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Poll: What do you consider an "express job"?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:24
SITE STAFF
Jun 20, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you consider an "express job"?".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:24
English to Arabic
+ ...
Other/NA/ I don't really get the question Jun 20, 2008

For me, an express job is a job that is needed asap, so it could be just a one page document that's needed within an hour.

Also, I never (or hardly ever) do more than 2,000 words per day, no matter how "express" the job is. So it does make me feel a bit uneasy to find this poll indicating that it's perfectly normal for translators to be able to do 4000, 5000, 6000 and + words a day.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:24
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I didn't understand the question, either. Jun 20, 2008

To me, and "express" job is a "quickie," something I can do very fast, i.e. 500 words or less.

Amy


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 11:24
English to German
+ ...
more than 2500 words a day is too much.. Jun 20, 2008

Hi! there was a time when I did under pressure over 8000 words but that was for the record, never again. Today 3000 words in regular time is also not possible, because document structures and CAT tools and all the related politics and the pay morale above all. I saw some doing about 4000 - 6000 words a day and wonder how they manage that, dual core!!! Brandis

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xanthippe  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:24
Italian to French
+ ...
idem.... Jun 20, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:

To me, and "express" job is a "quickie," something I can do very fast, i.e. 500 words or less.

Amy


for me too. I may not undestrand the question


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:24
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
There comes a time when you have to define "express" Jun 20, 2008

Otherwise, in a regular going concern (i.e., with work most of the time and very few free margins), you're going to be a pushover for anyone who wants his job done yesterday.

I said >3,000/24 hours. I realize that's generous and most people will find 2,000-2,500 more reasonable, but that's how I work. This protects me from people who - perhaps with malice towards none - may ask for 10,000 in two days. The excess of 3,000/24 is subject to a surcharge equivalent to the legal rate of overtime pay in proportion to my normal rate.


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RichardDeegan
Local time: 04:24
Spanish to English
Subjective- Can't be measured by a figure Jun 20, 2008

I would guess than what is meant by "express job" is one with an unreasonable timeframe. 25,000 to do in a week- ten days may not be unreasonable, while a 2,000 piece for next day delivery could be. And asking for ANYTHING within a 2-3 hours is just plain inconsiderate.
While my bread and butter is large projects, I do get a lot of small pieces from long-time clients (e-mails, letters, magazine articles, etc) that, on general principles, I turn around as fast as possible, usually within two hours (for MY benefit, not for theirs- just good housekeeping). However an outsourcer so desperate as to accept work on short timeframes and then try to shop it around to see who can do it is someone that should be avoided like the plague.
I have no set rule, and weigh everything involved: someone sending work at 5pm local so it can be sent to a time zone that has passed its COB is just silly, as well as a now-"urgent" response to a demand letter received three weeks ago.
If folks are reasonable with me, I'm reasonable with them.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:24
Member (2008)
French to English
2500 Jun 20, 2008

It's interesting to see that 2000 and 3000 are nearly tied, since I set my limit right in between. That is if I understand correctly that the question is asking at what point you charge more than your "regular service" rate. At one point I was going by the days alloted for a job, but then I thought about it and realised that it made more sense to think of words per day, so I wouldn't charge extra for a short job needing 24 hour turnaround. But days are defined as M-F 9-5 Eastern Time for pricing purposes (obviously not the only times I actually work, don't I wish). So don't tell me a job sent after 5 on Friday for 9 am Monday is anything other than a rush, no matter how short it is. And I really don't care what time it is where you are:)

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:24
French to English
+ ...
Surely it depends on the nature of the job? Jun 20, 2008

I found this impossible to answer. I've just spent two days doing fiddly jobs that involved conversion from pdf files and lots of fiddly chemical names in one case, and very complex editorial for an important presentation in the other. Both of these jobs were around 2600 words, yet I could equally well be offered a 4000 word job in my specialist area and know that I could easily finish it in a day and not feel as stressed as I did with these two.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Express or nothing Jun 21, 2008

As long as I have a good amount of work on the table I always work in excess of 6,000 words a day to get it out. That allows me to do no work at other times, so I have that time free to do something else or to do nothing at all.

I always figure the work has to get out, and better sooner than later.


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Els Spin  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:24
Dutch to English
+ ...
I am with Henry Jun 21, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:
I always figure the work has to get out, and better sooner than later.


Hear, hear!

If it's a topic I am specialised in, I usually manage 500 words per hour, so my planning is based on 4,000 words per day. But I can do more: I have one regular client, who always wants me to translate his 7,000-word articles within 24 hours, in order to get them with the publisher's the next day. Great client, great pay, so no objections whatsoever.


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Express, you mean "rush" job? Jun 21, 2008

Rush jobs come to me mostly over weekend.
My weekend output is up to 4,000 words even with the help of magical power of CAT.

If file is PDF, and there is no good PDF converter out there that handles Asian characters well, and that file contains more than 4,000 words, well that's reeeeally an "express" job.

BTW this question is not well versed.
I agree with Nesrin.


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brainfloss  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 19:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
tight deadlines Jun 21, 2008

For me, an express job is defined based on the deadline, i.e., if a client asks for a project to be delivered in 24 hours, that's an express job. Now, how many words is a freelancer willing to accept for such tight deadlines? well, that's up to each one of us to decide, but I wouldn't take more than 3000 words for just one day because I like to make sure that I'm absolutely satisfied with my work once I finish.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:24
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The problem comes with the long jobs, not the short ones Jun 21, 2008

It's like running: the longer the track, the lower the runner's average time.

My previous office has a policy that any job requiring the translator to work more than 2,000 words a day in a 5-day work week is considered RUSH and subject to a 15% additional charge. While most of us have no problem sprinting at 3,000 a day for a few of days, the crunch comes when it's a long commitment of working 3,000 or so words a day for weeks or months without interruption.
So if I get a call to do a 45,000-word job by such-and-such a date, I quickly do the arithmetic and, if it's over the limit, I ask for the premium or else a longer deadline. Sometimes, if they can't extend the deadline, I just say I'm not interested. If I don't ask for an extension, I almost always feel too pressured at delivery time. On the other hand, if I need the money, the premium can be nice. I opted for a premium earlier this year on a 60,000-word job. The money was nice.


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:24
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
somebody's got to pay the rent Jun 21, 2008

Brandis wrote:

Hi! there was a time when I did under pressure over 8000 words but that was for the record, never again. Today 3000 words in regular time is also not possible, because document structures and CAT tools and all the related politics and the pay morale above all. I saw some doing about 4000 - 6000 words a day and wonder how they manage that, dual core!!! Brandis


I couldn't make a living if I only did 2500 words a day...
It doesn't help that I live in Connecticut, the most expensive place to live in the US.
But, I routinely do 4000 to 5000/words a day, and sometimes more.
I work long hours, too.


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