How do I convert source word rates into target word rates?
Thread poster: Lota

Lota
United States
Local time: 02:39
Member (2007)
English to Polish
+ ...
Jun 11, 2013

Hello, I have been charging my clients rates per word in target language for many years. Right now I have an attractive client (in the sense of a lot of work) that wants to, insists in paying me for words in source language. How do I convert my rate? Let's say, for the sake of simplicity, that I charge 10 cents per word in target language. How do I get the same money but using source word count?

Any ideas for accomplishing this would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks.
Lota


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:39
Japanese to English
+ ...
It definitely depends on the specific target and source languages Jun 11, 2013

Especially ones that do not use similar alphabets (or alphabets at all); for example one Japanese character is sometimes said to generally equal about two English words. I'd imagine something like French to English would be a lot more along the lines of a 1:1 ratio though.

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 17:39
Chinese to English
Calculate the figures from your own work Jun 11, 2013

Everyone's ratio will vary a little, and it varies from genre to genre, but with luck you'll find there's a reasonably stable ratio between number of source words and number of target words. I get a ratio of 150 Chinese characters to 100 English words that remains surprisingly constant across a lot of different text types.* However, one good agency that I work for seems to think that the ratio is 100 Chinese characters to 80 English words, and they sometimes try to offer me lower rates based on their ratio. You have to find the ratio that works for you, and set your source word rate accordingly.

*Actually, as I become more experienced and concise, I'm now getting even less than 100 words, but I still use the 1:1.5 ratio for pricing because it's an easy calculation.


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Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:39
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Look at past translations Jun 11, 2013

Look at past jobs you've done and do a bit of maths to see what you would have had to charge per source word to get roughly the same amount per target word. For example, say you got €100 for one job (1000 target words), work out what your source word rate would have to have been to get the same amount or thereabouts. Of course it may differ quite a bit from one document to the next, but if you look at 5-10 translations per combination and work out the average, you should have a good idea of what you should be charging.

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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spanish-English ratio Jun 11, 2013

Some say that Spanish has about twenty percent more words than English. My experience is that it doesn't normally go that high. Five to ten percent is closer to what I have seen. Often it is only 1 or 2 percent.

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tomedes
Local time: 12:39
A new word count ratio tool Jun 27, 2013

Check out this new tool at www.ow.ly/mqBnK. It will give you the word count ratio for almost every language pair word count. Good luck and let me know if it was of any help:)

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Gül Kaya  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:39
Turkish to English
+ ...
Still below actual target figure Jun 27, 2013

tomedes wrote:

Check out this new tool at www.ow.ly/mqBnK. It will give you the word count ratio for almost every language pair word count. Good luck and let me know if it was of any help:)


I tried this yesterday with Turkish into English.

Actual numbers:
Source 588
Target 730
Tomedes estimate I think was about 690.

So still a bit lower than what I actually ended up translating


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tomedes
Local time: 12:39
Feel free to add data from your own experience Jun 27, 2013

Gül Kaya wrote:

tomedes wrote:

Check out this new tool at www.ow.ly/mqBnK. It will give you the word count ratio for almost every language pair word count. Good luck and let me know if it was of any help:)


I tried this yesterday with Turkish into English.

Actual numbers:
Source 588
Target 730
Tomedes estimate I think was about 690.

So still a bit lower than what I actually ended up translating


The tool is based on crowd sourcing so the more translators who add ratio data from their experience, the more accurate the tool will be.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Try this one! Jun 28, 2013

This is the wizzard of our colleague Alessandra Muzzi that I've used since many years.

http://www.amtrad.it/feewizardol.php

I have tried Tomedes tool, just out of curiosity, but couldn't get any results for my languages (which are very common ones).


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