# Calculating prices per line --> per word

Calculating prices per line --> per word

Eszter Bokor
Austria
Local time: 05:57
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
 Nov 23, 2009

Hello everybody,

I am used to give prices per line (1 line= 55 characters incl. spaces), but now more and more clients want price quotes per source word. Can someone tell me how I can calculate that? How can I transfer my per line rates into per word rates? Thanks a lot!

Vivien Werner-P
Germany
Local time: 05:57
English to German
+ ...
 Vielleicht hilft der Link weiter. Nov 23, 2009

Hallo Eszter,

dieser Link wurde in früheren Forumsdiskussionen immer wieder genannt:

Vielleicht hilft dir das weiter, ich hab's persönlich noch nicht ausprobiert.
Hier noch eine weitere Forumsdiskussion, in der das Thema behandelt wurde:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/39412-translation_into_german:_how_much_do_you_charge_for_zeile.html#282345

Viele Grüße!

Vivien

Eszter Bokor
Austria
Local time: 05:57
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
 Super! Nov 23, 2009

Super! Vielen Dank!

Chris Lovelace
Argentina
Local time: 22:57
Russian to English
+ ...
 Better to calculate from scratch Nov 23, 2009

When I was asked to quote per character and per Authorial Page, I found that merely converting my per-word rates didn't work. (In other words, the math didn't work out well when I used 0.10 USD per word to find rates per page, and then translated that into rate per character.) I think that it really boils down to the fact that you're actually dealing with scales of magnitude in the difference between character and word, so that you really need a differential equation to handle staight conversions from one to the other.

Whether or not this is the REASON, I think the ANSWER is still the same: You are better off if you come up with a word rate from scratch. I recommend using the average rates in proz.com, and then calculating word rates based on your daily output (ie, work from how much you need to make per day, divided by how many words per day you actually translate). Then use both numbers to come up with a realistic value. (You could do the calculation with just one of these values, but having both values will give you a way to insure against the rate being too low.)

I recommend that for English to German, for example, you use 0.10-0.12 USD as a per word rate. .08 is at the low end of average, and a lot of people are accepting less. But it would be wise to keep your rates as close to 10 cents a word as possible, if not higher.

Magdalena Iacob
Romania
Local time: 06:57
Member (2014)
English to Romanian
+ ...
 how about vice-versa? Nov 27, 2009

Can anyone tell me the price per line as I am used to work with price per word? many thanks to all of you!

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 05:57
German to English
+ ...
 The price is negotiable. Nov 27, 2009

Magdalena Iacob wrote:

Can anyone tell me the price per line as I am used to work with price per word? many thanks to all of you!

The price is, like most things, negotiable. Generally, however, one could use the rates offered by courts as a basis for orientation.

Here is an excerpt from the statute I have in mind (see http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/jveg/__11.html ):
Das Honorar für eine Übersetzung beträgt 1,25 Euro für jeweils angefangene 55 Anschläge des schriftlichen Textes. Ist die Übersetzung, insbesondere wegen der Verwendung von Fachausdrücken oder wegen schwerer Lesbarkeit des Textes, erheblich erschwert, erhöht sich das Honorar auf 1,85 Euro, bei außergewöhnlich schwierigen Texten auf 4 Euro.

Roughly translated, this means that the courts are offering 1.25 € per line (at 55 strokes a line) for basic translations. They offer 1.85 € per line for difficult translations, i.e., those that involve terminology specific to a particular field (jargon) or those that are, for example, difficult to read. In extreme cases of difficulty, for which they give no examples, the price can be raised to 4.00 € per line.

It then defines more precisely what a line is, i.e., that it is calculated using the target document (which doesn't make quoting a price any easier) and other details.

In section 2 the statute goes on to say that there is a minimum price of 15.00 € for any translation.

Section 3 says that the translator will be paid like an interpreter, i.e., per hour, if the work consists of reviewing.

Hope this helps!

juvera
Local time: 04:57
English to Hungarian
+ ...
 Watch out! Nov 29, 2009

Eszter Bokor wrote:
I am used to give prices per line (1 line= 55 characters incl. spaces), but now more and more clients want price quotes per source word.

You have to take into consideration that you are translating into German from two source languages with hugely different word counts, so the answer would not be the same for both. You would have to factor that into your calculations.

Otherwise just decide how much you are going to charge for a particular language combination based on the source word count and the difficulty of the text. You can analise and use your existing translations as examples. Whatever you do, don't go for the lowest rate you worked for until now!

KSL Berlin
Portugal
Local time: 04:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
 JVEG Nov 29, 2009

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:
The price is, like most things, negotiable. Generally, however, one could use the rates offered by courts as a basis for orientation.

I do exactly that in many cases and translated the relevant parts of JVEG sections 7 & 11 into English to back up the sales case (including material costs and other matters). If anyone wants to use it for marketing purposes, the text is available in the examples on my profile.

The link that Vivien gave to Ms. Muzzi's tool is often useful for estimation purposes. If you are worried about it, just round up at whatever numerical place makes you feel good.

Magdalena Iacob
Romania
Local time: 06:57
Member (2014)
English to Romanian
+ ...
 Thanks! Dec 7, 2009

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:

The price is, like most things, negotiable. Generally, however, one could use the rates offered by courts as a basis for orientation.

Hope this helps!

Yes it does! Thanks a lot Derek! I have a good starting point now.

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### Calculating prices per line --> per word

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