I give firm quotes based on seeing all documents to be translated. To determine volume I use a translation-environment software tool, which analyzes content within series of files, and shows me whether there is repetition within or across documents. For any job I can quote these ways, according to your preference.
- a flat fee
- an hourly rate with a mutually-agreed time range
- a “per word” rate
Here are examples of different projects I might accept. The variety will show you why pricing varies, why I have to see texts before I quote, as files of equal length may require wildly varied man-hours to deliver what the client needs.
Four standard operating procedures, a validation procedure and a validation report totaling 65 pages, all .docx files to be returned in the same format. Purpose: regulatory filing. Repetition in document templates will help me work quickly. Due in three weeks (generous deadline). No possible changes to source texts mid-project, given the company’s document control process. Analysis: speedy project that will cost less than some of equivalent length.
A published patent and three related discovery reports, key documents in a brand new patent litigation case. The attorneys need it urgently for a deposition on Monday morning. I must get the translations edited before delivery, as the attorneys have no-one in-house who can confirm quality. Files available in pdf, to be returned as .docx files. Extensive handwritten annotations added to one of the files. Analysis: very expensive, as I will have to create editable source files before beginning translation, cancel prior engagements to get the job done in time, and sub-contract editing to a colleague at a rush rate.
An article written in English by a non-native English speaker, to be edited for correct English and improved flow and style. Duration depends on how good the author’s writing is. Analysis: editing pace (therefore cost) usually predictable based on skimming the text. Extra cost if the author makes changes mid-project.
A technical marketing document, client to supply text extracted as .docx files and to handle DTP in-house. Purpose: marketing brochure. Generous deadline. Analysis: simple and fairly cheap, unless client comes back with changes mid-project.
The extracted text strings from of a competitor’s website. Purpose: you want to search the site for keywords on a monthly basis. Rough translations are fine as long as the keywords (list provided) are consistently translated every month. Analysis: repetition from month to month. Predictable volume and content with minimal changes in much of the site. Due within three working days, but prior warning of job. Speedy project that will cost less than others of equivalent length. First month will cost more than subsequent months where previous translations can be leveraged.