Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Cost per word

Ace Contributor
Lars S Member Since: Jul 19, 2015
1 of 47

To those of you who are doing translation. What do you cost per word? Translation and proofreading.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 47

Lars, a well-known translation site gives a minimum of $0.09 per word and a standard rate of $0.12 per word.

 

It is unlikely that you will get that here, though you could try! A lot depends too on the type of text and the length.

I think you should be charging a minimum of $0.07 per word for translation, but it also depends on the complexity of your text and its length. I tend to charge slightly less from 10,000 words on, and I have a set rate for 500 words and under.

 

As to proofreading, it all depends what you mean by this. In the B & M world of publishing, it is the final part of the editing process. Most clients haven't a clue what the difference is, and often want one to completely revise a text, or edit it, so your  price should reflect the work needed. 

 

The EFA gives a good idea of rates: http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php

 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 47

translation rates vary absolutely wildly on Upwork - there are clients willing to pay from under $ 0.01 per word to $ 0.30 per word and everything in between.

 

It also depens on the language pair.

 

I charge according to complexity and length (a lengthy simple text will cost much less per word than a legal, medical, or very complex translation)

 

Personally I prefer to work hourly, and am not actually doing much (if any) translations at the moment.

 

If I do have to work on a per word (fixed price) basis my rates start around $ 0.02 per word for proofreading (NOT editing)

This widget could not be displayed.
4 of 47
This widget could not be displayed.

@Petra R wrote:

translation rates vary absolutely wildly on Upwork - there are clients willing to pay from under $ 0.01 per word to $ 0.30 per word and everything in between.

 

It also depens on the language pair.

 

I charge according to complexity and length (a lengthy simple text will cost much less per word than a legal, medical, or very complex translation)

 

Personally I prefer to work hourly, and am not actually doing much (if any) translations at the moment.

 

If I do have to work on a per word (fixed price) basis my rates start around $ 0.02 per word for proofreading (NOT editing)


I have received a job offer: translation of 10,000 words in 7 days, 1 cent per word from a US (Upwork platinum tier) client. This is not a platinum tier but a junk iron tier. Of course, I have rejected this job offer! I hope that somebody will provide a Google translation to him as it happened here before several times.

Community Leader
Susanne D Member Since: Mar 15, 2015
5 of 47

Margarete, I think I had the same job offer - and I know the client. Only - the one I remember did not sit in USA ...

I also declined politely, but I am sure he will find someone.

This widget could not be displayed.
6 of 47
This widget could not be displayed.

@Susanne D wrote:

Margarete, I think I had the same job offer - and I know the client. Only - the one I remember did not sit in USA ...

I also declined politely, but I am sure he will find someone.


Susanne, mine was from the United States and looking for 5! freelancers. It was offensive to send such a job offer to me. 55 applications up to now. He cannot get a good translation for that. However, a platinum tier on Upwork! This cannot be a serious client, probably somebody who acquires jobs that he is unable to provide himself and looks around for other freelancers who do that job. I will check his job history and his other job offers.

 

Added later: The person who contacted me is a hiring manager who pretends to be in the US (according to his profile). However, the company? or agency? is in Pakistan. However, I cannot see this in the job offer. They are still working on Elance as well, so I could identify the client in Pakistan. Perhaps an agency from Pakistan with a straw man in the US trying to hire other freelancers on Upwork. Perhaps an agency that wants to hire other freelancers on Upwork without showing that they are an agency. At least this a doubtable and misleading business model, however, a platinum tier on Upwork, insulting Upwork's TOS. A client from Pakistan is unable and not willing to pay an amount of money that is suitable for a qualified freelancer from Germany. Then please, translation office from Pakistan (or whatever you may be) do not offer translations into German language and please do not invite Germans to your ridiculous job offers! Something must be wrong with this client account. Moreover, there is also freelancer account on Upwork with the name of the contact person, this time he is from Pakistan, exactly from the city where the translation office is located... Where does the money paid for these jobs come from?

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
7 of 47

First of all, I'm not a pro translator. I'm doing this in my free time - it doesn't mean I don't struggle to do my best in order to meet my clients' requirements or I don't try and be professional in what I do - and I am aware that I'm probably charging less than the average for my translations. But who cares, I'm happy like this, at the moment at least.

My language pairs are English-Italian and French-Italian.

Generally speaking, as a native Italian speaker I charge a bit less for translations En-It or Fr-It (for translations It-En or It-Fr I charge an extra 20%). My rates start from $0.015 per word for texts so easy that I don't even need to open a vocabulary, and I can go up to $0.05/word for more demanding translations. Now and then I also have won jobs for higher amounts.

I charge an extra (to be agreed on a case-by-case basis) for specialized texts, i.e. documents that require the knowledge of a specialized language.

 

As to proofreading... I just have to figure out this. In the last few days I have been quickly discussing this topic with some other member of this forum... and I'm convincing myself that a good idea would be to offer my proofreading services on an hourly basis only, as it is quite hard to determine how long it will take to proofread a text if your client doesn't attach it to his job posting. It may be an easy job if the translation is almost error-free, but it may become a nightmare if the translation has been done with Google Translator.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
8 of 47

@Andrea B wrote:

 

...it is quite hard to determine how long it will take to proofread a text if your client doesn't attach it to his job posting.


Andrea,

 

It is impossible. I never submit a final bid on an editorial job—including proofreading as an editorial service, albeit one grossly minunderstood by many clients—without having seen a sample of the text, which I require before completing negotiations.

 

Best,

Michael

Active Member
Jill J Member Since: Oct 28, 2017
9 of 47

@Douglas Michael M wrote:

@Andrea B wrote:

 

...it is quite hard to determine how long it will take to proofread a text if your client doesn't attach it to his job posting.


Andrea,

 

It is impossible. I never submit a final bid on an editorial job—including proofreading as an editorial service, albeit one grossly minunderstood by many clients—without having seen a sample of the text, which I require before completing negotiations.

 

Best,

Michael



Michael,

Your plan sounds completely smart. Maybe because I'm fairly new to Upwork, this is the first reference I've seen to not submitting a final bid on an editorial job until a sample of the work to be edited can be reviewed. 

 

In my experience so far, it seems that the Upwork process has required submitting one's rate (hourly/fixed) as part of sending a proposal/application to a job posting (without further information from the client possible unless client sends a positive response). 

 

I'd like to do as you do, judge the material before providing my bid. I'm just starting to explore this possibility, but would appreciate any quick routes to understanding that you may be able to offer.

 

Many thanks!

Jill

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
10 of 47

Jill, it's true that the bidding format requires you to pick a number (or hourly rate, depending on the job format).

 

What I usually do if a posting doesn't contain adequate information is to leave the bid price set at what the client listed, but note in my bid that I have done so because there was not adequate information to provide an accurate quote and then let the client know what information I will need in order to provide pricing. 

 

Or, I may go for the average, but with a similar note. I'm a writer, so when I bid on a job that says "need law firm website content," I'll provide specs for my pricing (for example: Bid price assumes 10 pages of 600-800 words each. If your needs differ, I will be happy to provide an updated quote once you are able to provide more detailed specifications.")

 

 

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS