Translation costs? (take II)

Subject: Translation costs? (take II)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 10:56:44 -0400

Carla Martinek wondered: <<The low costs Geoff quoted are, in my experience, typically from from independent translators.>>

It's true that I've worked exclusively with independents, and I also neglected to mention that the low end was for literary translation, which pays exceptionally poorly. It's a labor of love, not a way to earn a living. But I've also seen very low per-word costs for companies operating in China, for example, including a company run by a friend; they use machine translation and translation memories heavily, which combined with inexpensive local labor rates lets them get away with such low costs.

<<Remember -- you get what you pay for, and the costs for an independent translator often do not include a review by a second translator.>>

Or by a local expert. This is why I noted in my first post that you have to specify this kind of quality assurance rather than taking it for granted. You'd think such quality control is a given, but for smaller firms, usually it's not.

<<The higher costs ($0.20 and above for new translations) usually come from translation houses, where you get value added in for that extra cost.>>

Fully agreed. In translation, as in technical writing, quality is expensive. You get what you pay for.

<<My language translations run in the $0.20-0.30 range, and cover a broad spectrum, including European (east and west), Russian, Middle Eastern, and Asian. Total: 16 languages for standard translations, 22 for a few select guides.>>

Is that you personally, or your company? If the former, may I just say "Wow am I envious!" <G>

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


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RE: Translation costs?: From: Martinek, Carla

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