Line price
Thread poster: TRADL

Local time: 07:14
English to French
+ ...
Feb 22, 2004

I am getting established soon and wanted to know how to give a line price. What is the figure you look at in Word? I remember reading something about 55 or 60 characters. Is there a standard or do you agree with the agency/client first?


Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:14
German to English
+ ...
It depends on several factors. Feb 22, 2004

The method of charging for a translation tends to differ from country to country. Of course, you are entitled to decide yourself how you want to charge, but if you are working for an agency, you usually have to charge the way they charge their customers.

I am based in Germany and have found that most agencies tend to charge per line (55 strokes - i.e. including spaces). This is definitely the way I do it if I have a choice. However, there are also agencies who want to charge per line (55 characters without spaces), meaning that you have to adjust your line rate accordingly (because not including spaces tends to decrease the line rate with spaces by about 20%). I have also come across people or companies based in Germany who charge per 50 strokes or per word, but based on my experience, 55 strokes is pretty much standard here. In addition, there are also those who charge per hour for translations, but I don't think this method is as popular as per line.

Judging by your profile, you are based in England and, from what I've heard of the English market and from English colleagues, translations there tend to be charged per word.

At the end of the day, it's up to you and the companies/individuals you work with.

A final tip: Some people use Word to do a line or word count, but many also use professional line counting tools, such as Practicount (possibly the most popular) or Total Assistant. Such tools are extremely useful when translating Powerpoint documents - You can't do a proper line count in Powerpoint as you can in Word and that's where Practicount, etc. come in handy as it saves you a lot of hassle copying and pasting the ppt. document into Word.

Hope this helps.

Have a nice Sunday!



Aquila Aurata
Local time: 07:14
Hungarian to English
+ ...
How about charging per character? Feb 22, 2004

This avoids any confusion related to per-word, per-line or per-page counts.


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Number of characters div 55 Feb 23, 2004

One simple method is saving the document as text only. Then the size of the file is the number of characters.


smarinella  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:14
German to Italian
+ ...
Nr. of charachters:55 Feb 23, 2004

I do exactly the same as Heinrich: I count in Word the number of charachters (including spaces, of course) in the target language, i.e. in the text I have written, and than divide it per 55 (before, it was 60, some Swiss colleagues even count 53 or 52!). That isn't difficult at all.

In Anglosaxon countries, it's common to count in source words; in this case I have to decide: how many words are there in a line? 8,9 or 10? Opinions are different; changing fron German into Italian, the text is becoming 15-20% longer. That's why I definitely prefer to count in line (target language):it's much easier!


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