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Translation and Terminology
Thread poster: Ritu Bhanot

Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:50
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Nov 22, 2006

Hi,

Recently I was offered a translation project but my rates were higher than what was proposed by the agency... so they asked for more time.

Today the person sent me a file and I was really surprised to see that they had actually extracted all the technical terms from the manual, for which I had quoted, and sent me that file!!!

I guess they want me to translate all the terms and then get someone else to do the real translation.

Am I right? Or is it just a figment of my imagination?

Has anyone else ever faced a similar situation?

Moreover, I'm not a terminologist. I've never translated just terminology, if you know what I mean. Of course, I've created terminology for my own use but never like this... and personally, I'd charge a different price for creating terminology than what I'd charge to translate. Please enlighten me if I'm wrong.

Thanks.

Ritu


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Chantal Kamgne  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:50
Member (2006)
English to French
Charge more Nov 22, 2006

I am not a terminologist either, but I have a local client who insist that I build glossaries for him. What we do is, he sends me the original files (for context), and the file to translate. I charge many times my normal rates per word.
I do not see why I would quote for translating a list of a hundred technical words as if it represented just one hour of work. I mean, I am selling my knowledge and my experience (I am still young but I have some ). Plus I have to go trought pages of technical documentation to get the right context.
This is the only client who gave me that kind of job, and I am not sure that I can reach such an agrement with any other client, so it may be better for me to stick on translation.

I am much interested in knowing how translators specialized in terminology go about this.



[Edited at 2006-11-22 19:32]


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:50
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Reject it or charge more Nov 22, 2006

Hi Ritu,

are you sure that the terms you received are the terms from the translation you applied for? In this case, the client seems to be in need for your technical knowledge and your quality, but prefers to save money by having the real translation done by someone else (who is probably cheaper).
I think, I would talk to the client about this and maybe you can still negotiate about the initial job. Otherwise I would reject the job or charge higher for creating a glossary, but in this case, the client would probably not accept it.

Regards,
Inga


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 20:50
German to Romanian
+ ...
I refuse term translations Nov 22, 2006

I have done this in my "early" days once or twice but I have learned my lesson
Unless you know all the terms by heart, it is not worth doing such work, especially since clients expect to pay your per word rate.

I am now refusing such jobs without any regret. Even if you know all the terms, they are your asset and you use them for your own work. You worked hard to research them, so why just hand them over to a client?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Take the money and run Nov 22, 2006

Ritu Bhanot wrote:
Today the person sent me a file and I was really surprised to see that they had actually extracted all the technical terms from the manual, for which I had quoted, and sent me that file!!! ... I guess they want me to translate all the terms and then get someone else to do the real translation.


What I would do, is explain to them that terminology translated out of context may turn out to be useless. But, I'll gladly translate the list for them, at my usual per-word rate, if they'll acknowledge my warning that it may turn out to be a worthless exercise.

Elvira Stoianov wrote:
Unless you know all the terms by heart, it is not worth doing such work, especially since clients expect to pay your per word rate.


Now that I've read Elvira's post, I must add that I agree with her -- you must know the terms off by heart and/or have automated or half-automated dictionary lookup procedures.

Remember, your per word rate is based on average time per word. If they were to give only those words that take longer to translate, it would make sense to up your rate.

[Edited at 2006-11-22 11:22]


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chinesetrans
Netherlands
Local time: 20:50
English to Chinese
+ ...
Charge it doubled Nov 22, 2006

It happened to me once. And I charged it doubled. Of course, the client refused at first. But I told him, that was not translation, but a dictionary complying. Finally, after serveral days pending, the client granted me that favor.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:50
French to English
Compromise? Nov 22, 2006

Do you use a CAT tool?

If so, it occurs to me (never having been faced with this situation) that one possibility would be to translate the original document (not just the teminology list) using a CAT tool, and then systematically add the technical terms to a new, specific glossary as they arise. You could then deliver both this glossary and the translation to your client.
(Actually, I suppose you don't need a CAT tool for this, it's just very easy to do if you do have one)

The advantage to you is that you get to do a "proper job" (and, of course, you'll have the glossary for future reference), and you get a decent payment for a decent job (as you usually would)

The adv. for the client is that he/she has a glossary for future use, which he/she can pass on.

It's not ideal, of course (hence the title) since you could well end up never working for the client again, but it seems better than translating a list of just terminology, blindly, and offers the client something in exchange for paying your "high" rate for the job.


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:50
English to German
+ ...
Talk to your client to-be Nov 22, 2006

Let them know that you bid for and expected a manual and not a list of terms, so what went wrong?

Tell them that a translation of terms requires context and that the rate you offered was meant for terms within context.

Maybe you can offer an example for ambiguous terms in your language pair.

Then just wait what they tell you.

If you do software translation and localization a list of terms and expressions is often the only thing you get and then you have to tell your client that you need context for quality, e.g. a demo version of the program or guest access to some application or at least some screen prints or the like.

If you care for quality work then I would advise against just taking the money and doing some kind of translation to the words. If not, well, then do what you want and bear the consequences ...


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