Billing Translation Work by the Word or the Hour

Billing Translation Work by the Word or the Hour

Billing Translation Work by the Word or the Hour

When you are working as a translator, it is important to have a solid understanding of how to charge from your clients. Then you will be able to get a reasonable amount of money for the effort that you spend. 

Translators in today’s world tend to follow a few different pricing models at the time of charging from their clients. They include billing depending on the word count, billing based on the project and billing per hour. 

Charging based on the word count 

From the past, most of the translators have been offering their services by billing based on the number of words. This method comes along with few benefits as well as drawbacks. 

You will be able to charge based on the word count when you have the ability to get a quick overview of the number of words that exist in the document. In other words, you need to make sure that it is in an editable soft copy. Then you can provide an upfront estimation on how much the translation would cost at the end of the day as well. 

If you are a person who can translate fast, this is a good method available to proceed with. That’s because you will be able to earn more money per hour. On the other hand, it is a great method to go forward with translations that require efficiency and specialization. 

The process that you have to follow in order to quote the client is relatively easy. You just need to take a look at the number of words that needs to be translated and then provide pricing information. This can provide a great outcome for you at the end of the day. 

This method has some drawbacks as well. One of the biggest drawbacks associated with the model is that it is positioning the translators into piece workers. Instead, you prefer to work at a consultant level and then offer professional services to the clients. Charging based on the number of words would keep you away from getting this done. 

On the other hand, charging based on the number of words would create space for nickel and diming as well. For example, you will even come across clients, who will ask whether you are charging for the little words. The translators who are billing based on the number of words are more minutiae when compared to others. 

The amount of time that you have to spend to get some of the documents translated is higher when compared to others. Due to the same reason, charging based on the word count may seem unprofitable for you. That’s because you need to make sure that you are earning a profit for the time and effort that you spend on the overall translation process. If you get a quite difficult document to translate, you will not be able to get the job done efficiently. That’s why it is important to learn how to translate based on the number of hours that you have to spend. 

Charging based on the number of hours 

In most of the professional jobs, you will be able to see service providers charging based on the number of hours that they spend on getting things done. You can think about doing the same for your translations as well. Then you will be able to act as a consultation level professional, without having to worry about anything. 

Most of the professional service providers, including web designers, attorneys and accountants are charging based on the hour. That’s because it is the most profitable method available for them to charge for their efforts from the clients. You will be able to justify your charging when you are working on this model as well. 

For example, when you get a difficult piece of text to be translated, you will have to spend more time and effort on it. In such a situation, you are provided with the flexibility to go ahead and charge a higher amount. This can provide a range of benefits to you and you will not have to worry about anything at all. 

In most of the instances, you will not be able to get the source document to be translated on a soft copy. As a result, you will not be able to get an understanding of the number of words. In other words, it is practically not possible for you to traverse through the document and understand how many words are there in it to be translated. This is why you need to think about getting charging based on the hour. You can quickly traverse through the document and provide a quick estimate of how much you are going to charge for it. Then you are provided with the chance to go ahead and charge it from the client. 

Charging based on the project 

Last but not least, let’s take a look at how it would be to charge based on the project. When you are charging based on the project, you will be providing a single number for the client to focus on. This will be more convenient for the client who is getting your translation services at the end of the day. In addition to that, you will also be able to provide a realistic deadline to the client. 

Final Words 

As you can see, three main options are available for the translators to charge from their clients. Out of these three approaches, charging based on the number of hours is the most profitable. That’s because it can provide you with the chance to get your translation work done in an efficient manner. You will not have to worry about the end outcome that you will receive at the end of the day. You just need to calculate the number of hours you spend to get the job done and make sure that you charge accordingly.


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