How many words have I translated total?
Thread poster: jentranslation

jentranslation
Sweden
English to Swedish
Sep 26

A potential new client wants to know how many words I've translated in total as a translator. I have not kept track of this. I've worked in several software, online and offline, so I probably can't even guess the amount.

Is it common to count the words you have translated? Or have you encountered a client who wants to know?


humana
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yearly total of words Sep 26

I’ve been translating for over 30 years and I was asked that question for the first time some ten years ago, since then I make my total at the end of each year on the base of the total of words invoiced. It’s quite easy with an Excel spreadsheet.

 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:49
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
How many words have I translated? Sep 26

Do you remember how many pieces of bread you've eaten?

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some clients believe... Sep 26

jentranslation wrote:
A potential new client wants to know how many words I've translated in total as a translator.


Some clients believe translators keep track of all sorts of things, e.g. how many words for which and which end-clients, what various kinds of documents, and how many words of each, etc., etc. Well, most of us don't keep track of that. So, just estimate very broadly.


Kevin Fulton
 

jentranslation
Sweden
English to Swedish
TOPIC STARTER
Excel is easy and stuff ;) Sep 26

Teresa Borges wrote:

I make my total at the end of each year on the base of the total of words invoiced. It’s quite easy with an Excel spreadsheet.


Yeah, that'll work! Not looking forward to tallying it all up manually though.


 

jentranslation
Sweden
English to Swedish
TOPIC STARTER
Not keeping track so.. Sep 26

Samuel Murray wrote:

... just estimate very broadly.


Estimating broadly might be my cup of tea. Cheers.


 

jentranslation
Sweden
English to Swedish
TOPIC STARTER
Yum Sep 26

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Do you remember how many pieces of bread you've eaten?


If only...


 

A. & S. Witte
Germany
Local time: 23:49
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
(Annual bottom line, i.e. net sales less business expenses before taxes +10%)/0.09 currency units pw Sep 26

For example, (€ 65,000+10%)/€ 0.09 = 794,444 words translated in that year.

As a very rough guesstimate. (The guesstimate will easily be out by, say, 100,000 words, in particular if you edit third-party translations a lot or still have many direct customers.) Works with CHF, GBP, USD and EUR as long as you reside in the respective currency zone but probably not with AUD, NZD, CAD, JPY, CNY, HKD, NOK, SEK, PLN and TRY.

I cannot vouch for this formula as it's only hom
... See more
For example, (€ 65,000+10%)/€ 0.09 = 794,444 words translated in that year.

As a very rough guesstimate. (The guesstimate will easily be out by, say, 100,000 words, in particular if you edit third-party translations a lot or still have many direct customers.) Works with CHF, GBP, USD and EUR as long as you reside in the respective currency zone but probably not with AUD, NZD, CAD, JPY, CNY, HKD, NOK, SEK, PLN and TRY.

I cannot vouch for this formula as it's only home-grown.

[Edited at 2019-09-26 16:21 GMT]
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Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
 

James Heppe-Smith  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:49
Member (2010)
German to English

Moderator of this forum
Accounts? Sep 26

If you have records of your translation income over the past few years and know your per word rate, you can probably make a good estimation.

Cannot say I have ever been asked for this particular information though. I could work it out from my invoices which mostly have the number of words listed. Would be a pain though.

Good luck with the prospective customer.


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:49
Member
Italian to English
Been translating for nearly twenty years, and... Sep 26

... I think I've been asked this question once!

My advice would be to guess.


Angie Garbarino
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Professionals associations often want to.know Sep 26

I was asked by a translators' association years ago. That's when I started to maintain an excel sheet that automatically calculates all sorts of things. As well as grand total there are totals per main clients, main subject areas and service type. It also calculates words per hour and rate per hour. I use it to populate my invoices so it isn't really an overhead at all.

 

Gitte Hovedskov
Denmark
Local time: 23:49
Member (Mar 2019)
English to Danish
+ ...
I don't need to know Sep 27

My approach to business is the old KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. (Speaking to myself, here, no offence intended).

I only keep track of things that are relevant to me, and I don't need to know the exact (or even rough) number of words that I have translated over the last 20 years. I'm really only interested in the bottom line: How much do I earn?

Why would I bother to maintain spreadsheets with such data? Just in case a potential client wants to know? In my book, it is e
... See more
My approach to business is the old KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. (Speaking to myself, here, no offence intended).

I only keep track of things that are relevant to me, and I don't need to know the exact (or even rough) number of words that I have translated over the last 20 years. I'm really only interested in the bottom line: How much do I earn?

Why would I bother to maintain spreadsheets with such data? Just in case a potential client wants to know? In my book, it is enough to state that I have worked full-time as a professional translator for 20 years, which is what I tell potential clients if they ask.
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Oleksandr Ivanov
Paweł Hamerski
 


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