How much do you charge for the translation of degrees and certificates?
Thread poster: Estelle Demontrond-Box

Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 10:41
English to French
+ ...
Sep 10, 2011

Hi all,

I have been wondering what rates to set with regards to the translation of degrees and diplomas (from French into English and vice-versa - requests from direct clients).
It is difficult to count words and I need to take the time spent in formatting into account.

I think that it makes sense to set a fixed fee: I do not want to seem to greedy but it takes time reproducing the layout.
Has anybody got any advice ?

Thank you for your help!

Estelle


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:41
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Per hour Sep 10, 2011

For anything more than one page I would advise charging per hour because then you will not be caught spending more time than what you are paid for. Don't forget to include proofreading time and extra time if you have to provide a declaration.

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 08:41
Chinese to English
Charge a lot Sep 10, 2011

Honestly, who are you worried about seeming greedy in front of? Does your mum read Proz?

You're right, certificates are hard to do. (Once you've done one, they're easy, but that's none of the agency's/client's business.) They are a highly specialised format, and you deserve a decent rate for the time you put in.

What I'm saying is: 20 GBP per certificate. That's what I charged last time (it was a marriage certificate) - certificate took me half an hour. I thought I'd save the template and make a lot more on future certificates, and as it turns out I haven't had occasion to. But that's the calculation I went through.

If you want an easy way to get around the awkwardness of price negotiations, tell them you have a minimum charge of X. Or whatever story you want to make up.

But it's worth considering this question: if you don't like negotiating prices, do you really want to be in business for yourself? Grow a thicker skin, and grow it quick!


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 00:41
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Hmm Sep 10, 2011

I had a certificate translated last year for €25, if I recall correctly.

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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:41
English to German
+ ...
notarized, official documents Sep 11, 2011

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:

Hi all,

I have been wondering what rates to set with regards to the translation of degrees and diplomas (from French into English and vice-versa - requests from direct clients).
It is difficult to count words and I need to take the time spent in formatting into account.

I think that it makes sense to set a fixed fee: I do not want to seem to greedy but it takes time reproducing the layout.
Has anybody got any advice ?

Thank you for your help!

Estelle


Hi Estelle,

I charge quite a lot more than what was quoted on this page. These are official documents, and I always have them notarized. Also, I don't provide this service for anyone but the actual holder of the certificate. The charge is usually per page, depending on size, length and layout.
Let me know if you need more info and we can discuss it via email.

Bernhard

[Edited at 2011-09-11 03:09 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:41
English to Portuguese
+ ...
FYI - different standards Sep 11, 2011

I know (for having done it a few times) that certified translations, e.g. in USA (and supposedly in any country that doesn't have a law on certified translations) must accurately mimmick the original "artwork", i.e. involving DTP.

So in your case my guess is that you should charge for translatiion and DTP. Of course some diplomas using gothic fonts and seals will require more work than a computer-printed academic record, so DTP is one variable to consider.

Brazil has a law on sworn translations/translators dated 1943. I explain the general setup on this page and provide some additional specifics on my State and m.o. on the sequel page.

The point here is that the 1943 law envisions a Brazilian sworn translation to be hand- or typewritten, so it's all about text, no DTP involved. We use computers nowadays for our convenience, however it hasn't changed the law in any way.

Once, for an American-style certified translation, I only did the translation. The agency PM took care of the DTP. So she struggled with MS Word for an entire day to do it, and the final result she sent me to check, IMHO, looked quite sloppy. Using PageMaker - a DTP app - and PhotoImpact, it took me no more than half an hour to get a much better output, really identical-looking to the original doc.

So maybe it would be worthwhile for you to go into DTP in any way you consider feasible (certainly not using a word processor like MS Word), and charge for it accordingly!


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Kristine Sprula (Lielause)  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 03:41
English to Latvian
+ ...
A little confusion, isn't it? Sep 11, 2011

Dear José,
It seems that you have confused translation of certificates with a certified translation.



Kristine


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:41
Flemish to English
+ ...
Notorized Translations Sep 11, 2011

Cut& Paste from my profile:

My rate for Notorized translations: The number of words in the document
+ 30 euros per hour for going to the competent court with a minimum of 6 hours.
Explanation
If you need your translated documents certified, I have to hand them in in the morning and will receive them in the afternoon. You pay for the translation and getting your documents certified.


[Edited at 2011-09-11 14:20 GMT]


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Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 10:41
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
In the UK Sep 11, 2011

Thank you all for your feedback.

I reside in the UK so it is probably different from the US or other countries.
It is my belief that there is no such thing as a "sworn translator" in the UK. You can be a certified translator though, which means that you are qualified and hold a degree in which case you can provide a "certificate of accuracy" to the client.
This is a "certified translation" which is what I have been providing so far.

You may need a "notarized translation" which requires you to have the documents seen and stamped by a notary (which I have not yet had to do). This is costly and would be a different charge.

It all depends on what the client needs.

So to sum up, I am looking at rates for a "certified translation".
Word count is very difficult usually since documents are on paper or scanned. I have charged per target word in the past (0.12 GBP / word) but clients like a definite quote rather than a vague estimate so would find it easier to charge per document (i-e 20-25 GBP per diploma, etc).

Would this be reasonable and current practise?


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:41
English to German
+ ...
official documents don't come cheap Sep 11, 2011

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:

Thank you all for your feedback.

I reside in the UK so it is probably different from the US or other countries.
It is my belief that there is no such thing as a "sworn translator" in the UK. You can be a certified translator though, which means that you are qualified and hold a degree in which case you can provide a "certificate of accuracy" to the client.
This is a "certified translation" which is what I have been providing so far.


In the UK, institutions requiring the translated document usually will look for "qualified" linguists (member of one of the recognized organizations or having a job-related university degree, verifiably fluent in both languages, not necessarily a sworn or certified translator). I always accompany such translations with a "certificate of accuracy" and have it notarized. Whichever institution needs the translation, probably has specific guidelines about what they regard as an acceptable translation. You might have to find out about these.

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:
You may need a "notarized translation" which requires you to have the documents seen and stamped by a notary (which I have not yet had to do). This is costly and would be a different charge.


Maybe not so costly (depends), but time-consuming. You might need an "apostille" - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostille - and the links I provided below.


Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:
It all depends on what the client needs.


The institution/business, government agency, etc. rather than the client - no matter if the client is the actual person whose certificate you are translating or a translation agency.

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:
So to sum up, I am looking at rates for a "certified translation".
Word count is very difficult usually since documents are on paper or scanned. I have charged per target word in the past (0.12 GBP / word) but clients like a definite quote rather than a vague estimate so would find it easier to charge per document (i-e 20-25 GBP per diploma, etc).

Would this be reasonable and current practise?


I never charge less than my hourly rate and I look at the document's size and decide how much time I will spend on it. I figure out a price per document or per page, taking also into account all necessary steps I have to carry out, from verification and research (emails, phone calls) to recreating the document so it is easily identifiable as a translation of the original. That's a very important point.

I never charge less than a hour's work for anything.
It might take you at least 2 hours to carry out all the steps involved. In addition, you provide this because you are a qualified translator. Don't sell yourself cheap.

additional links:
http://www.1stchoicetranslations.co.uk/certified_translations_english_german.php#is_certification
http://www.morningtrans.com/services/translations/certified-translations



[Edited at 2011-09-11 17:26 GMT]


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