How to quote a book translation
Thread poster: Tatjana Hardy

Tatjana Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:36
Spanish to French
+ ...
Mar 7, 2011

Dear companions,

I would need some help from the community!

I have been asked to quote the translation of a book (language pair: catalan > french; subject: tourism/history), of 184 pages. I have been reading a lot of threads in this and others forums related with the subject but I can't find the information I need.

They have sent me a 4 pages sample of the book, for which I know that a standard page of the book has 32 lines of aprox. 60 characters (spaces included).

How am I suppose to rate this? I am not asking you for prices, but I need to know on which basis can I do the quote? How would you do it?

Thank you in advance for your responses.

All the best,

Tatjana.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:36
English to German
+ ...
Tatjana, Mar 7, 2011

when it comes to books you usually quote per page (of 1800 characters).

Direct link Reply with quote
 

AnneMarieG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:36
Member (2009)
German to French
+ ...
Country Mar 7, 2011

Hi,
there are different rules in every country (as the print industry is quite old...) ; in France I would advice you look up the web site of ATLF :
http://www.atlf.org/

Have fun! The rules are very different from usual 'tecnical' translation.

Anne-Marie


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paula Gordon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:36
Bosnian to English
+ ...
Estimate your time and quote a lump sum Mar 7, 2011

Tatjana Hardy wrote:
I have been asked to quote the translation of a book (language pair: catalan > french; subject: tourism/history), of 184 pages.
[...]
They have sent me a 4 pages sample of the book, for which I know that a standard page of the book has 32 lines of aprox. 60 characters (spaces included).
[...] [/quote]

It's great that you have a 4-page sample. Time yourself as you translate those pages, then extrapolate to 184 pages, add in another percentage of time (50%?) for editing and proofreading, yet more time if you have to fact-check or be available for revisions (or whatever you will eventually be responsible for), and quote based on your hourly rate.

Now would be the time to negotiate for your name on the cover or title page as well (if you want), and if your name will be on the book, ask to proofread it after it's been typeset so that you can catch errors that would be embarrasing if they made it into print.

But if you have to base your quote on those four pages only, make sure you state that your quote is based on a representative 4-page sample and that you reserve the right to renegotiate if the rest of the book turns out to be substantially different than the sample. Also keep your antennae up for the possibility that the book isn't finished yet and that you might be getting revisions as you work. Or just ask straight out if it has been finalized. (Of course, you can be a little more polite than I am being right now! ;v))

FWIW, the Editorial Freelancers Association (USA) says a standard page is 250 words. You might also check the going rates listed in writers' or editors' associations in your country. I bet the rates for translation are higher in these than they are among translators themselves (that's been my experience recently).

I have no authority for my suggestions above -- just my opinion.
Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
author organisations Mar 8, 2011

Is your book for a French or Catalan publisher?

Most countries have an organisation for writers and translators that helps with model contracts and with negotiating fees for translation. In the UK the Translators Association of the Society of Authors offers this service and it can advise on rates and other aspects of the contract such as copyright, royalties, credit in the book, etc.

Such an organisation would be the best port of call for all the information you need for your negotiation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tatjana Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:36
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not to be published Mar 9, 2011

My case is a little bit special, as the translation is not for a publisher and, for what I know, the book is not to be published.

It's a friend of someone I know who would like to offer the translation to his father - the writer gave him the book as a present but he doesn't understand catalan. And he asked me to quote the translation...

Any other advice would be welcomed!

And I seized the opportunity to thank you all for your replies.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:36
German to English
Does the friend of a friend have a lot of money? Mar 9, 2011

Hello Tatjana,
That is a special situation, indeed.

Unless the person wants to invest several thousand euro in this gift, I don't know what to say. Even if you only charged an incredibly low price such as 10 EUR/page, the final price would be over 2000 EUR with VAT.

If you want to do this in your spare time, for fun or as a favor, and then charge some nominal fee, then that is up to you - you can pick whatever price you feel comfortable with.

Sincerely,
Michael


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:36
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Lump sum Mar 9, 2011

Tatjana Hardy wrote:

My case is a little bit special, as the translation is not for a publisher and, for what I know, the book is not to be published.

It's a friend of someone I know who would like to offer the translation to his father - the writer gave him the book as a present but he doesn't understand catalan. And he asked me to quote the translation...



It is almost sure that the person in question has no clue about the the amount of work it represents. The best you can do is quote a lump sum – he needs to know what he has to pay: how it is calculated is irrelevant to him. Make sure to add VAT if applicable.

As for the price: if you are to supply a translation that is fit for publication, quote a price accordingly, which leaves you enough time to work on the text. Quoting 10 euros/page is a no-brainer to me: you would not have enough time to produce quality work, whereas the price would most probably be still too high to pay for him. But if he ever starts to negotiate, this will be the starting point, even though it is probably much lower than what you would need.

In either case, the likely reaction of the prospective client upon seeing your quote is "WTF?!" So, before sending a quote, I would probably refer him to the detailed survey of the Conseil Européen des Associations de Traducteurs Littéraire about the literary translation sector across Europe: http://www.ceatl.eu/docs/surveyuk.pdf . (They conclude that rates earnings are considerably lower than in comparable sectors, and they also give detailed figures and recommendations.)

Best,
Attila


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How to quote a book translation

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search