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Do you charge more to translate PDF files?
Thread poster: Judy Rojas

Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 19, 2005

The question has been on my mind for a while now.

I know that there are many programs that convert PDF files to Word format, but all take some time to fix to the original file's format.

So, should there be a surcharge for this type of files.

I have been thinking about charging a bit more to account for my time, but I would like to hear from the Proz community as to what is usual and customary.

Thanks in advance,

Ricardo


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Haiyang Ai  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:03
English to Chinese
+ ...
No Aug 19, 2005

I usually don't.

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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:03
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
No, I don't either. Aug 19, 2005

No, I don't charge any extra either. If it is really taking you that much longer, than perhaps you should consider charging your hourly rate instead. For me, it would just be too complex to have a rate for pdfs, a rate for word, etc, etc.

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Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification Aug 19, 2005

What I'm referring to, actually, is not just straight text, but rather heavily formatted documents, like forms, brochures, or technical manuals with lots of graphics that need to be put in call-out tables.

It seems like a lot of my time is spent on doing lay-out work instead of translating.

Regards,
Ricardo


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German Services
Local time: 13:03
English to German
+ ...
Images? Aug 19, 2005

Hi Ricardo,



You might be referring to pdf files containing scanned images? I always charge more for those, pdf, jpeg or whatever they are.

Retaining the original layout is very time-consuming when dealing with images and, depending on your agreement with your client, maybe not your job as a translator.

Here is a link to a software that transforms pdf files into doc and other file formats: http://www.abbyy.com/download/?param=34704 (This is basically OCR software, I found it helpful with more complex documents containing tables etc.)

It's a trial version only, there are tons of other tools available.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
No layouts Aug 19, 2005

None for free, anyway. And none at all for me because I am a translator, not a formatter.

What I do with .pdf files is to tell the client I will give them the translation with no formatting and then they run with it, unless they can find a source MSWord file for it.

Or they can find a desktop publisher who does not know how to translate, it's their choice.



[Edited at 2005-08-19 03:42]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Retaining formatting is a bonus, I agree Aug 19, 2005

Henry Hinds wrote:
None for free, anyway. And none at all for me because I am a translator, not a formatter.


I agree. My job as translator is to provide a translation, not a DTP job. If I can aid the client by retaining the layout without much difficulty, then I'll gladly do that, but then the client must aid me also by providing the source text in a format which facilitates the retention of layout. If the client sends me the text as a JPG or a PDF, then he must be satisfied with a plaintext unformatted translation, unless he specifies otherwise and is willing to pay extra.


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:03
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
No DTP work Aug 19, 2005

I normally give them the translation without formatting and don't charge anything extra for that. Just make sure they can follow which segment of your translation related to which segment of the source, e.g. keeping the translation of one source page into one page...

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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Yes + 20% Aug 19, 2005

Ricardo Martinez de la Torre wrote:
Do you charge more to translate PDF files?


Charging at least 20% more is the safest way to make the client suddenly find the original document..

[Edited at 2005-08-19 07:31]


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Nicole Maina  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
German to Italian
+ ...
yes +30% Aug 19, 2005

Ricardo Martinez de la Torre wrote:

What I'm referring to, actually, is not just straight text, but rather heavily formatted documents, like forms, brochures, or technical manuals with lots of graphics that need to be put in call-out tables.

It seems like a lot of my time is spent on doing lay-out work instead of translating.

Regards,
Ricardo


hi ricardo,

when there is a lot of formatting (and OCR), as you say, I charge +30%. it seems to be a lot, but once it happened to me that at the end of the day I had earned much less than usual (without surcharge!) because I had really spent 80% of the time formatting and fussing with pictures, tables and so on.

since that job I am always very careful before accepting similar jobs. I wonder if someone knows a formatter or anybody who would like to cooperate with translators in such cases? I mean, if you do it everyday and know the best softwares etc. you might do it much faster and it could be convenient for both the formatter and the translator. anyone?

bye
nicole


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Laure Trads  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:03
Member (2004)
English to French
Yes Aug 19, 2005

For non editable supports such as PDF, fax, etc., I charge the target wordcount instead of the source wordcount.

Laure


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Jiang Xuhu
Local time: 02:03
English to Chinese
PDF Aug 19, 2005

No

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:03
German to English
+ ...
Do you charge more to translate PDF files? Aug 19, 2005

Yes, usually. And more for hardcopy, too.

Marc


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
yes, plus a nominal 10% Aug 19, 2005

Also for hard-copy. It doesn't cover the extra work involved, but it's a concession. Alternatively I offer to convert, explaining the possible problems (lines one can't remove, for example), and give them the choice.

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Jan Vano  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:03
German to Czech
+ ...
that is a good idea Aug 19, 2005

Harry_B wrote:

Ricardo Martinez de la Torre wrote:
Do you charge more to translate PDF files?


Charging at least 20% more is the safest way to make the client suddenly find the original document..

[Edited at 2005-08-19 07:31]


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