How to charge for figures?
Thread poster: Aleksandra Mišak
Aleksandra Mišak  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Apr 5, 2007

Dear colleagues,
I would apreciate some advice on how to determine the price for figures. Here's the case: I received the document in pdf. the client asked me to translate axes legends in graphs and include the "translated" figure in the translation in Word. format. To do that, I had to cut the figures from pdf., paste them into Paint, translate the legends, organize the figure to look as it does in the original, and then paste it into Word. It took time and I don't know how to charge for that. There is no standard price because it is not a standard service. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Thank you so much.


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:51
English to Dutch
+ ...
Charge by the hour Apr 5, 2007

I have no experience, but it seems fairly obvious that this kind of work should be charged by the hour, at your regular hourly rates.

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Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve
Colombia
Local time: 15:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with Jan. Apr 5, 2007

Just charge by hours.

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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 22:51
French to Dutch
+ ...
Yes Apr 5, 2007

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

I have no experience, but it seems fairly obvious that this kind of work should be charged by the hour, at your regular hourly rates.

But always make a quote before and don't forget that the client wins time. DTP is a straightforward job and in this sense easier than translation: you can do it or not do it and afterwards it is done or not done, there are less quality issues.


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Aleksandra Mišak  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How to charge for figures? Apr 6, 2007

Charging by the hour seems the right approach, fair
to both the clients and me. Thank you.
I warned the client that the figures would be of lower quality
than the original, but they said the quality was acceptable after they
saw an example. However, I did not warn the client that the figures
were not included in the standard translation service, so now the client
refuses to recognize that as an extra work. A lesson paid...
I'm not happy about it (70 figures..), but since I've been a freelance for
about half a year and this is the first time I've had to do the figures as
well, I've decided to acribe this omission to my inexperience in handling
the business side of the work. I was too focused on getting the job
done as best as possible and on time that I neglected to mention such "details"...
Thank you for your suggestions and advice. I hope I'll be more
careful next time (hope there'll be next time...).

Sasa


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:51
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Word file with extracted text + translation Apr 6, 2007

Cico wrote:

I'm not happy about it (70 figures..), but since I've been a freelance for about half a year and this is the first time I've had to do the figures as well, I've decided to acribe this omission to my inexperience in handling the business side of the work. I was too focused on getting the job done as best as possible and on time that I neglected to mention such "details"...

Sasa


Hi Sasa,
70 figures will take a lot of time, so do not give in so easily.
An alternative would be sending a two-column word file, with the source- and target-language texts. Then it is up to the client to change them. And they will see that it is indeed extra work.
Like that you can also count the number of words translated. It is a bit of extra work, since you have to go back and forth between the graphic files and your word file, plus you have to type the English texts - but it is way less than editing 70 figures.
If your quote was based on the number of words to be translated then it is very clear that such services were not meant to be included. If you set a fixed sum for the whole stuff, then things may be more difficult.
Good luck!
Attila


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Aleksandra Mišak  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How to charge for figures? Apr 6, 2007

Attila Piróth wrote:

Attila

If your quote was based on the number of words to be translated then it is very clear that such services were not meant to be included. If you set a fixed sum for the whole stuff, then things may be more difficult.

Attila,
In Croatia, we still don't charge per word but per "card", ie a page of translated text that contains 1450 characters with spaces. Figures are definitely not recognized and counted as characters in the word.doc... I'll try to negotiate with them. Thanks for your support.



Cico wrote:

I'm not happy about it (70 figures..), but since I've been a freelance for about half a year and this is the first time I've had to do the figures as well, I've decided to acribe this omission to my inexperience in handling the business side of the work. I was too focused on getting the job done as best as possible and on time that I neglected to mention such "details"...

Sasa


Hi Sasa,
70 figures will take a lot of time, so do not give in so easily.
An alternative would be sending a two-column word file, with the source- and target-language texts. Then it is up to the client to change them. And they will see that it is indeed extra work.
Like that you can also count the number of words translated. It is a bit of extra work, since you have to go back and forth between the graphic files and your word file, plus you have to type the English texts - but it is way less than editing 70 figures.
If your quote was based on the number of words to be translated then it is very clear that such services were not meant to be included. If you set a fixed sum for the whole stuff, then things may be more difficult.
Good luck!
Attila [/quote]


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Aleksandra Mišak  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How to charge for figures? Apr 6, 2007

I'm sorry, I guess I don't know how to use "quote" option...

