Rates for translating skype call log
Thread poster: Christina Fonthes (X)

Christina Fonthes (X)
Local time: 01:43
French to English
+ ...
Jan 27, 2012


I have received an email from a Spanish agency asking me my budget for a translation job. The job is 6 pages of skype messages in PDF format, normally I would charge per word but as it is in PDF I cannot do a word count. The document is 6 pages long but there are only a few lines per page. Can anyone advise me of how I should set the rates?
Also, I have only ever worked directly through clients, this would be my first time working with an agency; how can I guarantee payment??

Many thanks in advanceicon_smile.gif


Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:43
Hebrew to English
Count words manually Jan 27, 2012

If it's only 6 pages, and there's only a few lines per page - should be easy enough.

Unless you request pre-payment (good luck with an agency) I'm not sure there's a way you can guarantee payment, just keep your fingers crossed and take usual precautions.

[Edited at 2012-01-27 15:26 GMT]


Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:43
Member (2009)
French to English
Three methods Jan 27, 2012

1. There is software available to convert PDF's or count the words in a PDF without conversion. These vary in cost and may be more than you need today just to quote a price. (ABBYY FineReader, AnyCount, etc)

2. Price per hour rather than per word. This is not an ideal solution to my mind, but you should be able to get a rough equivalent.

3. Price per target word, rather than per source word. Caution: take note of the usual expansion/compaction when going from your source to target language. As an example, my rate per target word is 10% higher than my rate per source word[1] because, on average, there will be 10% less words in my target English text than there were in the French original. This way I get paid roughly the same regardless of how I charge.

[1] I do have some clients who insist upon target word pricing.


Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:43
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Check if you can copy the text in pdf Jan 27, 2012

Most likely it is not a bitmap and you can select the text and copy it into Word and see the wordcount.

Best Regards


LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:43
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Flat rate/minimum charge Jan 27, 2012

If the word count is really that small, don't spend that much time on the estimate. If it will be less than 200/250 words or so, quote a flat rate for an hour's work (or however long you think you will have spent dealing with the job) and use that.


Werner Maurer  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
quick manual word count estimate Jan 27, 2012

Count the number of words in each of the first five (long) or ten (short) lines, calculate the average words per line, multiply that by the number of lines, and Bob's your uncle.


Jorge Payan  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:43
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Free word counter for PDF files Jan 29, 2012

Try abracadabra : http://abracadabrapdf.net/



Christina Fonthes (X)
Local time: 01:43
French to English
+ ...
Thank you for replies Feb 1, 2012

Thank you all for your replies. In the end I counted the words manually and asked for payment up front. I will have to purchase one of the PDF converters as I suspect I will receive more of these files in the future.

Thank you all againicon_smile.gif


Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Potential ethical reservations Feb 1, 2012

I had a similar request from a Spanish agency some time ago: the Hungarian to English translation of a skype call log.

I took a closer look: it was small talk all over, among a group of girls, with lots of typos and abbreviations that google translate would have never handled. (Even the usual mantra, "native speaker of the target language only" did not make any sense here.) Who would pay for having that translated? The only plausible explanation was: a jealous boyfriend who wanted to know what his Hungarian girlfriend discussed with her friends.

I refused this assignment, and let the agency know.



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Rates for translating skype call log

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