How to price copy adaptation work?
Thread poster: Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)

Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to Finnish
+ ...
Nov 25, 2003

Hi all,

I would be interested in hearing your comments on what is the best method of pricing copy adaptation work. Do you just use a higher word rate (how much higher)? Or an hourly rate? Or something else...?

(The content of the material in my case would be technical, IT in fact.)

Any comments are very much appreciated.

Thank you.


Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:37
German to English
+ ...
Can you give more details? Nov 25, 2003

If I understand you correctly, this would be more substantial than translation, but not as substantial as pure copywriting (from a blank page)? Example: I once worked from German notes and an English draft to produce English copy - is this what you mean?

If so, I would charge hourly.


Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to Finnish
+ ...
Copy adaptation Nov 26, 2003


a company who specializes in adapting copy to foreign languages approached me. They wanted a quote for this type of work which they also called "transcreation", i.e. I would be adapting a sales copy in the source language (final copy in the source language, either a short, conceptual copy or longer copy such as sales brochures) into my language. Sort of a mix of translation and copywriting.
I have done this type of (small) projects before but I was using my normal translation rates and noticed that it was much more time-consuming than just plain translation.

Now I would like to know whether I should charge just a higher word rate or an hourly rate. I find the hourly rate a bit unfair for the customer, though, as I haven't got much experience of this kind of work and I can't judge the time very well in the beginning of the project.

Thanks a lot for any comments!


[Edited at 2003-11-26 10:06]


Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
English to Tamil
+ ...
Hourly rate Nov 28, 2003

Where the time spent cannot be translated into quantifiable work, better go for the hourly rate. This is obtained by multiplying your word rate with the number of words you can translate in an hour.
But there is one catch. If you are going to work at home, you have to work out with the client the acceptable turnover in an hour. If on the other hand you go to the client's place, there is no problem. The client sees you at work and there is no dispute regarding the hours put in. At present I am translating confidential documents of a client from French into English. I charge him by the hour plus taxi fare both sides plus refreshments and food at the appropriate time. Today morning the contact officer asked me to wait as the person in charge of the documentation was busy elsewhere. I coolly told him to take all the time he requires, as he is the one paying my idle time and settled down with a book brought along for just such an eventuality. Boy, did they burn the telephone wires and got the document bloke on the double!

[Edited at 2003-12-07 15:06]


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