Do you quote translations of legal certificates per word or per page?
Thread poster: Valentina Piraneo

Valentina Piraneo
Italy
Local time: 22:39
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 1

Sworn translations are most often requested for legal certificates.
So these documents are not in Word format but a Pdf or picture of the original certificates.
I usually apply my rates per word in all translations but I've recently noticed that it's a slow quoting process for sworn translations.
Do you give a price to your clients calculating it per page rather than per word?
Thank you for reading.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Per page, per job Oct 1

Valentina Piraneo wrote:
Sworn translations are most often requested for legal certificates. ... Do you give a price to your clients calculating it per page rather than per word?


I don't do sworn translation but I do sometimes translate certificates, etc. I quote my minimum fee for page 1, and then add about 1/3 of my minimum fee for each additional page, unless it's more than 5 pages and there is a lot of text. It is my understanding that sworn translators often charge a fixed amount per page or per job. However, when agencies ask me to translate such content, they often do a word count themselves via OCR and then try to pay me per word, but that does not take into account having to recreate a rough approximation of the layout and the fact that this sort of work involves additional proofreading steps.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
An hourly rate Oct 1

I do not normally do sworn translations either, but when I am asked to translate the certificates or documents, I often ask for an hourly rate, because the amount of formatting etc. required is often way out of proportion with the small number of words. I give an estimate before I finally agree on the translation, and I set it high, so I can sometimes give a token reduction on the invoice.

If an agency insists on a word count, I go along with it, but charge a formatting fee unless i
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I do not normally do sworn translations either, but when I am asked to translate the certificates or documents, I often ask for an hourly rate, because the amount of formatting etc. required is often way out of proportion with the small number of words. I give an estimate before I finally agree on the translation, and I set it high, so I can sometimes give a token reduction on the invoice.

If an agency insists on a word count, I go along with it, but charge a formatting fee unless it is a very simple document.
Many other documents take at least half an hour, and often more, to set up in a table, so that the client can see how the translation corresponds to the original.
Diplomas and examination certificates can require a lot of research to find out what the school or college calls itself and its study programmes in the target language, or what they were called in the past, even if there are only a very few actual words on the document!

Private and direct clients are not always worried about how the fee is worked out; they just want to know the amount, so it is then up to you to charge an amount that you both can agree on.

Itemise any notary's fees and stamp duties separately, plus time you spend travelling to the notary or other expenses you incur.
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Tina Vonhof
 

Laurent Mercky
France
Local time: 22:39
Member (Jul 2019)
Chinese to French
+ ...
per page Oct 1

Valentina Piraneo wrote:

Sworn translations are most often requested for legal certificates.
So these documents are not in Word format but a Pdf or picture of the original certificates.
I usually apply my rates per word in all translations but I've recently noticed that it's a slow quoting process for sworn translations.
Do you give a price to your clients calculating it per page rather than per word?
Thank you for reading.


About myself, I quote per page for official documents like graduation diplomas or Birth certificates, but pricing can be reviewed if there are too much characters in the original document.
About PDF format, if you change the format to a docx., Office will make the count for you.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:39
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Per page, flat fee or per word Oct 1

I was a sworn translator in Belgium for 20 years, I no longer am since I moved back to Portugal two years ago as there are no sworn translators in my country. In Belgium I used to charge per page or a flat fee for some assignments (driving licenses, diplomas, passports, ID cards, travel authorizations, visas and the like), all the remaining documents were charged per word.

Valentina Piraneo
 

Valentina Piraneo
Italy
Local time: 22:39
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Per page Oct 1

Laurent Mercky wrote:

Valentina Piraneo wrote:

Sworn translations are most often requested for legal certificates.
So these documents are not in Word format but a Pdf or picture of the original certificates.
I usually apply my rates per word in all translations but I've recently noticed that it's a slow quoting process for sworn translations.
Do you give a price to your clients calculating it per page rather than per word?
Thank you for reading.


About myself, I quote per page for official documents like graduation diplomas or Birth certificates, but pricing can be reviewed if there are too much characters in the original document.
About PDF format, if you change the format to a docx., Office will make the count for you.



