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Help: Translation rates
Thread poster: Carmen Abate

Carmen Abate  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:41
German to Italian
+ ...
Apr 20, 2012

Hi!!

I have to translate the web site of a Real estate agency (100 pages)
and they ask me for a translation quote, but it is my first job.
Can you help me, please?
Thank you in advance.

Carmen


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:41
Russian to English
+ ...
* Apr 20, 2012

Carmenbb wrote:

Hi!!

I have to translate the web site of a Real estate agency (100 pages)
and they ask me for a translation quote, but it is my first job.
Can you help me, please?
Thank you in advance.

Carmen


Hi, Carmen,

You can do the following:

1) Tell them to send you all text they want you to translate as a MS Word file
2) After you receive the file, count the number of words in it with MS Words Statistics feature
3) Multiply the number of words by a rate, which you consider suitable for you (e.g. 1000 words * 0.08 Eur = 800 Eur)
4) Tell them the number you got on step 3.

P.S. Don't forget to clarify with them from which and into which language they want to translate the text.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:41
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rate Apr 20, 2012

One of the great things about working with direct clients is that you do not have to worry about counting words and you can charge a different amount for each project depending on the difficulty level and the deadline. Translating and localizing a website should not be based on a per-word rate because there are so many other factors involved.

First, you should get a clear picture of how much work is involved (How big is this project? / How much research will you have to do? / Are you even capable of translating this site? - since the site is for a real estate agency, you will probably have to do a lot of work localizing the site for the target market - measurements in the metric system may have to converted, target audience may not be familiar with certain neighborhoods, types of dwellings, amenities, different laws in the two countries if there are real estate forms on the site, are you able to write marketing text in the target language?, are you familiar with HTML, Java?, etc.), figure out how much time you think it will take you to complete the work, figure out how many hours per day you can devote to the project, how much you want/need to make per hour and multiply by the number of hours you think the work will take (be conservative - better not to charge too little). Since this translation will be published on the internet, you will also have to factor in the cost of paying someone else to proofread the translation. You may also want to consider asking for at least 50% of the project up front before starting to work.

In short, this is probably not something I would take on as my first job, but we all have to start somewhere...



[Edited at 2012-04-20 22:49 GMT]


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:41
Russian to English
+ ...
* Apr 20, 2012

Hi, Jeff!

Just wanted to clarify one thing.

If

Jeff Whittaker wrote: you do not have to worry about counting words


then how one can do this?

Jeff Whittaker wrote: you should get a clear picture of how much work is involved





[Edited at 2012-04-20 22:38 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Don't go there unless you're competent Apr 21, 2012

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
are you familiar with HTML, Java?, etc.


If you're given the text in a Word file, this shouldn't be an issue. At least, it has never stopped me from translating websites, though a couple of times clients have said: "just take the text from the web pages". No thanks! Give me a Word file or go look for a translator/IT geek.

As to other points, I agree you don't have to give a quote based on word count to the client - a rate for the job would work just as well. Still, the word count is the major determiner of the time the job will take, along with research and DTP (if any).

Proofreading for such a job is a step not to be missed out. This will be highly advisable for the marketing pages and essential for pages containing Terms & Conditions, Legal Notices etc. You will need to factor in that payment.

Keep us posted. There are a lot of very experienced translators on ProZ.com - and they all did a first job!

Sheila


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Carmen Abate  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:41
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some other doubts :) Apr 21, 2012

Thank you very much for answering me so quickly!
Just to clarify:
- I have to translate the text from italian to english;
- They will send me the text in a MS Word file.
I am thinking about a page rate.. for example € 15,00..
Another question is.. What about VAT??? How does invoicing work??
Thanks.

Carmen


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
proofing a must Apr 21, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
are you familiar with HTML, Java?, etc.


If you're given the text in a Word file, this shouldn't be an issue. ...

Proofreading for such a job is a step not to be missed out. This will be highly advisable for the marketing pages and essential for pages containing Terms & Conditions, Legal Notices etc. You will need to factor in that payment.


Sheila


Proofing is very important. I just completed a 35K word website and although I had revised it twice myself and thought I had covered everything, my colleague queried some 52 points of the draft when proofing it (repeated words I'd overlooked, a couple of Dragon mishearings, punctuation, capitalization, some stylistic improvements...).
If the client expects you to handle the revision and final proofing as well as the translation task per se, you will need to take these services into account when quoting your rates.


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:41
Russian to English
+ ...
* Apr 21, 2012

Carmenbb wrote:

Thank you very much for answering me so quickly!
Just to clarify:
- I have to translate the text from italian to english;
- They will send me the text in a MS Word file.
I am thinking about a page rate.. for example € 15,00..
Another question is.. What about VAT??? How does invoicing work??
Thanks.

Carmen


Hi, Carmen,

There is no such thing as "page rate". Just forget it and start thinking positively about "per word rate".


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xxxchristela
Sopme other answers Apr 21, 2012

Carmenbb wrote:

Thank you very much for answering me so quickly!
Just to clarify:
- I have to translate the text from italian to english;
- They will send me the text in a MS Word file.
I am thinking about a page rate.. for example € 15,00..
Another question is.. What about VAT??? How does invoicing work??
Thanks.

