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Need help with quoting, please.
Thread poster: Stevo Perisic
Stevo Perisic
Local time: 21:00
English to Bosnian
+ ...
Oct 5, 2007

Hello everybody,
My name is Stevo Perisic, I'm fairly new to translating and I need some help with quoting/pricing. What do You charge for Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and French per written word? Context of the text is varied.

Thank You!


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:00
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Your question is far too vague Oct 5, 2007

Context of the text is varied.

The rates are also varied then.


No, jokes apart, you may be fairly new to this profession but still you must understand that there is no chance to get a straight answer, a definite figure, for a request that is so vague.

A rate varies not only depending on the source and target language, but also according to the quality required, the audience of the text, the difficulty or specialization of the subject, its format, the payment conditions, the time available to deliver the translation, the experience of the translator, and much else.

Only once all these parameters are known, then you may still get a range of different quotes, but at least the terms of the request are known.

bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2007-10-05 21:23]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:00
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I don't quite understand... Oct 5, 2007

You say you have been in the profession 15 years?

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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:00
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
That is definitely strange Oct 5, 2007

You have doubts in quoting after 15 years in the profession??

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

You say you have been in the profession 15 years?


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Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 14:00
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
15 years Oct 6, 2007

Elisabete Cunha wrote:

You have doubts in quoting after 15 years in the profession??

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

You say you have been in the profession 15 years?


you know, I personally started doing translation on and off 10 years ago, and it was always as a hobby or along my other jobs. I never gave a quote before. People used to come and say "can you translate this document, we give ??? dollars, Rials, ... and I said "OK" . Or they said "we give you book voucher or petrol voucher, can you do this translation? and I used to say "OK". But it was just for fun, eventhough my BA and all my study was "translation". I never considered "TRANSLATION" as a job to be honest. Now, I've started to do it as a full time job since August 2007 and now I am learning how to start after 10 years. Even giving a quote is a mystry.

cheers
Atena


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 03:00
Dutch to English
Rates Oct 6, 2007

I've been translating for 14 years and work fulltime for a translation agency specialising in legal and financial texts, but also freelance on the side.
To give you just one example of pricing: the agency I work for charges EUR .022 p.w. for Dutch to English (clients mostly law firms and banks). (For Chinese and Japanse, we charge around EUR .035 and up per word).

One of my freelance clients (I always work with agencies) charges EUR 0.14 for Dutch-English.

As you can see, rates vary depending on many factors, including how uncommon your languages are.

One thing I would suggest is contacting other translators in the same language pairs and ask them what they charge. It isn't being nosy, and you might even meet someone you can work with in the future. Once you have enough information, you should set a minimum rate per word for yourself, and stick to it.

Good luck


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Less than for Bosnian, I guess Oct 6, 2007

Stevo Perisic wrote:
What do You charge for Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and French per written word?


I see you do mainly English to Bosnian. I suspect the rates for English to Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and French would be quite a bit lower than for English to Bosnian, because they are more common languages and there are more translators translating them.

However, I don't think you should undersell yourself -- charge the same as you would for English to Bosnian.

There may be many translators, but there are also many clients, and the price is but one small part of the deciding factor for repeat clients.


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:00
German to English
+ ...
To Astrid Oct 6, 2007

Where did you get the 15 years? Stevo said he was new to translating.

Trudy


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:00
English to Polish
+ ...
To Trudy Oct 6, 2007

Trudy Peters wrote:
Where did you get the 15 years? Stevo said he was new to translating.
Trudy


I bet Astrid got it from Stevo's profile?

Stevo, I also wonder why you're asking for Chinese, Japanese rates, since you don't mention these languages in your profile.
In any case, all the best
Ewa


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Stevo Perisic
Local time: 21:00
English to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
to answer the concerns Oct 7, 2007

Evonymus wrote:

Trudy Peters wrote:
Where did you get the 15 years? Stevo said he was new to translating.
Trudy


I bet Astrid got it from Stevo's profile?

Stevo, I also wonder why you're asking for Chinese, Japanese rates, since you don't mention these languages in your profile.
In any case, all the best
Ewa


I have 15 years of experience translating between English and Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian. I have translated French for about 3 years, but only in Europe,, not the USA (the rates seem to vary a lot). The same goes for Czech.
Now why am I asking. I'm starting a new translating company, that will primarily operate online, and use online resources like this very helpful portal for translators. I am gathering people who have not been exposed to other languages, mainly in the USA, and offering those services (i.e. translation of their web site content, e-books, manuals, etc.). Therefore I am asking to gauge the price range for Chinese and Japanese, since those are very popular languages on the internet.
If anybody is interested in working with me on this project let me know.

