How do you calculate your rates when translating source code?
Thread poster: Giuliana Maltempo

Giuliana Maltempo
Argentina
Local time: 07:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 19, 2019

My question concerns how do you provide your client with an estimate budget.

As you may know, telling how many words there are to translate in a computer code (be it for software UI or for a webpage) is not an easy task. I don't trust CAT tools. I have tried running the same stretch of code on different tools and each returned a different wordcount, sometimes well over 300% more or less words.

Of course, that is not the only problem. Not all of the words need to be tra
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My question concerns how do you provide your client with an estimate budget.

As you may know, telling how many words there are to translate in a computer code (be it for software UI or for a webpage) is not an easy task. I don't trust CAT tools. I have tried running the same stretch of code on different tools and each returned a different wordcount, sometimes well over 300% more or less words.

Of course, that is not the only problem. Not all of the words need to be translated, but you cannot tell until you have read the code. On the other hand, some tools skip tags or lines that do need to be translated or modified in some way. Besides these, there are many other tasks the translator/localizer can perform that should be charged.

Do you think charging per line of code would be a good approach? (provided the code follows a one-statement-per-line formatting)
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
@Giuliana Dec 19, 2019

Giuliana Maltempo wrote:
Do you think charging per line of code would be a good approach? (provided the code follows a one-statement-per-line formatting)


I understand your reluctance to trust CAT tools, but I think that that is the most reasonable way to go anyway: you have to get a CAT tool (or other tool or method) that extracts all of the translatable text from the code, so that you can count it. If the code is non-standard or if there is no tool that can extract the code automatically, then you simply have to take time to figure out how to extract the code manually, e.g. using find/replace with regular expressions.

Charging per line of code is not practical, because some lines are short and others are long.

Say, which file format are you talking about here?


 

Giuliana Maltempo
Argentina
Local time: 07:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Samuel Dec 19, 2019

Samuel Murray wrote:

some lines are short and others are long.

Yes, but take for instance the case of subtitling: in a video there may be stretches with lots of dialogue and stretches without any. Yet subtitling works are charged per minute of videos (the subtitler may apply a discount afterwards if s/he considers it adequate).

Is it too far-fetched to use the line as a minimal unit to estimate our rates, in a similar way to how subtitlers charge per minute?

Say, which file format are you talking about here?

I'm not thinking of any particular format. In general, CAT tool wordcounts tend to differ greatly from the actual amount of translatable words.
Say, for instance, an html webpage that has a php module for sending automated e-mails (which is very common nowadays). A CAT tool would simply ignore the php, although it may have translatable strings as variables. In the end you still have to go over all the lines to make sure everything has been translated.


 


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How do you calculate your rates when translating source code?

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