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They send me revised source material, but I'm already halfway finished
Thread poster: Ben Dooley

Ben Dooley
Local time: 20:58
Japanese to English
Sep 14, 2006

Hello,

I find myself in a bit of a fix. I'm working for an agency. They sent me some PP to translate a few days ago. I have translated about half of it. This morning, they sent me an email with a significantly revised copy of the PP. The revisions are unmarked and even if they were, many of them are in parts I have already translated.

Has anyone else had this experience? What did you do? Clearly, this is going to make a lot of extra work for me, and the rates I'm getting paid for this job aren't great to begin with. Any suggestions about how I should deal with it?

Thanks very much.

Best,
Ben Dooley


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Ala Rabie  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 02:58
Japanese to Arabic
+ ...
What about the deadlines? Sep 14, 2006

Send them the work you have completed so far, informing them that it will be included in the invoice as an item, and the revised document will be another item--in short, tell them that you will invoice them for the words you have translated in both documents.

It is not your fault that they have decided to alter content without prior notification.

Alternatively, you may invoice them at per hour rate for editing your translation in the revised parts.

~Ala
alamnesis.com

[Edited at 2006-09-14 15:37]


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:58
French to English
+ ...
that happened to me once Sep 14, 2006

and the agency and I compromised:
I billed them a reduced rate for what I had already done, and full rate for the entire revised document. That seemed fair to all involved.

Cheers,

Patricia


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:58
English to German
+ ...
Did they inform you in advance? Sep 14, 2006

Did they tell you before that changes were expected and was there some kind of agreement about how to handle the situation?

If not, I would contact them, inform them of the status quo of the translation and ask what they want you to do:

Translate both documents at the original rate?

Stop translating the first one, of course invoicing the work you have done so far, and start with the new one. (If you have an agreement about lower rates for repetitions you might offer a lower rate for the part you do twice, as Patricia suggested. I would not offer it, but it could be something they may want to negotiate.)

Stop translating the old one, invoicing it, and start translating the new one beginning at the position you stopped with the old one (if you can identify it after the revision).

Ask if there are further revisions to be expected and how to handle these.

If they are a respectable customer they should not expect you to work for free just because they made a mistake.

Sometimes you just have to point out to a customer that there is a problem. Maybe they just assumed you had not started yet.





[Bearbeitet am 2006-09-14 16:19]


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Ben Dooley
Local time: 20:58
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Sep 14, 2006

Thank you for the advice. The deadline is Monday, although I had hope to finish the translation today, haggling over this will probably take me through the deadline.

The thing that frustrates me the most about these kinds of situations is that resolving them takes time. Which means I have less time to spend on the work I actually get paid for.

I just compared the two documents and they are substantially revised. I guess the only thing to do is charge them for the work I've already done and then again for the new work. I'll have to wait a few hours before I contact them, though. I'm not sure I can be polite in my current state of mind

Cheers,
Ben


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Ben Dooley
Local time: 20:58
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the advice Sep 14, 2006

You make a good point. I should give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they don't know that I have already started

Cheers,
Ben

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:

Did they tell you before that changes were expected and was there some kind of agreement about how to handle the situation?

If not, I would contact them, inform them of the status quo of the translation and ask what they want you to do:

Translate both documents at the original rate?

Stop translating the first one, of course invoicing the work you have done so far, and start with the new one. (If you have an agreement about lower rates for repetitions you might offer a lower rate for the part you do twice, as Patricia suggested. I would not offer it, but it could be something they may want to negotiate.)

Stop translating the old one, invoicing it, and start translating the new one beginning at the position you stopped with the old one (if you can identify it after the revision).

Ask if there are further revisions to be expected and how to handle these.

If they are a respectable customer they should not expect you to work for free just because they made a mistake.

Sometimes you just have to point out to a customer that there is a problem. Maybe they just assumed you had not started yet.





[Bearbeitet am 2006-09-14 16:19]


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Carlos Ruestes  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
My experience.... Sep 14, 2006

I am also a freelance Technical Drafter, and the very same thing happened to me a couple of times so I decided to bill them for all the extra time needed to finish the AutoCAD drawings, which they paid with some complaints!
Since then, I always make clear in advance that any changes once the project is awarded will be billed completely. It never happened again!!!


