Pricing strategy for translating a book, thanks
Thread poster: KuinWang

KuinWang  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:39
Chinese to English
+ ...
May 1, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I have an opportunity to bid for a project, in which English to Mandarin translation is needed for a book. Would you please kindly advise what's the best pricing strategy and practice?

Compared with plain text that only translation is needed, the book contains rich format, tables, internal links, cross referencing, ect, therefore, a lots of work beyond translation needs to be done. Would you please kindly advise what's the best strategy and practice for pricing? The translation rate at per source word definitely does not justify the work needs to be done. yet I am not sure what type of pricing I should refer to? Will desk top publishing rate be applicable in this case? Would you please kindly advise? Your help will be highly appreciated.

Kind regards,


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:39
Member (2007)
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Any strategy works if it comes to a reasonable total figure May 2, 2017

Basically, all you have to come up with is a total figure that your client is reasonably happy to pay and that you can reasonably live on. It doesn't matter how it's derived. It could be three times your per-word rate for every "e" in the source text! But of course your client has to trust you, so that pricing policy isn't really recommended..

What will the work entail? Will some of it be done before or after the translation work? If so, an hourly rate would be the most sensible. But if it's being done alongside the actual translation, I don't see that you can separate them. In that case you would be wiser to incorporate them into a higher per-word rate. Just make sure that you list all the other work to justify the very high per-word figure.

I suggest you work on a sample of nnn words, or spend a fixed time on a sample. That should give you some idea of pricing. Then just quote as fairly and as transparently as possible.

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:39
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
source format May 2, 2017

It also depends on what format you are receiving the source document in and whether you are going to use a CAT tool. If it is PDF, then dealing with all the tables, etc., is going to be much more time-consuming than if you are given a Word file with tables and figures in a form that you can easily work with. If it's a PDF, then you need to have expertise at using an OCR tool such as ABBYY Finereader or Adobe Acrobat in order to use a CAT tool, or you are going to have to type it all in and format it "from scratch."

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