mercredi 17 novembre 2010

How much to charge for translation?

The question of how much to charge for the translation of a substantial scientific paper from French into English arises once more. Some published rates on the internet: 0,10€/word, 0,15-0,25€/word, 0,20€/word, 0,20€/word 0,13-0,19 $ CAD/word (0,09-0,13€/word), 0,10€/word, and so on.

More technical texts command premium rates, and longer texts are cheaper: >10000 words, 5% reduction; >25000 words, 10% reduction. Some translators charge more for technical hassle, seemingly defined as a source file in anything other than Microsoft Word. Many have a minimum charge, with texts of <300 words being charged as 300 words.

All this seems reasonable. I plan to charge 0,10€/word, and seem to work at about 300 - 600 words/hour, yielding a gross hourly rate of 30-60€, which seems reasonable: there are expenses to deduct, taxes to pay, and the possibility that the time required will balloon upwards if the text is tricky.

jeudi 13 mai 2010

my first holiday

My first student arrived, but yesterday was un jour férié so we goofed off a bit instead of getting straight down to work, with a nice cup of tea on arrival. About five, we shared a bottle of beer and gave the sound system a run off the leash.

Despite the rest enforced by the respect for what is, in effect, the equivalent of the Whitsun bank holiday weekend, I tried as hard as possible to impress on my young colleague (an international scholar) the importance of not forgetting one's pencil in the dash for digital existence.

The prospects for a visit to this fine establishment later in the week seem good.

Detained by the neighbours, the planned ballade to the Île de Versailles was cancelled: we walked instead upriver, and serenaded a small convoy of electric boats hurrying home, the park (with its rental business) being about to close.

J'adorais ma nouvelle activité, sous un soleil assez brillant. Si mon nouvel metier passe toujours comme ça, il sera très bien.

lundi 10 mai 2010

second commission arrives

My second commission arrives. It is translation work. The client wants me to calculate my rate per line of text. This seems bizarre, as the number of lines in a document is as much a function of typography as it is of content.

For my first commission, which passed off entirely satisfactorily after two and a half intense but enjoyable hours at the screen, I charged by the hour, but by the word would have been fine too. I return to my archive: 40euros/hr, 2700 words (which happened to be arranged in 215 lines on this occasion), 2.5 hours.

So I guess about 100 lines an hour would be OK. Which means—assuming everyone's been too lazy to alter their M$Word preferences—doing work for a rate of between 20 and 50 centimes per line. This would be about 2 - 4 centimes per word, which doesn't seem that much, as to turn out 1000 words/hour for several hours would be strenous, whatever the nature of the text.

Update: the going rate, for rendering French texts into the English, as published by some French translation body, is apparently 5ç/word.

vendredi 7 mai 2010

Am I un OAF?

I thought it would be funny to designate myself an "Oeuvrier Agricole Français," which is not too far from the truth as I see it, though supporting paperwork for this claim with the powers-that-be is thin to non-existent. For now O.A.F. I am, among other things.

Think of my cabinet as a philosopher's barrel. It is certainly no GP surgery.

Update: changed title from launch joke backfires Face it: franglais humour is a rare groove indeed...

jeudi 6 mai 2010

soft launch for the cabinet

I seem to spend most of my time cleaning here, but gradually the dust is settling. I pass the vacuum cleaner every day, and a sponge over the desk, and wonder about the plumbing. The electricity works, though I try not to use too much. I'm online, just, via the neighbour's wifi, which is fine as long as they remember to keep it plugged in, but perhaps not good enough for reliable local hosting.

The last couple of years have been fairly quiet vis à vis clientèle...

But now I am open. All systems are go. There is naturally further bricolage to be contemplated in due course, but I don't immediately have to lift the saw, which is good because the saw can be somewhat stressful.

I will now give my full attention to marketing my gamut of services, principal among them editeur et chef de la rédaction (textes anglais), oeuvrier agricole, logisticien des vélos et cuisinier.

Je suis disponible sur place
Cabinet Beezer
44 Quai de Versailles, NANTES, 44000, France

ou par portable
06 76 44 93 86

ou par courriel electronique
dougie.carnall #all one word# AT.T gmail point com

tous le lundis, mardis, mercredis, et vendredis
1000h - 1200h, 1500h - 1800h

Vacances: Les Pâques, la fin juillet, aôut, et debut séptembre, et le noël/winterval (13 semaines)