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question concerning productivity

English translation: 2,331 words !!! (UN productivity, average for all languages))

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16:05 Jan 8, 2001
Spanish to English translations [Non-PRO]
Spanish term or phrase: question concerning productivity
This is not a question concerning terminology, but rather productivity, and I hope you don't mind my using this forum to pose this question: How many words per day (polished text) can a Spanish to English translator reasonably be expected to produce, in the case of texts presenting few terminological problems and with which the translator is already familiar??? Thanks in advance for your input.
Rebecca Jowers
Spain
Local time: 00:08
English translation:2,331 words !!! (UN productivity, average for all languages))
Explanation:

1.
2000 words per day is what some say an experienced professional translator can do on average. I think it depends on the individual, the subject matter and the language combination. Some people using dictation software can achieve 8-10,000 words per day. It depends on the individual. As a free agent it is up to you to decide how much you want to work. There is no failure involved - it's just a personal decision.

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.translatortips.com/...

2. Some answers to a similar ProZ question:

a.this is really a question only you can answer. Each translator has a different daily output. You should set your targets at what you are able to do to the best of your ability...and don't let anyone put added pressure on you. I believe that accuracy should never be compromised and if a client wants a good job, they should be willing to allow you adequate time. I would never ask a translator to translate more than 2000 words per working day.

b.I agree fully with the sentiment of Claire's comment, but obviously it has loads to do with content, difficulty and frequency. If you have very similar type texts, I would bump it up to 3000 words/day

AND MOST INTERESTING OF ALL:
3.
A conscientious translator cannot translate more than five or six double space A4 pages per day. At the UN, the fastest translation unit, the English one, has an average productivity, per translator, of 2331 words per day. The slowest are the Chinese, with an average daily productivity of 843 words. The medium one is the French unit, with an average of 1517 words. ("English unit" means: those who translate from other languages into English; x words means so many words in the original text). [3, table 9].

The average of 7000 words a day per translator at the Council of Ministers of the European Union, quoted in the press [4, p. 6], is not credible for anybody who has been an insider in the translation world. Such a figure is possible only at a very low qualitative level, so low that if it were true, the money earmarked for such translation would be a complete waste. However, facts point to this being a possibility. The first version of the Treaty of Maastricht - a lengthy document (253 pages), and a very important one since it defined the organization of the European Union and all citizens of the member countries were called upon to determine by a vote if they approved or rejected it - had to be withdrawn from all bookstores and libraries because its content varied from one language to the next. The text had to be fully retranslated and reprinted. The cost of the effort involved in doing twice the same work has never been publicly stated.

Interesting Article: Linguistic Communication - A Comparative Field Study by Claude Piron
SEE
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.geocities.com/c_pir...

LOTS more on:
http://www.google.com/search?q=translator words per day aver...

The key's 'conscientious translator'. Output is limited by the work involved -unfamiliar terminology, research, etc. Factors that improve productivity are familiarity, simplicity of theme, tools, liking for the subject and other personal factors.

I personally work on the basis of - as long as I get/the time I have. Ideally, I could commit myself to about 3,000/day but would prefer not to, and would possibly turn down a job that required that, unless other circumstances were ideal (possibilities for concentration, especially).
Selected response from:

xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 00:08
Grading comment
I really appreaciate your comments and interesting statistics on how many words a freelancer can reasonably translate per day. Sorry not to have responded earlier (have been negotiating a contract to do fixed amount of freelance work for a company and haven't been able to get back to Proz until the weekend). Your answer really helped me put it all into perspective. ¡Gracias!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
na2,331 words !!! (UN productivity, average for all languages))xxxLia Fail
na300 per hour x 5 hours = 1,500 words + 1 hour proof-readingMaria McCollum


  

Answers


15 mins
300 per hour x 5 hours = 1,500 words + 1 hour proof-reading


Explanation:
300 words per hour
And working 5 hours
1'500 words.
1 hour researching the subject(reading comprehention)
1 hour proof-reading and cleaning the job ( spell check, grammar check, terminology check ).
For a Freelancer that use conventional methods of translation. Not machine-translation. A lot of translators use machine-aid-translation and then proof-read and change as needed. They are faster and less expensive, the quality is not as good, the knowledge of the material not as accurate.

Maria McCollum
Local time: 18:08
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
karem
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59 mins
2,331 words !!! (UN productivity, average for all languages))


Explanation:

1.
2000 words per day is what some say an experienced professional translator can do on average. I think it depends on the individual, the subject matter and the language combination. Some people using dictation software can achieve 8-10,000 words per day. It depends on the individual. As a free agent it is up to you to decide how much you want to work. There is no failure involved - it's just a personal decision.

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.translatortips.com/...

2. Some answers to a similar ProZ question:

a.this is really a question only you can answer. Each translator has a different daily output. You should set your targets at what you are able to do to the best of your ability...and don't let anyone put added pressure on you. I believe that accuracy should never be compromised and if a client wants a good job, they should be willing to allow you adequate time. I would never ask a translator to translate more than 2000 words per working day.

b.I agree fully with the sentiment of Claire's comment, but obviously it has loads to do with content, difficulty and frequency. If you have very similar type texts, I would bump it up to 3000 words/day

AND MOST INTERESTING OF ALL:
3.
A conscientious translator cannot translate more than five or six double space A4 pages per day. At the UN, the fastest translation unit, the English one, has an average productivity, per translator, of 2331 words per day. The slowest are the Chinese, with an average daily productivity of 843 words. The medium one is the French unit, with an average of 1517 words. ("English unit" means: those who translate from other languages into English; x words means so many words in the original text). [3, table 9].

The average of 7000 words a day per translator at the Council of Ministers of the European Union, quoted in the press [4, p. 6], is not credible for anybody who has been an insider in the translation world. Such a figure is possible only at a very low qualitative level, so low that if it were true, the money earmarked for such translation would be a complete waste. However, facts point to this being a possibility. The first version of the Treaty of Maastricht - a lengthy document (253 pages), and a very important one since it defined the organization of the European Union and all citizens of the member countries were called upon to determine by a vote if they approved or rejected it - had to be withdrawn from all bookstores and libraries because its content varied from one language to the next. The text had to be fully retranslated and reprinted. The cost of the effort involved in doing twice the same work has never been publicly stated.

Interesting Article: Linguistic Communication - A Comparative Field Study by Claude Piron
SEE
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.geocities.com/c_pir...

LOTS more on:
http://www.google.com/search?q=translator words per day aver...

The key's 'conscientious translator'. Output is limited by the work involved -unfamiliar terminology, research, etc. Factors that improve productivity are familiarity, simplicity of theme, tools, liking for the subject and other personal factors.

I personally work on the basis of - as long as I get/the time I have. Ideally, I could commit myself to about 3,000/day but would prefer not to, and would possibly turn down a job that required that, unless other circumstances were ideal (possibilities for concentration, especially).


xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 00:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1368
Grading comment
I really appreaciate your comments and interesting statistics on how many words a freelancer can reasonably translate per day. Sorry not to have responded earlier (have been negotiating a contract to do fixed amount of freelance work for a company and haven't been able to get back to Proz until the weekend). Your answer really helped me put it all into perspective. ¡Gracias!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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