# Poll: How do you normally calculate your prices?

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Poll: How do you normally calculate your prices?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:23
SITE STAFF
 Mar 5, 2014

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

This poll was originally submitted by Paul Dixon. View the poll results »

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Sharon Toh, MITI MCIL
Singapore
Local time: 00:23
Member (2009)
Chinese to English
+ ...
 Flexible, but boils down to hours Mar 5, 2014

I estimate the time taken and calculate the total price based on my hourly rate multiplied by the estimated number of hours that I'll take.

If clients want me to charge based on any other pricing unit, I'll simply divide the total price by the number of units (whichever is that - source words or whatever) to get the unit price.

For those who don't ask for my unit price, I simply quote a flat rate per project.

I am quite flexible on how to charge.

SO, how do I normally calculate my prices? I think it still boils down to hours.

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Odile Stuart
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:23
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
 standard Mar 5, 2014

The answers are predictable as it is the way quotes are expected by most of the translation providers.

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Tim Drayton
Cyprus
Local time: 18:23
Turkish to English
+ ...
 Other Mar 5, 2014

Whatever the client wishes.
Having said that, my preferred method is to assess the text and quote a set price for the job. Anything else results in commoditisation, which does great harm to our profession but, unfortunately, this is what has been imposed on us.

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Gianluca Marras
Italy
Local time: 17:23
Member (2008)
English to Italian
 source word and page Mar 5, 2014

both, it depends on clients

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Thayenga
Germany
Local time: 17:23
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
 Usually per source word Mar 5, 2014

Aside from a minimum flat rate for small projects and the hourly rate for any revision services.

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Julian Holmes
Japan
Local time: 01:23
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
 Source character Mar 5, 2014

If you are working from J to E.

Here, in Japan, this is the only way to fix volume (rates are flexible and are to be decided between you and the customer), and hence get a customer to issue a PO in line with Japanese law.
If prices (rates) are based on number of finished words, Japanese customers cannot issue a PO since the final count fluctuates according to translator and (according to Japanese law) the price in the PO must be fixed, otherwise the PO is null and valid. HTH

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
 Normally, by source word Mar 5, 2014

with two exceptions: a client (a media group) who prefers being charged by character and another one (medical equipment) with whom I agreed to charge by target word.

Since I started translating over 30 years ago things have changed: in the beginning I charged by page, then by line and about 10 years ago I moved to charging by word.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf
Brazil
Local time: 14:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
 It depends Mar 5, 2014

Plain translation:
- domestic clients - per 1,000 chars w/o spaces, source
- foreign clients - per word, source
- repeated segments are free on jobs over 5,000 words
- NO fuzzy match discounts, ever!

Proofreading:
- as above, but target instead

Sworn translation:
- per 1,000 chars w/o spaces, target (it's the law here in Brazil)

DTP:
- with Infix or PageMaker: per page
- with MS Word: anything outrageously expensive to change the customer's mind
- with any other (client-provided) adequate software: per hour

PowerPoint
- translation per source word
- graphics with embedded text requiring graphic editing, extra per unit, in three complexity levels
- fixing post-translation layout issues: 20~30% of translation cost, optional

Audio/video work:
- per minute of total playing time
- anything involving video files conversion, rendering, etc. has a 15 minutes minimum

Interpreting:
- per hour + expenses

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Tim Drayton
Cyprus
Local time: 18:23
Turkish to English
+ ...
 Another of your games? Mar 5, 2014

Julian Holmes wrote:

If you are working from J to E.

Here, in Japan, this is the only way to fix volume (rates are flexible and are to be decided between you and the customer), and hence get a customer to issue a PO in line with Japanese law.
If prices (rates) are based on number of finished words, Japanese customers cannot issue a PO since the final count fluctuates according to translator and (according to Japanese law) the price in the PO must be fixed, otherwise the PO is null and valid. HTH

Null and valid? That would be null and void, wouldn't it? You are putting is to the test again, I suspect.

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Chris S
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
 Like a plumber Mar 5, 2014

I just think of a number and double it

In my dreams

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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 17:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
 Source word Mar 5, 2014

I have an average to low basic rate. I calculate my prices according to the number of words as counted by MS Word, with no discounts for "fuzzy matches" or reps initially. I may occasionally offer a discount at my own discretion, or be prepared to negotiate terms for special conditions.

My rates have stayed the same since the economic crisis began in 2008, effectively a reduction in real terms, so any would-be fuzzy-wuzzies poking their heads over the parapets had better beware.

[Edited at 2014-03-05 10:12 GMT]

Nothing gets my goat more that starting to read about a job offering 10,000 words which after a paragaph of fudge, tosh, smoke and mirrors is reduced to a fraction of its girth.

[Edited at 2014-03-05 10:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-03-05 10:16 GMT]

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Christine Andersen
Denmark
Local time: 17:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
 Source word Mar 5, 2014

Plus a few other factors that I try to key in with varying success.

Different clients send different types of job, so I try to push my rates up with agencies that predominantly send medical work, for instance, compared with the 'general' ones who send more run-of-the-mill press releases and tourist guides.

Even when I do my very best for a museum (and their catalogues can get quite technical!) I can translate a lot more words per hour than from terse medical records...

For some clients I agree a fee for the job - I agree about commoditising the profession.

Source words and subject area are the best indicator, nevertheless, of how long a job will take, and most clients want to know in advance.

For proofreading I charge by the hour or 33% of my translation rate - or I turn down the job!

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
 You too, Tim, are putting US to the test again, I suspect! Mar 5, 2014

Tim Drayton wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

If you are working from J to E.

Here, in Japan, this is the only way to fix volume (rates are flexible and are to be decided between you and the customer), and hence get a customer to issue a PO in line with Japanese law.
If prices (rates) are based on number of finished words, Japanese customers cannot issue a PO since the final count fluctuates according to translator and (according to Japanese law) the price in the PO must be fixed, otherwise the PO is null and valid. HTH

Null and valid? That would be null and void, wouldn't it? You are putting is to the test again, I suspect.

 .tooltipX { position: relative; display: inline-block; } .tooltipX .tooltiptextX { visibility: hidden; width: 120px; background: linear-gradient(#1CA19F, #016B6A); color: #fff; text-align: center; border-radius: 6px; padding: 5px 0; position: absolute; z-index: 1; top: 125%; left: 50%; margin-left: -59px; opacity: 0; transition: opacity 0.3s; } .tooltipX .tooltiptextX::after { content: ""; position: absolute; bottom: 100%; left: 50%; margin-left: -6px; border-width: 5px; border-style: solid; border-color: transparent transparent #1CA19F transparent; } .tooltipX:hover .tooltiptextX { visibility: visible; opacity: 1; }

Tim Drayton
Cyprus
Local time: 18:23
Turkish to English
+ ...
 Touché Mar 5, 2014

Teresa Borges wrote:

Tim Drayton wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

If you are working from J to E.

Here, in Japan, this is the only way to fix volume (rates are flexible and are to be decided between you and the customer), and hence get a customer to issue a PO in line with Japanese law.
If prices (rates) are based on number of finished words, Japanese customers cannot issue a PO since the final count fluctuates according to translator and (according to Japanese law) the price in the PO must be fixed, otherwise the PO is null and valid. HTH

Null and valid? That would be null and void, wouldn't it? You are putting is to the test again, I suspect.

Touché

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