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Poll: How do you prefer to be paid?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 18:59
Dec 15, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you prefer to be paid?".

This poll was originally submitted by ryancolm

View the poll here

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xanthippe  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
Member (2008)
Italian to French
+ ...
by volume >>> word Dec 15, 2008

I prefer to be paid by source word.


Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:59
Turkish to English
+ ...
Quote for the whole assigment Dec 15, 2008

My preferred method is to study the text and make a binding quote for the assigment as a whole. It is not an option that I am frequently able to exercise, given the way our business has turned itself into a commodity priced at x per word/line/page regardless of the subject matter, level of difficulty or the kind of translation required.


Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
German to English
+ ...
by source word Dec 15, 2008

I generally prefer to be paid by source word as I feel it's the easiest and fairest way to measure the quantity of work. How long I take to do the work is up to me (as long as I keep to the deadline), whereas the number of words is something very concrete that I can quickly measure and quote to my client.


Izabela Szczypka  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
English to Polish
+ ...
Depends Dec 15, 2008

On the job, of course.
With editable documents, I prefer per source word rate - simplest and fastest.
With non-editable, I usually offer per hour rate.
With sworn translations, I am legally obliged in Poland to charge by target word, which is a pity because 1. the customer can never be sure how much he's going to pay unless it's a standard certificate for which I can give him the usual number of target words; 2. I cannot charge for any formatting work, which sometimes takes as long as the translation itself.


Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
Italian to English
+ ...
Don't really care Dec 15, 2008

I suppose I prefer to be paid by the hour, but this is usually only an option for revisions and not always for those. I'm not really fussed - I'm happy to agree to whatever charging method the client prefers, and adjust my rate accordingly.

[Edited at 2008-12-15 15:44 GMT]


Brandis (X)
Local time: 03:59
English to German
+ ...
If time consuming... Dec 15, 2008

Hi! Due to formats or graphics and or pre-processing, pre-formating, copy editing, OCR etc., if the project is time consuming then hourly rate is my choice. Whereas in case of fully editable files, i do on word count basis. BR Brandis


Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
depends on the type of work Dec 15, 2008

I prefer to be paid by volume for translation: line counts actually work quite well, and I prefer them to word counts. These aren't MSWord's line counts, but the 55 character standard line, which accomodates German compounds rather neatly.

For proofreading, I prefer to be paid by the hour, either with an up-front budget, so I know how little time I have, or to be actually paid for the time that it takes to do a good editing job.
I am involved in a long term proofreading/editing project that pays by the word, and IT IS NOT WORTH IT.icon_frown.gif
However, it is for a dear friend of mine, so I will continue.


Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:59
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

I guess it must depend on the language Dec 15, 2008

Except for official translations which I charge a standard fee by "foja" (basically a standard page), I always bill translations by source word counts and other types of tasks by the hour.

For example, if a project involves translating text on image files or some other sort of task that takes a long time, I will bill source word count + hours for "other tasks".

However, I was recently asked to handle a German-Spanish translation (not my working languages, a fact that my client knew) and was surprised to see that I was offered payment by number of target keystrokes.

Although I guess it depends on your working languages, it's not surprising to see that most translators are happy to bill by volume.

Have a great day!



Terry Richards
Local time: 03:59
French to English
+ ...
On time Dec 15, 2008

and generouslyicon_smile.gif



Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
By volume for translation, by the hour for the rest Dec 15, 2008

I have invested time, money and effort to improve my skills and resources, so my translation speed has increased, and my hourly rate has not followed this increase.

By for formatting, proofreading, etc. I prefer to charge by the hour, to avoid surprises.



Interlangue (X)
Local time: 03:59
English to French
+ ...
EU count... Dec 15, 2008

... is my favourite: pages - 1500 source characters, no spaces. They count and never cheated me!
No sore feelings about long words (a majority in some texts) being paid as little as short ones - which in turn may seem generously paid...


Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:59
Italian to English
+ ...
by word, as you know where you are.. Dec 15, 2008

Some agencies have asked me for quotes per page or per line, which always seems odd to me, as the number of pages/lines in a text depends partly on the formatting (font size, spacing, etc.) whereas the number of words does not, so it seems clearer and fairer to charge by word.

In terms of charging by the hour (for translation, as opposed to interpreting, I mean), I feel that if I take on a translation in an area which I'm not expert on (e.g. to broaden my experience), then charging by the hour would be slightly unfair on the client, tantamount to asking them to pay for my education as well as the specific translation service that they want. And it's not always at all easy to tell how long something will take before you get your teeth into it!


Local time: 21:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
I prefer wordrates Dec 15, 2008

I prefer wordrates as my standard document delivery format is in MS Office Word


Steve Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:59
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
hour, source word or target word Dec 15, 2008

A difficult question i prefer to be paid by the hour on some jobs which lend themselves better to that way of paying than a word rate it does require a good deal iof trust from the compnay employing you but if you take too long over somethng they may not employ you again. I generally find that on a hourly rate the company dips in on a word rate i dip in but sometimes it is the other way round

I suppose overall i ma happy as long as i get paid what i consider suitable remuneration for the job

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