I like the idea of swapping from "per word" to "per page" for official documents, in order to be able to provide a quicker quote. Manual counting is slow and time consuming.
I normally apply +10 % of the rate for tables, and +10 % for handwritten comments. It is possible to count words from PDF when they come from a Word format, but if the PDF has been originated by the scan or photo of an official document, you can't do that.


 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:39
German to English
+ ...
It depends on length Oct 2

I do certified translations which I think is the Canadian equivalent to sworn translations, or similar. For small documents there is a flat fee, and larger document fees are based on per word. I am subscribed to a service by Adobe which converts PDFs to Word, and this usually gives me a word count. I translate from the PDF, however, since conversions can distort letters and especially, certain numbers.

 

Valentina Piraneo
Italy
Local time: 22:39
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Per page Oct 2

Teresa Borges wrote:

I was a sworn translator in Belgium for 20 years, I no longer am since I moved back to Portugal two years ago as there are no sworn translators in my country. In Belgium I used to charge per page or a flat fee for some assignments (driving licenses, diplomas, passports, ID cards, travel authorizations, visas and the like), all the remaining documents were charged per word.



I like the idea of charging per page as it would help me to provide a quicker quote to clients, word counting on official documents is slow and time consuming. Thank you.


 

Valentina Piraneo
Italy
Local time: 22:39
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Per page or per word ? Oct 2

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

I do certified translations which I think is the Canadian equivalent to sworn translations, or similar. For small documents there is a flat fee, and larger document fees are based on per word. I am subscribed to a service by Adobe which converts PDFs to Word, and this usually gives me a word count. I translate from the PDF, however, since conversions can distort letters and especially, certain numbers.



Thank you Maxi.
Yes, certified and sworn translations are the same. We call them "sworn" in Italy, and they were called "certified" in Ireland when I used to live there. But can you actually do an automated word count on official documents? They are pictures or scans most of the time, also with stamps, signatures and handwritten comments, not to mention tables and special formats that are typical of official documents.


 

Paweł Hamerski
Poland
Local time: 22:39
English to Polish
+ ...
In Poland sworn/certified translations are charged per target character - fixed Oct 2

official rate for official customers (courts, public prosecutors, etc.) and agreed rate (but usually similiar to official one) for other customers.

 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:39
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Templates Oct 2

I charge by the page for certificates and diplomas, and by the hour for transcripts, which have more complex formatting. I can offer price breaks (which I don't explain to the client) if I have on file a similar document that I can use as a template, or if there are multiple identical birth certificates for the same family.

Valentina Piraneo
 

Valentina Piraneo
Italy
Local time: 22:39
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Per page Oct 2

Christine Andersen wrote:

I do not normally do sworn translations either, but when I am asked to translate the certificates or documents, I often ask for an hourly rate, because the amount of formatting etc. required is often way out of proportion with the small number of words. I give an estimate before I finally agree on the translation, and I set it high, so I can sometimes give a token reduction on the invoice.

If an agency insists on a word count, I go along with it, but charge a formatting fee unless it is a very simple document.
Many other documents take at least half an hour, and often more, to set up in a table, so that the client can see how the translation corresponds to the original.
Diplomas and examination certificates can require a lot of research to find out what the school or college calls itself and its study programmes in the target language, or what they were called in the past, even if there are only a very few actual words on the document!

Private and direct clients are not always worried about how the fee is worked out; they just want to know the amount, so it is then up to you to charge an amount that you both can agree on.

Itemise any notary's fees and stamp duties separately, plus time you spend travelling to the notary or other expenses you incur.


I normally apply +10% for tables/special formatting and +10% for handwritten comments
. Most of my clients are private as they find me in the court list, I rarely work for agencies. I agree on extras and I also normally ask for court stamps separetely, and a I apply a flat rate extra for the service which includes my time and petrol, parking space etc. to go to court for sworn translations. So OK I'm happy from now on to keep on going on counting per word for all translations with the exclusion of offical documents that are hard to count per wrd, for which I'll count per page. Thank you


 


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