Mobile menu

Should I have to edit multiple documents before starting the translation? Advice please.
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Aug 6, 2008

An agency has just sent me a 33-page document to translate from Italian into English (Document 1)

Along with it he has sent me 2 other documents, one in Italian and the already completed translation thereof into English (Documents 2 and 3).

He has asked me to translate Document 1 into English (Document 4) but referring to Documents 2 and 3 because (he says) Documents 2 and 3 contain certain parts that are also contained in Document 1 and which I should copy into my translation (Document 4). [sigh....bear with me....]

In other words, I need to have 4 documents open on screen and be able to navigate through them all, searching in 2 languages for pieces of text that may occur in all of them, but I don't know which pieces or where they are.

And I need to do this **before I can even start the translation**.


!!!!


Should I accept this job?



[Edited at 2008-08-06 11:36]

[Edited at 2008-08-06 11:37]

[Edited at 2008-08-06 11:38]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:26
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes, why not? Aug 6, 2008

As long as you're able to agree an additional fee for the actual hours you put in for editing, I don't see the problem.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
yes, but I don't want to do that Aug 6, 2008

.... because I'm a translator, not an editor.

I've asked him to do it and then send me a single document which I will translate for the agreed tariff.

If he says he can't, then you're right, I'll propose an additional hourly rate for the editing.

At which point we'll get into an argument

I may simply turn down the job and add this outsourcer to my ever-lengthening blacklist...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 08:26
English to German
+ ...
I understand your dilemma Aug 6, 2008

and wouldn't want to do that myself. However, much of the strain would be gone if you could create a translation memory of the documents at hand and then use this memory to work on your 4th document. You would only have to open the document that you are about to translate.

Perhaps it's high time for you thought about using a CAT???

Even though I started off with Trados, for personal reasons, I have switched to Metatexis and am quite happy with it.

So why don't you invest 130 € (future upgrades free) and save yourself this kind of hassle in the future???


Martin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:26
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No CAT tool? Aug 6, 2008

In a case like this, I would use WinAlign to align the translated document (docs 2 and 3) and then import that into my TM. This would mean that I could use the existing translations for any phrases that crop up that have been translated before.

I take it you don't have this option?



[Edited at 2008-08-06 14:39]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:26
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Other idea Aug 6, 2008

I agree with Marie-Helene, it seems the most straight forward. But if you want other ideas:

If I understand correctly, he sent you Doc 3 and it's translation (Doc 4) because it has some text that exists in Doc 1 which you have to translate.
In that case, you're not actually editing Docs 3 & 4?

If he can't tell you precisely which areas are copies (such as Chapter 4 and the first 5 pages..) then, thank him for sending you the previous versions for reference, and then negotiate the price for a full translation. If, during your translation you are able to 'easily' find references (huge chunks of text you can recognize just by skimming the doc) you can reduce your invoice a certain percent to show your efforts at being fair.

Maybe he'll realize that it costs more to 'process' the previous translation and 'integrate' it, than just paying for the translation.

I've had to do this a lot for various program installation guides or specifciations that have a thousand little/medium/large updates and upgrades. And we can't use a CAT tool for many reasons; Sometimes it's just best to do the entire translation from scratch.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:26
French to English
You provide the service.. Aug 6, 2008

.... so you can decide how far to go.

Personally, I get asked to translate documents taking terminology etc. from previously translated documents quite regularly, and if you've set yourself up with the kit (Wordfast - which is free for a trial version - and Apsic Xbench, in my case), it's really no hassle at all and doesn't even amount to much in the way of extra work.

But really, if you don't wanna, don't. If you have no objection, then do.
You seem to have an objection, so don't.
You provide the service, so you decide whether translation includes a spot of frigging around with text or not, or indeed walking the customer's dog or washing his car.

There is no "should" involved, unless they ask you to also procure some Class A drugs or perform a liver transplant, in which case I would probably decline.

But it's your business you're running, you decide what you do, not us
Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Well thanks folks Aug 6, 2008

Charlie, you're right of course. Hey, maybe I should offer translation + dog walking. I like dogs.

As for CAT tools, they are a double-edged sword. I don't normally work with them. For the kinds of translations I usually do, where style is important and a word might be translated in a completely different way according to context, CAT tools only get in the way.

Thanks to all of you for these friendly opinions. I think I have what I need now.

Woof woof !


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cetacea  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 08:26
English to German
+ ...
One more option Aug 6, 2008

It seems to me that there is one more option here that didn't seem to occur to all those CAT users out there:

Why not simply run documents 1 and 2 (the two Italian texts) through Word's "Compare documents" feature? That would show you all identical text elements, which you could then find in document 3 for integration into your translation.

That way, you'd still have time to go dog walking...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Now that REALLY IS a useful suggestion Aug 6, 2008

Cetacea, that's a good idea. It doesn't entirely solve the problem but it certainly helps.

Those CAT tools certainly can lead you up the garden path !

I'm wagging my tail in appreciation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:26
French to English
+ ...
CAT-bashing Aug 6, 2008

You may well have your own reasons for not wanting to use a CAT tool, but such a tool would be very useful in this case. The advice about using CAT tools may not be of use to you but others searching for advice on similar subjects would be well-advised to investigate one or other of the available tools.

Having said that, Compare Documents is a (more labour-intensive) way of achieving the same end.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Workshare Compare Aug 6, 2008

I would use WordFast to align the texts and locate and pre-translate the identical sections. But, OK, I see that you don't want to use a CAT.

Using a comparison feature is a good suggestion. However, I have found Word's comparison capabilities to be lacking and prefer to use Workshare Compare (this used to be known as Deltaview). This program has been invaluable to me in locating unmarked changes in documents and would be helpful to you in locating the already translated sections.


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 »

Should I have to edit multiple documents before starting the translation? Advice please.

Advanced search


Translation news





Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



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