Option to set prices per character, not per word, please
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:03
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Apr 4, 2005

I have been struggling with this for a while, and decided to bring it up.
I searched the forum archives, and found that Philip Ronan brought up soemthing similar 3 years ago:

It is still a problem, that prices in job postings, bids, and rate settings on our personal ProZ page can only be done "per word".
I translate from Japanese, and all of my clients pay based on the number of characters in the source document. This is the standard way of quoting, unless the source is a hardcopy where getting exact character count for the source is not practical, or impossible.
In my profile, I have set my rates to a "per word" value, which means target word (approximately 2.5 times the "per source character" price), and I used the "Other pricing" field for submitting the per character price in my bids, and explained it in the bid text. This is a workaround, but it is not good enough, for the following reasons:

1. Not everybody submits their bids this way, some people enter their "per character" price directly to the "per word" field. If the outsourcer compares the bids based on the main price quote, my bid may show for example 0.12, and another may show 0.05, even though both of us work for the same price. Depending on how the outsourcer interprets this, I may be at disadvantage.

2. Outsourcers cannot enter the price in their job posting based on the number of characters. I have seen postings for example with USD 0.07 per word, where the outsourcer meant 0.07 per character (confirmed via email with the outsourcer). They had no option entering the price "per character", so they simply put the price there, without converting it to "per word".
This causes two problems:
A: the job posting is confusing
B: People who set their prices based on the "per word" calculation, cannot bid on such jobs, because the posted rate seems to be below their minimum price. (Even though it may not be, it is simply in a different unit.)

The solution would be to make the basis of the price selectable, not only "per word".
There are certain languages where "per word" is not useful, as "per character" is the standard way of pricing.

Furthermore, an option to select the base as "source" or "target" would be nice.
If we could set multiple rates with different base unit for a given language pair, such as "per source character" and "per target word", and give the same option for the outsourcers in their job postings, that would be even nicer.
Then, if a job is posted with a price "per character", the system could compare my rate "per character"; if a job is posted with a price "per word", the system could compare my rate "per word"; and decide to let me bid or not based on the correct unit.

Is there any hope to get this resolved?


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:03
English to German
+ ...
Work in progress Apr 5, 2005

Hi Katalin,
Thanks for the reminder; ProZ.com staff are currently working on a revamped Job Posting Form - I will alert them to your posting.

Best regards,


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Option to set prices per character, not per word, please

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