Prices for translations are usually quoted in lines, namely in so-called "standard lines" of 55 keystrokes each. This means that e. g. a list of five short bullet points will not count as five lines, but - depending on the length of the words - as only one or two lines. Thus the client can be sure that the invoice he will receive for the translation is based on an absolutely fair pricing model.
As with almost anything nowadays, helpful computer programs exist for the counting of lines and the determination of prices, such as "PractiCount". These applications search a text according to criteria set by the translator, count keystrokes and lines and calculate the resultant price for the translation. The programs either operate independently or are run from MS Word or other common office applications and are user friendlier than the counting tool integrated in Word, which requires some additional calculating effort and furthermore does not always furnish an entirely correct result.
However, the Word function is well suited to gain a rough overview of the approximate number of lines a text has.
Counting lines in Word works like this:
- In the menu bar, choose the "Word Count" function under "Tools".
- A dialog box opens, displaying some document statistics, namely Pages, Words, Characters (no spaces), Characters (with spaces), Paragraphs, and Lines.
- Add the values found under "Words" and "Characters (no spaces)".
- Divide this keystroke total by 55.
- The result is the number of standard lines in this text.
- Now, the price for the translation can be determined according to the number of standard lines calculated.
One has to keep in mind, however, that it is always the translation which is priced, not the original text. Therefore it is quite possible or even probable that the number of lines in the translation will deviate somewhat from the number of lines in the original text.