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Eggs Not For Translators

A recent translation enquiry and the following email exchange with one of my customers have inspired me to do this wacky mathematical experiment…

The most precious object - Fabergé Imperial Egg - the Coronation Egg

The most precious object - Fabergé Imperial Egg - the Coronation Egg

I have been reading up a bit on the Fabergé Eggs and the tradition of the Russian Tsars to commission a jewelled egg as an Easter gift for their spouses and have been completely beguiled by this idea as well as by the magnificence of the surviving Imperial Easter Eggs. One of the masterpieces, the Coronation Egg, presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his wife at Easter 1897, was estimated to have sold at the 2004 Sotheby’s auction for about 18-24 million dollars making it one of the most expensive decorative objet d’art in history.

My customer and I with an almost audible deep sigh commented in our emails on how many words one would have to translate to be able to afford such a precious thing. This thought has been haunting me ever since – exactly how many words? Or rather – how many years would I have to work to be able to purchase such an egg???

Are you ready to find out?

299 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have assumed the following:

To earn 24,000,000 dollars: 1 translator working at a rate of 2,000 words a day charging $0.11 per word (an average rate according to my sources) would have to work for 109,090 days, which equals 298.87 years. Forget holidays, weekends, paying rent or taxes – all of this to buy this one special egg. In terms of total word count – 218,180,000 words to translate!

Luckily, a Russian jeweller Alfa Jewel has started to produce a limited edition of exact replicas of the Faberge Eggs. The first design, Spring Flowers Egg, which they have now made available costs a mere £166,000. Now, here’s a thought…

One Response to “Eggs Not For Translators”

  1. ola Says:

    ciekawe co za złota kura zniosła to jajo;)

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