How a translation is priced?

The pricing of a translation is based on four major components:

  1. Word count. This ingredient is quite straightforward, easily applicable as well as fair for both the client and the translator. “An A4 page” is not a measure for the quantity of text and the resulting work hours requited to translate it. This is even more evident with English to Hebrew translation. One A4 page can contain even 400 words whereas the word count of another A4 page is less than 200, due to font size, line spacing, figures and so on. When it cones to software strings or Web pages, the “page” is useless as a measure.
  2. Text repetitions and text matches. This issue is discussed in details in “The Advantage of a Professional Translation Tool“. This has a tremendous bearing both on the price and the the project schedule. So, should the translator give a full discount for full matches and repetitions? This would be justified only if the translator is fully exempt from dealing with such texts; as long as he or she has to review them and be responsible for their quality, it is only fair to pay for them. The discount as well as any aspect of the job, is negotiable.
  3. The type of text. Some texts are more user friendly than others; Some texts require look up in glossaries or even heavy searches on the Internet. Again, the conclusion is that the work of a professional translator is much more than automatic conversion, and requires a significant intellectual effort and time.
  4. Format. Once upon a time, a translator would receive a pile of pages from the client, open a new file on the text editor, and type in the translated text. Today, the files for translation come in various formats, some of which are not printable and on top of it – the translation platform may be located on a server somewhere in the world. The format of the text can undergo several changes before the translation is published; a word processing file will not do the job. a professional translator has to deal with different formats using various tools, one of which is a professional translation tool. In some cases, the client needs the translation laid out as the original, e.g. a PowerPoint presentation. This is a particularly good example, as the direction of text in Hebrew is right to left, in contrast with most languages. This entails moving graphical objects to their correct place, and sometimes even the recreation thereof. This requires more skill and more time, which justifies a higher price.

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