Re: Translation question: words numbers in different languages?

Subject: Re: Translation question: words numbers in different languages?
From: "Cassandra Greer" <cassandra -at- greer -dot- de>
To: "Simon North" <Simon -dot- North -at- quintiq -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 23:54:47 +0200

HI Simon

I'm not sure where you live but in Europe one comes across this quite often and in some areas used to be quite standard. There was even a DIN for translation services in development that recently got iced (as I understand) that had charging for the target translation product as standard. I personally have never had a customer require that of me nor have I charged anyone that way. I also find charging based on the source text much more transparent and most translators and agencies (that I know of) do this here in Europe too but you still have old-school translators who insist on charging based on target product.

for Susan
Anyway, you as the customer should be able to request a quote based on on the source text - you are the customer and should be able to request a quote that you can relate to. Plus I might add that I think that .16-.17 cents for French target is pretty high unless this is an agency doing this for you - if the agency/translator is in France, though, the exchange rate is pretty brutal right now and the word price may just look high to me right now (since I haven't gone and calculated it out).

Good luck!

Cass :)

> Susan,
> I have been a freelance translator (German/French/Dutch to English)
> since 1976 and I have never heard
> of anyone charging according to the target language. If for no other
> reason, it would make price
> estimation damn near impossible and time planning more like guesswork.
> I can estimate fairly
> accurately according to the source language, subject matter, input and
> output media, and tool
> requirements how long a particular job will take me. You cannot
> sensibly make even a rough estimate
> based on the target language, there are just too many variable
> involved.
> However, based on a volume count, French text is approximately 30%
> longer than an equivalent
> English text (semi-technical, formal article level); or at least this
> was the rough guide we used
> when I worked at the European Space Agency. The volume increase does
> not necessarily reflect
> an analogous increase in the word count. Your counts could be waaaaay
> off. The only useful
> suggestion I could make would be to try and take a representative text
> sample and push it
> through an online/machine translator (Prompt, Babylon, Pragma or
> similar). The result will
> be pretty awful, but the word count will be closer than guessing.
> Good luck!
> Simon.

Cassandra Greer
Technical Translation and Documentation
Spilhofstr. 16
81927 München
+49 (089) 94004794
cassandra (at)
cassandragreer (at)


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Translation question: words numbers in different languages?: From: Susan Hogarth
Re: Translation question: words numbers in different languages?: From: Simon North

Previous by Author: Re: Buffalo
Next by Author: Re: Firefox vs IE - help
Previous by Thread: Re: Translation question: words numbers in different languages?
Next by Thread: Translation question: words numbers in different languages?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads