Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Giving Estimate for Large Job (Thesis)
Thread poster: kpmtranslation

kpmtranslation  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:15
French to English
Nov 30, 2015

Hello fellow translators,

I have received my first request for an estimate for a rather large translation project. The client would like his 54,000 word thesis translated but I'm uncertain how to price this kind of job. Normally, I would charge $0.20/word but the bill would be unreasonable considering the volume. I told him my hourly rate, but naturally he would like to know what the final cost would be, however I'm unsure how many hours this type of project would take me.

Any advice anyone can offer on pricing for this kind of job will be greatly appreciated!

Have a great day,

Kylie


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
6 of 1, half dozen of the other... Nov 30, 2015

Ideally there exists a direct correlation between the word count and the number of hours, as you are surely aware of your typical translation speed by now. If the reason for your insecurity concerning the hourly scope is the subject matter (for example, it's one you don't normally deal with, and you are afraid that huge amounts of research will be needed), then pick a short sample to check your pacing and extrapolate from there.

If your sole objective is to charge less, then simply use some figure that is less than your normal rate as the basis your quote.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:15
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Unreasonable for you, not him Nov 30, 2015

kpmtranslation wrote:
Normally, I would charge $0.20/word but the bill would be unreasonable considering the volume.

Why is it unreasonable?! It costs what it costs. A ticket for a 12-hour plane journey costs more than a ticket for a 30-minute bus ride. If the client can't afford it, don't get involved.

The thing about large jobs is that they block you from taking on other jobs, which is a negative if other clients want your professional assistance. Clients may ping you for availability for a couple of weeks but if they repeatedly find you're unavailable they'll stop contacting you as they mentally write you off, at least for the short term.

So, if the rate is low on a large job, you're locking yourself into many weeks of lower than normal pay while locking yourself out of more lucrative jobs AND earning a reputation for being seldom available. That's not a good combination.

I would avoid the job if I were you. If you do take it on, charge your normal rate or more, not less.

Regards
Dan


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:15
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I agree with Dan Nov 30, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

kpmtranslation wrote:
Normally, I would charge $0.20/word but the bill would be unreasonable considering the volume.

Why is it unreasonable?! It costs what it costs. A ticket for a 12-hour plane journey costs more than a ticket for a 30-minute bus ride. If the client can't afford it, don't get involved.

The thing about large jobs is that they block you from taking on other jobs, which is a negative if other clients want your professional assistance. Clients may ping you for availability for a couple of weeks but if they repeatedly find you're unavailable they'll stop contacting you as they mentally write you off, at least for the short term.

So, if the rate is low on a large job, you're locking yourself into many weeks of lower than normal pay while locking yourself out of more lucrative jobs AND earning a reputation for being seldom available. That's not a good combination.

I would avoid the job if I were you. If you do take it on, charge your normal rate or more, not less.

Regards
Dan



I couldn't put it better than Dan has. The whole point about big translating jobs is that they pay more. There is no logic in "more work = less money".


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 19:15
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Simple Math Nov 30, 2015

I would simply charge my "per word" rate times the number of words the document has. In your case,

($0.20 / word) x 54,000 words = $10,800.

Then, I would round that off to perhaps $10,000.

This is as simple as 1 + 1 = 2.

I think the real problem is to guess how long the translation would actually take.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:15
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I wouldn't Nov 30, 2015

ATIL KAYHAN wrote:

I would simply charge my "per word" rate times the number of words the document has. In your case,

($0.20 / word) x 54,000 words = $10,800.

Then, I would round that off to perhaps $10,000.

This is as simple as 1 + 1 = 2.

I think the real problem is to guess how long the translation would actually take.


I wouldn't round down the total to $10,000. That's 4000 words for free: a whole day's work and more, for any normal translator. Why? That would be crazy !

[Edited at 2015-11-30 08:31 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 23:15
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Academic rate Nov 30, 2015

I sometime accept special rate for academic papers when I prefer to do research happily or to devote for philanthropy or technical learning.
Why not discuss elsewhere, not in this Money Matter forum?

Soonthon L.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
Charge your normal rate Nov 30, 2015

I agree with those who suggested you charge your normal rate. I have translated material for students and worried that it might be expensive for them...only to find out that they are being funded by their university or another source. Just quote your rate and see what the response is.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:15
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sometimes big jobs need to be charged at a HIGHER rate Nov 30, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:
The thing about large jobs is that they block you from taking on other jobs, which is a negative if other clients want your professional assistance. Clients may ping you for availability for a couple of weeks but if they repeatedly find you're unavailable they'll stop contacting you as they mentally write you off, at least for the short term.

So, if the rate is low on a large job, you're locking yourself into many weeks of lower than normal pay while locking yourself out of more lucrative jobs AND earning a reputation for being seldom available. That's not a good combination.

If that's likely to be the scenario, you should be looking at a slightly higher than normal per-word rate in compensation.

On the other hand, if there's no real rush, and you can take on most of your other work during the time you're working on this, then you're effectively ensuring no down time at all during that period - a positive outcome, except perhaps for your social life. Then you may feel that you can give a small discount. But any discount should make sense from a business point of view. Unless you just want to be charitable: I would never advise that for a commercial concern - charity and business don't mix - but if this really is a private individual then that's maybe different. A word of advice though - find out who is paying. If it's a doctoral paper you may well find the university is paying, and they WILL be able to afford it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:15
Chinese to English
Make sure it's not a scam Nov 30, 2015

kpmtranslation wrote:

Hello fellow translators,

I have received my first request for an estimate for a rather large translation project. The client would like his 54,000 word thesis translated but I'm uncertain how to price this kind of job. Normally, I would charge $0.20/word but the bill would be unreasonable considering the volume. I told him my hourly rate, but naturally he would like to know what the final cost would be, however I'm unsure how many hours this type of project would take me.

