typing rate
Thread poster: Federica Masante

Federica Masante  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Italian to English
+ ...
May 26, 2005

Dear All,

I have just received a request from one of my regular customers. They are asking me what my typing rate would be. They said they would rather charge by the word than by the hour and are suggesting a rate of 0.015 euro/word. Does this sound reasonable?
Thanks for your input.

Federica


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Pat Jenner
Local time: 04:59
German to English
+ ...
Unreasonable in my opinion May 26, 2005

Bearing in mind that while you are doing this typing work (for less than a sixth of the rate per word you indicate in your profile) you cannot do any translation work. Also, if the text is handwritten the legibility may be very poor and could take as long to type as translating a printed/electronic text. I would charge by time.

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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
unreasonable May 26, 2005

Supposed that you would charge 0.03 EUR per word for proofreading, 0.015 EUR per word would mean that you can type two times faster than you can read.

Even if you would charge only 0.015 EUR per word for proofreading, it would still mean that you can write as fast as you can read.

Can you?

[Edited at 2005-05-26 19:56]


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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
English to Polish
+ ...
Not for a translator. May 26, 2005

On the other side, qualifications typing requires are different (we should all believe much lower), so it can be a good price for a job not straining a brain too much (on the others side you may get RSI).

A good typist can type 300 chars (about 60 words) per minute * 0,015 = 0,9 EUR per minute = 54 EUR per hour. Not bad...

And I heard of speeds of 80-150 wpm (words per minute).


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:59
English to Czech
+ ...
Reasonable May 26, 2005

It depends on your typing speed. If you can type 30 words per minute, you will earn more than your target hourly rate. And reaching 30 wpm should be quite easy.

Harry mixes up two different things - proofreading and reading speed.


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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 20:59
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very reasonable May 27, 2005

I usually charge by word for both typing/transcribing and translating projects.

I've taken many assessment test (like those used at employment agencies) and it seems I can type anywhere from 65 to 72 wpm. Depending on the subject, I can translated anywhere from 600 to 1,000 words / hour (these figures come from this long term project I used to take on from Monday through Friday for the Brazilian version of Wired News on the web... 5 hours of work, 5,000 words from all the articles combined).

So, if you know your hourly output, you can either charge by hour or by word, calculating what's the best rate for both you and your client. But $0.15 EURO ($0.19 USD) / word is a GREAT rate!

Good luck!


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 05:59
French to Dutch
+ ...
Don't agree with Rafaela May 27, 2005

Rafaela is mixing up top typing speed and mean number of words per hour. In industry the standards are about 4 pages of 250 words per hour, 8 hours a day (typing is said to be about four times faster than translating). So 1000 words per hour = 16,7 words per minute. Of course generally one will type much faster, I think 20-30 words per minute is reasonable, something that can be done 8 hours a day. Rafaela is a VERY good typist (14 pages per hour, I really never heard of that!). It's up to you to decide if 18-27 € per hour is a good rate.

[Edited at 2005-05-27 07:54]


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pure math May 27, 2005

If you are a reasonably good typist, say 60 words per minute (WPM) on tests, then you will make 54 Euros per hour (60 x .015 = 54). Multipy that by 8 hours and you get 432 euros per day. Being realistic, you will not maintain that speed hours upon end. So let's subtract, say, 15% (64.80 euros) to reach a figure of 367.20 euros per 8 hours, or 45.90 euros per hour. So with this number in hand you may now ask yourself if it is worth it to you.

I remember getting paid 9 dollars an hour for typing 8 hours a day for months - but this was over 10 years ago. I think the going rate in the U.S. now is around 12-15 dollars an hour. Of course this is for full-time work.

My numbers above are for typing up printed or PDF documents. I would give my "get lost" rates if the text were handwritten. I'd also put a zillion conditions on it, such as the right to put 5 [illegible]s per sentence and a disclaimer, signed by the client.

My personal opinion: take it.

Edward


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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:59
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
reasonable May 27, 2005

It depends on your understanding of what is reasonable of course. I think this is reasonably good pay if you're a good typist and the source document is of acceptable quality AND you don't have any translation work to do.

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:59
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
typing rate versus translating rate May 27, 2005

I wrote a short article that described how typing speed is only one component of translation speed. Timed typing speed only focuses on accuracy in reproducing existing material in the same language.
Whenever creating information from scratch (writing or translating), this slows down the typing output speed. Translating is additional cognitive effort because it requires "understanding and interpreting" the text, often written by someone else, and then outputting it.
See my article on Translation Speed versus Content Management. Go to first entry at:
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/surveys.htm

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/



[Edited at 2005-05-28 21:57]


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Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 23:59
Portuguese to English
+ ...
math mistakes; professional identity May 28, 2005

Rafaela Lombardino wrote:

... I can type anywhere from 65 to 72 wpm. Depending on the subject, I can translated anywhere from 600 to 1,000 words / hour (these figures come from this long term project I used to take on from Monday through Friday for the Brazilian version of Wired News on the web... 5 hours of work, 5,000 words from all the articles combined).

So, if you know your hourly output, you can either charge by hour or by word, calculating what's the best rate for both you and your client. But $0.15 EURO ($0.19 USD) / word is a GREAT rate!

Good luck!



Rafaela -- I agree with you that $0.15 Euros/word would be a great typing rate indeed: if your average typing speed over the long run were as good as your translating rate, it would come out to $90 to $150 Euros an hour...wow!! That would be 3-5 times the average hourly rate of most translators.

Problem is, Federica was offered $0.015 Euros/word -- a case where a zero means a lot more than nothing! At that rate, she'd make $9 to $15 Euros an hour, and only if she could match your speed. After deducting taxes, expenses, etc., I wouldn't consider it such a great rate.

Federica -- Beyond the particular question about typing rates, a larger question to keep in mind is whether you want to risk having your steady client start thinking of you as a typist rather than as a translator (even if it's unconscious). Believe me, I've done plenty of typing jobs in my life, but I'd never do it for the same people for whom I translate: the social and professional roles are just too different. It's difficult enough getting the general public to understand the cognitive work involved in translating, especially in this day of cheap computer translations. For similar reasons, if a client wants to pay me by the number of characters typed in a translation, I always renegotiate rates to charge by the word or by the hour (even if I might earn a bit more by the character), since it symbolically breaks the implicit notion that translating is about exercising the fingers [NB: obviously this is irrelevant for languages such as Japanese that by definition charge by the character...] So you may want to ponder the larger question about how you want to define yourself professionally with this (or other) clients.

Hope this helps...




[Edited at 2005-05-28 06:27]

[Edited at 2005-05-28 06:44]


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:59
German to English
+ ...
Couple of points May 28, 2005

Don't solicitors (advocates, what you will) say something like “... and if any translations are required they will also be charged at our standard rate of £200 (€300 or whatever) per hour”?

That apart, isn't there err... ummm... something called speech-to-text voice recognition available for Windows? (Office 2002 and later, Dragon Naturally Speaking)


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Federica Masante  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 30, 2005

I just wanted to thank you all for your valuable advice. In the end, I managed to negotiate with the client and we came to a mutual agreement on 0.02 euro/word which definitely sounds much better.

Best,

Federica


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Federica Masante  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
quote per character Jun 1, 2005

Dear all,

What would be a reasonal typing rate per character instead of per word?

Thanks for your input

Regards

Federica


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Keystrokes per word Jun 25, 2005

Typists of English consider one word to be five keystrokes. Just divide a reasonable word rate by five and you will get a reasonable per-keystroke rate.

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