Localization rates: Software and websites
Thread poster: radruz

radruz  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 15, 2009

Hi everybody,

I would like to know which are the common rates for localization: software and web sites.

per word
per string
per hour

I would also like to know how do you charge it, per word/string/hour and/or if you charge testing the software separately. Any other comments are more than welcomed.

Thanks a lot for your help!



Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
as always ... it depends Sep 16, 2009

what software (game vs operation manual for a nuculear power plan)
what website (webshop vs onl;ine accounting program)
which volumes (100 words of 100.000 words)
which deadlines (< 24 hours for 5000 words, or 2 month)
how complex (see above)
any TM available
do you need a 2nd translator for proofreading
how good is the original
do you get to see the screens / context, or do you just get a list of words in an XLS sheet?

In Germany they tend to charge by line / standard A4 page.
Depending on all the above the average rate for localisation/translation from German to Spanish is..... (drum roll please) ... probably the same as the average rate for translation....

Testing of software and website is probably done on fixed price / by the hour (and the agency will set a maximum number of hours).

If this is not clear (and I assume it won't be, try to be more specific or provide more details on the problem you are currently facing - - you must have some clue of what you want to do or try to achieve, I guess you are not asking the question because you are bored....



Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some answers Sep 16, 2009

radruz wrote:
I would like to know which are the common rates for localization: software and web sites.

For translation of web site text or software strings, I charge per word, same as ordinary translation. The text must be in a format that I can translate. It is the developer/programmer's job to get the text in such a state.

I would also like to know ... if you charge testing the software separately.

Translation and testing are two separate jobs. Testing is charged per hour, although some clients pre-calculate how many hours it should take, and offer a fixed amount based on those number of hours.


Paul Daubreu (X)
Local time: 18:26
French to German
+ ...
Some more answers Sep 16, 2009

I localized a software by using a per word rate for known volumes and an hourly rate for unknown/undeterminable volumes.
I used a CAT tool (SDL Trados 2007) for the formats I could handle with it (.INX, .HTML) and the client gave me a laptop so I could use a specific localization tool I did not know about before for contents that could hardly be extracted (.PLIST and the like).
I did not make any testing so far, but would charge it by the hour as Samuel wrote it. As per "common rates", I am afraid there are no such rates or rates reference upon which freelance translators could rely.


radruz  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks! Sep 16, 2009

Hi everybody,

thansk a lot for the information, it was really helpful!icon_smile.gif



Local time: 22:56
Hindi to English
Thanks Sep 16, 2009

Thanks for Help me.


Local time: 22:56
Kannada to English
+ ...
Localization Dec 1, 2010

That was very 'to the point discussion'. Thanks. It helps


Chakir Mahjoubi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
English to Arabic
+ ...
Testing Jun 24, 2011

Hi there,

I have to localize a software. The outsourcer is suggesting to test also the localization at the client premises. Could you please advice how much to charge for this project.



Have a knowledgeable start, Plan well and charge accordingly Aug 1, 2013

I will agree with the previous posts that ''it depends". A well designed and laid website, can be easily handled, while a bad one can be a nightmare. Some website localization jobs, are straight forward, and is really just a "Text translation". That's why, the most important aspect for quoting a client, is your thorough assessment of the actual website and anticipating problems that might cost you money to deal with. If you quote without doing so, you might end-up paying from your own pocket to resolve something you did not include in the quotation!
So... Start knowledgeable, Plan well, and charge your regular translation fees + an added extra (i.e. 10-15%) to cover any surprises not accounted for at the beginning.

I hope this helps you all to have a smooth translation job.
Good luck.

For Chakir....
I suggest you calculate your transportation (multiply by number of personnel), and charge an hourly rate (per person), and set a maximum, so your client know the exact boundries.

[Edited at 2013-08-01 21:36 GMT]


Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
English to Hindi
+ ...
Per string rate Aug 3, 2013

I am currently localizing the user interface of a very large software package and I have accepted a per string rate which is about 5 times my per word rate.

Some strings have nothing to translate as they could be just place-holders which would be filled with text pulled out of the database, or numbers or symbols. Some have just one word, some two, but there are also whole sentences and even short paragraphs with several dozen words. The average word per string is slightly more than 5, so I am at a disadvantage here, but I have accepted this job because it is large and regular - the software is updated every year and I get a steady source of income in this way.

Also, in the updates, some strings have only minor tweakings here and there or a correction of a spelling or punctuation error, and yet I get my full per string rate. So I think on the whole this is not a bad bargain for me.

I had suggested a per word rate to the client, but he replied that that per string rate is what his client feels comfortable with, and I left it at that.


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