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Rates per character??
Thread poster: Cintia Pecellin

Cintia Pecellin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:46
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
Feb 6, 2003

I have been contacted by a Canary Island agency for work. Only, they pay by character translated, meaning each letter...

Is this a normal, common way of paying translators? I have never heard of this before, ignorant me. Could someone, with more experience, solve my doubts?, please...


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:46
German to English
+ ...
Rates per character Feb 6, 2003

Here in Germany, it is normal to charge by the line. Since the line is standardized (normally at 55 characters), we are in fact charging by the character, as a rate of (for example) 1 Euro per line is actually 1 Euro per 55 characters.



Marc


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Paola Grassi
Local time: 07:46
English to Italian
+ ...
it is quite usual in Italy Feb 6, 2003

I am not surprised by what they do. Here in Italy, it is quite usual to be paid according to a price unit called CARTELLA. The cartella counts about 25 lines of 50/55 characters = total amount 1500 (more or less 330/340 words).

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Maria Eugenia Farre  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:46
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Rates per character in Brazil Feb 6, 2003

Dear colleague,



In the Brazilian local translation market it\'s very common to use the number of characters as the yardstick in estimates and rates. There is even a name for it. The so-called lauda. The problem is that every translator uses a different size of lauda. Some say it\'s 1000 characters with no spaces, other say it\'s 1250 characters with spaces, and publishing houses say it\'s 2,100 characters long. In short, it\'s a total mess and the only way clients can be sure they are getting the best estimate for a project is by looking at the bottom line. When I have to calculate my rate in characters I usually apply the following metrics:

1 lauda= 1000 characters without spaces= 160 words.

This is what I\'ve heard people say it\'s the correct equivalence for Portuguese, but there is a bunch of other people who say that 1000 characters is in fact equivalent to 200 words.

I know that German translators employ a different system, based on lines, and I\'d be interested to hear more about it too. How does it work? Is it necessary because German words are usually long?

At any rate, I hope that my comments do not disparage you and that you can find an accurate way to present your rate to the agency.



Cheers,

ME



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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:46
Italian to English
+ ...
yes Feb 6, 2003

I have frequently agreed rates on a character basis. i.e X Euros per 1500 characters (often called a \"cartelle\" where I am.

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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 13:46
English
+ ...
Oh I thought agencies like that were all extinct nowadays Feb 6, 2003

They\'re also the sort that won\'t count the spaces between two words.



Just get a sample, translate 100 words into Spanish, count the characters with and without spaces and then decide if the pay is worth it.





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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:46
German to English
+ ...
Germanwordsarentlong! Feb 6, 2003

English ones are short, that\'s why British translators sell them by the thousand.



Marc


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Cintia Pecellin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:46
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, I had no idea!! Feb 6, 2003

Thank you very much to all of you, I had no idea this method was so overly used! Anyways, I have figured out their rate (I think), and it comes out at 0,06€. Not too bad. The \"only\" thing, is that they have already been quite rude to me when e-mailing, and I haven´t even worked with them yet!!...

Anyways, thank you vey much for your answers! Much appreciated.


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George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:46
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
I always charge per word Apr 13, 2010

I would never charge per character. Here's how I see it: you don't translate punctuation marks and stuff like that. I find it to believe that anyone would care to determine the number of CHARACTERS a text has.

...actually, if it's a website whose text is being translated, there could well be restrictions on the number of characters allowed for individual lines in places. And that's another thing: I have no idea why charging per line is so popular, in Germany or elsewhere. Anyone could agree that not all texts have the same number of words per line!

I think you should only charge per page if it's a certificate.


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Cintia Pecellin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:46
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Over 7 years ago, but thanks! :-) Apr 13, 2010

Thank you very much for your input, George, I'm sure it will be helpful for future readers!

I didn't even know this post was still open...

Cintia.


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hiring Apr 14, 2010

My friend hired a translator for one of his website. I do not think that charging per characters is the right thing

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