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Charge extra rates for corrections?
Thread poster: SandraV

SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:07
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 17, 2004

Hi,
Should I charge extra rates after I have completed and delivered the job, and they send it back for corrections or changes?

Thank you
Sandy

[Edited at 2004-06-17 17:33]


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Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:07
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Here's how I deal with them. Jun 17, 2004

Sandra,

If you mean corrections and changes made by an editor/proofreader, sent back to you just to be incorporated or not, I would say no. I think they're still part of the translation process and should not be charged extra.
If they're revisions or changes of the original document, then, I'd say it depends. If they're minor changes, from a regular client, I usually don't charge. If they're more than a paragraph, then I would definitely charge.


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xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Whose changes? Jun 17, 2004

Sandra wrote:

Should I charge extra rates after I have completed and delivered the job, and they send it back for corrections or changes?



If they made changes to the source text, it's like new text to you and you can charge.

In all other cases I can think of, you should make the corrections they request and view it as part of the original work.

Next time, read the PO carefully to see if it's included in the rate (it often is) and clarify the matter beforehand if need be.

Over time, being a pleasant person to deal with is at least as important as being a competent translator in order to keep your clients.
Best,
Esther


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
oh so true... Jun 17, 2004

Esther Pfeffer wrote:
If they made changes to the source text, it's like new text to you and you can charge.

In all other cases I can think of, you should make the corrections they request and view it as part of the original work.

Next time, read the PO carefully to see if it's included in the rate (it often is) and clarify the matter beforehand if need be.

Over time, being a pleasant person to deal with is at least as important as being a competent translator in order to keep your clients.
Best,
Esther



100% in agreement.

Cheers,

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EUTI
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:07
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Common practice Jun 17, 2004

It is a common practice that the client sends back to the translator texts proofread/edited by a second translator for acceptance/rejection of the proposed changes. This is a common QC practice; personally, I consider it as a part of the translation work done.

Elías


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SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:07
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you!! Jun 17, 2004

sormane wrote:

Sandra,

If you mean corrections and changes made by an editor/proofreader, sent back to you just to be incorporated or not, I would say no. I think they're still part of the translation process and should not be charged extra.
If they're revisions or changes of the original document, then, I'd say it depends. If they're minor changes, from a regular client, I usually don't charge. If they're more than a paragraph, then I would definitely charge.


Thank you very much Sormane,Esther, Susana and Elías. Your replies have been very useful.
Greetings from Mexico



[Edited at 2004-06-17 20:32]


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AnaAngelica Amador
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sometimes you should charge Jun 17, 2004

While I agree that having a second or third opinion is part of a good Quality Process, the truth is that sometimes in-house revisions are made by bilingual people that are not particularly good editors. Many changes are nothing but excessive paraphrasing and synonyms. I always have the client ask their editor to explain why his suggested changes are necessary. That weeds out some of the capricious ones.

If the editor clearly points out an error or an omission (I try to make sure there is none of that on the translation) I appreciate having it brought to my attention and I correct it immediately. I also accept a suggested change that comes together with a grammar rule or a good recommendation. However, I bill for changes based on personal preferences unless their preferred wording is provided to me in advance.

I do not accept any changes that I know are not true to the original. Sometimes an editor may want to embellish so much that the translation distances itself from the source. In that case, I am happy to provide the copy they want, but cancel the certificate of accuracy. I can't please them and -also- be liable by a mistake recommended by someone else.


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Miguel Llorens  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
You should charge if the proofreading quality is poor. Jun 17, 2004

Yes, I agree that incompetent proofreadings (and they are common) should be charged for. I recently received back a 3,000 word text that was proofread by an illiterate idiot. The agency wantes to horsetrade on the fee, which I should have interpreted as a bad sign.

After some arm wrestling, they decided to meet my fee and skimp on the proofreading, so they got the wino from the corner pub to proofread. He didn't even bother to run a Spell Check on his own work. I had to waste part of my Saturday, which I wanted to dedicate to the European football finals after a very long week, to teaching high-school Spanish to some ignoramus alcoholic, making a chart with all the mistakes inserted into the copy. They were so numerous, I quit after the second page. Some of his improvements to the text are below.

The agency had not advised me that this was part of the deal, nor was it specified in the PO. So, yes, I believe that sometimes you have to charge extra.

