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PowerPoint: charging by the line or by the hour
Thread poster: xxxIanW
xxxIanW
Local time: 22:31
German to English
+ ...
Sep 20, 2003

Afternoon all,

I recently helped a colleague with a batch of PowerPoint files and then submitted my linecount as usual, only to be told that her customer "pays PowerPoint by the hour". Full stop. The upshot of this was that, as a reasonably fast translator, I lost about 30% of my fee, although the hourly rate was a good one.

I am aware that some translators prefer to charge PPTs by the hour when there are lots of little text boxes and fiddly bits and pieces, but I can't imagine that anyone would apply this to all PPTs wholesale.

Why do so many translators and agencies opt for an hourly rate for PPTs? Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

All the best


Ian


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:01
English to Tamil
+ ...
I too don't understand the logic behind the hourly rate Sep 21, 2003

After I started doing my translations directly on a computer, I have done a few translations in the PPT. Personally I did not find anything out of the way as the source document which was available in the computer as a soft copy was fully editable. The only difference consisted in getting the wordcount. Here I had to copy the contents text box by text box in an empty Word document and got the wordcount from the tools menu. With Practicount even that botheration is not there. Otherwise no reformatting was involved. Perhaps the others are talking about the translation from hard copies and the translation has to be typed fresh in PowerPoint? For the life of me I can't understand the logic behind the hourly rate. Normally I translate at home and get distracted on and off by so many things domestic. Under these conditions how can you time the translation? The only time when hourly rates are charged by me is for doing the work in the client' place. I am curious to know the answers to my queries.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:31
English to German
+ ...
Neither - charge by slide or quote a flat price Sep 21, 2003

Hi Ian, hi Narasimhan,
The way I see it, the main reason to invoice on an hourly basis is to shift some of the risk involved when translating PPT files, mainly due to unexpected extra formatting work.

With most PowerPoint files, the amount of work is not properly remunerated using the normal per-line or per-word rate - that's why I generally apply a price per slide, or quote an all-in price (which is obviously higher than the line-rate equivalent).

Cheers, Ralf


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Karin Walker  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:31
German to English
+ ...
Formatting Apr 14, 2004

[quote]Ralf Lemster wrote:

mainly due to unexpected extra formatting work.

That's exactly why I charge by the hour - I have had cases where the words on the text on whole slides had been entered into their own little text boxes. Obviously, the length of an English word will almost never be the same as that of a German word, with predictable results (in that particular case, a complete mess, to put it mildly). Also, I have rarely seen a well put-together PPT presentation, where the text is well spaced out and can accommodate changing text lengths. The formatting effort is totally out of proportion with the time spent on the actual translation.

Incidentally, does anyone know whether PPT's word count function in Statistics is accurate? I've never tried it out...


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