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Output per year
Thread poster: MCarmenLozano

MCarmenLozano
Spain
Local time: 08:03
Member (2017)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 18, 2015

Hello everyone!

How much work volume (in words) does a translator handle per year?

Thank you,

Carmen


 

Jenae Spry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:03
French to English
What are you really asking? Sep 18, 2015

Hi Carmen

I'm trying to figure out what you are really interested in knowing here because the answer to your question could be almost anything. Are you asking how much a single translator is capable of translating, how many words a translator needs to translate in order to make a salary of X, or...?


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:03
English to French
+ ...
it depends Sep 18, 2015

MCarmenLozano wrote:

How much work volume (in words) does a translator handle per year?



 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
We are really quite different Sep 18, 2015

MCarmenLozano wrote:

How much work volume (in words) does a translator handle per year?

Thank you,

Carmen


 

Kevin Dias
Local time: 15:03
SITE STAFF
Some links Sep 18, 2015

Hi Carmen,

As others have mentioned you'll find a wide variation. Here are some previous threads that may be of interest:

Poll: What is the maximum number of words you've translated in 24 hours?

How many words can you translate in 8 hours?

How many words per hour is considered safe/realistic/sustainable?

Words per day

If you are interested in tracking your own output, I've been working on a free tool to help with that.

Kevin


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Half a million Sep 18, 2015

For the average translator working full time

 

Jenae Spry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:03
French to English
Personally Sep 18, 2015

I just calculated that for the last year that I worked full time I translated 908,000 words. I just calculated it using the amount I grossed and dividing it by my per word rate. Of course, that doesn't account for the fact that some of the money was made from editing instead of translation, but I would say that's accurate. I have worked part time for the last 2 years translating 700,000 words per year. In both instances I wasn't translating for any more than 5 hours a day even in my "full time" scenario.

With that being said, I'm a highly productive translator and even work as a productivity & performance coach for translators as well (part of why I now translate part time) so, while I think those are very attainable figures for others as well, they might seem a little daunting if you're just starting out and I'm not sure I'd use them as the general average.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
500 000 + for me, using that calculation Sep 18, 2015

Jenae Spry wrote:
I just calculated that for the last year that I worked full time I translated 908,000 words. I just calculated it using the amount I grossed and dividing it by my per word rate. Of course, that doesn't account for the fact that some of the money was made from editing instead of translation...


I just did the same calculation (took my turnover and divided it by my EU rate) and got 500 000 words. However, I charge a wide variety of rates for a variety of clients, so the real count would have been closer to 600 000... if... if I did only translation. But just like you, I also do editing, and my editing rate is 20% of my translation rate, so the actual number of words that I've dealt with must be closer to 750 000 (if you only count the words once... because... sometimes you're have to do both the initial proofreading and post DTP proofreading). This means about 10 000 words per week, which isn't very high, considering that I can translate 5000 words per day.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 07:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Work volume Sep 19, 2015

I translate (full-time since 1985) from English, French, Spanish and Italian exclusively
into European Portuguese. Just for my own information, since 2005 I have been keeping statistics about the total of words I have translated (actual figures, no CAT tools). Here are the last 5 years:

2010
EN/PT: 225,995
ES/PT: 97,323
FR/PT: 178,753
IT/PT: 49,543
2011
EN/PT: 180,776
ES/PT: 87,111
FR/PT: 211,752
IT/PT: 22,525
2012
EN/PT: 190,964
ES/PT: 39,962
FR/PT: 124,863
IT/PT: 18,367
2013
EN/PT: 353,504
ES/PT: 21,266
FR/PT: 182,192
IT/PT: 12,004
2014
EN/PT: 413,368
ES/PT: 20,676
FR/PT: 184,890
IT/PT: 10,348

The first six months in 2015 were extremely productive, though I'm experiencing a slowdown this month...


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:03
Member
English to French
350-700 Sep 19, 2015

thousands over the past 10 years in EN>FR, using gross income/word rate
Today I deliver around 400-500 full time.

Philippe


 

Álvaro Espantaleón  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:03
Member (2015)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not a very useful measure Sep 19, 2015

Some people work for 1 USD cent per word, which would convert into 10,000 USD every 1,000,000 words, but you wouldn't be able to survive in Canada with 10,000 USD a year.

 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
700.000+ for me with this calculation Sep 19, 2015

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

Jenae Spry wrote:
I just calculated that for the last year that I worked full time I translated 908,000 words. I just calculated it using the amount I grossed and dividing it by my per word rate.


 

MCarmenLozano
Spain
Local time: 08:03
Member (2017)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 19, 2015

Thank you everyone for your answers.

I was asking this by an agency and really didn't know what to answer.

I take note of all your comments, they're very useful.

Carmen


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Good quality translation or so-so? Sep 19, 2015

Alvaro Espantaleon wrote:
Some people work for 1 USD cent per word, which would convert into 10,000 USD every 1,000,000 words, but you wouldn't be able to survive in Canada with 10,000 USD a year.

They could churn out several million and so earn enough to survive. On paper they might seem to be very successful translators. Does that mean that those who carefully craft a few hundred thousand words are unsuccessful?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Output per year is just that Sep 19, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:
They could churn out several million and so earn enough to survive. On paper they might seem to be very successful translators.


I don't measure my success by my total word count per year. The question was about output per year, not success rate per year.


 
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