Per word or per hour
Thread poster: Steve Booth

Steve Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:03
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Nov 6, 2007

Is it better to charge per word or per hour? I find a per hour rate covers all because if the translation is more technical then it takes longer and seems to equate to an increased per word rate but from looking around most agencies seem to want a rate per 1000 words.


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
Per Word is the Norm Nov 6, 2007

With most translation, with the exception of unusual circumstances, per word is the norm.

You figure out how difficult it is then quote by the word. The client often wants a commitment in advance.


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Do a forum search... Nov 8, 2007

Emandan wrote:
Is it better to charge per word or per hour? and further.


Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:03
German to English
+ ...
Depends on the country Nov 8, 2007

Are you working with UK agencies? I believe they use a per-1,000-words rate. In the US, it's just a straight per-word rate (some use the source, some the target count). In Germany, it's lines - usually a line = 55 characters including spaces. Some countries use the page as a measure and pages are defined in different ways.

I would go with words, but you could, for example, charge a higher rate for certain types of translation. Also, I charge hourly for changes, editing, etc. Many people have "mixed" rates like this.


Fabiana Zardo  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:03
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In Brazil Nov 15, 2007

In Brazil, we rate per page ou per character. We also do it per word, but I don't like that very much.

I think that here, people think we would overate if we charged per hour (like we have time to spare!!!!). It varies from country to country.

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Per word or per hour

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