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How can I charge a translation of a website?
Thread poster: Carolina Olivero

Carolina Olivero
Argentina
Local time: 08:20
English to Spanish
Dec 10, 2017

Hi! I have to provide my quote per 1000 words for a translation of social networking website. It's the first time I translate a website. Can you give me any idea of how much I could charge for this translation?

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:20
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
usual rate Dec 10, 2017

Carolina Olivero wrote:

Hi! I have to provide my quote per 1000 words for a translation of social networking website. It's the first time I translate a website. Can you give me any idea of how much I could charge for this translation?


What's wrong with charging your usual rate?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My 2 cents Dec 10, 2017

Carolina Olivero wrote:
Hi! I have to provide my quote per 1000 words for a translation of social networking website. It's the first time I translate a website. Can you give me any idea of how much I could charge for this translation?

For the translation itself you should charge the same per word as you normally do - just multiply your per-word rate by 1,000. However, there can be much more to charge for, depending on the exact circumstances:

- Are you lifting the data from the website yourself, or is it being presented in the form of a Word file? If the former, then charge by the hour for this non-translation job.
- Are you responsible for formatting the data on the website pages? If so, charge extra for that too.
- If you know all about HTML and InDesign etc then you have a marked advantage over me icon_smile.gif. Maybe your skills and pro-version programs represent an edge that the client should pay for?

Beware that just finding the date to be translated can be problematic. I've had experience of missing some and being expected to produce translations urgently for several sections. I've also had "knowledgeable" communications agencies lift the data for me and get it just as wrong. Websites are becoming very interactive and it can be difficult to know what will be there tomorrow, and therefore worth translating.


 

Inna Borymova  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:20
Member (2013)
English to Russian
+ ...
mass request Dec 11, 2017

I guess you are quoting for a UK company, they send mass emails to everyone inviting for the project.
UK companies normaly work with per 1000 word rates. However that outsorcer says that 50% are repetitions and ask to consider that when quoting. So I used the following formala: 500 words * usual rate + 500 words *20% of the usual rate. No design etc. is required as far as I understood, just translation and/or proofreading.


 

Chiara Scanavino
Germany
Member
English to Italian
+ ...


Posted via
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Language combinations is also to be considered. Dec 11, 2017

I agree with what the others have written. However, you must also considered the language combination: if you translate in a foreign language (for simple texts it is also possible), you have to charge more than if you are translated in your mother language.
Furthermore you have to consider how technical is the text: very complex texts must be payed more.icon_smile.gif


 

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:20
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why charge more? Dec 11, 2017

Chiara Scanavino wrote:

if you translate in a foreign language (for simple texts it is also possible), you have to charge more than if you are translated in your mother language.


The mere fact of translating into a foreign language doesn't add any value to the translation.

[Edited at 2017-12-11 22:09 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The opposite Dec 11, 2017

Chiara Scanavino wrote:
if you translate in a foreign language (for simple texts it is also possible), you have to charge more than if you are translated in your mother language.

Is a website text a simple text? Yes, the terminology is often straightforward. But isn't a website the most important marketing tool in a company's arsenal? Doesn't it deserve specialist treatment by someone who has in-depth knowledge of the wording that will appeal to potential clients? How much is a website worth if it's full of errors?


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:20
French to English
Do not confuse "not technical" with "easy". Dec 12, 2017

Clients might genuinely (or not genuinely!) consider their source text to be non technical. They say that it is not specialist cotnext and expect to pay a lower rate. Commercial and marketing language is a specialisation in its own right and that skill must be paid for.

I too recevied this "hi-no-name" mass mail. As the website in question is in English, I did not quote for the work. As a native of the source text, I consider that I should not accept. That is my choice. I only work into my native language. If I translate the other way round, it takes me longer, and the work I produce does not have an authentic ring to it. It is not the way I want to work. Also, at the proofreading stage, the client is more likely to refer work back to me, whichi means even more time.

There is also a clear indication that repetitions will be paid for more cheaply. You need to obtain more details of that and be sure you have the tools to be able to make it profitable time-wise. If there is no time-saving for the translator, then this firther reduces the psosible income from this job. The English of the message is fine, but this mass mail approach looks like there is likely to be a bargain-basement battle for bottom-feeding.


 

Chiara Scanavino
Germany
Member
English to Italian
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Only if you have at least a C1-level Dec 12, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Chiara Scanavino wrote:
if you translate in a foreign language (for simple texts it is also possible), you have to charge more than if you are translated in your mother language.

