How to determine rate/hour and minimum rates?
Thread poster: Alexandre Chetrite

Alexandre Chetrite
France
Local time: 22:42
English to French
Feb 16, 2015

Hi,

I have never translated using the rate/hour method. I always used rate/source word.

Today a customer asks me to translate his website using rate/hour format.

How should I determine my rate/hour for this project and the minimum charge?

What about other standard translations?

And is it a common practice to translate a website using the rate/source word method because it can be difficult to estimate the number of source words of several webpages of a domain. (how would you do that? use Microsoft Word?) And is it up to the customer to tell me the number of words or is it my task?

Regards,



[Edited at 2015-02-16 08:27 GMT]


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:42
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
The rate/hour Feb 16, 2015

The rate/hour method is normally used in interpretation or in projects involving more than a mere translation.
Have you got established your interpretation pricing? If yes, then use it. This forum is an excellent source for references.
All the website translation projects that I've done were provided in Excel and, naturally, I charged per word.
In such a case like yours, I would ask the client what is their hourly output expectation for this kind of translations. If you see that it matches, more or less, with what you would estimate for your usual translation volume, take it. It will never be an exact match. If the client says it's x hours comparing to their previous projects and you estimate 2x, negotiate.


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Michal Fabian  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:42
Member (2012)
Dutch to Slovak
+ ...
How much is one hour of your time worth? Feb 16, 2015

Charge accordingly.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Rate calculator Feb 16, 2015

There are no answers here, but you might find Proz.com's rate calculator useful in working out your own.

http://www.proz.com/translator-rates-calculator/

If the website job involves formatting or time spent downloading etc. and not directly translating, payment by the hour is a good idea.

In fact it is a good idea all the way round, because word rates can be very difficult to set fairly. A thousand words in a marketing text are very different from a thousand words of academic research, or user instructions, etc. etc. ... And as you say here, it may be difficult to count the words on a website.

Charging by the hour draws attention to translation as a service, not a commodity sold by the 'kilo'. In principle, an hour of your time is the same as any other hour of your time, so it should not make a difference in practice, whether you charge by a word rate or by the hour. Don't forget to include the little time-consuming things on the side.

Best of luck!





[Edited at 2015-02-16 11:36 GMT]


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Alexandre Chetrite
France
Local time: 22:42
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Transofrming a web page into a single Excel file Feb 16, 2015

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

The rate/hour method is normally used in interpretation or in projects involving more than a mere translation.
Have you got established your interpretation pricing? If yes, then use it. This forum is an excellent source for references.
All the website translation projects that I've done were provided in Excel and, naturally, I charged per word.
In such a case like yours, I would ask the client what is their hourly output expectation for this kind of translations. If you see that it matches, more or less, with what you would estimate for your usual translation volume, take it. It will never be an exact match. If the client says it's x hours comparing to their previous projects and you estimate 2x, negotiate.


Ok but how to efficiently transform a domain name with multiple web pages into a single Excel file and have a total word count? Should I save in HTML, and then open in Excel (or Word?).

Because in Word the wordcount feature is integrated, whereas in Excel one must use a formula or VBA code or user defined functions which is less convenient.

What about HTML tags and special tags? How can I remove them automatically to end up with only brute text?


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philgoddard
United States
German to English
+ ...
That sounds way too complicated, Alexandre. Feb 16, 2015

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:

Ok but how to efficiently transform a domain name with multiple web pages into a single Excel file and have a total word count? Should I save in HTML, and then open in Excel (or Word?).

Because in Word the wordcount feature is integrated, whereas in Excel one must use a formula or VBA code or user defined functions which is less convenient.

What about HTML tags and special tags? How can I remove them automatically to end up with only brute text?


I think the customer is probably right to suggest charging by the hour. They may also ask you to estimate how long it will take - again, that is a reasonable request for budgeting purposes.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Hmm . . . Feb 16, 2015

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:
Ok but how to efficiently transform a domain name with multiple web pages into a single Excel file and have a total word count? Should I save in HTML, and then open in Excel (or Word?).

Because in Word the wordcount feature is integrated, whereas in Excel one must use a formula or VBA code or user defined functions which is less convenient.

What about HTML tags and special tags? How can I remove them automatically to end up with only brute text?

This sounds as though the translation will be the least of your worries. These are all things that have to be settled before thinking of quoting at all. If you're really IT-savvy then I suppose you have more avenues open to you. Personally, I've experienced some real problems in the past. Clients who ask you to "just take it off the website" are ones who often haven't really thought of what's involved. What EXACTLY do they want translated, and what do they want you to skip? What about content that changes all the time (dynamic, is it?)? What format do they want it back in? I'm not at all IT-savvy so I always insist on a Word/Excel file - and I just translate that. I once did a copy-paste from a site and it wasn't right, causing a lot of ill-feeling on both sides. When I insisted that the client (a communications agency) do the copy-paste the next time, they ended up coming back with an urgent add-on job as they'd made a mess of it themselves.


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:42
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Different sensitivities to word vs. hourly rates Feb 16, 2015

Christine Andersen wrote:

Charging by the hour draws attention to translation as a service, not a commodity sold by the 'kilo'. In principle, an hour of your time is the same as any other hour of your time, so it should not make a difference in practice, whether you charge by a word rate or by the hour.



[Edited at 2015-02-16 11:36 GMT]


That's a valid point, but I find it doesn't take into account the fact that there is a large disconnect between customers' price sensitivities to word rates vs. hourly rates. Most experienced, skilled and efficient translators, given the right job parameters, and a little luck, should be able, even at reasonable word rates, to make effective hourly rates that would that would probably seem absurdly expensive to many customers and put them out of consideration for any jobs. A given job at word rates might (with hypothetical figures for illustrative purposes only) net you, say, 45, 60, or 75 dollars an hour. But if you quote everything at say, 45 dollars an hour, you will never make more than 45 dollars an hour. In effect, an hourly rate is a self-imposed penalty for being skilled and efficient. Why limit yourself like that? It's certainly appropriate for jobs where you have to be someplace for 8 or 10 hours, regardless of how much work you complete, but less so for freelancing, where if you finish your objective quickly you can move on to the next job or just do whatever else you like.


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Jorge Payan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:42
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
You should use something as HTTrack (Open Source) Feb 16, 2015

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:

Ok but how to efficiently transform a domain name with multiple web pages into a single Excel file and have a total word count? Should I save in HTML, and then open in Excel (or Word?).

Because in Word the wordcount feature is integrated, whereas in Excel one must use a formula or VBA code or user defined functions which is less convenient.

What about HTML tags and special tags? How can I remove them automatically to end up with only brute text?


I have used this program before for downloading the whole Website to my hard disk, and then feeding all the files to DéjàVu for getting the word count on the text to translate. No need for you or your customer to mess around with conversions to Excel or to Word, and back.

Of course, once I get the approval of the customer I expect to receive from their Webmaster the actual files to translate (html, xml, aspx, whatever) in order to avoid problems when uploading the translated site.

You can find HTTrack and other 25 similar programs here:

http://alternativeto.net/software/httrack/


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