How much should I ask to translate a whole scientific book?
Thread poster: Paola Grassi

Paola Grassi
Local time: 07:18
English to Italian
+ ...
Feb 4, 2003

Dear all,



please help!

I have the opportunity to translate a whole book about a scientific issue. 200 pages of about 570 words each. I am very worried about the incredible amount of money I should charge for the translation, as I counted about 114.000 words. How much do you usually charge for such a job.

And your clients do they usually survive after your request?

Please help!


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Marina Zinno  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:18
French to Italian
+ ...
io direi... Feb 4, 2003

Secondo me vista la combinazione linguistica

sui 3400-3500 euro ma dipende anche dal grado di tecnicità.

Non ho mai tradotto cosi\' tanto

Ma i clienti sanno piu\' o meno come il mercato immagino ;P

Di solito vengono richiesti tempi di consegna proibitivi e quindi se devi dedicarti unicamente a questa traduzione direi di non scendere sotto quella cifra, altrimenti se i tempi sono piuttosto larghi e quindi lo fai \"a tempo perso\" e intanto riesci a prendere lavori più \"remunerativi\" regolati di conseguenza!



ciao,

Marina


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:18
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Who is your customer? Feb 4, 2003

If it is the author, break the news to him slowly.

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Alexandru Pojoga
Romania
Local time: 08:18
Japanese to English
+ ...
114,000 * 0.10 = 11,400 Feb 4, 2003

It will take you more than a few months, so why is the sum enormous?

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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:18
English to German
+ ...
Why are you so hesitant? Feb 4, 2003

You are expected to deliver good work, you may expect to get paid decently, isn\'t it?! This is nothing more than a job. Why should they pay less for more work? Why, for a job of 1000 words you should be allowed to charge, for example, 8 cents per word, and for a job of 100,000 words you would charge only 50 % of this?! You won\'t do yourself a favour in the long run by acting this way, nor to the rest of us. Usually, after you do so, clients would expect you to complete all future jobs at such discount rates. Clients should understand that translating is not just putting some words together in a foreign language. More often you will have to have a quite detailed knowledge of the subject concerned which would involve a considerable amount of time for research and self-studies, even if you don\'t expect this when accepting the job. The more, you may find, this will be the case when translating a whole book which may involve rather complex issues.



Ask for your usual rates, teach your clients. If you hesitate, let them play the ball: tell them to make a price offer which you can negotiate afterwards.



Frankly, a serious company should know how much a decent translator would cost them. So, they are the last thing I would worry about (in terms of money, of course, not quality).

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-04 17:10]


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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:18
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Is this a private individual? Feb 4, 2003

I\'m just guessing, but I suppose that the source of your unease may be because your client is not a company, but a private citizen. Certainly agencies or companies do not deserve such qualms.



I think Steffen is right anyway: you should not feel uneasy about charging whatever is right for the job, especially when the subject is highly technical, as it seems to be the case here. A company or an agency should be in a position to pay you as you deserve. If it is a private citizen, you offer your quote as per usual too. If he drops down in a dead faint, then you can offer alternatives such as finding other interested people to chip in to pay the price, or doing the job in batches (one chapter at a time, for instance) and getting paid as you go.



If this is not accepted, well, too bad. I don\'t think it is convenient to devalue your work just because you think your client may not afford it.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:18
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
counting up in Italy Feb 4, 2003

You might want to know that in Italy, the rates for published works (cartella editoriale) are based on 1800-2000 keystrokes a cartella, as opposed to the conventional 1500 for other work. Broken down into words, this comes to 300-330 words per page you charge.

That said, I certainly wouldn\'t give a volume discount. Otherwise, you\'re much better off doing 200 individual translations of 570 words each, no?

In addition, and particularly if you don\'t know the chap, I\'d ask for stage payments. A percentage up front, more halfway, balance on completion. Honestly, it\'s not worth your time otherwise.



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Paola Grassi
Local time: 07:18
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you all ! Feb 5, 2003

I want to thank you for the professional advice you gave me.

I know it is a long and demanding job and it is the first time I have had the opportunity to complete such a large work, that is why the final amount of money seems incredibly unbeareable to be asked.

Sure I cannot do it for nuts and as it is a friend of mine I will try to balance his needs and mine.

Thank you again for all your precious advice.

Paola



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Comtrans1  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:18
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
It is more difficult Feb 5, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-04 17:07, Steffen Pollex wrote:

Why, for a job of 1000 words you should be allowed to charge, for example, 8 cents per word, and for a job of 100,000 words you would charge only 50 % of this?!





I fully agree with you! It\'s much more difficult to translate a book of 100,000 words than 10 separate texts of 1,000 words each.



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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:18
English to French
Difficult? Feb 5, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-05 13:18, Comtrans1 wrote:

I fully agree with you! It\'s much more difficult to translate a book of 100,000 words than 10 separate texts of 1,000 words each.



Not 10, 100. In my opinion, it takes a lot more effort to find 100 texts of 1000 words then to find 1 text of 100000 words. A lot.



That said, I do consider the price offered is much too low. Especially since we are talking of a scientific book.

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Bensona
Local time: 07:18
French to English
Your traditional rate Apr 23, 2003




How much do you charge per hour/per page and multiply that rate by the number of the pages.



In addition take into consideration the following elements



-number of pages

-additional research hours

-office overhead

-add other things to make your work stand out and make him to think of you the next time.



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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:18
German to English
+ ...
Other customers? Apr 23, 2003

Remember that you will also have to put other customers on hold for the time it takes to translate the book.

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