Mobile menu

Advanced formatting charge
Thread poster: Alexei Abramov

Alexei Abramov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:45
English to Russian
Jun 17, 2006

Hello!
I believe myself to have vast experience in processing pdf files and scanned pages with formatting their contents in Word to make them look like the original.
Not any translator would readily agree to undertake this kind of work along with translation (may be not all of them are able to perform it), preferring, of course, to have the source in editable format (Word).
My question is whether it is possible to get freelance job for this kind of work in translation agencies, and if yes, may be you could give me any idea of how much this work can cost?
Thanks in advance for your answers!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:45
English to French
+ ...
Where is the market? Jun 17, 2006

Hello Aleksei,

I think it is worth it, as I know there are agencies that have DTP departments for just that. I have worked on a document recently which was made using FrameMaker, and I got the PDFs as a reference. Ultimately, the client wanted to obtain a PDF. I used TagEditor to translate it, but the agency I was working with had their DTP person edit it - with my help for linguistic questions - into a perfect PDF layout.

I think that if these people do have a separate department to do this, then there is a market for what you are looking to do. However, the question is where is the market. I think it's most likely that larger agencies with excellent project management processes are the ones who may offer this kind of opportunity. The trouble is, most agencies don't have such a great process set up, and as I found out lately, a vast majority of them doesn't even systematically proof translations. So, you would have to look for the top of the crop - which is generally harder to find than agencies who leave it all up to the translator.

As for how to charge, obviously, the wordcount cannot be used here - so you are left with an hourly rate. I think your regular translation hourly rate would do the job. You would make the same amount of money as for translation, and work for about the same amount of time, so it's all good.

I think there is a market for this, but you will have a harder time finding your clients than for translation.

Good luck!

P.S.: If you have tricks for translators about eternal PDF questions, I would be happy to learn from you ; )


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexei Abramov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:45
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Everything I know, you'll know Jun 17, 2006

Hello, Viktoria,
Thank you very much for your answer! As to pdf questions, well, I am always ready to do my best to help you deal with them. I believe, though, that the thing is not as much tricky as boring:), but I like doing it just to have some mental rest from translating.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 02:45
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
My 2c on the subject... Jun 17, 2006

PDF stands for "portable document file" format. So the market, you are talking about, is actually a nonPDF - for nonportable PDFs: pages upon pages of scanned faxes and hand notes etc, made respectable (well, give the authors the deserved praise) by packing them into a PDF file. You scratch their surface and you get a bunch on jpgs at 75 dpis... (end of rant)

There's definitely a market for that. I just don't think it's mainstream. And it's not translating - it's interpreting in the sense of giving a highly-educated and low-paid hand to a dumb (i.e. dumber than necessary) OCR program.

Will it be there in five years? Probably. Maybe the future is in helping decipher all the stuff since Gilgamesh' times up to the appearance of Times Roman font ...

[Edited at 2006-06-17 20:28]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexei Abramov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:45
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Some correction... Jun 18, 2006

Vito Smolej wrote:

PDF stands for "portable document file" format. So the market, you are talking about, is actually a nonPDF - for nonportable PDFs: pages upon pages of scanned faxes and hand notes etc, made respectable (well, give the authors the deserved praise) by packing them into a PDF file. You scratch their surface and you get a bunch on jpgs at 75 dpis...


I probably did not make myself clear enough... By processing pdf files I meant taking, say, some manual in pdf (not editable) with no source (editable) file available that needs to be translated into several languages, and formatting the contents of the source pdf in Word to make them look exactly the way they do in the original. The only difference is that the source text now can be deleted and replaced by the translation.

I figure that for an agency it is somewhat more cost effective to pay to one person who does this job, rather then to pay extra to several translators who would do the same thing.

However, possibly, I am totally wrong. This is actually the reason why I started this topic.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 02:45
French to Dutch
+ ...
My opinion Jun 19, 2006

Aleksei Abramov wrote:

Vito Smolej wrote:

PDF stands for "portable document file" format. So the market, you are talking about, is actually a nonPDF - for nonportable PDFs: pages upon pages of scanned faxes and hand notes etc, made respectable (well, give the authors the deserved praise) by packing them into a PDF file. You scratch their surface and you get a bunch on jpgs at 75 dpis...


I probably did not make myself clear enough... By processing pdf files I meant taking, say, some manual in pdf (not editable) with no source (editable) file available that needs to be translated into several languages, and formatting the contents of the source pdf in Word to make them look exactly the way they do in the original. The only difference is that the source text now can be deleted and replaced by the translation.

I figure that for an agency it is somewhat more cost effective to pay to one person who does this job, rather then to pay extra to several translators who would do the same thing.

However, possibly, I am totally wrong. This is actually the reason why I started this topic.

Nearly all formatting is done in QuarkXpress, Pagemaker or other DTP programs. These programs generate the PDF files. I did DTP for 15 years, know Quark relatively well, own a license and yet have only one client who asks me to do my translations directly in the Quark files. The problem is that clients, printing houses and DTP firms often don't want to give their files. Of course the editable Quark files exist, but someone is sitting on them, is afraid of earning less or doesn't want translators to mess them up. When copying the translation, DTP and printing houses don't use the formatting of the Word file and sometimes will have to undo everything. So there's no need to do formatting in the same way as a PDF file, especially if nobody asked for it. Besides, this is almost impossible, because Word doesn't have the same features as an advanced and expensive DTP program. You won't be paid for it, so just do the minimum (bold, italics).

If you want to do some formatting from scratch, use Powerpoint, which has the same approach as Quark (lots of text boxes) and in which you can insert photographs, etc. And a Powerpoint translation should look like the original: if your target text is longer than the original you will have to resize the text boxes or to adapt the fonts. If this takes time, you can ask for a supplement for it, or charge it separately, per hour (your hourly rate, or more). The price issue should be discussed before the translation.

If you want do do formatting as a job, of course this is possible, but you'll need material (MacIntosh and at least a colour laser printer), software (Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator), MacIntosh fonts (which are not the same as the Windows fonts) and some typographical and typesetting knowledge. If the client has style guides, you should follow them and be sure to have the right to use logos etc.

Besides, in some countries DTP-services are under another tax regime, as they aren't intellectual activities but commerial ones and always require VAT.

[Edited at 2006-06-19 11:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Advanced formatting charge

Advanced search


Translation news





PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs