Rates for translating XML files
Thread poster: Christiana Tziortziou

Christiana Tziortziou  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:40
English to Greek
+ ...
Mar 10, 2011

Hi everyone,

Last week I was contacted by someone who wants his website translated. He sent me an attachment with some XML files that need to be translated and in each file, the text between the codes is only a few words.
So, I'm a bit confused as to how much to charge him for the translation, since the total amount of words is is very little (less than 100 words in total).

Any help would be much appreciated!



Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:40
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
No special rates Mar 10, 2011

Hi Christiana,

There are no special rates for XML or other formats (in general). You usually translate such files in a CAT tool, which also gives you an analysis that you can use for quoting.

Since XML files are just UTF-8 text files, you can translate them even in Notepad, but you have to be very careful so as not to delete any tags, and not use characters like quotes, apostrophes or < >. You also need to save them back as UTF-8 files.

I don't know how you go about charging for tiny jobs, but I would suggest applying the same principle, regardless of the file format. You could charge per hour, for example.


Kate Chaffer
Local time: 06:40
Member (2009)
Italian to English
Check the website Mar 10, 2011

First, I would check the website on the internet. Are there really so few words?
If there are really fewer than a hundred words, charge your minimum rate as you would with any other job.


Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:40
English to Dutch
+ ...
CAT tool? Mar 10, 2011

It depends:

If you have a CAT tool, use that to analyze and translate the files. No problem there.

If you DON'T have a CAT tool, the translation will be a hassle, as you have to wade through millions of code to find the few translateable words. This will cost you a lot of time, AND you have to be super careful not to accidentally touch any code, or you'll render the whole file unuseable. In that case, I would charge an hourly rate, or even better, politely refuse the job.


IrimiConsulting  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:40
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
I agree with Jan Willem Mar 10, 2011

Charge by the hour if you don't have a CAT tool. Or ask the client to copy the text to be translated to a separate document (e.g. Excel) which you can translate and charge by the word.


Christiana Tziortziou  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:40
English to Greek
+ ...
Thanks for the comments Mar 10, 2011

Thanks everyone so far... I have wordfast and saw a tutorial about translating XML files with it and will use it; otherwise I'd use notepad.
The words that need translating are like: My Job Postings, Paid Services, Change Password, etc. So I'd charge my minimum rate.


Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:40
German to Swedish
+ ...
CSS for viewing Mar 10, 2011

A tip for printouts and word count:

If the XML has a simple format, you can write a CSS file in a couple of minutes and display (or suppress) any tag content you like formatted in any way. Link to the CSS at the start of the XML and then load the XML into a Web browser.

More info: http://www.w3schools.com/Xml/xml_display.asp

(You'll still need CAT - or a sharp eye - to edit the XML.)


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Rates for translating XML files

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