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10400 words in 24 hours
Thread poster: Nicole Coati

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 18:52
English to Croatian
+ ...
LOL. Jul 7

Kuochoe Nikoi wrote:

Nicole Coati wrote:
I have been contacted with a job offer of 10.400 words and the deadline is the following day (24 hours). It's a medical document. I replied that this turnaround is not feasible for me and the reply was "yes, it is."

I would write back, "Very well, but my fee for this job will be $10,400, payable in advance."
Them: "We can't pay that much!"
Me: "Yes, you can."


That's a good one. Ha ha.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
French to English
The client is a bully Jul 7

One simple question, one simple answer. Do you believe that in such conditions, you could provide work to a quality you are happy to defend? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and accept and invoice the high price for being able to do so.
Personally, I would never accept that volume, whatever type of work was concerned. I could not provide work of a quality I would be happy to deliver.

On a normal day, I comfortably translated 3,000 words FR>EN. On longer days, when I am not disturbed, 5,000 words can be done. I would never accept 10,000 words in 24 hours. I would expect to spend as much time answering questions from the client.

As a rule, good work provided on time enables to you to obtain and maintain decent clients providing quality work.
Provde one rotten job, and everythign you have been working to achieve in terms of quality and reputation can be ruined. Forget it.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 00:52
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Two issues Jul 7

There are two issues here:
1. Whether it's possible or reasonable to translate 10k words in a day
2. The agency's response

The answer to the second issue is obvious - nobody gets to tell you what's possible for you or not. In fact, you should be able to decline a job for any reason or no reason whatsoever, and you should never have to explain why. More than once I've been tempted to write "What part of 'no' do you not understand?" to an agency that keeps pestering me on why I didn't want to do their project.

The first issue is another matter altogether, and my answer is...yes, it's possible, but I'll never commit to it. What happens is that I might accept a project for 20k words in 5 days, then end up completing it in 2, but I'll never accept a 20k job that has a 2-day timeline. When I power through text like that it's invariably content that's familiar to me and which lends itself to quick translation.

Dictating 10400 words to a typist in 24 hours would result in a text full of errors, or the typist fainting, or both. As the time passes by, the typist will become slower and slower. Now I don't have to remind anyone that translation is much more than typing.

That's...total bull. 10400 word comes out to about one hour speaking, two hours at most, and some typist (or transcriptionist) it would be who can't do it in 24 hours. It takes me about 3-5 hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio.


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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
10,400 words in 24 hours Jul 7

Most likely they would not have agreed to a rush fee had you accepted the job.

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't see it as black and white Jul 7

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

One simple question, one simple answer. Do you believe that in such conditions, you could provide work to a quality you are happy to defend? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and accept and invoice the high price for being able to do so.
Personally, I would never accept that volume, whatever type of work was concerned. I could not provide work of a quality I would be happy to deliver.

On a normal day, I comfortably translated 3,000 words FR>EN. On longer days, when I am not disturbed, 5,000 words can be done. I would never accept 10,000 words in 24 hours. I would expect to spend as much time answering questions from the client.

As a rule, good work provided on time enables to you to obtain and maintain decent clients providing quality work.
Provde one rotten job, and everythign you have been working to achieve in terms of quality and reputation can be ruined. Forget it.


I have perhaps on 15 occasions during the past 5 years turned around between 8000 and 17,000 words in 24 hours or less.

Are these ideal circumstances in which to do such a project, and is any translator likely to produce their very best work under such conditions? Of course not!

But it is simply false that the work produced under such conditions will inevitably be total dreck that is barely distinguishable from machine output, as has been confidently asserted by several persons in this thread.

If such had been the case, I would never have been paid for the jobs in question. And believe me, I did not do any of the jobs I have mentioned for less than US$100 an hour.

Other translators have similar stories.

People should be careful before making broad generalizations that are demonstrably false.

[Edited at 2017-07-07 23:28 GMT]


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Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 19:52
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
I think it's fairy difficult albeit doable Jul 8

if you have a decent CAT tool with relevant TMs and termbases, and a good machine translation tool that carries out the most part of the typing, and a good spell checker and QA tool to boot.

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Antony Rudakevich
Belarus
Local time: 19:52
English to Russian
+ ...
This is possible only if you have team of translators. Jul 8

Medical translation needs to have high qulity. Reason is someone's life and health. This work with such short term of being done needs team of translstors.

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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...
Hear, hear! Jul 8

Robert Forstag wrote:

People should be careful before making broad generalizations that are demonstrably false.



Totally agree.

