Rate per word versus rate per 1000 words
Thread poster: Antoinette Verburg

Antoinette Verburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:30
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Oct 5, 2005

Hi all,

An agency has asked me to mention my rate per 1000 words. What could be their reason for not just asking my word rate? Is this just a matter of multiplying by 1000, or is there something I am missing here?


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xxxPuicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:30
Swedish to English
definition of 'word' Oct 5, 2005

Antoinette Verburg wrote:

What could be their reason for not just asking my word rate? Is this just a matter of multiplying by 1000, or is there something I am missing here?


Some translators seem to charge for punctuation, for instance a comma, as being 'words', so that this concept is built into their word rate.
However, if you quote per 1,000 words, you are quoting for one thousand actual words, where punctuation does not enter into the question.
At any rate, that's my understanding of it.
I personally quote per 1,000 words.
Hope this helps,
Mike.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:30
Member
English to French
Just more legible Oct 5, 2005

I suppose it may be more meaningful for some to read GBP58 for 1000 words than GBP0.058/word.
Then if you have 1355 words, you charge 1.355@GBP58.


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
currency Oct 5, 2005

My experience is that this has to do with the currency, as Philippe pointed out. For agencies that pay in GBP I quote per 1000 words, for those that wish to pay in SEK, EUR or USD a quote per word is usually fine.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:30
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some thoughts Oct 5, 2005

Antoinette Verburg wrote:
An agency has asked me to mention my rate per 1000 words. What could be their reason for not just asking my word rate?


My rate per word is EUR 0.075. It's easy for someone to think that I've made a typo with that extra zero. So my rate per 1000 words is EUR 75.00. It just looks cleaner.

However, perhaps this particular client prefers to pay for blocks of text of 1000 words (less than 1000 counts as 1000, in other words). Who knows?


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Victor Potapov
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:30
English to Russian
+ ...
One of the reasons is purely financial. Oct 5, 2005

You see, you normally quote your rate per word in whole cents (eurocents, pence etc.)

You will charge $0.12 or $0.13 but not (as a rule) $0.125 or $0.123.

You sometimes see people from low-wage countries quoting $0.015 per word - but that's beyond the point of our discussion.

However, your quoting in whole cents (pence, eurocents) per word means that your price per 1,000 words changes in $ (Euro, GBP) 10 increments!

On the other hand, it is quite common to see $145 per 1,000 words or GBP58 (as mentioned by a colleague in one of the previous posts).

So there's greater pricing flexibility.

A related example:
In Russia you can charge by the page or by the word (quite rarely). It was truly amazing for me to see that $0.01 change in per-word price is $2.5 per page (there's 240 to 250 Russian words per page), so the leverage is huge - and besides, it is much easier for the customer to discuss cents rather than dollars - the increase "seems smaller", so to say.

So I guess the agencies want to have greater flexibility in price negotiation with you.

Also, even though I have never heard of charging for commas etc. as separate words, this may very well be the case for asking you to quote for 1,000 words implying "words without punctuation marks".

Good luck!


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 08:30
German
+ ...
Just moving the decimal places Oct 5, 2005

Antoinette Verburg wrote:

...Is this just a matter of multiplying by 1000


Yes. Plain and simple. Seems to be a UK custom to not give prices as e.g. 0.075 GBP/word but as 75 GBP/1,000 words.

Regards,
Benjamin


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Antoinette Verburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:30
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Oct 5, 2005

Thank you all for clarifying this.

Kind regards,

Antoinette


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