Payment: xxx EUR per byte
Thread poster: Ahmed Alami Aroussi

Ahmed Alami Aroussi
Canada
Local time: 20:33
English to French
Nov 17, 2005

Dear Colleagues,
I received a contract from an agency where payment terms are stated as follows : "x.xx EUR per byte (including spaces)".
Can anybody tell me how bytes are counted in a text? Is there a formula or something that related bytes to words ?
Thank you for your help.


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Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:33
Member (2003)
English to German
character, probably Nov 17, 2005

I think they mean "character" - I checked a dictionary and it seems byte is sometimes used for character. A bit unusual, though. You might check with client

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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:33
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Character Nov 17, 2005

A normal character in ASCII takes up one byte, but for example in Unicode it takes two bytes. Thus characters cannot be equated with bytes. Most likely they meant characters (space being one of them).

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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:33
French to English
+ ...
Strange way to charge for translation Nov 17, 2005

Perhaps it might make sense to charge by the character for ideographic (non-alphabetic) languages like Chinese, but it strikes me as a bizarre way to charge for a French to English translation; you could charge more for translating "la couleur" into UK-style English "colour" than into its American variant which does not have the u.

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Ahmed Alami Aroussi
Canada
Local time: 20:33
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Nov 22, 2005

It was indeed meant "character" by byte. Thank you for your help.

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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:33
French to English
+ ...
Payment by character can make a lot of sense Nov 24, 2005

Even for alphabetic languages, payment by character can be a sensible way to go. I did a FR>EN translation the other day which was very short in terms of words, but which contained a lot of abbreviations which required a great deal of research to get right. My client was good enough to suggest payment by character (a reasonable amount, too), which meant that in the end I was compensated for the time spent.


extrant wrote:

It was indeed meant "character" by byte. Thank you for your help.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 06:33
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Nothing strange :) Nov 24, 2005

In the former USSR, the rates ber byte or Kb are pretty usual. here a Kb of text usually means a page, with `a page' meaning 1800 keystrokes (chars + spaces). The reason is that initially, before computers, a `page' was a size of a text 30 lines per 60 keystrokes per line. In the computer age they found that 2Kb (2048 chars) are pretty close to a `page'. I mean a simple DOS txt, of course.

The size may be very different when converting into wordcount, from 250 words average per page (2Kb)in Russian to 300 words average per page in English.

Anyway, I would propose you to discuss the matter with the client. The unit of measurement may be convenient only in the case when you work in the simple DOS txt format. In other cases (like Word .doc format, not mentioning Excel or PowerPoint) it's totally senseless, so it's better to discuss the point and to find a more appropriate way to measure the source or target text to be translated.


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