Calculating a Translation Quotation
Determining a quotation for a translation is not a simple process.
Determining a quotation for a translation is not a simple process. It’s not something whereby one sits down and quickly estimates a costing! In fact, providing a translation quotation for a client can be very time-consuming because it requires a detailed analysis of the material in question in order to create a budget that is as precise as possible, in addition to avoiding both omissions and excesses.
All the requirements as requested by the client must be factored into the budget, because failure to do this will create problems in-as-much-as the client will probably refuse to pay the difference in costs and of course the resources will not agree to work for free.
The agency involved, or the individual translator who creates the budget, must have sufficient time in order to create an accurate quotation by clearly establishing all the stages that the material must pass through during the translation process. In analysing this material, they will need to –
- Determine the type and amount (if any) of any repetitions;
- If there is a sense of urgency about the particular project, then they must determine the terms of delivery for the work, because obviously urgent projects can affect the rate;
- The cost of processing images must be considered, both for the layout work and any text in images;
- Determine the complexity of the document in order to choose the appropriate professionals for each aspect of the translation;
- Analyze the translation project in terms of language combination, because some languages have very few professionals proficient in working with them; and
- With the utmost precision, they must count the total number of words. For a simple translation the word count is done automatically, but there are issues that must be considered that could complicate the equation. With certain translation projects it’s not possible to count all of the material in the budget stage, and with these cases the client should, at the very least, send a representative sample of the entire project in order for the agency, or translator, to determine the necessary projections
Obviously, the desired result of any translation project is a level of perfection, so a Content Manager is required: A Content Manager is just another resource, in addition to translators, editors and reviewers. It’s not necessary for the Content Manager to be a translator, however it is important that they be an expert in the subject field of the translation.
Then finally, the quotation determined by the account manager; the person responsible for handling the relationship with the client; and the Project manager who creates the budget, selects the appropriate resources, coordinates the specific stages of the project and is also responsible for the final product that’s ultimately delivered to the client; must be considered.
Paying Translation Resources
The professionals who work on translation projects often do so from locations entirely different to that of the actual agency, so with regards to payment for their services, they receive their payment in banks and cities in other countries. These payment methods can certainly become complicated when the resources live in developing countries or remote places without good financial systems in place. In these instances, the agency must consider the financial costs involved for these foreign resources, because many times they exceed the fee that is to be paid. There are so many payment options available today, and the costs, characteristics and conditions of these are forever changing.
And (Hopefully) a Profit for the Translation Agency!
And of course we mustn’t forget that, in addition to all of the costs related to these resources, both external and internal, the company must still pay for all its fixed costs plus receive a profit for work completed. As you can see from the above, calculating the total cost for a translation project can often be a time-consuming and difficult task, whilst also being a very important one.
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