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:51
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Keeping it simple Apr 9, 2007

I have been doing DTP, or "sort of" since Day One of my life as a translator. Of course, back in 1973, we used neatly typed strips of paper to glue on pages (technical manuals). Later, photo- typesetting and conventional paste-up. Then MultiScribe on the Apple II, and finally a whole succession of Page Maker versions.

In most cases of translation + DTP, the client has a PDF, and wants an identical PDF, translated. So I have to "scrape" all illustrations from the original, and them stick them on the pages in their proper position.

I simply HAD to develop a quick-and-easy way to make estimates. So I have a price "per page" that comprises typesetting, lay-out, basic graphic elements (lines, squares, erc.), and the placement (only) of figures. If a figure will be used as-is (no text inside), it's included. If it has text to be translated inside, there are two cases:
a) The text to be translated is on clear or single-colored background, I charge X per figure. I simply clean the text.
b) The text to be translated partially covers a drawing or a photograph, or is on some gradient, I have to clean and restore the background. So I charge 2X to 3X per figure.

In both cases I don't apply the text directly on the picture, but do it while assembling the page with PageMaker. I guess you can also do it with textboxes in Word. The reasons are:
a) The text comes out sharper;
b) If there is any change afterwards, I won't be back to square one;
c) If anyone decides to translate that pub yet to another language, it won't be necessary to clean the picture again.

I don't like to charge this kind of work by the hour, since it tends to overpay the slower guys and penalize the quicker ones for the same job.


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Aleksandra Mišak  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How to charge for figures? Apr 9, 2007

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:


In most cases of translation + DTP, the client has a PDF, and wants an identical PDF, translated. So I have to "scrape" all illustrations from the original, and them stick them on the pages in their proper position.
I don't apply the text directly on the picture, but do it while assembling the page with PageMaker. I guess you can also do it with textboxes in Word. The reasons are:
a) The text comes out sharper;
b) If there is any change afterwards, I won't be back to square one;
c) If anyone decides to translate that pub yet to another language, it won't be necessary to clean the picture again.

I don't like to charge this kind of work by the hour, since it tends to overpay the slower guys and penalize the quicker ones for the same job.


Thank you, José, for sharing this approach with me. I don't have PageMaker and I don't know how to use it, so I used what I had - Paint. I warned the client that the figures wouldn't be as clear as in pdf., but they were satisfied and approved it.
Charging per hour requires that the client trusts your assessment. With practice, you get quicker, but then it's all right to charge less, because you've really spent less time on figures. If you're too slow, it's not fair to charge the client for that.
However, different clients - different expectations, so I should think of some transparent way of charging this part of translation service.
As I said earlier, I don't have much experience with this, but I'll learn, with a little help from my fellow translators.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:51
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It's a matter of method, not necessarily sofyware Apr 11, 2007

Cico wrote:
Thank you, José, for sharing this approach with me. I don't have PageMaker and I don't know how to use it, so I used what I had - Paint.


Cico,

What you do with Paint - graphic editing - I use PhotoImpact for. Some people like PhotoShop, I don't.

I use PageMaker to do what you probably do with MS Word. So I guess it won't be as easy, but you can place text on "clean" figures by overlaying text boxes (in Word). This should give you added sharpness and flexibility.

[]s
Jose'


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Aleksandra Mišak  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 22:51
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How to charge for figures Apr 11, 2007

OK, now I understand. I could have done it all in MS Word, ie, overlay the text boxes and then group them so that the "figure" does not fall apart. I didn't think of that. And even if I did, I would have probably dismissed the idea because I thought that Word did not allow placing text boxes over imported figures... ups. I've tried it right now and it works. Excellent! Thank you. I'll try that approach next time.


Jose' [/quote]
I use PageMaker to do what you probably do with MS Word. So I guess it won't be as easy, but you can place text on "clean" figures by overlaying text boxes (in Word). This should give you added sharpness and flexibility.


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