Orig:
advocacy
Trans:
proselitisimo
Proofreader:
incidencia

Orig:
indigenous
Trans:
autóctona
Proofreader:
indígena

Orig:
$5.14 million
Trans:
US$ 5,14 millones
Proofreader:
US$ 5.14 millones (changes Spanish decimal comma to period)

Orig:
Japan made an emergency grant
Trans:
Japón hizo una donación de emergencia
Proofreader:
Japón **hizo contribuyó** con un monto de emergencia

Trans:
en el agua de la superficie para disminuir
Proofreader:
en el agua de la superficie **ydisminuir** la incidencia

Orig:
US$ 400,000
Trans:
400.000 US$
Proofreader:
400,000 US$ (changes it to comma)

Orig:
key ministries
Trans:
y otros ministerios clave.
Proofreader:
y otros ministerios claves.


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SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:07
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Same rate? Jun 18, 2004

AnaAngelica Amador wrote:

While I agree that having a second or third opinion is part of a good Quality Process, the truth is that sometimes in-house revisions are made by bilingual people that are not particularly good editors. Many changes are nothing but excessive paraphrasing and synonyms. I always have the client ask their editor to explain why his suggested changes are necessary. That weeds out some of the capricious ones.

If the editor clearly points out an error or an omission (I try to make sure there is none of that on the translation) I appreciate having it brought to my attention and I correct it immediately. I also accept a suggested change that comes together with a grammar rule or a good recommendation. However, I bill for changes based on personal preferences unless their preferred wording is provided to me in advance.

I do not accept any changes that I know are not true to the original. Sometimes an editor may want to embellish so much that the translation distances itself from the source. In that case, I am happy to provide the copy they want, but cancel the certificate of accuracy. I can\'t please them and -also- be liable by a mistake recommended by someone else.


Thank you Ana, I agree with you, sometimes they ask for ridiculous changes. But in case you accept them ¿Do you charge the same rate you charge for the original translation text, or is it a a different rate per word?


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SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:07
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Extra charge Jun 18, 2004

Miguel Llorens wrote:

Yes, I agree that incompetent proofreadings (and they are common) should be charged for. I recently received back a 3,000 word text that was proofread by an illiterate idiot. The agency wantes to horsetrade on the fee, which I should have interpreted as a bad sign.

After some arm wrestling, they decided to meet my fee and skimp on the proofreading, so they got the wino from the corner pub to proofread. He didn't even bother to run a Spell Check on his own work. I had to waste part of my Saturday, which I wanted to dedicate to the European football finals after a very long week, to teaching high-school Spanish to some ignoramus alcoholic, making a chart with all the mistakes inserted into the copy. They were so numerous, I quit after the second page. Some of his improvements to the text are below.

The agency had not advised me that this was part of the deal, nor was it specified in the PO. So, yes, I believe that sometimes you have to charge extra.

Orig:
advocacy
Trans:
proselitisimo
Proofreader:
incidencia

Orig:
indigenous
Trans:
autóctona
Proofreader:
indígena

Orig:
$5.14 million
Trans:
US$ 5,14 millones
Proofreader:
US$ 5.14 millones (changes Spanish decimal comma to period)

Orig:
Japan made an emergency grant
Trans:
Japón hizo una donación de emergencia
Proofreader:
Japón **hizo contribuyó** con un monto de emergencia

Trans:
en el agua de la superficie para disminuir
Proofreader:
en el agua de la superficie **ydisminuir** la incidencia

Orig:
US$ 400,000
Trans:
400.000 US$
Proofreader:
400,000 US$ (changes it to comma)

Orig:
key ministries
Trans:
y otros ministerios clave.
Proofreader:
y otros ministerios claves.




Thank you very much Miguel. In this specific case ¿did you charge the same rate for changes and for the original translation?


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brigidm  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 15:07
Member
Norwegian to English
So your word is final, is it? Jun 18, 2004

AnaAngelica Amador wrote:

If the editor clearly points out an error or an omission (I try to make sure there is none of that on the translation) I appreciate having it brought to my attention and I correct it immediately. I also accept a suggested change that comes together with a grammar rule or a good recommendation. However, I bill for changes based on personal preferences unless their preferred wording is provided to me in advance.
Firstly, if accepting "a suggested change that comes together with a grammar rule" means that you accept that you made a grammatical error, then it goes without saying that you should correct it without charging. But what I particularly reacted to was your billing for changes "based on personal preferences". Many companies (especially larger ones) have their own "in-house" preferences for certain words, some adopt the "lingo" of their international head office, for example. My attitude has been that a good translator will check this out beforehand by obtaining relevant documentation to use as a guideline (time pressures permitting, admittedly), or simply respect that, like ourselves, the client may also have a personal preference for particular words - and he/she is paying the bill, after all. So if a client came back and said he'd rather use, for example, "implement" instead of "carry out", I would not dream of charging extra. Am I being naïve?

