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Help deciding a fair translation price

#1
So I've been working on translating some equipment manuals for a friend's company in my spare time. By request, these aren't particularly refined localizations, just quick and dirty translations for reference by experienced equipment operators.

I don't have any work experience in this area and don't know what a fair rate would be for this kind of work. Of course, there will be discussion as to the final price, but I don't want to show up with an invoice asking for an absurd amount.

It's already been decided that I'm being paid a professional rate, though I offered to do it for a set 'this is as much a learning experience for me as a job' price.
I found this site that offers professional manual translation services:
https://www.strakertranslations.com/tran...n-pricing/
But that seems way too high for what I'm doing.


If someone could help me with a per-character (preferable; I'll estimate average character-per-page, since the two manuals have completely different text densities) or per-page rate offer for the translation of these equipment manuals under these kinds of circumstances, I'd greatly appreciate it.
EDIT: Ah, forgot to mention it's J-E translation in an American market and it's agricultural equipment (a rice hulling machine and a packaging machine), in case any of that matters.
Edited: 2018-02-08, 3:13 pm
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#2
Maybe a good starting point would be a website like upwork because they are generally random individuals working for themselves in the world market.  It seems like around $25/hour is the going rate and you could adjust up or down from there based on how much of a deal you feel like giving your friend.
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#3
Well, I'm not in the field of translations either, but I've been looking around for such chances (speaking other languages besides english always helps). As you, whenever I get the chance to translate is either for fun (like fansubs of anime/manga) or just training on books I keep for myself.

In Italy, rates are kinda lower than what I've seen around (due to our current economy which sucks) but even if you asked for a "this is as much a learning experience for me as a job" I believe you can trust sites like
https://search.proz.com/employers/rates?...mit=Submit
Even if you go by the minimum requirements, it seems to be even higher than just 25$/hour.

Depending on your confidence, I would go with something between 20$ to up to 30$ anyway. Seeing professional rates, these ones are around half of it, so...
It's good you consider it a learning experience, but a job is still a job and you probably shouldn't underestimate the knowledge of a second language: other people don't have such a skill after all Wink
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#4
Well, since both of you are giving me something in the $20 to $30 per hour range, I'll go with that as a base. I'll just have to figure out an average of how long it takes me to translate per-character, since time isn't the best way for me to measure this job (stop and start when I feel like it).

Thank you both for the help!
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#5
(2018-02-09, 11:18 pm)sholum Wrote: Well, since both of you are giving me something in the  $20 to $30 per hour range, I'll go with that as a base. I'll just have to figure out an average of how long it takes me to translate  per-character, since time isn't the best way for me to measure this job (stop and start when I feel like it).

Thank you both for the help!

Just my two cents... don’t think of it as your friend, think of it as a company, they should pay you the going rate.  And for your part, to the extent that you can, you should treat it like a job.  Set aside a couple of hours every weekend and really work on it.

I hope that doesn’t come off as rude.  I just see so many friends and family members get taken advantage of when they do freelance work.
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#6
(2018-02-09, 11:58 pm)satogaeru Wrote: Just my two cents... don’t think of it as your friend, think of it as a company, they should pay you the going rate.  And for your part, to the extent that you can, you should treat it like a job.  Set aside a couple of hours every weekend and really work on it.

I hope that doesn’t come off as rude.  I just see so many friends and family members get taken advantage of when they do freelance work.

This is good advice. However, an experienced professional translator should always be faster and better than a novice, so a big discount on pro rates seems reasonable. The rates mentioned in this thread seem fine.

EDIT: You might also consider a flat rate for the whole job.
Edited: 2018-02-10, 11:30 am
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#7
(2018-02-09, 11:58 pm)satogaeru Wrote: Just my two cents... don’t think of it as your friend, think of it as a company, they should pay you the going rate.  And for your part, to the extent that you can, you should treat it like a job.  Set aside a couple of hours every weekend and really work on it.

I hope that doesn’t come off as rude.  I just see so many friends and family members get taken advantage of when they do freelance work.

While that is the case, and I certainly agree with your points, I got this job for two reasons:
-It was cheaper to import straight from Japan (something on the order of $30k cheaper) than to go through the only company that imports these things for the American market
-Nepotism. I might be the only one he knows that's studying Japanese, but he could have always hired a service like those mentioned above.

This guy has taught me a lot and lets me use his shop to work on my car, so I don't want to be a jerk and ask for tons of money (even though they'd still come out with a lower cost than they were initially looking at), but I also don't want to undersell myself.

And like fkb9g said, I'm not exactly experienced in this, so the quality and time required are not on par with professionals. (I agonized for quite a while on how to reasonably translate しいな, before just making up an abbreviation and noting it; thankfully that's something I only had to do once)

But that's certainly good advice. I've only ever worked for myself or friends, so I've heard it quite a few times over the years, but it's certainly worth repeating.




fkb9g Wrote:EDIT: You might also consider a flat rate for the whole job.
Only problem with that is that I'd have to know how much work I did to come up with a good flat rate that's fair for both of us Tongue
Besides, I think it's more satisfactory for both sides to bargain with a more detailed estimate. That way, you're more likely to agree on a price without one side feeling cheated, since there's evidence as to the amount of work done sitting right in front of you.


Thanks to both of you!
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#8
This is a really interesting thread, I have combination of Japanese and Czech (and English, of course), I have always been wondering how much money I could make. When I have time, I am gonna search through the sites posted to see if anyone has the same language combination.  Cool
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