# Poll: How do you usually calculate your rates?

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Poll: How do you usually calculate your rates?

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:24
SITE STAFF
 Jul 17, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you usually calculate your rates?".

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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 06:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
 Per source word Jul 17, 2013

'Nuff said.

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 06:24
French to English
 Source word Jul 17, 2013

The logic behind this choice is that this is the "raw material" the client is asking me to transform. The number of words, thus volume, can be agreed upon at the outset. To do otherwise means working with the unknown and I don't like that.

In the past, some tried to use target number of words, working on the basis that English uses fewer words than French. Sometimes true, but not always. When it worked in their favour, they said nothing; when it worked out in my favour, however lightly, they protested. I don't work with this type of client any more.

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Tim Drayton
Cyprus
Local time: 07:24
Turkish to English
+ ...
 Other Jul 17, 2013

In fact, I can charge on any basis the client wishes, but I see from an analysis of the invoices that I have issued so far this year that the method I have used most frequently is setting a fixed fee quoted in advance following examination of the source text (my favourite method, actually, and the one that I think is fairest), with target word count in second place and source word count in third place. I have used no other measures so far this year.

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Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:24
Member
German to English
+ ...
 Words / lines / thousand words Jul 17, 2013

I voted other, as I normally calculate my rates based on what the customer wants to pay me. Sometimes that is words or thousand words, sometimes lines (55 characters). Some are based on source word counts and some on target counts.

If I were quoting to a customer who had never used translation services, I would probably quote based on the source word.

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Melanie Maiwald-Meylahn
Germany
Local time: 06:24
English to German
+ ...
 Per source word Jul 17, 2013

I usually charge per source word.

But for direct clients, especially for private persons, I often quote a flat rate per project. I just think this is most comprehensible for people who don't frequently assign translations.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:24
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
 Per source word Jul 17, 2013

except for one customer (a media group): per target character (responding to their wishes)...

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Allison Wright (X)
Portugal
Local time: 05:24
 Per source word Jul 17, 2013

If the customer wants this rate expressed as per line, per thousand words, or per hour in a quotation or on an invoice, then I will do so. *My* calculation, however, is per source word.

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Enrico Zoffoli
Italy
Local time: 06:24
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
 Per source word, but... Jul 17, 2013

...the rate per source word is in turn calculated on the basis of how much I want to/can earn per hour.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf
Brazil
Local time: 02:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
 It depends Jul 17, 2013

For domestic clients:
per "standard page" (called 'lauda') comprising 1,000 source chars without spaces of source text.

For foreign clients:
per source word.

For any sworn translation:
per "standard page" (called 'lauda') comprising 1,000 source chars without spaces of target text, as prescribed by Brazilian law (which sets statutory rates).

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Filipa Plant dos Santos
Portugal
Local time: 05:24
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
 Source word Jul 17, 2013

Allison Wright wrote:

If the customer wants this rate expressed as per line, per thousand words, or per hour in a quotation or on an invoice, then I will do so. *My* calculation, however, is per source word.

Me too!

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Augusta Habas
France
Local time: 06:24
Italian to French
+ ...
 usually per source word but it depends Jul 17, 2013

I am pretty surprise of the result of the pool so far.
Depending on the client, I can use rates per standard page, per source line, per target word too (when the source doc is a PDF image for example and I don't want to waste time counting the source words), or per hour/whole work.

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Sheila Wilson
Spain
Local time: 05:24
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
 Source word for translating, but it's the hourly rate that's important Jul 17, 2013

Like others, I'm happy to quote any way that the client and I agree on. For translation, I know how long it will take me to translate N words normally. If it looks particularly difficult for any reason, I'll have to charge a higher per-word rate, but what I'm really doing is covering for the fact that it will take more time. Likewise, if it's a do-it-in-my-sleep text, I can afford to quote a lower per-word rate.

But I can't lower my hourly rates and maintain the same standard of living (assuming I'm getting enough work). Those 24 hours in each day are an absolute, and when the business equals one person, there's absulutely no way round that fact of life.

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Christine Andersen
Denmark
Local time: 06:24
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
 Source word Jul 17, 2013

But I have been thinkikng a lot lately about whether there might be some better way of expressing it.

As others have already mentioned, to clients who are not accustomed to buying translation services, a flat rate for the project might seem more reasonable.

Source words (or target words) sound so much like a commodity - like selling groceries by the pound or kilo, or nuts and bolts by the dozen.

Really, while the number of words may be a useful internal measure, words are not the same like a grains of rice. The quote should indicate the work involved - quoting by the hour is not always easy, but it might make a better impression on the client.

It might make it easier for them to understqand why we charge so much for a couple of hundred words on a piece of paper.

We should measure our work in value to the client, and then they might be happer about paying reasonable rates!

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Mónica Algazi
Uruguay
Local time: 02:24
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
 It depends Jul 17, 2013

Per source word in general, per standard page (54 lines) for certified translations.

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### Poll: How do you usually calculate your rates?

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