How much would you charge for a job ... ?
Thread poster: hamburger (X)

hamburger (X)
German to English
Apr 5, 2008

I've been asked by someone to translate a language services website from German into English. How are translation projects usually charged for? By the number of pages, lines or words? The project has 216 lines in total. What would be a fair price in euros? Any responses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


LegalTranslatr2  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Research Apr 5, 2008

Your question tells me that you have not done any reading whatsoever regarding translation either here in these forums, on the internet, or from books. One of the skills required of a translator is the ability to do research. The answer to your question is easy to find. There is more to translation (and operating your own business) than just the ability to speak two languages.

I suggest that you spend a few days reading through some of the past forums here, doing some research and reading on the internet, etc. before you begin any paid translation work.

No doubt others will think that my message is rude (it is not meant to be) and will shower you with advice, information and good wishes, but the truth is that translation is hard work, especially if you are not properly prepared.


Patricia Ramirez  Identity Verified
Dominican Republic
Local time: 06:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Geez Jeff..... Apr 5, 2008

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

No doubt others will think that my message is rude (it is not meant to be) and will shower you with advice, information and good wishes, but the truth is that translation is hard work, especially if you are not properly prepared.

He´s new at this...give him a break! He´s just looking for some guidance, that´s why we are all come to this forum to help each other, right?

hamburger, I charge per word. As far as pricing I am not familiar with the rates for your language pair and your area.

Good Luck!


Sabine Winter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:52
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Yeah, really, Jeff ... Apr 5, 2008

... You could have broken the news to him in a kinder way ...icon_wink.gif

hamburger, Jeff is right, though. You'll have to do some researching and calculating as to what's the right rate for your specific situation, your language pair, your experience/knowledge etc. Charges are usually per word; however, depending on the translator, the relationship with the agency/client, or a particular project, the charge might be by the page/hour. ProZ has a rates/rate calculator link under the "Jobs" tab but I believe this is a feature that is only accessible to paying members.

Good luck!


Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:52
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
German is charged by source lines Apr 5, 2008

It has to be this way, because of the length of German words, or rather the fact that a lot of them are word combinations.


Damian Harrison
Local time: 11:52
German to English
Useful tools Apr 7, 2008

I am not sure if you actually want to become a freelance translator or whether this is just a one-off job. But if you´re serious about it, then Jeff certainly has a point. It´s impossible to give a quote without reviewing the source text and finding out exactly what a client expects (source format, deadline, final format). My prices range from €0.08 to €0.14 per word. It all depends on what a client wants, how fast they want it, the quality and complexity of the text, whether they provide a proofreader and how much personal consultation a customer wants (some people might like to meet you in person in order to discuss their texts).

Here is a short list of tools that you may find helpful when getting started:

- a mentor. Proz runs a mentoring programme, but you could also just try to contact someone through the site who you find interesting. Networking with other translators is a good way to get started. Learn from other people's mistakes.
- go to the articles section on proz. PRINT AND READ all of the articles on 'Getting Started'. Its well worth doing.
- use the forum archives. Sure, you can ask your questions - but maybe someone asked the same thing last year and maybe they got a better answer.
- get Alex Eames "How to earn $80,000..." It´s overpriced but contains a lot of common sense tips on how to operate a business.
- the German BdÜ has also published its own How-to book. You may find that helpful for finding your way around the German market. It´s called "Erfolgreich selbstständig als Dolmetscher und Übersetzer"


Local time: 06:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
websites also include graphics Apr 7, 2008

Per word rates are fine if you are only translating the actual written content, but remember websites have graphics and you need to translate what is written in the graphics, as well as buttons, and other things on websites.

You need to add an hourly charge for this work (this is where the translation aganecies make money) unless the client specifically asks for ONLY the written content or what in the States is called the "daily dump" by webmasters


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