File under: food for thought. A colleague and former student e-mailed me this morning and asked how many words a year I translate, and whether I track it. I haven’t tracked it–until now–and I guessed 300,000 words. My reasoning was: conventional wisdom holds that “the average” (whatever that means) full-time translator produces about 500,000 words a year. I translate about 60% of the time and work on my books and classes about 40% of the time, but I also focus on higher-paying translation work that allows me to work at a non-breakneck pace.
Then, as I was translating away this morning…I had to know. I figured we’re only a quarter and a little through the year, so it wouldn’t take that long to add it all up. True: after about half an hour of fiddling with a spreadsheet, I came up with the following stats. Because I do a lot of official document work where word count is kind of irrelevant, I broke those out into their own category. The Q1 (ish) totals:
- 80,621 words of projects billed by the word or by the project
- 61 pages of official documents billed by the page. I originally had 53, but then I immediately delivered 8 more today.
Is this a little? A lot? Who knows, but there you go. If you keep stats, what are yours?