How to charge per 1500 characters?
Thread poster: Inspectress

Inspectress
Ireland
Local time: 12:26
English to Irish
+ ...
Dec 10, 2015

Dear all,

I received an email from a company offering 10 euro per 1500 characters incl spaces for a translation.

I have only charged per word before.

Can anyone tell me if this is a good rate?

Many thanks in advance.

[Edited at 2015-12-10 15:26 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I've never quoted that way either Dec 10, 2015

Inspectress wrote:
I received an email from a company offering 10 euro per 1500 characters incl spaces for a translation.

I have only charged per word before.

Can anyone tell me if this is a good rate?

However I just spent a couple of seconds looking at the statistics of a text I'm working on and that volume seems to equate to around 250 English words. Seeing as I translate around 250 wph there's no way I'd quote just EUR 10. Although I use a per-word quote for translation work, it's only because it seems to be the industry standard. The important thing for me is to be paid around EUR 30 for each hour of my time (or more, of course). My rates are in line with the ProZ.com community rates: http://search.proz.com/?sp=pfe/rates


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Darko Pauković  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 13:26
Member (2012)
English to Croatian
+ ...
1 page = 250 words Dec 10, 2015

One standard page (or 1500 characters) has +/- 250 words, so your rate would be 0,04 EUR/source word.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
In my experience Dec 10, 2015

Customers will almost always accept a quote based on words rather than lines or pages. They know that's how most of us do it.

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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Country specific Dec 10, 2015

philgoddard wrote:

Customers will almost always accept a quote based on words rather than lines or pages. They know that's how most of us do it.


In Italy, they largely use to charge per 1.500 characters incl. spaces, while in German speaking countries they mostly use to quote per line (both target text).
Anyway, as far as I know, 1.500 characters incl. spaces in English correspond to 220 words. But whether 220 or 250, this doesn't make much difference, 10 € is way too little!


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Natalia Postrigan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:26
Member (2016)
English to Russian
+ ...
Depends on the language Dec 10, 2015

It is not unheard of to charge per characters. Other contributors mentioned Germany charging per line. I can add that in Russia one of my main clients charges per characters with spaces, just like you said. The conversion rate depends on a language pair, naturally, because the average length of a word can be different. Think German or Russian vs English.
Still, I agree, in your case it would likely not exceed 0.04-0.05 Euro per word - quite low.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:26
Member
Italian to English
We are the ones who set our rates Dec 10, 2015

philgoddard wrote:

Customers will almost always accept a quote based on words rather than lines or pages. They know that's how most of us do it.


It's not up to the customer to decide how we set our rates - it's up to us as professionals. And just because that's "how most of us do it", doesn't make it the best system. I quote Simon Turner:

"Il conteggio a parola è il sistema peggiore, meno preciso, meno confrontabile, più antico e, quindi, più usato nel mondo. Sul documento scritto a mano, è il più facile da calcolare ed è per questo che è diventato così popolare."

http://www.tariffometro.it/

My (rapid) translation, for those who don't work with Italian:
"Counting on a per-word basis is the worst, least precise, least comparable and oldest system, therefore the most widely used throughout the world. It's the easiest system for calculations involving handwritten documents, hence why it has become so popular."

I actually prefer a rate based on the number of keystrokes, because it more accurately reflects the quantity of text translated. But each to their own.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
-.- Dec 11, 2015

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:


My (rapid) translation, for those who don't work with Italian:
"Counting on a per-word basis is the worst, least precise, least comparable and oldest system, therefore the most widely used throughout the world. It's the easiest system for calculations involving handwritten documents, hence why it has become so popular."

I actually prefer a rate based on the number of keystrokes, because it more accurately reflects the quantity of text translated. But each to their own.



In my opinion, too, the best and fairest system is to quote/be paid on volume translated.

With regard to quotes on words, I happen to see in some profiles the same word prices for translations from German and for instance English. Now, this is sheer nonsense, commercially speaking. As the number of words in a given text in English will be about 30% higher than the word count of the same text in German, the translator that applies the same prices for the two languages, at the end of the day clearly will have earned 30% less if he/she translated from German. I always wonder why this obvious consideration has never come to mind to those people.

Anyway, if the customer wants a quote in a different unit from mine, I try to satisfy his request. This has nothing to do with setting my rates or not, it's simple obligingness.


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