For those who are trying to justify disapproval by quoting their average daily capacity etc, this is not the average request! Obviously the client needs the document immediately for whatever reason and they're asking the translator (who they trust and have experience working with) to do above and beyond what is normally expected.

It is possible, and a straightforward way for the translator to make several grand in a day! I don't think I've done it 15 times, but certainly more than half dozen.

Regarding my previous 25k post: PM promised me it was 12k, received it and immediately saw it was much more. Out of the 20 files, 50% were very similar documents with different names/numbers but identical content. So I agreed, quoting my top rate. Ended up translating around 12k no-match and the rest were fuzzy or 100%. Client paid without asking for fuzzy discount.

To conclude: PM was desperate, end-client (GS) was pressuring PM because they needed it before Xmas shutdown, I delivered on time without problem = much improved standing with agency. Everyone was happy and I received a huge pay check 2 weeks later

Sometimes it's worth our while to shut all doors and windows, wear some noise-cancelling headphones and go tunnel-vision into the job at hand.




[Edited at 2017-07-08 07:07 GMT]


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Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 19:52
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
I don't think Jul 8

that the client is a bully. Of course, their reply might sound rude but most likely the PM was desperate to find a translator and had no time to do small talk.

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
But... Jul 8

Maija Cirule wrote:

that the client is a bully. Of course, their reply might sound rude but most likely the PM was desperate to find a translator and had no time to do small talk.


But even so, it was rude of the PM to declare that the translator was able to turn around such high volume in such a short amount of time. Apart from issues relating to the project itself (i.e., her comfort level with the material) there are other issues related to her personal life (Was she tired at the end of a long day?; Did she have commitments the following day that precluded her from extending her day and losing sleep to take on this project?)

But more than being rude, the PM really set himself up here by trying to twist her arm. Let's say she did accept the rush job and then for some reason her work was found wanting. She could then (with some legitimacy) come back and say, "Sir, I really did not feel comfortable taking this on, but you did insist and I felt that I could not say no."

Having to assign work under such circumstances is something that PMs would do well to avoid in the first place. The next best choice is to have previously identified translators in whom you have a high degree of confidence to handle urgent high-volume work in particular fields (and then hope that one of these people is available when you need them!).



[Edited at 2017-07-08 18:32 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
French to English
Not a generalisation Jul 9

Robert Forstag wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

One simple question, one simple answer. Do you believe that in such conditions, you could provide work to a quality you are happy to defend? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and accept and invoice the high price for being able to do so.
Personally, I would never accept that volume, whatever type of work was concerned. I could not provide work of a quality I would be happy to deliver.

On a normal day, I comfortably translate 3,000 words FR>EN. On longer days, when I am not disturbed, 5,000 words can be done. I would never accept 10,000 words in 24 hours. I would expect to spend as much time answering questions from the client.

As a rule, good work provided on time enables to you to obtain and maintain decent clients providing quality work.
Provde one rotten job, and everything you have been working to achieve in terms of quality and reputation can be ruined. Forget it.


I have perhaps on 15 occasions during the past 5 years turned around between 8000 and 17,000 words in 24 hours or less.

Are these ideal circumstances in which to do such a project, and is any translator likely to produce their very best work under such conditions? Of course not!

But it is simply false that the work produced under such conditions will inevitably be total dreck that is barely distinguishable from machine output, as has been confidently asserted by several persons in this thread.

If such had been the case, I would never have been paid for the jobs in question. And believe me, I did not do any of the jobs I have mentioned for less than US$100 an hour.

Other translators have similar stories.

People should be careful before making broad generalizations that are demonstrably false.

[Edited at 2017-07-07 23:28 GMT]


My post is specifically written to indicate that this is subjective. I know that I could not do work of the type I am used to doing to the standard I am happy submitting if I have to produce 10K words in 24 hours. I simply suggest that if the original poster has doubts that the job can be done in professional conditions that are suitable for her, then she needs to think seriously about whether or not to accept. The only general comment I make, which is not a "broad generalisation" and which contains no inference beyond what is stated, is that if one is not certain about being able to produce good quality work (for whatever reason - volume, specialist knowledge, feeling tired, feeling ill, etc.), then it is common sense to remember that if one submits a piece of work which is below one's usual standard for whatever reason, then the reputation one has built up over time can be lost in one job. That's all that was said, generally, all that was meant generally and the rest is clearly indicated as being subjective. If you cite me in block, do be careful to cite me accurately and interpret what is said with a little more care and attention.


[Edited at 2017-07-09 00:49 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
French to English
Misinterpretation Jul 9

DJHartmann wrote:


For those who are trying to justify disapproval by quoting their average daily capacity etc, this is not the average request! Obviously the client needs the document immediately for whatever reason and they're asking the translator (who they trust and have experience working with) to do above and beyond what is normally expected.



