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The numbers listed below are based on REAL quotes on REAL documents
(on-line [pdf] user's guides, winhelp, and printed quick start guides),
and multiple types of software and message catalogs from multiple
localization vendors located both inside and outside the USA. Note
that some quotes were given to me in other than $US and were converted
at the current exchange rate. As the exchange rates do not usually vary
much per day, the quotes are accurate over a period of time. All quotes
are based on localization by native speakers, mostly located
Most localization vendors charge by the word for localization and by the
page for DTP. Contrary to other messages I've seen recently on this
subject on this list, the cost per word to localize ("transate" is only
part of the job) depends on several things:
* The language to which the document or software is being
* The type, media, and complexity of the document or software
* The location of the localization vendor's headquarters. My
experience is that US-based localization vendors seem to charge a bit
more for their sevices than those whose headquarters are offshore.
Further, the cost of DTP also varies per page, depending on the
complexity and media of the document. . For example, if you ant the
file back in PDF or HTML, they charge more. There are also charges for
delivering the doc masters in various formats other than electronic. I
won't go into details here but contact me directly if you need more
info. No need to clutter up the list. . I also have a list of
questions to ask when screening localization vendors.
On a personal note, be careful about using an indepedent "translator"
There is a LOT more to delivering a completed document in another
language than just "translating" it. But I have a feeling you're about
to find this out for yourself.
I suggest you take the one day seminar, "Managing the Localization of
Documents and Software". I found it very helpful when I was getting
started in the localization efforts, even though I'd already been
managing pubs for quite a while.
Manager, Technical Publications
(Numbers are cents(US) per word).
French 25 - 31
German 25 - 31
Spanish 21 - 28
Italian 21 - 28
Chinese (simplified) 17 - 21
Chinese (Traditional) 19 - 22
Indonesian 30 - 35
Japanese 33 - 38
Korean 20 -25
Thai 30 -35
Vietnamese 30 -35
From: Christine Lienhart [SMTP:clienhart -at- PREVUENET -dot- COM]
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 1998 5:36 AM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Pricing Translation Costs
Hi, everyone! I've been asked to come up with a cost estimate
translating a set of documentation that has yet to be written.
now it is only to be written in two versions: English and
Spanish...doubtful any other languages will be needed. I don't
much about how many pages or components it will ultimately have,
is no easy task, I'm sure. But I have never worked with a
company or an independent translator so I'm wondering if there
starting point for estimating, like a price per page?
I looked in the techwr-l archives and saw where someone
an independent if there is only one language involved, any more
on this? Also, I'm curious about the hours involved for
say, a 50-page user guide for a software application. (No
of screen shots would be necessary.)
I suppose any information about the general translation process
very helpful, but I'm most interested in how the pricing is
surprise! -- I'm supposed to have something formulated by this
Thanks in advance for all your sound advice. : )
P.S. The files to be translated will probably be in Word.