Any advice anyone can offer on pricing for this kind of job will be greatly appreciated!

Have a great day,

Kylie


Just make sure this isn't a scam--almost every request I get for a thesis translation turns out to be a 'payment by check' scam.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:15
German to English
With Preston – potential scam Nov 30, 2015

I live in an academic community and am occasionally approached to translate documents, and even with charitable academic-friendly pricing, my rates scare away most inquirers.
Based on my experience, the majority of academicians are not in a position to pay EUR/USD 10K+ to have a research document published unless they have a grant.

If it's a real job, the price alone should scare away the potential client. If the client is genuine, you may be asked to charge a lower price with the promise of a royalty if the work is published. Don't fall for that, either.

Also beware of a "payment by check in advance" scheme.

If the potential client isn't local to you for consultation purposes regarding obscure terminology/concepts, you're better off leaving this one alone.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

kpmtranslation  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:15
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Nov 30, 2015

Thanks for your insight everyone! As a relatively new translator, I appreciate the reminder that I deserve to be paid well for the service that I provide. It should be a no-brainer, but somehow in this line of work it's easy to forget that fact occasionally.

As for the concerns about it being a scam, luckily he's a referral from a local client that I've done a lot of work for already. That's a great point to watch out for that in a big job, though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:15
Chinese to English
RE Dec 1, 2015

kpmtranslation wrote:

Thanks for your insight everyone! As a relatively new translator, I appreciate the reminder that I deserve to be paid well for the service that I provide. It should be a no-brainer, but somehow in this line of work it's easy to forget that fact occasionally.

As for the concerns about it being a scam, luckily he's a referral from a local client that I've done a lot of work for already. That's a great point to watch out for that in a big job, though.


Glad to hear it, and I hope the job goes well:-)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:15
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Translate a few pages Dec 1, 2015

Try to find out a little more about the person's situation, whether they have a grant for this or have to pay out of their own pocket. Translate a few pages to see how many pages (of this material) you can do per hour. Then convert your hourly rate to a reasonable per page rate.

You don't mention your hourly rate but your per word rate is very high in my opinion, especially for a 'relatively new' translator. I don't think you can expect someone who needs a thesis translated (and may not yet be a highly paid professional) to pay over 10,000 dollars. It should not only be about the money, you are also providing a service that people may need but cannot always pay top-dollar for. It would also be a chance for you to gain valuable experience and something to put on your resumé.

In response to what others have said, yes, it could prevent you from taking other jobs but you could try to leave that possibility open by explaining that to your client and agreeing on a generous deadline that may allow you to still accept some jobs from your regular clients.


[Edited at 2015-12-01 04:08 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
On balacing the $$$ act Dec 1, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Any discount should make sense from a business point of view.


Carve that in stone, Sheila!

When clients ask me for a discount, I tell them that if I gave it, it would be unquestionable evidence that my first estimate/offer was blatantly dishonest! A less assertive client would have been deliberately overcharged. According to my house rules, this is not acceptable.

However I have worked out a special arrangement for authors funding the translation of their own work, which is your case. They are not corporations that will be making a bundle from the translated business agreement, so they are not pressured to have it ready to be signed next Monday.

It works like this...

First, I calculate how much the translation would cost if done as a "priority business translation", viz. my standard rate for COD payment*, and how long it would take doing 15K words per week.

* Payment terms possibly make no difference to you, depending on where you are. In Brazil, where I live, and where the MPR (monthly interest rate) is numerically similar to the APR (annual) in the USA, the difference is quite significant.


Then I offer to do this job under the "book plan":

a) I lower the total cost by 30%, and calculate the latest final deadline using 15K words per month.

b) I "slice" the book in a suitable number of similar-sized "blocks" which, depending on the book structure, may be chapters, groups of them, or parts thereof. I build a table with each block's word count and the corresponding discounted price.

c) Every time I deliver one such block, the client pays me the corresponding amount within two business days. They have plenty of time to prepare funds for the block I'm working on.

d) I make the first and the last blocks about half the size of the others in-between. The first one, if it was a scam, serves to cut my losses. The last one is because together with it I'll deliver the entire book reviewed from cover to cover, reassembled into one single file.

e) At any time, the client is free to tell me, "Finish the block you re working on, I'll pay you for that, and then STOP!" I'll put the entire project in hibernation for up to one year, and they may ask me to resume at any time.

This last item occurred once so far. An investment opportunity came up for the author, and he asked me to halt. Three months later, he told me to resume it, and I finished the translation.


The book plan turns the book into a "filler" in my schedule. To translate it, I'll use all the otherwise idle - hence 'cheaper' - time between projects, while my translations are being reviewed, while the computer is converting/rendering subtitled video, etc.

Of course, I only take ONE book at a time under this plan. There was a time when I had four books queued, waiting for their turn. So far, I have delivered all such book translations considerably before my extended deadline.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Giving Estimate for Large Job (Thesis)

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search