


You are almost answering yourself:

I've never clocked my work as I find that hard. I regularly take breaks and do other tasks, but when the day is over I find I have translated around 1300 words.


1) for a short period of time (a week or so, if you can, if not at least a few days), keep track with precision of what you are actually doing, e.g.:

8:03 AM turn on computer, go to kitchen to start coffee-maker
8:27 Back at the computer. Start reading e-mail
8:59 Bathroom break
9:21 Back to e-mail
9:35 Finished reading and answering e-mail
9:35 start work on project x
9:51 Interruption: answer phone
9:53 back to work
10:25 ...
(or whatever: this is just a made-up example)

It's a pain, but until you know where your time is going, you cannot decide how to speed up: if you thus discover that you are actually spending a lot of time working, you can either a) not worry too much (speed will come with experience), or b) see if you are spending too much time in some task (lack of speed in typing, for example, or too much time spent checking things on the Internet.

On the other hand, if you see that you are actually frittering away time doing things that are really not work related (surfing the Internet, reading messages on ProZ fora, cleaning up the house or whatever), you can start working on balancing your time budget better.


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Olli Leroy
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Local time: 21:55
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Thanks Jun 7, 2007

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

That is good advice and working on it already
But seriously, how do you do it?


You are almost answering yourself:

I've never clocked my work as I find that hard. I regularly take breaks and do other tasks, but when the day is over I find I have translated around 1300 words.


1) for a short period of time (a week or so, if you can, if not at least a few days), keep track with precision of what you are actually doing, e.g.:

8:03 AM turn on computer, go to kitchen to start coffee-maker
8:27 Back at the computer. Start reading e-mail
8:59 Bathroom break
9:21 Back to e-mail
9:35 Finished reading and answering e-mail
9:35 start work on project x
9:51 Interruption: answer phone
9:53 back to work
10:25 ...
(or whatever: this is just a made-up example)

It's a pain, but until you know where your time is going, you cannot decide how to speed up: if you thus discover that you are actually spending a lot of time working, you can either a) not worry too much (speed will come with experience), or b) see if you are spending too much time in some task (lack of speed in typing, for example, or too much time spent checking things on the Internet.

On the other hand, if you see that you are actually frittering away time doing things that are really not work related (surfing the Internet, reading messages on ProZ fora, cleaning up the house or whatever), you can start working on balancing your time budget better.






Thanks a lot, Ricardo! Very useful!


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:55
Member (2008)
Russian to English
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Rephrase the question Jun 7, 2007

JB wrote:

Hello everyone,

I have a small problem with efficiently converting rates from number of words to number of working hours.

I know that I can do around 1300 words a day, but how many hours would I charge per day then? I've never clocked my work as I find that hard. I regularly take breaks and do other tasks, but when the day is over I find I have translated around 1300 words.




You probably have other ways you could spend your time, some of which (working in another field) pay more than others (watching television). You've determined that you can translate 1300 words per day, and you know how much that nets you. There are non-monetary benefits to working as a translator and only you can make the decision about whether these non-monetary benefits plus the monetary ones make it worthwhile for you to spend your time doing this rather than one of the myriad other ways you could spend your time.

As you get more proficient and/or specialize in specific fields and/or find other ways to increase your output, this decision may be subject to review.


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 23:55
English to Lithuanian
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simple formula Jun 9, 2007

2500 words per day = 10 hours of work, or 10 pages ~1 page per hour). If you do some 1300 words per day, then multiply your "result" by 1300 and divide by 2500.

[Edited at 2007-06-09 21:22]


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