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Lower fees
Thread poster: Helena Grahn

Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:31
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Sep 22, 2011

I have noticed recently that agencies have approached me with scanned in pdf files, which makes it imposs for anybody to count the words. Instead of accepting the fee charged per target word, they have started giving a total estimated amount for the whole translation which just by eyeing through it you can see is unrealistic. Needless to say that once you have translated the whole text, if you count the target words, it will make you have worked for peanuts.

This agency I have been working with recently, once approached me and gave me two pages to translate. When I said I usually charged per target word when I couldn't count the source words, they asked me only to charge £15:- as a minimum fee. I did accept it then. The second time they approached me, it was for the same type of text but 3 pgs and again they asked me to charge £15:- as a minimum fee. I rejected it and charged the total amount of target words which in the end was £20:-. We were both happy then. Again they approached me, now listen to this, with 8 pgs of the same text and offered me £15:-. When I told them what they were doing, they agreed to pay me in the end of the translation after having counted all target words.

I have already rejected 4 major jobs just because they were scanned in pdf files and the agency would not accept the price per target word.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:31
Hebrew to English
Call their bluff.... Sep 22, 2011

There's plenty of software out there (even free software) that can adequately count words even from a scanned pdf. Whilst it usually isn't perfect, depending on the quality of the scanned pdf, it should give you quite an accurate estimate.

Sounds like the agency are either a) trying their luck or b) being lazy. If asked to do this, I'd call their bluff and tell them I will consider accepting the job when I have run it through the software and got an estimate on the word count...

..then there's the argument that you should really be paid for all the time and effort such formatting eats up...but I'm a realist.icon_smile.gif


 

Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:31
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
which software is that? Sep 22, 2011

I do not know any but I would even pay for one if I can find one that counts a file scanned in as a picture

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:31
English to German
+ ...
It's not about what THEY are doing Sep 22, 2011

...it's about what YOU are doing.

YOU are the owner of your business, and YOU determine the rates.

Helena Grahn wrote:

I have noticed recently that agencies have approached me with scanned in pdf files, which makes it imposs for anybody to count the words. Instead of accepting the fee charged per target word, they have started giving a total estimated amount for the whole translation which just by eyeing through it you can see is unrealistic. Needless to say that once you have translated the whole text, if you count the target words, it will make you have worked for peanuts.


If YOU can tell beforehand that their word count is way off, you could as well provide the correct word count yourself, right? Counting the words on two pages shouldn't be too exhausting.

This agency I have been working with recently, once approached me and gave me two pages to translate. When I said I usually charged per target word when I couldn't count the source words, they asked me only to charge £15:- as a minimum fee. I did accept it then. The second time they approached me, it was for the same type of text but 3 pgs and again they asked me to charge £15:- as a minimum fee. I rejected it and charged the total amount of target words which in the end was £20:-.


20 pound are about 30 dollars. For a total of 3 pages???

No, I will not back any whining about low rates. Unfortunately you made the mistake of accepting unacceptable rates previously, and they come for more.

Off topic:
As an outsourcer, may I tell you that the little animation that you use as a profile pic is not very becoming? It is cute, yes, but why on earth would you like to be associated with ongoing computer problems = permanent failure?

Edited for typo

[Edited at 2011-09-22 10:45 GMT]


 
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:31
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Constant availability Sep 22, 2011

Helena,

Icons and misnomers apart, I think that if you quote your availability as "24 hrs a day, seven days a week, at no extra cost for rush jobs", as you do on your profile CV, know that certain people will take advantage for sure.

[Edited at 2011-09-22 11:09 GMT]


 
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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:31
English to Czech
+ ...
Scanned PDFs Sep 22, 2011

Helena Grahn wrote:

I do not know any but I would even pay for one if I can find one that counts a file scanned in as a picture


Scanned PDFs are always a pain in the butt: some tools may count some of them while they won't count others.
I'd suggest ABBYY Fine Reader to convert the PDF to Word and count the source words. Your time spent on the conversion must, of course, be paid. Not an easy one to swallow for bottom-feeding agencies...


 

cecilea7
United States
Local time: 23:31
Member (2010)
Portuguese to French
+ ...
Your profile is funny, Helena... Sep 22, 2011

Some individuals lack humor, and others are not so uptight about what they do. So, that is life, can't please everyone. For PDF files word count, even when converting into Word it does not necessarily work, for full pages I estimate about 250 words (normal page word count) and 1/3, 1/2 so on, depending how full it is; a rough check of agencies' word count does not hurt.


[Edited at 2011-09-22 13:05 GMT]


 

Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:31
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
yes, you may be right Sep 22, 2011

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Helena,

Icons and misnomers apart, I think that if you quote your availability as "24 hrs a day, seven days a week, at no extra cost for rush jobs", as you do on your profile CV, know that certain people will take advantage for sure.

[Edited at 2011-09-22 11:09 GMT]


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:31
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
This is what I do, too Sep 22, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:
If YOU can tell beforehand that their word count is way off, you could as well provide the correct word count yourself, right? Counting the words on two pages shouldn't be too exhausting.


Exactly. If it's a short document, I count the words manually. If it's a long document, there are usually a bunch of pages that look like they have roughly the same number of words as each other. So I count two of the pages, average the number and then extrapolate. Then I manually count the words on the other pages.

I don't send the client the estimated word count, though. I quote a flat fee for the whole job based on it, with a bit extra added if the document has fancy formatting that will take time to recreate. I don't comment on the obviously low word count they sent. I just ignore it and send my price quote.

If a client consistently demands that I charge ridiculously low rates and never accepts the rates I quote, I eventually ask them to delete me from their database. As a colleague of mine likes to say, there are so many nice clients out there that you don't need the bad ones.

[Edited at 2011-09-22 12:53 GMT]


 

Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 00:31
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Images cannot be counted Sep 22, 2011

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:
Scanned PDFs are always a pain in the butt: some tools may count some of them while they won't count others.
I'd suggest ABBYY Fine Reader to convert the PDF to Word and count the source words. Your time spent on the conversion must, of course, be paid. Not an easy one to swallow for bottom-feeding agencies...


I assume Helena is refering to images, she said it was a scanned file.

Images in a PDF file cannot be converted to Word, you get a blank file. The system doesn't read them. You can only do that with a regular PDF file, a text file formatted as PDF. Not when you scan a document: in this case it is considered as a photo.


 
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