Translation Cost Converter

(Explanation below. Enter your own data using Tab key to move between cells. See 2.7MB avi screen clip or GIF at foot of this page).
Source language: Target language:
Ratio: words/字 of Japanese generally translate to words/字 of English
Currency known Currency sought
(1 Yen = approximately GBP) - get current exchange rate from Gadget below
Translation rate Yen per of Source language (Japanese) Target language (English)
Is equivalent to: 0.00 GBP of Source language (Japanese) Target language (English)
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Translators in different countries charge in very different ways. For example, one German to English translator or translation agency might quote a rate of '60 Eurocents per target line of 55 keystrokes' whereas another might say 'GBP 50 per 1000 words of source text'. Even with rounded figures the calculations can be quite awkward: say 1 German word tends to end up as 1.1 English words, 55 keystrokes are around 9 words, 1 Euro is 0.85 GBP: then 0.6 Euro / 9 German words = 0.6 Euro / 10 English words = 60 Euro / 1000 English words = 51 GBP / 1000 words. Expansion ratios can vary widely with the type of text: for example, trendy or scientific texts in Japanese contain large numbers of Katakana which equate to fewer words in English, e.g. 3.5 字 ⇔ 1 word compared with 1.8 字 ⇔ 1 word in older texts. With multiple languages and currencies, converting and comparing prices can become extremely complex. The aim of this tool is to simplify such comparisons.

The tool currently handles the units for charging as follows.

('Words' and '字' are treated as identical, but listed separately so nobody thinks a line of Asian text actually contains just 10字.) You can use the Tab key to move between cells, and most should update automatically, although the Refresh button may help if they fail to do so. The form is clever enough to do simple sums, e.g. if you know that 1 SL word is 1.35 TL words but not the other way round, you can enter '1/1.35'

If enough people request different units (and supply conversion figures) I may add or amend them, but generally I find units such as folio and page too variable to be useful. Even 'line' is awkward, as some might say 'here we quote per line of 60 keystrokes' or 'our words are longer so 1 line is only 8 words' etc. — but adding in this level of customization would make the tool too unwieldy.

Also, the routines above fail on some browers anyway; so you may find this Google Sheet version better, or the various calculators on Fabio Salsi's (archived) site.

Animated GIF

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