Doubt on the estimated time and price of a translation
Thread poster: Rodrigo Araújo e Castro

Rodrigo Araújo e Castro  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
May 2, 2013

Hello, I'm a freelancer translator, I have recently completed my graduation in English, with an emphasis in translation by UFMG. However, I don't have a lot of experience in it. Recently, I have been asked about the estimate time and the price of a Brazilian Portuguese / English translation of 250 texts of 1000 characters each.

Can anybody advise me in this matter?


Thanks in advance,
Rodrigo

[Edited at 2013-05-02 23:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-05-03 00:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-05-03 00:02 GMT]


 

Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:26
English to French
Look at the files first... May 3, 2013

(1) You are asked to translate INTO English which is not your native language. Reputable agencies will usually not do this. Take a serious look at the files themselves to see if you are really able to do it. Remember your English will no longer be assessed against school standards, but against the standard set by native speakers who write well. If you feel you cannot do the job well, be honest with the agency and tell them you would rather work the other way around. Maybe you are starving and cannot afford to refuse anything, but you will soon realize that your productivity going against the grain is a lot lower...
(2) If you wholeheartedly think you can do it then go ahead. Translation time is very, very personal. It depends on typing skill a bit and on thinking skill a lot more. Typically translators can do from 1500 to 5,000 words per day. Those at 5,000 are exceptional, or they cut corners. Play it safe and ask for 10 business days. That's 25 files per business day so about 2500 words, but you have 4 days of weekends to catch up if you find yourself too slow.

best of luck!


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:26
English to Polish
+ ...
In doubtful cases May 3, 2013

In such hard to assess cases I tend to translate a sample, e.g. one of those tiny little things or however much I can translate within one hour, and go from there. This means the agency needs to wait a bit to hear the deadline but the deadline is more reliable without need of padding.

 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:26
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Don't generalize your national practices, Thomas May 3, 2013

Thomas Rebotier wrote:

(1) You are asked to translate INTO English which is not your native language. Reputable agencies will usually not do this.

Oh yes, they will. It is certainly normal practice in Eastern Europe and I suppose it must be in Brazil. Don't mind him, Rodrigo, this is what happens in the so-called "developed world", I have been going crazy with stupid US and Wester-European agencies not letting me translate into English or French, which I have been doing for 25 years here.
With time, you will get a pretty good idea of your production rate. If you have no experience and are translating into a foreign language, I would not plan on a basis higher than 1000-1500 words per day. Always leave a margin "if things go wrong" - for example, I don't count weekends, and if I am late, I can always work during the weekend to catch up with my schedule.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Answer May 3, 2013

Rodrigo Araújo e Castro wrote:
I don't have a lot of experience in [translation]. ... I have been asked about the estimate time and the price of ... 250 texts of 1000 characters each.


The fact that you have very little experience means that it will take longer for you to do the translation. You should estimate about 1 or 1.5 hours for each of the 250 texts.

What you should not do, however, is to give the client a low rate just because you're new. Charging a low rate sets you up in unfair competition with more experienced colleagues. Charge the rate that other, more experienced translators would have charged.


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:26
Russian to English
+ ...
Native or not, I think it is worth --$25-35 May 3, 2013

I think this is what you should charge, if you want to consider yourself a professional translator. You have to really do a good job because if you don't the agency will not accept it.

 

Rodrigo Araújo e Castro  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the response May 15, 2013

Thank you the responses and sorry for the enormous delay; too many things are happening at the same time right now.

I'll keep what you said in mind for the next translations.

Thank you VERY MUCH.


 


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