How to charge for pages with diagrams and some written matter
Thread poster: salman

Local time: 22:19
English to Japanese
Oct 31, 2002

This is a Japanese to English software translation, that’s why I am asking in Japanese forum.

I completed a software translation from Japanese to English of about 110 pages. Let me give you an account of the content in the pages. Most of the pages contain written matter of both technical and business. About 40% of pages contain diagram occupying about half the page and written lines of about 5 to 6 lines per page. I gave the pricing in Indian rupees of per page count. After delivering the document to Customer Company, I told that though there are 110 pages but since there are diagrams also, I’ll calculate it for 95 pages. The company expects me to reduce the rates further which in my opinion is not fair, as I have to meet all expenditures incurred in completing the project. I have not talked anything to him subsequent to informing him about the total amount, but he said he will get back for the charges. The charges I put are very nominal. I gave the page pricing keeping in mind the ongoing rates. He says that he will pay me for what is appearing in typed word document, it comes to about 72 pages. But I told him translation is calculated according to source page and not target page.

Please advice me how to go about it for charges per page, charges when there are diagrams in a page coupled with written matter, how to convince him to come to my terms.

An important note: The translation is for Japanese project which they are currently doing. May be that they will have big business with it.


Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:49
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Advice on wordcount, quoting, etc. Nov 3, 2002

My advice for the future is to get these issues fixed BEFORE you start the project, and preferably have a signed contract that contains these. There is a good sample contract on the ATA website, which you can use for your purposes. (I am not sure how useful it is outside of the US, where business practices and culture is different, but anyway, it can give you some idea.)

Here is the URL:

When you are talking with your client, you can ask to take a look at the text before quoting the price. If they don\'t want that for confidentiality or other reasons, you can ask for a few sample pages. That would give you an idea what to expect.

As a translator, you are working with text. You are translating the text that is on the pages, and the best way is to charge by word, not by page, because it is arguable how many words are on a page.

Regarding diagrams or other graphics, there are a few points to keep in mind.

Did you have to recreate the diagrams in your translation? If not, you cannot charge for those. If yes, you should charge for that kind of work per hour.

If you did not recreate the diagrams, but there were words included on those diagrams that you translated as text, again, you charge by the word.

When you discuss your rate with your client, you should clarify if it is based on SOURCE or TARGET language. Of course, this discussion should take place BEFORE starting the project.

The best strategy to avoid arguments later is to charge based on the SOURCE wordcount, since that is given, you have no influence on that.

That way the client cannot argue that you were \"too chatty\" with the translation just to charge more than necessary.

I hope this helps and good luck in the future!


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