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
Since you have both the old and new version of the source document, Sep 14, 2006

you can use Word's "compare documents" (under "tools") to highlight the changes that have been made to the source document.

I would go through the entire part of the document you have already translated and charge BY THE HOUR for amendments you need to make.

In the meantime, you may want to send the agency a copy of the work you have done so far, to show them excactly how much you have done.

No need to start again as that would be a complete waste of time!

Hope this help,

Ivana


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
same thing happened to me ... Sep 14, 2006

My client (I wasn't working through an agency) was very gracious about paying me extra. I didn't want to charge full price because much of the research was already behind me. This was a project that went on for many months, and at the very end, I charged them by the hour for about 3 days worth of work, much of which was attributable to the confusion arising from the multiple changes that were made as we went along.

In short, you deserve to be compensated for the time that you spend working for them ...

By PP do you mean Power Point? If it is in Word, you could do as Ivana suggests, but in my case, since the writing had to be very readable, and I couldn't just swap in and out different phrases -- it would have hurt the quality and taken some time anyway. So, I just started over and ocassionally, I cut and pasted in a section from the first translation.

Hang in there, and don't waste too much energy being mad at them--this sort of thing happens, and you just have to move through it and beyond it.

GOOD LUCK!

[Edited at 2006-09-14 17:44]

[Edited at 2006-09-14 17:45]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 03:58
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Did you use a cat tool? Sep 14, 2006

With CAT you easily avoid these traps because unchanged segments are already in memory.
In tourist brochures these last revisions occure almost every time, so one should never start without using CAT. "Never translate the same sentence twice",
Regards
Heinrich


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 02:58
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Must be fun tracking changes in Kanji or Kana... Sep 14, 2006

you can use Word's "compare documents" (under "tools") to highlight the changes that have been made to the source document.


[Edited at 2006-09-14 20:57]


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
You have a point! Sep 15, 2006

Vito Smolej wrote:

Must be fun tracking changes in Kanji or Kana... .




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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Freelancers: charge per word translated Sep 15, 2006

Ben wrote:
This morning, they sent me an email with a significantly revised copy of the PP. The revisions are unmarked and even if they were, many of them are in parts I have already translated.


The client will assume that you have some way of determining where the changes had been made, some way which will take only a second to implement. You may try to charge a proofreading fee for manually seeking out the changes, but the client may be unconvinced.

However, once you've done the automatic document compare, I really think you should charge money for all the words that you had translated (charge for whole sentences unless the changes to the sentences are simple). The client probably won't like it, but the fact is that you must be paid for the work you did. In the end, you might lose a bit anyway, because you have to spend more time than usual making sure that the retranslated sentence is consistent with the context in which that sentence occur.

If you're a salaried translator like myself, then it's all part of the job and you can't complain.


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srbtrad
Local time: 21:58
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Later modifications our source material Sep 15, 2006

[Hi Ben,


I have been through the same problem once and then modified my contract to say that later modifications are subject to additional charges and that the translator is not liable for modifications made after delivery by the client without the translator's approval.

In this case, and what I did in the past, I would approach them and discuss the matter and charge the modifications on an hourly basis as you may need to compare documents to make the necessary changes. If not too much work, I would just tell them that I am not charging this time and still win the client over.

Reasonable clients will act reasonably. If too much, them explain the advantages of having the changes made by yourself and the disadvantages of having it by another person, in case they are too exptensive.

Best of all, modify your contract to avoid future troubles.

Good luck.


Laerte J Silva


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ÇAĞDAŞ MANDALI  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:58
English to Turkish
+ ...
invoice for editing Sep 15, 2006

I also had a similar experience, but it was a small assignment of about 8500 words and I had translated just about 3500.

What I did was to invoice the 3500 words I had completed, finish the translation and invoice the remaining part, and then to invoice an editing charge for the 3500 words.

Of course, the deadlines should also be considered, you should require flexibility for the deadline, as any work on the translation takes time.

Try to reach a deal, they HAVE TO understand you.

Good Luck


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