[Edited at 2017-07-08 07:07 GMT]


Please take care not to over- or misinterpret what others are trying to say. I cite my average daily "cruising-speed" capacity and know that it is a wholly subjective figure. Ball park for some, I know others who barely go over half that in one day. When I was doing a lot of press releases in a technical area I knew well, I could churn out twice what I do now, so three times was possible too, obviously. It's a matter of getting your head down and getting on with it. Also a matter of being able to do that, be sure of not being disturbed etc. Attentional levels vary greatly from one individual to another. Again, this is subjective and conditional upon so many things. What A can do comfortably cannot be done by B but might be tripled by C, all to a standard each is satisfied with.

I know that 10K in a life science or legal (or combined) with a 24 turnaround, I would not be able to supply work to a standard I would be happy to send to a client. That's my opinion of what I can do happily. It concerns my assessment of my capacity and I am entitled to hold that view and cite it as something I feel comfortable with.

In fact, this thread is very much a thing of context. The original poster indicates that the client informed the freelancer what it was possible for her to do. This thread is a perfect illustration that the translator is right (she knows what she can do, comfortably and/or physically) and that the agent was wrong (cannot know what an individual freelancer can do, not without asking) and should have asked what she could/would/was happy to do. The point is that the agent was in fact replying as if the translator had answered objectively whereas she was replying subjectively, which is however what she'd been asked to do.

[Edited at 2017-07-09 01:08 GMT]


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Elif Baykara  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 19:52
Member (2015)
German to Turkish
+ ...
+1 Jul 9

Kuochoe Nikoi wrote:

I would write back, "Very well, but my fee for this job will be $10,400, payable in advance."
Them: "We can't pay that much!"
Me: "Yes, you can."


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
An apology to Nikki Jul 9

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Robert Forstag wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

One simple question, one simple answer. Do you believe that in such conditions, you could provide work to a quality you are happy to defend? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and accept and invoice the high price for being able to do so.
Personally, I would never accept that volume, whatever type of work was concerned. I could not provide work of a quality I would be happy to deliver.

On a normal day, I comfortably translate 3,000 words FR>EN. On longer days, when I am not disturbed, 5,000 words can be done. I would never accept 10,000 words in 24 hours. I would expect to spend as much time answering questions from the client.

As a rule, good work provided on time enables to you to obtain and maintain decent clients providing quality work.
Provde one rotten job, and everything you have been working to achieve in terms of quality and reputation can be ruined. Forget it.


I have perhaps on 15 occasions during the past 5 years turned around between 8000 and 17,000 words in 24 hours or less.

Are these ideal circumstances in which to do such a project, and is any translator likely to produce their very best work under such conditions? Of course not!

But it is simply false that the work produced under such conditions will inevitably be total dreck that is barely distinguishable from machine output, as has been confidently asserted by several persons in this thread.

If such had been the case, I would never have been paid for the jobs in question. And believe me, I did not do any of the jobs I have mentioned for less than US$100 an hour.

Other translators have similar stories.

People should be careful before making broad generalizations that are demonstrably false.

[Edited at 2017-07-07 23:28 GMT]


My post is specifically written to indicate that this is subjective. I know that I could not do work of the type I am used to doing to the standard I am happy submitting if I have to produce 10K words in 24 hours. I simply suggest that if the original poster has doubts that the job can be done in professional conditions that are suitable for her, then she needs to think seriously about whether or not to accept. The only general comment I make, which is not a "broad generalisation" and which contains no inference beyond what is stated, is that if one is not certain about being able to produce good quality work (for whatever reason - volume, specialist knowledge, feeling tired, feeling ill, etc.), then it is common sense to remember that if one submits a piece of work which is below one's usual standard for whatever reason, then the reputation one has built up over time can be lost in one job. That's all that was said, generally, all that was meant generally and the rest is clearly indicated as being subjective. If you cite me in block, do be careful to cite me accurately and interpret what is said with a little more care and attention.


[Edited at 2017-07-09 00:49 GMT]


Hi Nikki,

I apologize for having "quoted" your post, thereby implying that you were the source of negative characterizations of the rush translation projects - and the translators who take them on - that I cited. There were one or two other contributors to this thread who did express such views, and I really should have quoted one or both of their posts to make my point.

So I apologize to you for misrepresenting your views, and I accept your rebuke.

[Edited at 2017-07-10 01:30 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
French to English
@Robert Jul 10

Accepted, with thanks.

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