Carmen


Basically,
- Page rate is OK if there are 100 words on a page... not if there are 500 words. That's why most of us charge by the number of source words.
- For invoicing, you will probably need to be registered as a translator. Only Italian people here can tell you how to do and if there is something as a freelance status in your country. If not, ask your local Chamber of Commerce.
- They can also tell you if you need to be VAT-registered. (only VAT-registered people have to charge VAT)
- Once you are registered, you write an invoice, just as the invoices you get from your plumber or electrician, etc. The invoice should contain your own name and address, the client's name and addres, the unit price multiplied by the word (or page) price and the total price.
- Don't forget to pay taxes and social security contributions on your income.

Any Italians out here?

[Edited at 2012-04-21 10:39 GMT]


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:41
Italian to English
Page rate Apr 21, 2012

Alexander Onishko wrote:

There is no such thing as "page rate". Just forget it and start thinking positively about "per word rate".


In Italy, there most certainly is such a thing as a "page rate" (a cartella).
A cartella is normally defined as 1500 characters, including spaces or sometimes 1800 for legal and editorial texts. Agencies dealing with overseas translators often understand and use the rate per word, but not all by any means and few direct clients.

You will never get translators to agree on what is an acceptable rate range, but your €15 (per cartella) is a perfectly professional rate in your market. I think it is unlikely though that your client is unaware of the going rate (per cartella). There are many translators in Italy offering much lower rates than this and your client may have approached you in the hope you will undercut them.

Good luck.

P.S. I suggest you post your questions on VAT and invoicing in the Italian forum (or better still search the Italian forum for the many previous discussions on the subject). The bureaucracy involved in Italy would make most of us weep and generalised comments from the international community in this forum will not be of much help.



[Edited at 2012-04-21 10:50 GMT]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
A demanding market segment Apr 21, 2012

Carmenbb wrote:
I am thinking about a page rate.. for example € 15,00..

Remember that if you translate the pages for half the usual rate, your client will probably have to sell his houses for half the usual rates, too.

I don't think he would like that.

He would rather like to pay ample work time for you and the editor to make his website as perfect and convincing as possible.


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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:41
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Please, don't Apr 21, 2012

I'd like to add at least one, if not THE, key factor here.
One should translate only into one's native language.
If you are bilingual, i.e. if you are a native English speaker, then you might give this a try. You might, but after a lot of pondering (see below).
But if you are a native Italian speaker, as it appears from your profile page, then don't do it. There are enough bad translations around...
Also, as already suggested, how knowledgeable are you in real estate and any related areas and lingos (architecture, design, building materials, mortgages, legal information)? If you have already taken a look at the material to be translated, I am sure there is a lot of specific terminology in the one hundred pages of the website (one hundred pages?!?) that you mention. If you don't know anything about the subject - in Italian or in English - you may be heading for disaster.
For billing information, I would strongly recommend that you see an accountant, and if I were you, I would not embark on this or any job without having consulted an accountant beforehand, especially in Italy, where the 'system' is getting more and more nightmarish by the minute.


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:41
Russian to English
+ ...
* Apr 21, 2012

Barbara Carrara wrote:

I'd like to add at least one, if not THE, key factor here.
One should translate only into one's native language.


Hi, Barbara! This statement is absolutely ungrounded.

If that "one" has an appropriate education in translation and the corresponding qualifications, s/he can translate into a foreign language just as well. What's the problem? (Of course, I am not talking now about translating belles-lettres).

Cheers : )


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 23:41
English to German
+ ...
My opinion Apr 21, 2012

Hi, Carmen,

You can do the following:

1) Tell them to send you all text they want you to translate as a MS Word file
2) After you receive the file, count the number of words in it with MS Words Statistics feature
3) Multiply the number of words by a rate, which you consider suitable for you (e.g. 1000 words * 0.08 Eur = 800 Eur)
4) Tell them the number you got on step 3.

P.S. Don't forget to clarify with them from which and into which language they want to translate the text. [/quote]

That's it.
Rolf Kern

P.S.: I only wanted to quote de posting of Alexander, but that went wrong.

[Bearbeitet am 2012-04-21 19:41 GMT]


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Anne Pinaglia
Netherlands
Local time: 23:41
Member (2011)
Italian to English
+ ...
I have to agree Apr 21, 2012

Barbara Carrara wrote:
I'd like to add at least one, if not THE, key factor here.
One should translate only into one's native language.
But if you are a native Italian speaker, as it appears from your profile page, then don't do it.


I couldn't agree more. It does appear you are a native Italian speaker (I am assuming so from the way you've written your posts in English), so if you go through with this project, you're going to need to hire a proofreader to ensure that the work was done correctly (if you want a happy client, this is obligatory).

I would really recommend finding a mentor who can help you learn the ins and outs of translating to help you begin your journey; as tempting as it may seem to jump in head first, it can end up hurting you far more than helping.


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