[Edited at 2004-06-18 08:54]


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AnaAngelica Amador
English to Spanish
+ ...
How I bill for "preferences" (not errors). Jun 18, 2004

Sandra wrote:

AnaAngelica Amador wrote:

While I agree that having a second or third opinion is part of a good Quality Process, the truth is that sometimes in-house revisions are made by bilingual people that are not particularly good editors. Many changes are nothing but excessive paraphrasing and synonyms. I always have the client ask their editor to explain why his suggested changes are necessary. That weeds out some of the capricious ones.

If the editor clearly points out an error or an omission (I try to make sure there is none of that on the translation) I appreciate having it brought to my attention and I correct it immediately. I also accept a suggested change that comes together with a grammar rule or a good recommendation. However, I bill for changes based on personal preferences unless their preferred wording is provided to me in advance.

I do not accept any changes that I know are not true to the original. Sometimes an editor may want to embellish so much that the translation distances itself from the source. In that case, I am happy to provide the copy they want, but cancel the certificate of accuracy. I can't please them and -also- be liable by a mistake recommended by someone else.


Thank you Ana, I agree with you, sometimes they ask for ridiculous changes. But in case you accept them ¿Do you charge the same rate you charge for the original translation text, or is it a a different rate per word?


When I accept the changes based on preferences (assuming no glossary or references were provided to me), I bill them based on the number of words on the sentence or phrase. Why? ...because the entire sentence may need further editing for gender and number agreement. I sometimes also run a search, to make sure the term is translated consistently through the entire document -- and yes, I bill them for any changes that stem from that search. Your client needs to know that there is a difference between editing (making corrections) and rewriting.
If their "preference" appears in the references or the glossary, I apologize for my oversight.


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AnaAngelica Amador
English to Spanish
+ ...
More on the topic Jun 19, 2004

Brigid Mccauley wrote:

AnaAngelica Amador wrote:

If the editor clearly points out an error or an omission (I try to make sure there is none of that on the translation) I appreciate having it brought to my attention and I correct it immediately. I also accept a suggested change that comes together with a grammar rule or a good recommendation. However, I bill for changes based on personal preferences unless their preferred wording is provided to me in advance.
Firstly, if accepting "a suggested change that comes together with a grammar rule" means that you accept that you made a grammatical error, then it goes without saying that you should correct it without charging. But what I particularly reacted to was your billing for changes "based on personal preferences". Many companies (especially larger ones) have their own "in-house" preferences for certain words, some adopt the "lingo" of their international head office, for example. My attitude has been that a good translator will check this out beforehand by obtaining relevant documentation to use as a guideline (time pressures permitting, admittedly), or simply respect that, like ourselves, the client may also have a personal preference for particular words - and he/she is paying the bill, after all. So if a client came back and said he'd rather use, for example, "implement" instead of "carry out", I would not dream of charging extra. Am I being naïve?

[Edited at 2004-06-18 08:54]

First let me say that NOT all the grammar rules given to me are correct. Some are outdated, some are even made up. I have to consider them and not assume they are pointing out a mistake. Asking for a rule or explanation is just the means to discourage capricious changes, but it can also have time consuming consequences for me. If I reject their reasoning, I send a faxed copy of an up-to-date reference with an explanation. It might take a minute or two, but in the long run, they learn to trust my choices and only make changes that contribute to the overall quality of the translation.

If my client recommends a change based on a preference that he has not provided me in a glossary or reference document -- assuming it is a good client and based on your example -- I would change the "carry out" to "implement" and not charge them. I'll also make a note for future reference that they prefer using "to implement." Now, if two months later his edits on a similar document show that he changed his mind and now wants "to execute" and not "to implement" or "carry out" I do bill them.

I don't think we are naive when we want out clients to be pleased with the quality of our work AND delighted with our service. But I consider it bad business when I let a client who does not have my training or experience expect changes that do not enhance or improve the translation for free.


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Adela Van Gils  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:07
German to Dutch
+ ...
corrections Jun 19, 2004

Dear colleagues,

I should read the forum messages more often. Thanks for the information. Something similar happened to me. On Ascension day I received corrections on one of my translations. That was new to me. Even though it was a holiday, I answered the client instantly.
The corrections were from a non native or from someone who didnot know how to write a Dutch text. I justified my choises and refuted the ones of the corrector, adding an explanation in detail to every correction. After sending the document back to the client, he returned the file to me within a minute, asking me to alter the text as far as necessary.
I did not charge them. Did not even come up in my mind. Pherhaps because I ask a good fee from the beginning. But I stopped working for the client. In many ways I was not happy with the way they behaved.


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