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Poll: On average, how long does it take you to translate 1000 words in your primary language combination?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

PatrickMoreschi
United States
Local time: 13:16
Need Productivity Apr 25, 2016

Productivity is the most important factor at time of translates any text. On average to translate 1000 words in our primary language, max 1.30-2 hours are enough if you understand the subject matter.

 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:16
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
About 4 hours Apr 25, 2016

without CAT tools. Of course this depends enormously on the text in question, but it gives me a vague benchmark for estimating timescales.

 

Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:16
French to English
+ ...
3...ish Apr 25, 2016

About 3 hours for me, though of course it depends on the subject (and I am faster at translating French than Spanish).

I quite like to keep an eye on how many words I'm translating in a certain amount of time, to see if there is a pattern...although I am aware that all of these extra maths breaks are extremely counter-productive


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 05:16
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Let's get 1.000 words in perspective Apr 25, 2016

This is 5 pages of words assuming that a page roughly equals 200 words.

It depends on subject matter (familiar vs not so familiar, difficulty such as operation manual vs academic paper), how you are feeling and how fast you can type. (For someone who can use only two digits on his right hand, I'm pretty quick and accurate. )

Feeling good, alert and translating subject matter I am very familiar with: I ca
... See more
This is 5 pages of words assuming that a page roughly equals 200 words.

It depends on subject matter (familiar vs not so familiar, difficulty such as operation manual vs academic paper), how you are feeling and how fast you can type. (For someone who can use only two digits on his right hand, I'm pretty quick and accurate. )

Feeling good, alert and translating subject matter I am very familiar with: I can type a first draft and proof it between 1 to 1.5 hours.

Feeling sluggish, under the weather (just had some aggro with a client or the gout is playing up or whatever), and subject matter is peripheral knowledge rather than familiar content: Tack on another 30 to 45 minutes or more.

With the latter scenario, I just might take a break halfway through to make myself a cuppa and watch a DVD on the box to get back in the drift. Or, I might even take a nap in the hope I feel refreshed and can work faster when I wake up.

Average?
Well, I pace myself to do 200 words in 15 minutes or even quicker if I am pushed and motivated.
Remember that I'm a J>E tech translator and technical stuff is generally black-and-white with no gray areas in between. Other content such as advertising or public relations might take an hour or so to do just 200 words.

Corrected small typo

[Edited at 2016-04-26 06:06 GMT]
Collapse


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:16
English to Italian
2-3 Apr 25, 2016

On average 2-3 hours which means from the moment I start to the moment I close the file and attach it to the email. (translation+proofreading+ final check).
This average obviously refers to my language combination, and my field.
It might happen to work on a different kind of text and 1000 words may take more time. But again, that is not my normal case.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you for making my point Apr 25, 2016

Mary Worby wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:

With apologies to Mary Worby, this is a pointless math exercise that is typical of the productivity mentality so prevalent among project managers, misinformed clients and neophyte translators.



Yes, it's a pointless maths exercise, but aren't all of these polls.

I think we must all be able to work out a broad-brush average. How else can we work out how much work to accept or which deadlines are appropriate for which projects?


By definition, an average is the median number of a range of values. Since most translators work in a variety of specialties and in a number of different document formats and lengths, determining an average is rather difficult and misleading.

For example, I could say that I translate 300 words/hour for contracts on average, but which contracts and for what purposes? The continuum is so vast that pinpointing an average is an exercise in futility.

I disagree: not all polls are pointless math exercises. Nice try.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Says you Apr 25, 2016

Chris S wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:

With apologies to Mary Worby, this is a pointless math exercise that is typical of the productivity mentality so prevalent among project managers, misinformed clients and neophyte translators.



No, it isn't, it's a perfectly reasonable question, and if you didn't know the answer you wouldn't be able to price jobs or schedule your workload.

2-3 hours in my case.

I always budget for 2,000 words a day, and if it goes faster than that I go home early.


You quote the way you want, I quote the way that works for me. Let's stop this silliness about assuming our experience is universal to everyone else.


 

Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:16
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Depends Apr 25, 2016

1-5 hours

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Uh-huh? Apr 25, 2016

Mario Chavez wrote:

You quote the way you want, I quote the way that works for me. Let's stop this silliness about assuming our experience is universal to everyone else.


How do you price jobs then, if not based on how long you expect them to take you?

I'm genuinely interested to know. It sounds so Bohemian.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:16
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
1-2 Apr 25, 2016

Of course it depends on the quality of the text and on the field. If it requires a lot of researching, that time may double. If it requires none, it may be cut by half.

 

Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:16
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
> 4 Apr 26, 2016

Of course, it depends on subject matter, but usually I plan 250 words per hour + 1 hour for proofreading of 1000 words (preferrably the next day or at least some hours later). I don't take into account use of a CAT tool, as repetition rate and/or TM quality may vary.

And if I cope faster - well, it's always better to have some resource of exra time just to remain on the safe side.


 
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