Is a website text a simple text? Yes, the terminology is often straightforward. But isn't a website the most important marketing tool in a company's arsenal? Doesn't it deserve specialist treatment by someone who has in-depth knowledge of the wording that will appeal to potential clients? How much is a website worth if it's full of errors?


Yes, websites are the most important tool for companies. However, I think that if the translator has at least a C1-level in the target language and lives in the target country, they can also do a great work. Of course the website should be correct also on a semantic point of view, but the priority is the grammar: a mistake in the language usage is more acceptable than a grammatical mistake...


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not good enough, IMHO Dec 12, 2017

Chiara Scanavino wrote:
I think that if the translator has at least a C1-level in the target language and lives in the target country, they can also do a great work.

I very much disagree. I see C1 as the necessary minimum skill level for a SOURCE language, and nowhere near good enough for a TARGET language. I lived in France for 15 years but would never take payment for writing in French.

Marketing is one of the hardest writing styles for a non-native speaker. I know that well as I often revise technical texts for ESL writers and then work on their own English self-marketing texts.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Could not agree more... Dec 12, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Chiara Scanavino wrote:
I think that if the translator has at least a C1-level in the target language and lives in the target country, they can also do a great work.

I very much disagree. I see C1 as the necessary minimum skill level for a SOURCE language, and nowhere near good enough for a TARGET language. I lived in France for 15 years but would never take payment for writing in French.

Marketing is one of the hardest writing styles for a non-native speaker. I know that well as I often revise technical texts for ESL writers and then work on their own English self-marketing texts.


I lived in Belgium for 30 years (1986-2016) and I speak French fluently but like you I wouldn’t take payment for translating into French…


 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:20
Dutch to English
+ ...
Never translate into a 2nd language. Dec 12, 2017

Unless it's some technical text, where poor language flow doesn't matter, or occasionally some legal document where accuracy prevails over natural usage, I'm totally opposed to anybody translating into their 2nd language. It's always a disaster, especially if you have to proofread it....

C-1 means nothing.

Websites need a natural touch, as Sheila said. The language tends to be more personal and informal, and a non-native can't cut it, simple as that.


 

The Misha
Local time: 07:20
Russian to English
+ ...
You'd be surprised... Dec 12, 2017

Richard Purdom wrote:

Unless it's some technical text, where poor language flow doesn't matter, or occasionally some legal document where accuracy prevails over natural usage, I'm totally opposed to anybody translating into their 2nd language. It's always a disaster, especially if you have to proofread it....


Oh what a relief that we the lepers don't need a permission from you to decide which language we may or may not translate into!

... and a non-native can't cut it, simple as that.


Ahem, it's not really all that simple, I am afraid. That you have never come across a competent non-native personally does not mean there aren't any. Generally, I would be very careful making all-encompassing categorical statements about anything.

Technically speaking, you are making a typical inductivist mistake trying to postulate a theory based on certain facts from your experience. The correct method would actually involve making a hypothesis ("all non-native translators are [insert your favorite obscenity]") and then using specific observations and experiences to prove or disprove it. While doing so, please remember that no amount of data in support of your hypothesis proves it is actually correct (remember "all swans are white"?) while a single observation to the contrary throws it to the dogs, as unfair as that seems to be.

May I suggest you try to embrace the correct method?:)))

[Edited at 2017-12-12 23:17 GMT]


 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:20
Dutch to English
+ ...
oh the drama Feb 6

The Misha wrote:
Technically speaking, you are making a typical inductivist mistake trying to postulate a theory based on certain facts from your experience. The correct method would actually involve making a hypothesis ("all non-native translators are [insert your favorite obscenity]") and then blah blah blah


Misha, go and rest in a quiet room,and put some ice on the sore area.
All the best.


 

Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:20
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Ask to see the file Feb 6

A lot of website text is "easy".
But it often involves slogans, taglines and wordplay that can be incredibly difficult to translate and really ventures towards transcreation rather than a simple translation.
It can also involve very specialised terminology.

Personally, I would want to see the text in question before quoting to assess these factors adequately.

A website is a company's shopwindow. I strongly disagree with the suggestion that language usage doesn't matter. I move on to a competitor very quickly when a website is poorly written, because it is a valuable indicator for the quality I can expect from that provider.


 
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