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Translating unreadable text
Thread poster: Layla de Chabot

Layla de Chabot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:34
English to French
Sep 19, 2011

Hi,

I am currently translating a technical document for a translation UK based agency, for which I am working for the first time.

Not only the document that was sent contains more words than what was agreed initially, but I am being asked to translate the numerous drawing legends.
I suspect this will be very time consuming, if I need to modify each and every drawing in the document.

Have you been asked to do this? Is this normal practice?


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My suggestion Sep 19, 2011

My suggestion is that you politely inform your client that you are making good progress with the translation but that unfortunately the work (and the deadline) previously agreed don't correspond to the actual document that you have received, and that you will therefore need to (a) increase your price to X (b) extend your deadline to Y.

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Layla de Chabot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:34
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Well actually Sep 19, 2011

I did send a message to inform that the deadline would need to be modified, but the answer I received was that there was enough time if I worked over the week-ends as well!
I am amazed.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Weekends Sep 19, 2011

Well, still maintaining a professional and polite tone, you could confirm that you are willing to put in extra time to meet the deadline but that the cost will increase (a) because of the larger number of words (b) because your weekend tariff is higher than your ordinary tariff.

Bear in mind that they do probably want to keep you on this job because if you were to withdraw from it (which should also be an option) they'll never find anyone else who could do it within the deadline.

So you do have some room for negotiation.

In future however, although I know it's sometimes difficult, you should always make sure before starting a job that you clearly understand how big it is and how long it's going to take you.


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Layla de Chabot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:34
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
I guess Sep 19, 2011

... I was not careful enough.
A certain amount of words was agreed over the phone.
I sent a message a couple of days later to mention the deadline was too short.
Apparently, they do not seem to care much, which I don't find very professional for such a big agency.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
in future Sep 19, 2011

Layla de Chabot wrote:

... I was not careful enough.
A certain amount of words was agreed over the phone.
I sent a message a couple of days later to mention the deadline was too short.
Apparently, they do not seem to care much, which I don't find very professional for such a big agency.


I sometimes find that an agency gives me an initial word count that turns out to be only an estimate, so I think it's advisable never to agree on the word count until you've seen the document itself.

[Edited at 2011-09-19 12:56 GMT]


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Layla de Chabot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:34
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Tom Sep 19, 2011

I will definitely remember this for the future!

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:34
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lesson: Sep 19, 2011

Do not EVER accept a job until you have seen all the material first.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
RIght Sep 19, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

Do not EVER accept a job until you have seen all the material first.



... and reject any modifications/additions once you have agreed the terms and started work.


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JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:34
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Exception Sep 19, 2011

Tom in London wrote:

... and reject any modifications/additions once you have agreed the terms and started work.


...unless you are able to negotiate a satisfactory addition to both payment and deadline.

I have a client who often increases the word count on a project by adding additional files to it after I have started work, but they always a) check that I can handle the extra and extend the deadline if necessary and b) add the additions to the PO. And it is a narrow subject range too, so I know that whatever is added will be something I can handle in terms of content.

That said I too have been bitten by the diagram key issue in the past as well. After you've worked flat out over several nights to deal with these things once or twice you learn to examine the source material somewhat more thoroughly!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Files Sep 19, 2011

JaneD wrote:

I have a client who often increases the word count on a project by adding additional files to it after I have started work


No problem there. I mean altering the actual text of a file after you've started work on it. THat's a nightmare !


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Layla de Chabot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:34
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
About diagrams Sep 20, 2011

A translator has suggested to translate the terms in tables.
After all I'm a translator, not a graphist.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:34
English to German
+ ...
Diagrams Sep 20, 2011

Layla de Chabot wrote:

A translator has suggested to translate the terms in tables.
After all I'm a translator, not a graphist.


I always translate diagrams and such - provided, that the customer and I agreed to do so and that the additional word count will be invoiced. Then I simply slap a text box with the translation on top of the diagram. The typesetter will appreciate the unformatted text.

Here is a note to all translators who feel compelled to format texts to make it look like the layout or who try to "create" diagrams: Don't. The graphic designer has to reset each and every formatting-attempt before he can create a professional file for the printing press. Example: For proper print output a bold text in Times New Roman needs to be "Times New Roman Bold", for example. Simply marking any text as "bold" won't do and the designer has to replace the font. After he mumbled a curse...



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Layla de Chabot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:34
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Nicole for these details Sep 20, 2011

So to be precise : you stick a "box" in the white part of the diagram, or outside of it?


I actually have another question (sorry...):
What about the page numbers, does the table of content have to be modified to match the page numbers?


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:34
English to Polish
+ ...
Sticking Boxes Sep 20, 2011

Layla de Chabot wrote:

So to be precise : you stick a "box" in the white part of the diagram, or outside of it?


No. Don't do any text boxes, or any other boxes.
My standard method is to provide a sort of legend underneath the drawing. I write the source term/ word first and then the translated term.

dog - chien
cat - chat
etc.

I do them in order that I find logical for a given drawing - left to right, top to bottom, whatever.

P.A.S.


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