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Advice on charging - source or target?
Thread poster: katherine-anne
katherine-anne
Local time: 08:05
French to English
Jun 9, 2005

I am starting out as a French/English translator specialising in marketing materials, and am familiar with charging by hour or day. When being asked to quote by word, are we talking about source language? Any advice on reasonable rates ( I live in the S of France - but not the Cote d'Azur, so can't fleece my clients!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-06-09 09:09]


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:05
Member
Italian to English
A matter of choice Jun 9, 2005

katherine-anne wrote:

.. so can't fleece my clients!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-06-09 09:09]



Don't forget that clients browse these forums too, so be careful of the impression you give out! As far as source or target is concerned, in my experience it's a matter of choice. If you charge by source the client knows in advance how much he has to pay, rather than waiting for the target word count once the job has been completed.

Good luck!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I charge for souce Jun 9, 2005

katherine-anne wrote:
When being asked to quote by word, are we talking about source language?


Some quote by source and some quote by target -- there is no 'standard'. Quoting by source makes it possible for you to tell the client upfront how much he'll pay. If the client says "no, I want you to charge the other way", be sure to alter your rate to reflect the fact that the other language may use less words.


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Jeremy Smith  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:05
French to English
+ ...
Source for me Jun 9, 2005

As stated above, with charging by the source word the client knows how much it will be in advance. With the added bonus if you're doing French into English, the French wordcount is liable to be higher than the English one.

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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:05
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
Source as a rule, target when establishing source count is a problem Jun 9, 2005

I usually charge per source word but often it's just simpler to charge per target word (for example when the files have been faxed, scanned and then made into a pdf).

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Kathinka van de Griendt  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:05
German to English
+ ...
Target for me! Jun 9, 2005

I charge per target word or line because I believe it's my work that should be paid. This is especially the case when translating from Eng - Ger as usually a German text is at least 25% longer than the English one.
Regards and happy translating!
Kathinka


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Target language because... Jun 9, 2005

I realize it's easier for clients to know how much something is going to cost from the beginning, however, in my opinion that's not the reason why they prefer to pay for the word count of the source text. The reason is as always cutting costs.

I learned how to figure out the "vocabulary increase" (or decrease) from English into the Romance languages. Therefore when I get a document I prepare an estimate which includes that vocabulary increase (15-20% from English into Spanish). Clients have always accepted my prices. The opposite applies if it's a translation from Spanish into English (10-15% vocabulary decrease).

There was an instance of a client who first asked how I charged and then said "nevermind, you're going to charge me for monosyllables also". I replied "yes sir, unless you would prefer for me to leave them out".

Good luck to all, learn the vocabulary increase in your language pairs. I've been right on the dot so many times when preparing an estimate it's scary. One gets better with practice.

Cheers!
Belkis


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:05
Flemish to English
+ ...
F>E: Source... Jun 9, 2005

It depends: I have the following rule: If it is from a Romanic language>Germanic language I'd take the Romanic language as a basis.
If it is the other way around, I would take the target language. Romanic languages tend to be more analytic (descriptive), Germanic languages more synthetic.
For Slavonic languages I would choose the target language, if the source language is Russian.
For other Slavonic languages, I am curious to know....
For Oriental languages, I was told that you take a 400 character rule= one page. Correct me if I am wrong?
I would also be curious to know what happens When translating into agglutinating languages such as Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian,...


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katherine-anne
Local time: 08:05
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
What are going rates in the Languedoc? Jun 9, 2005

[quote]Fiona Peterson wrote:

katherine-anne wrote:

.. so can't fleece my clients!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-06-09 09:09]



Don't forget that clients browse these forums too, so be careful of the impression you give out!

Thanks for the warning, but I was simply trying to ask what is a fair rate in my geographical area. Any advice, anyone?


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Dr. Janos Annus  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 08:05
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
English > Hungarian Jun 9, 2005

Hi,

When translating from English the number of Hungarian words tends to be somewhat less (about 5%), but the number of characters with or without spaces considerably more: about 20-25%. Hungarian words are about 7-8 character long, as an average. At least from my experience.

Have a good day
Janos


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Jun 10, 2005

To Williamson and Janos, I've always wondered about the vocabulary increase in other languages.

Happy translating!
Belkis


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bravo! Jun 10, 2005

Kathinka Lavelle wrote:

I charge per target word or line because I believe it's my work that should be paid. This is especially the case when translating from Eng - Ger as usually a German text is at least 25% longer than the English one.
Regards and happy translating!
Kathinka


Way to go, I agree 100%.

Cheers.
Belkis


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Source (generally) Jun 10, 2005

I usually use the source count in order to know the exact amount to be paid beforehand. This avoids potential misunderstandings later. I generally only use target counts when the source text is difficult to count accurately.

Of course for languages such as German, line count or something similar should be used. I recently had a customer call from Germany wanting to use the German word count without increasing the rate. We did not agree to the price on that one.

I have another customer in Spain who always wants to use target count for Spanish to English translations. I have a very funny feeling that they use source count when they pay for English to Spanish translations. Out of several job offers I only accepted about two from them - when they were desperate and had no one else and somehow decided to accept my terms.


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Charlotte Blank  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:05
Czech to German
+ ...
Czech - German: target Jun 11, 2005

Williamson wrote:
For other Slavonic languages, I am curious to know....


As a rule of thumb, I found that Czech texts are about 20-25% shorter than German, among other things due to the (very frequent) omission of articles and personal pronouns so I prefer to charge by target...

Charlotte


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