Unlike most firms, Fox Coffey posts prices on its website – but our price list cannot cover all eventualities. For a rough guide to costs you can use our price calculator. You can also request an estimate by phone or e-mail, or using the online form on this site.
Most translations are priced by standard 55 character lines (including spaces) in the target language. This is standard practice in Austria. Quotations on this basis are only rough estimates because all we can do is to count the source text, but this is seldom the same length as the translation.You can also opt for pricing by the source text, which will mean you are certain what the translation will cost. The downside is that the original German text is usually longer than a translation into English (some languages come out longer than German). If you ask for source text pricing this will also apply to all future assignments in all language combinations, as well.There is a volume discount that kicks in at 1,500 lines. There is also a discount for any parts of the text that are found by our translation memory software. For additional versions that belong to the same assignment translation memory “hits” are free of charge. Creative advertising copy is priced on a case-by-case basis, according to lump-sum rates for copy blocks, slogans, etc. Editing is charged by the hour. Editing costs are hard to predict, but we can agree a ceiling with you. Please note that we can’t quote for pages unless these are standardised, because the length varies too much.
We don’t have differential charges for degrees of difficulty, but do have higher rates for some financial or legal texts, and for creative advertising copy. Also, like most firms we charge extra for express, weekend and night work. And we reserve the right to charge for reformatting and for extended discussions of work with clients. Changes to texts count as new translation work.
It may seem unfair for a two-line translation to cost as much as 22 lines, but there is a reason why minimum charges are the rule in the translation business. This is that any job, however small, involves administration, and breaks the translator’s concentration. By and large, we ask nothing for a quick off-the-cuff translation, but if a text involves some thought and a written response we make a minimum charge. Please note that because of the minimum charge sending work in dribs and drabs is expensive. It is better to get things like picture captions and credits sorted out before you send us your main text. If you know you will be sending us the work in stages, tell us in advance and we can hold the bill back for a while.
Actually, translation is usually one of the smallest items in the cost of a publication, but the expense certainly mounts up with a long text. What you are paying for is chiefly the time, skill and experience of the translator(s). Sometimes translations go fast, but it often takes half an hour on the internet to research a single word. It is also worth noting that it takes a lot of experience and knowledge to be a top-flight translator, so these are rare skills. Naturally, translation firms have overheads (IT hard and software, office rentals, etc) which have to be covered by the price.
On average, an experienced translator can manage about 300 lines a day, and it is possible to edit up to 1,000 lines a day. The more translators are used in parallel to speed things up, the more the editor has to do to unify the text, so time will still be lost at this stage. Normally, you should budget at least one week for a 1,000 line translation. A point to remember with annual reports is that most of them come out at about the same time, so this means our work peaks and delivery is often slower. To be sure of prompt delivery it is a good idea to agree time slots in advance – and keep to the copy deadline.
Translators & translation
Because translation volumes are exploding and there are not enough translators to keep up, some translation firms are keen to use machine translation, with human “post-translators” editing the results. We have no plans to do so because of our commitment to quality. We do not believe that computers can deal with the subtleties of living language, and know from experience that editing bad translations properly is often as much work as starting again from scratch. However we do use modern software tools that help us to store our knowledge, because these are aids to quality as well as efficiency.
Yes, we are always happy to tell our clients who is translating their work, regardless of whether it is performed internally or by outside partners.
Perhaps you and the translation firm you are using underestimate the difficulty of the material. If so, it may be that only an absolute specialist in your subject or someone who has got to know your work very well has a chance. Perhaps, though, you have some habits as an author which make your work ambiguous. Within reason, you have a right to expect the translator to contact you and ask what you really mean, provided there is time and you can be reached without difficulty. It might, though, be a good idea to invest more time and trouble in making sure your texts will be understood. Here, a translator can help you a lot, because he/she is often your first reader.
If the translator lives in Melbourne, meetings are hard to arrange. But even if he/she is in Vienna, and is all for meeting clients (we are), there are limits. Professional translators work long hours and are often under heavy pressure to meet deadlines. They simply don’t have much time to talk, even if they are paid for doing so (which they seldom are). Because of this, you will usually find they prefer phoning or e-mail.
Internally, only German-English. However collaborations with other companies and stand-alone translators mean that we can offer all EU and East-Central European languages, and some others besides.
Even the best translators are human, so they sometimes make mistakes. Also, technology or simple misunderstandings can lead to disaster. Errors or omissions can be very expensive, so it is a good idea for the translation firm to have liability insurance. We do.
Usually it makes no difference. However, it helps to have a language service provider near you if local knowledge will be required to get your translations right, or if face to face meetings are needed. Also, if the worst comes to the worst, it is a lot easier and cheaper to settle a legal dispute in your own jurisdiction.
We assign responsibility for each client to a given member of the team who becomes the main contact for all jobs. But someone will always be available to help you if your contact person is out of office. We put a lot of effort into storing and sharing information efficiently so that everyone in the team can find the details of an assignment quickly, progress projects and answer inquiries.