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Translating a software: How to price?
Thread poster: Ahmad Batiran

Ahmad Batiran  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 09:26
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Aug 5, 2007

بسم الله

assalaamu 'alaikum every body,

I have a potential job for translating a software (only DLLs and other related ones).

What is the right or best way to price such a job? Can I price by word? What if I am kind of slow or new to the job, shall I ignore giving a rate by time?

Thank you for your insight in advance!

Ahmed


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
When you know how to do the job, you know how to price it Aug 5, 2007

Peace!

Since "the proof is in eating the pudding", I would start to analyse the files and work on them, and after not more than one hour it should be clear how much time it will take you compared to the translation of a standard text

Harry


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Ahmad Batiran  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 09:26
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You have a point there. Aug 5, 2007

Harry,

Thank you for your prompt advice! I agree with you.

I think I will just do my best now though I gave a price by word count, rate by time was elapsed.

Do you think I should mention the rate by time if the price difference is big?

Advices of others are welcome as well.

Thanks...Ahmed


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Too late or too early.. Aug 5, 2007

Arabic Tongue wrote:
Do you think I should mention the rate by time if the price difference is big?

Rather not, because your client wants a binding estimate, since it could turn out that the translation would be too expensive to be reasonable.

As an entrepreneur, you have to take risks, and you as the localization expert are supposed to be able to estimate the costs much better than your client could.

If you offered your standard word rate, you may either profit from a high percentage of repetitions and/or evolving high fuzzy matches, or you may lose time because of technical problems or because of difficult terminology which can be very time consuming to research.

An hourly rate is always the last solution, to be reserved for totally chaotic tasks.
(This is why my hourly rate is somewhat higher than what I would earn with an average translation in the same time.)

And your hourly rate should be mentioned already in your resume/CV which you should have sent to the client at the beginning...

Assuming the worst case, you might have to give up the project whithout charging your client anything. This would be the time to propose an hourly rate if you would try to continue nevertheless.

Assuming the best realistic case, I guess you could earn 3-5 times more than you would with a regular translation.

Good speed!

Harry


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
Member (2003)
English to German
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Learning experience Aug 5, 2007

Why should the client pay more just because you have no experience in this area and for that reason you might take longer to finish than an experienced translator? Is that logical or fair?
An apprentice might take longer and will be paid less than a master - that's why he's the apprentice after all and the higher paid guy the master.

Charge by word rate. If it takes you longer than your normal projects, take it as a valuable learning experience that will allow you to work faster the next time. Who knows, you might become a specialist in software files and raise your word rate accordingly. But then, the client would pay more to get the experienced master.

Also, if your hourly rate turns out to be a good deal more expensive than your word rate for this project would be, you might turn out to be too expensive for the client, who might choose another translator next time. If you do a good job at your regular word rate, you have a happy customer, who most likely will come back for more. That's business sense, IMO.


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Ahmad Batiran  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 09:26
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your valuable advice! Aug 5, 2007

Harry & Heike,

I see what you see. I indirectly pay for gaining the experience even if the work turns to be that good and on the deadline, in fact, it should be as such.

My thinking is in the correct business track as yours I guess. Thank you very much!

I have an off-topic note: both of you have something to do with German (if you yourself are not German); any clue about the reason?

Vielen Dank!

Ahmed


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 07:26
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Limiting the risks Aug 5, 2007

Suggest a part of the job for starters to the client. He may like the idea - after all its his risk as well, so you both are limiting the risk of unexpected problems that may turn up. In your case it may be the unrealistic price or unrealistic deadlines etc.

[Edited at 2007-08-05 17:04]


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Ahmad Batiran  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 09:26
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dealing with 'unrealistics' & risks: yes, it goes through it. Aug 5, 2007

Vito,

Thanks!

The unrealistic price will be on my burden only if I do a good job at the time the unrealistic deadline is on both, he might loose even business somewhat, and myself as well where I yet will loose something, i.e. reputation.

Your post started to form a theory related to my latest off-topic note.


Ahmed

[Edited at 2007-08-06 07:52]


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