Quoting Confusion - Mandarin Translator
Thread poster: Ethan Parry

Ethan Parry
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
Jan 22

Hi all,

I am a current student studying an MA in Translation Studies. I have just been asked to provide my 'best quote based on USD per English words' for a potential translating job. I have some previous experience translating, but have only charged a flat rate before. Would anybody be able to advise me how to work out a quote for this company. I have done some research online, which says I should be charging about 11 cents per word for standard content and 15 cents per word for t
... See more
Hi all,

I am a current student studying an MA in Translation Studies. I have just been asked to provide my 'best quote based on USD per English words' for a potential translating job. I have some previous experience translating, but have only charged a flat rate before. Would anybody be able to advise me how to work out a quote for this company. I have done some research online, which says I should be charging about 11 cents per word for standard content and 15 cents per word for technical content. Does this sound right to you? My language combination is Mandarin into English.

Thanks in advance.
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Hamish Young  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 08:00
Member (2010)
Chinese to English
More or less Jan 22

Hi Ethan,

You're in the right ballpark there. Rates in our language pair depend on a lot of factors, but the rates you cite are fairly typical for respectable agencies in Western countries.

Generally speaking, we charge either by translated English word or source Chinese character. In many jobs it can be difficult to accurately count the source Chinese characters, so English word is preferred. If you charge by translated English word you should be looking to charge appr
... See more
Hi Ethan,

You're in the right ballpark there. Rates in our language pair depend on a lot of factors, but the rates you cite are fairly typical for respectable agencies in Western countries.

Generally speaking, we charge either by translated English word or source Chinese character. In many jobs it can be difficult to accurately count the source Chinese characters, so English word is preferred. If you charge by translated English word you should be looking to charge approximately 50% higher than you would by source Chinese character, so a charge of USD 0.15 per target English word equates roughly to USD 0.10 per source character.

However, depending on the subject matter the actual ratio of target word to source character can vary dramatically, so it's not an exact science.

Hope that helps,

Hamish
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Gareth Callagy
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Quoting Confusion - Mandarin Translator

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