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Poll: How many source words have you translated since this time last year? (total, all pairs)
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:55
SITE STAFF
Sep 5, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many source words have you translated since this time last year? (total, all pairs)".

This poll was originally submitted by Peter Shortall

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't know?! Sep 5, 2006

How can anyone be running a business and not know how much they did in the last year?

It boggles the mind.

--
Dyran


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
One solution for "pure" translators Sep 6, 2006

Take your income tax declaration of last year and divide it by your rate. Or better: take your invoicing ledgers, add income from September to September and divide it by your rate.

Interpreters or translator-interpreters may have some problems with this, but documentation time considered, I daresay it'll square with an approximately reliable figure.

Interesting results, hmmm...


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:55
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Maybe not precisely... Sep 6, 2006

Dyran Altenburg wrote:

How can anyone be running a business and not know how much they did in the last year?

It boggles the mind.

--
Dyran


They may mean they don't know precisely... in order to provide an answer I had to estimate based on my total invoiced amount last year: otherwise I could have done it, but it would have taken more time that is warranted for a simple survey such as this.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:55
I am also surprised by the ones who do not know... Sep 6, 2006

I mean, I do not know exactly how many words I have translated to this day, but I do know I translate an average of 10,000 words per month, without counting editing jobs, so I can provide an estimate real quick.

[Edited at 2006-09-06 00:28]


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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:55
Member
French to English
+ ...
If "don't know", why? Sep 6, 2006

It would be nice to hear people's reasons for selecting "don't know"... whether this was because you just didn't have a precise figure or you were unable to estimate which of the ranges your total would fall in, I'd still be interested to know why that was.


[Edited at 2006-09-06 00:43]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Checks and balances Sep 6, 2006

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:
They may mean they don't know precisely... in order to provide an answer I had to estimate based on my total invoiced amount last year: otherwise I could have done it, but it would have taken more time that is warranted for a simple survey such as this.


I stand by what I said.

How else can anyone tell whether they have a successful business or just a so-so outfit?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

--
Dyran
(who keeps very precise records since 1972... just a couple of clicks away)


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:55
French to English
Speaking as a "Don't know"... Sep 6, 2006

The curious thing is that, having voted after just 47 votes were cast, I wondered why on earth anyone would care how many words they translated, and nearly posted a question along those very lines.

Dyran Altenburg wrote:

How else can anyone tell whether they have a successful business or just a so-so outfit?


Because I judge the success of my business in terms of revenue, not volume of words.

I could, if I wanted, calculate the number of words, since I keep records of the amount (in money) for each job and the rate that applied to each job, so I could divide one by the other, but frankly, I can't see the purpose. Plus which, to do so for the period asked for would require me to play with the spreadsheets for two financial years, and I can't be bothered. I've got work to do Furthermore, the stats would be incomplete, 'cos it wouldn't take account of proof-reading, which also earns money, let's not forget.

I find the way I keep records quite adequate, thanks very much. I could tell you exactly how much I earned each month since I started, the number of clients involved (i.e. making sure I don't have all eggs in one basket), and lots of other fascinating data (:-)). But not the number of words.

Perhaps someone would care to reveal to me exactly WHY knowing how many words I've translated is so vital?


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 02:55
English to Russian
+ ...
I don't know but QuickPro does:-) Sep 6, 2006

I am translator-interpreter with the emphasis on the latter. The count should not be too impressive but if I ever needed the precise number of words I would ask QuickPro to sort by job types. Other than that, weekly/monthly/yearly bottom lines rule.

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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 05:55
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
What is a word anyway? Sep 6, 2006

"The curious thing is that, having voted after just 47 votes were cast, I wondered why on earth anyone would care how many words they translated, and nearly posted a question along those very lines....

Because I judge the success of my business in terms of revenue, not volume of words.
"

I do too. Money goes in the bank; words do not. Anyway, I see counting words as a mere estimate of the work we do as translators. How can you really compare a word like and with transmogrify? What about those words that appear in documents that are the same in both source and target languages that require no translating or typing at all?

There are so many factors that escape the total number of words translated that cannot always be measured or billed.

Reed


[Edited at 2006-09-06 02:19]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Right Sep 6, 2006

Reed D. James wrote:

What is a word anyway?

"The curious thing is that, having voted after just 47 votes were cast, I wondered why on earth anyone would care how many words they translated, and nearly posted a question along those very lines....

Because I judge the success of my business in terms of revenue, not volume of words.
"

I do too. Money goes in the bank; words do not. Anyway, I see counting words as a mere estimate of the work we do as translators. How can you really compare a word like and with transmogrify? What about those words that appear in documents that are the same in both source and target languages that require no translating or typing at all?

There are so many factors that escape the total number of words translated that cannot always be measured or billed.

Reed


I think "word" was taken as a unit of income. (I take it to mean that, anyway). Since I base hour rates on lucrum cessans, it's about the same for me. (I.e., I'd earn the same proofreading on my proofreading rates as when I translate). Now, I used to think that interpreting naturally meant more income, but the fact is that documentation and specialization in interpretation are factors you "pay" for, in the sense that you can only afford to consider interpreting rates as net income when you've invested practically the same time in research as you would have done on a standard translation in the specialized field and combination for years.



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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
I see it as useless information... Sep 6, 2006

Sure, I could divide my income by my per word rate, but what would that mean? I also edit, proofread, do on-site verfications and consultings work... by the hour, sometimes, and on a per word rate, sometimes. How would all that fit into the "words translated" statistic?

What really matters is what goes in the bank.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Keeping track Sep 6, 2006

Charlie Bavington wrote:
Perhaps someone would care to reveal to me exactly WHY knowing how many words I've translated is so vital?


I see it as a part of a whole.

I have charts and graphs for pretty much any and all aspects of my business.

In other words, output (converted into characters, value, time, whatever) is one of the many things I keep track of. Took me two clicks to find the info.

Now, if someone answered "I don't know" meaning "not off the top of my head", well that's just daft.

;P

--
Dyran


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 00:55
English to French
+ ...
Don't know... and don't care Sep 6, 2006

Actually, I'm trying to translate less words for more money if that makes sense.

Basically, the number of words I've translated is irrelevant, that's not how I measure the success of my business -or lack thereof. I measure it in terms of dollars and cents. At the end of the day, it's all that matters to me.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:55
English to German
+ ...
I don't know because: Sep 6, 2006

I am also offering typesetting and web site formatting together with my translations, which is charged separately and at serious hourly rates. Keeping track of the word count doesn't make much sense in this case.

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