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Off topic: Sharing good/bad experiences with hard copies
Thread poster: Fernando Tognis

Fernando Tognis  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:57
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 9, 2007

Hello, colleagues!
I’d like to know how you deal with hard copies. On some occasions, clients, colleagues and agencies sent me PDF files which were actually scanned manuals (image format without text). Unfortunately, I found those assignments very inconvenient since I couldn't make an accurate estimate or work comfortably (with CAT tools and other resources). I have tried to solve this problem by using OCR (optical character recognition) software but the results weren't satisfactory at all. I can't say OCR software doesn't work since the scanned images I was sent were low in quality (90 ppi) and I have heard that OCR programs work better with images of 300 ppi or more. Any suggestions? Any advice on OCR software? Any other method to make accurate estimates for hard copies?
Thanks in advance,

Fernando Tognis


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 16:57
German
+ ...
Educate your clients Mar 9, 2007

Charge by target text words (or lines or whatever method you use) in those cases.

Give only rough estimates to your clients and tell them if they want a fixed price you need the actual source documents.

Charge for any formatting work incurred due to source documents that cannot be directly edited, such as PDF.

They'll learn eventually and if they don't at least they'll pay.

Regards,
Benjamin


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perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Have you tried to convert the file into doc, for example? Mar 9, 2007

Hi Fernando,
have you tried to convert the pdf file into an editable one, like doc or txt?
I´ve never used it, but I know people that have and are satisfied.
Look at http://www.omniformat.com/download.html
or http://www.pdfforge.org/products/pdfcreator
There you can find free softwares that can do that conversion.
Regards,
Katia


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree... Mar 9, 2007

Hello --

I charge them for the extra job, because my prices are set for materials in electronic and editable format.

Some of them learn, some just get used to pay that extra


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hard copies Mar 10, 2007

Before the popularity of the internet and e-mail, translators received ALL documents in hard copy (via fax or mail) and we never charged any extra for this, so I don't see what the problem is.

And we had to do all of this in Word Perfect in a non-windows based environment! F1 for this, F5 for that, etc.

[Edited at 2007-03-10 18:13]


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Kristina Kolic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 16:57
Member (2007)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Charge by targe word count but with no extra charges Mar 10, 2007

This is what I would do in such case. I provide a rough estimate stating that final price depends on the target word count. But I would never charge any extra fee for "formatting" and the like for the reasons explained above by TampaTranslator.

Any OCR software is of course very useful to reduce the time required to translate documents submitted in a non-electronic form, but I would not charge a client for that. OCR has become one of our basic tools. I must say that I am quite surprised that you do not use any OCR when it us so easy to use (unlike many CAT tools).


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Fernando Tognis  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:57
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great advice! Mar 12, 2007

Thanks for having replied! I find your advice really useful.
Here are some short replies:

Benjamin:
I charge by target word in these cases, but having no chance of making an accurate estimate before starting the translation is something I don't like. I agree with you on educating clients.

Perry:
I'll try Omniformat for sure!
PDF creators won't help since those programs just copy and paste scanned images from .DOC to .PDF and what I need in these cases is text format.

Megane:
I charge clients for the extra job in the case of very complicated tables or index.

Tampa Translator:
I really admire those pioneers who translated with a typing machine or rudimentary software. Nowadays, it would be impossible to meet tight deadlines if we didn't have these modern and fast tools.

Kristina:
I have tried OCR demo programs but the recognition wasn't good enough. The result was a bunch of illegible characters.


Thank you
Fernando Tognis


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