Charging per Japanese word (as opposed to character)
Thread poster: Jeremy Rosenberg

Jeremy Rosenberg  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:14
Japanese to English
Mar 15, 2011

Does anyone know of clients or agencies charging translations on a Japanese word (as opposed to character) basis?

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:14
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
What is a "Japanese word"? Mar 15, 2011

I have yet to see a definition that has a meaning for our purposes, and therefore I have yet to see a tool that would count "Japanese words".
Could you enlighten us what you mean?


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Jeremy Rosenberg  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:14
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Japanese 'words' Mar 15, 2011

Hi Katalin - thanks for your reply

TBH I'm not too sure either, but just wanted to know whether anyone has any experience of doing work on a 'per Japanese word' basis - I can't see how it could be done.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:14
English to Japanese
+ ...
Japanese words?? Mar 15, 2011

Sushi, geisha, tempura, koto, these are all Japanese words with the first example of sushi (寿司) which would be a combination of two kanjis or two characters consisting one word. So, if you are translating a sentence "昨日お寿司を食べました。」that would be 11 Japanese characters excluding the period at the end. And one would usually charge 11 characters for translation. Are you trying to say that the sample sentence above should be broken into pieces, such as 「昨日」「お寿司」「を」「食べました」 making the sentence into 4 Japanese words?

Although being a native Japanese since I was born, I have never heard such thing as Japanese words.

Are you looking for a client who would pay you on the basis of Japanese words, or did you get an inquiry from a client/agency who told you that they would pay you by the number of Japanese words?


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Jeremy Rosenberg  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:14
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
exactly what I thought Mar 15, 2011

Hi Yasutomo

It is the latter - you have confirmed my initial hunch that Japanese to English translation is never charged by Japanese words.

Much obliged.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:14
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
My guess is... Mar 15, 2011

... that the client got a Japanese text as an MS Word document, opened the Word Count window and looked at the second line ("Words"( just as he/she always does with western languages...

I am not sure how that number is calculated, I only have a guess, based on some limited testing:
MS Word apparently counts something they call "Non-Asian words". My guess is that they simply check the words that are written in Latin letters/numbers, and display that wordcount on that line. They also count the characters in those words, and subtract the character count of these non-asian words from the overall character count, then add the Non-Asian words to come up with the figure on the "Word" line.
Either way, it does not make much sense. It is usually just a misunderstanding, stemming from unexperienced PMs dealing with Japanese projects for the first time.
I have seen attempts by some agencies to use this "Word" count intentionally, combined with the "Non-Asian" wordcount, using some formula, but it seemed to me a lame attempt to cut translation fees.
If the client does not seem to understand these issues, then the simplest way is to quote a lump sum for the entire project (after seeing the entire source package, of course).
Katalin


[Edited at 2011-03-15 17:01 GMT]


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Jeremy Rosenberg  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:14
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
my thoughts exactly Mar 15, 2011

It is usually just a misunderstanding, stemming from unexperienced PMs dealing with Japanese projects for the first time.

I think you've hit the nail squarely on its head.

Thanks Katalin


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Charging per Japanese word (as opposed to character)

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