Working on a glossary
Thread poster: Susie Rawson

Susie Rawson  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 4, 2015

Hello everyone,
I have agreed on a rate for a big translation job, and they are nos asking me if I could first work on the glossary which will be later shared by a team. Preparing a glossary will take more time than translating once the glossary is already there, so what would be a reasonable amount to ask for, for this particular task, in relation to the agreed rate for translation? 1.5 times, double, more, less?
Anyone who has had experience working on glossaries and might enlighten me, please?
Thank you.

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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 11:46
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Charge your hourly rate Jan 4, 2015

The subject line says it all.



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James Heppe-Smith  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:46
Member (2010)
German to English

Moderator of this forum
Depends... Jan 4, 2015


All I would say is that, having recently worked on a glossary type task, I would not recommend calculating your usual hourly rate (or source word rate). I normally manage at least 2500 words per day, but during my last glossary task I struggled to make 1000 words per day.

OK, it is a little subject dependant, but the work I did was rather difficult - not least with strange abbreviations and the occasional typo in the source...

So, my advice would be to negotiate an appropriate hourly rate for the glossary work. Alternatively, I recently negotiated a job with a per phrase rate for the glossary work which was more than acceptable to deal with the research the client wanted per phrase.

Wish you well!


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Local time: 01:46
English to Chinese
+ ...
Translation rate + research rate Jan 4, 2015

In my opinion, preparing glossary is basically research work that involves a lot of reading. The job is to find out what they mean by using a certain word in a certain context/industry in the source language, and then to find out how this concept is expressed in the industry in the target language, and translation is merely an incidental outcome of the research. So I would charge the normal rate for translation + time spent on research. Depending on the subject matter, time spent on research can be huge, I wouldn't be surprised to spend two hours or more on research just to get one term right.

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Teresa Borges
Local time: 04:46
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Flat rate Jan 4, 2015

Some years ago, I found myself on the same situation. Fortunately I had a friend who worked for a company specialized in collecting terminology and producing glossaries and after talking to him I found out that they expected a professional terminologist to translate circa 100 terms per day. So, I decided to translate the first 100 terms and see how long it took. Based on this, I proposed a flat rate, which was accepted after extensive discussions to explain in detail what the job involved. Later on, we also agreed on a flat rate for any necessary updates.

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Susie Rawson  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Jan 4, 2015

Thank you everyone for the useful suggestions.

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