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Thread poster: stephanieL
English to Italian
Feb 15, 2007

Hi all,

I have recently started translating a software program from French to Italian. There are 24000 messages to be translated with no strict deadline.

Could you tell me how much a translator - in my case, with very little experience - would charge for a similar project either per hour or per word and what a reasonable speed of translation would be? For example, I can translate an average of 1500 to 2000 words per an 8-hour day - would this be considered a reasonable speed? Could you give me an indication of what the average (or minimum) pay rates are?

Thank you


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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 07:14
English to Russian
1,000 source words Feb 16, 2007

stephanieL wrote:

I can translate an average of 1500 to 2000 words per an 8-hour day - would this be considered a reasonable speed?

Quite reasonable: my average output per an 8-hour day is 1,000 source words.

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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:14
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
rates overview for Italian Feb 16, 2007

Hi Stephanie

1500-2000 words/day is a reasonable speed, 2000 words/day being considered as the average output by most of the agencies for which I work.

As far as rates, seeing that you work with Italian, have a look at Simon Turners Tariffometro ( for some a good overview of rates.


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Vito Smolej
Local time: 06:14
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Hint - would make sense to use a CAT Feb 16, 2007

Given the nature of the text, you can expect a lot of standard expressions, repeating sentences etc. You will have to translate them as well of course. You could get some help (and from my experience, essential help) from a Computer Aided Translation tool.

Have a look at a OpenSource product OmegaT; it could save you a bundle in terms of time spent and in terms of the quality of the output.

PS: for this kind of text one could easily expect 3000-4000 words a day output, when using CAT.

[Edited at 2007-02-16 15:05]

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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:14
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
A few suggestions Feb 16, 2007

Hi Stephanie,

You should have actually discussed rates with your client before starting with the translation work. I'd suggest you bring this topic up as soon as possible. It is always dangerous when things are not clear between the two parties. You might spend a few weeks working on your 24,000 segments, only to find out that your client had expected you to work for free (or for peanuts).

1,500 to 2,000 words is quite good for a beginner, I'd say. You'll get faster as you move on in this project. There might be repetitions of single terms or of whole segments. As Vito has suggested, it might be wise to use a CAT tool. I think Wordfast is still free, and SDL Trados should have a free trial version (though it is restricted in the number of translation units you can save).

I don't know the current rate for French-Italian translations. But why don't you think about what you want to earn in a day, and divide this figure by the average number of words that you know you can translate in one day? This should help you to come up with a per-word rate.


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English to Italian
Thank you. Feb 22, 2007

Thanks a lot and apologies about the late reply.


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