Thank You all so much for the concern and Your help.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:00
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Get a lot of "real" experience first Oct 8, 2007

Stevo Perisic wrote:
...
I have 15 years of experience translating between English and Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian. I have translated French for about 3 years, but only in Europe,, not the USA (the rates seem to vary a lot). The same goes for Czech.
Now why am I asking. I'm starting a new translating company...


Dear Stevo,

you are 26 years old (in your profile you provide the information that you are born in 1981), and claiming 15 years of translation experience.
That would start your translation experience at 11 years of age!!

Studying or living in several countries is not "translation experience", it is only, well, just that: studying and living in several countries.
It is good for having some familiarity with more than one language, but it is still not translation. And definitely not professional experience.

A professional experience, let's say, of a couple of years (sufficient to have a little introduction to the business) working as a translator, and paid for your output, either as a freelancer or as a staff translator in an agency, would have made your question not necessary, and the question's vagueness is a clear indicator that you have little experience and little knowledge about the translation business.

I would give you a friendly recommendation: before starting a translation business, with all connected risks for you, your customers and your vendors, and to put it on the right foot, translate first for a while or, even better, get employed as a translator or as a project manager in an agency.

You will learn that this business is a bit more complicated than you may think, at least judging from the kind of questions you have asked.

Just to mention a simple concept related to your question. Understanding a translation project, and quoting for it, can be very complex and even very experienced project managers, people with 15 years of REAL experience is the business, supported by other managers in the same company, can get it wrong.
A large translation business may easily absorb the mistake, or some kind of mistakes, but imagine the consequences for a start-up agency, or for you personally...

So, believe me, better get real experience first, understand thoroughly the business in its many aspects, before plunging in and run an agency. That will come, if not at 26, you can do it at 30, or 35, and you may be glad to have 5-10 years of experience when you do it. For a start, you will have no need to ask this kind of questions in a forum.


bye
Gianfranco


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Stevo Perisic
Local time: 21:00
English to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just needed a little help. Oct 8, 2007

Why are you guys in such a bad mood? I taught it was a legitimate question and just wanted some help. If you don't want to give out information on how much to charge someone for translation, that's ok.
The idea is to get some more jobs and contracts for the people here, not to take away your business.
And ultimately, if I am a rookie to this business that's ok too, but that fact does not make me less proficient in the languages I do speak.

Or maybe is it the fact that I don't pay my membership? Maybe I should do that for others to take me seriously?

Some people just don't have the money for it, especially when one is trying to bootstrap a business.

So apologies to everyone, I won't ask "vague" and "unnecessary" questions again.


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Stevo Perisic
Local time: 21:00
English to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Changed profile Oct 8, 2007

I have changed my profile to reflect my inexperience, hope that now I could get some answers if i have a question, rather than talk about how I don't know what I'm doing.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:00
English to German
+ ...
Help us to help you Oct 8, 2007

Stevo,
Frankly, I don't see any reason to get upset here.


And ultimately, if I am a rookie to this business that's ok too, but that fact does not make me less proficient in the languages I do speak.

I don't think anyone questioned your proficiency - but it would have been helpful if you had presented the 'full picture' right from the start.


Or maybe is it the fact that I don't pay my membership? Maybe I should do that for others to take me seriously?

In my experience with this forum in particular (which I have been moderating - and hence, monitoring closely - for several years now), there is no difference in the responses to queries by members or users. However, most of the participants prefer to be very straightforward (as you will have noticed...) - personally, I like that a lot.

Some people just don't have the money for it, especially when one is trying to bootstrap a business.

Off-topic as far as your original question and follow-up info are concerned: but if the annual fee even for a corporate membership is an issue, I would seriously re-consider the business plan. In my opinion, a tool such as Connect would be extremely useful as you build a team of providers you work with, as it allows you to target high-quality providers in a very targeted manner.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Don't worry about it Oct 9, 2007

Stevo Perisic wrote:
Why are you guys in such a bad mood?


Some people are just naturally grouchy. They don't mean to be rude. I'm sure you can learn from their statements even though you mean not feel comfortable with their critical outlook on life, the universe and everything.

Personally I thought it was rather clear from your original post and from looking at your profile that you were intending to start a translation business after having been a translator for some time already, and that you were "new" to the industry in that sense.


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