Need advice on rate charged per character
Thread poster: Unchalind

Unchalind  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 21:49
Member (2014)
English to Thai
+ ...
Jul 28, 2015

Hi,

The agent asks me the rate charged per source character in stead of per word.
I have never charged the translation fee per source character before.

Can anyone give me a useful advise ?

Thank you in advance.

Unchalindp


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Som Kethyasey  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 21:49
Member (2014)
English to Khmer (Central)
+ ...
Interesting question Jul 28, 2015

Hi,

Your question is interesting for me. I'm a freelance translator from English into Khmer. Khmer writing system is not different from Thai one. I have always found it difficult to charge my clients in world count like English or other European languages. Khmer word count can not be analyzed by any CAT tools or program. Please help share your ideas to her question.

Thanks


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inesec  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member
German to English
+ ...
My 2 cents Jul 28, 2015

I know that in some countries 250 words are considered to be equal to 1800 characters with spaces, i.e., you must divide the price for 250 words by 1800, methinks:)

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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:49
English to Polish
+ ...
AFAIK Jul 28, 2015

In some countries (Poland included) agencies tend to ask for rates based on a page of 1800 characters, spaces included, rather than per word. Myself, I normally use the per-word rate, so I need to do the conversion occasionally. This has taught me to pay attention to the type of text / vocabulary involved, as a scientist would use longer words than a script writer, for instance, and the conversion ratio would differ accordingly.
My advice is to take a text sample (or two, or three) of the same type, check how many words on average make a 1800-char page and calculate your per-page rate on this basis.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The bottom line Jul 28, 2015

It doesn't really matter whether the unit used for quoting is the word, character, line, keystroke, page, or even inch. Although it does make life complicated!

The bottom line is that you need to earn a certain amount for an hour of your time. So find out how long it takes, on average, to translate a character - or more usefully 100 or 1000 characters. That will tell you how much you need to charge.

Personally, I would try to ensure that the first job charged in a new way is a small one, and that the client knows that the rate may change for future jobs.


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Charge him the overall price Jul 28, 2015

I would count the files in my own way, and give the client a fixed total price for the whole job. That is in the end what it is all about.

[Edited at 2015-07-28 12:42 GMT]


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Unchalind  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 21:49
Member (2014)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Informative & helpful answers Jul 28, 2015

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for sharing the ideas. I've learned a lot from them.
Although I may not win this project, your answers are very helpful to me
in establishing my translation business in future.

Have a nice day)


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:49
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Rate converter Jul 28, 2015

Here is a rate converter that might be helpful: FeeWizard Online.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It varies from text to text and probably from language to language Jul 29, 2015

A similar question was posted in the Danish forum recently, and I checked two texts, because we usually count words...

In one reasonably normal but 'light' text for ordinary readers, similar to marketing perhaps, the result was an average of
5.5 characters per word with spaces (4.5 without spaces)

while for a legal text it was
6.3 with spaces (5.3 without)

That would probably apply to many texts - technical, medical, almost any specialist field.

I think Sheila's advice - to work out what you need to charge for the job, and then divide by the character count - is the only way to go!


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