experience: the number of pages already translated
Thread poster: WML

WML  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:15
German to English
Jun 25, 2010

I have been asked to cofirm the number of pages experience I have translating a specific area
The simple answer is I have no idea - I have been translating for 17 years and never kept count! Any suggestions on how I answer this question - where do I start working it out or do I just say I have 17 years of experience and must have done several hundred/thousand pages?


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:15
German to English
Make an estimate Jun 25, 2010

I think a question regarding the number of pages translated indicates limited knowledge on the part of the client. I have been asked to estimate the number of words I've translated over a certain period in a specific subject, but never the number of pages. You'll have to invent some sort of arbitrary formula, for example 250 words = 1 page. Translate 2500 words/day = 10 pages. Translate 200 days/year = 2000 pages. 25% of your work is related to rabbit husbandry = 500 pages/year. Times 17 years = 8500 pages.

Good luck with this!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
So? Jun 25, 2010

Just do some wild calculations, come up with a number and give it to them. They'll never know the difference.

That's how that is handled.

What Kevin is suggesting is the idea.

[Editado a las 2010-06-25 16:19 GMT]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:15
Italian to English
Sector studies Jun 25, 2010

For some years now here in Italy, we've had to submit to the revenue office annual "sector studies" with all sorts of information that didn't use to be considered any of the tax authorities' business. The upside of this intrusion is that by the time we've got our tax returns out of the door, even those of us who wouldn't otherwise bother can say precisely how much they translated during the previous year.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:15
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Statistics Jun 25, 2010

I have actually kept all my invoices since I starting translating (18 years ago), so it would be possible for me to calculate the total number of words I have translated (and the total amount in each language pair). I am sure it is somewhere in the range of 10,000,000 to 12,000,000 by now.

[Edited at 2010-06-25 22:44 GMT]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 05:15
French to Dutch
+ ...
Estimate Jun 25, 2010

By taking your turnover, year by year (this shouldn't be too difficult, I suppose you have the figures somewhere) and then dividing it by your mean word price.

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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:15
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Rates change Jun 25, 2010

NMR wrote:

By taking your turnover, year by year (this shouldn't be too difficult, I suppose you have the figures somewhere) and then dividing it by your mean word price.


I am relieved to say that this wouldn't work because fortunately I do not charge the same as I charged 17-plus years ago

Kevin's suggestion seems to be a good alternative.


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WML  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:15
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks guys for all your comments Jun 25, 2010

Thanks - I will concoct a suitable reply!

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly Jun 25, 2010

NMR wrote:
By taking your turnover, year by year (this shouldn't be too difficult, I suppose you have the figures somewhere) and then dividing it by your mean word price.

That's right. Since we don't know how many days you have worked full time and your normal translation speed (there are people who translate 2,000 words a day, some people 5,000 words a day, some people 8,000 words a day), the best approach is to divide the average annual income by the average rate, and divide the result in words into 200 to obtain the number of pages.

It surprises me however that the poster does not keep a control of her work, at least for statistical purposes (what areas/customers/project types are on the rise, who are the most important customers, how diversified is your customer base...). This is a very useful information and I would advise anyone to keep a record and spend some hours making these calculations at the end of the year as the base for the strategy for the year ahead.


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 05:15
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
state something and make a note Jun 25, 2010

I had this exact problem some months ago, and the client insisted that I had to put a number of pages in this formular, even though I said it would be a wild guess at best.

I then simply put xxx.000 pages into each of my specialist areas, because this was so ridiculous a request, and the client insisted even after being told it would be impossible to say after 10 years as a freelancer.

After all, they would probably not be looking at the exact number of words you have ever translated anyway when finding the best suited translator for the job, you think?
Take a wild guess and be done with it.
Oh, and make a note to the client that this IS a wild guess after so many years.)

[Edited at 2010-06-25 21:14 GMT]


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WML  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:15
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
strategy? Jun 25, 2010

[quote]Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

It surprises me however that the poster does not keep a control of her work, at least for statistical purposes (what areas/customers/project types are on the rise, who are the most important customers, how diversified is your customer base...).



Strategy- what strategy?
- work comes in - i am busy - if it doesn't, I look for more ...


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 05:15
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Statistics? Jun 25, 2010

[quote]WML wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

It surprises me however that the poster does not keep a control of her work, at least for statistical purposes (what areas/customers/project types are on the rise, who are the most important customers, how diversified is your customer base...).



Strategy- what strategy?
- work comes in - i am busy - if it doesn't, I look for more ...


I'm with WML, here.
If I took the time to make mathematical calculations about which areas are on the rise, which clients are my best/worst clients etc., I doubt I would have any time to work, especially if I had to record number of words, subject area, client etc.

I keep a perfect track of such things in my head:
- 'I am now sick and tired of dvd manuals - give me something else' - this tells me that I do a lot of houshold appliance/home theater manuals at the moment = this market is on the rise.

- 'I don't want any more mails from X and Y. I'm fed up!' - this tells me who my largest clients are at the moment, and if it doesn't, I sure will know when I'm writing the invoices (hint: check the bottom figure).


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:15
English to German
+ ...
Statistics? Strategy? Jun 25, 2010

I just did the math and I came up with precise facts and figures:

Plenty o'pages.

Which is what my strategy is based upon:

More pages.



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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:15
Flemish to English
+ ...
Love me tender? Jun 26, 2010

Are you participating in a "call for tender"? That's the only time when I came accross such a question. You had to be able to prove at least 1000 pages in the subject-matter as a translator and 350 pages as a specialist.

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