How do you convince clients that DTP is not part of translation work?
Thread poster: jyuan_us

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:33
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Feb 17, 2012

I have clients who ask me to directly work in InDesign or Quark Express without additional payment for DTP.

Do you think that these agencies just don't know that DTP work involves a different set of skills and it is time-consuming to work with DTP software? Or are they just trying to get free DTP services? If it is the latter, would you feel you are taken advantage of?


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just tell them Feb 17, 2012

Stipulate in your terms and conditions exactly which services you provide for the rates you charge. I have explained it to all my regular clients and they are happy with it. Last month, one client wanted to send me their latest catalogue, which they'd just produced in shiny print-ready format and when I told them it would cost 2 or 3 times my usual rate, they went away and came back with a copy in PDF/Word.

It might be more problematic with agencies, who may have less room to manoeuvre and be less flexible.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:33
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
One of my clients just went away at my explanation Feb 17, 2012

neilmac wrote:

Stipulate in your terms and conditions exactly which services you provide for the rates you charge. I have explained it to all my regular clients and they are happy with it. Last month, one client wanted to send me their latest catalogue, which they'd just produced in shiny print-ready format and when I told them it would cost 2 or 3 times my usual rate, they went away and came back with a copy in PDF/Word.

It might be more problematic with agencies, who may have less room to manoeuvre and be less flexible.


My translation fee is already very low and I told them that I need to pay my DTP vendor with all my translation fee. They said they understood but the job had been given to someone else.

Probably some translators do translate on InDesign without additional charge.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:33
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
If only!!! Feb 17, 2012

"How do you convince clients that DTP is not part of translation work?"


A question I ask myself constantly. At my age, new technology isn't easy to assimilate and I have real problems with DTP and people who say "just download xyz - it's self-explanatory" and then cause me to spend hours not knowing what what's going on. I often lose clients because I can't handle things outside of pure translation. But that's life, I suppose. The next generation of kids will probably be born with USB ports instead of ears, but I'm never going to grow one.icon_smile.gif

Sorry to hear you lost a client, but you're never going to be able to please 100% of clients 100% of the time.

Sheila


 

Damian Harrison
Germany
Local time: 21:33
German to English
Integrated pricing Feb 17, 2012

Instead of trying to convince your clients that DTP is their problem, try selling them an integrated packaged which includes any fees for DTP. Your clients will appreciate the service and you'll save yourself the hassle of haggling over details. Sure, some clients will be unwilling to pay these costs, but clients who are unwilling to pay for your service are the last thing you need.

 

Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Just a suggestion Feb 17, 2012

If you open an InDesign document in Trados, translate all in your comfortable environment and then back save it to the ID format, with some minor adjustments directly in the ready ID document your job should be done. Not to mention possible matches and repetitions that are not seen when translating directly in the ID document only. And your client will get the anticipated ID doc without knowing you have worked not quite in ID. Still you will have that flexibility in price adjustment with your client. Good luck!

 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
simply keep it simple Feb 17, 2012

I ask the clients about the structure and format of the document and if it's rather complex or requires additional manipulations then I charge extra for DTP. Unfortunately, sometimes I have to restate my claim because what supposedly was a 'plain text' did appear as a three-column article with floating pictures and charts...
But as far as I usually don't accept such complications, just CATing would do.

Actually, only a couple of my clients asked me why they should pay for some DTP if I was just to translate it, but when I sent them the plain text source they changed their minds and agreed to pay. Yet one curious lady was very happy that it was as a plain text and suggested to pay me extra for keeping it plain... I thought it was a kind of joke, but made it single-collumn without formatting, and I must admit I was quite surprised she really paid for it! Indeed, she was a little embarrassed when I explained her the trick, but she replied that it was ok because nobody in her company knew how to handle it simply...


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 19:33
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Oh really? Feb 17, 2012

I thought everyone just quoted a price with DTP enclosed already? E.g. I take a look at the document, factor in translation, formatting, etc. and return with a quote that takes all that into account. If it's $100 for translating and $60 for everything else, I quote $160. A breakdown is available if the client requests it, but few do.

 

wonita (X)
China
Local time: 16:33
You can't convince them Feb 20, 2012

jyuan_us wrote:

I have clients who ask me to directly work in InDesign or Quark Express without additional payment for DTP.

Do you think that these agencies just don't know that DTP work involves a different set of skills and it is time-consuming to work with DTP software? Or are they just trying to get free DTP services? If it is the latter, would you feel you are taken advantage of?

A baker may not know that translating in InDesign is more time-consuming, but a translation agency certainly does!

They just don't want to pay more.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:33
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It's called freelancing... Feb 20, 2012

... because you are free to set your own terms. And while there are certainly some translators who like or put up with DTP, it is not a thing clients should take for granted.

We have our different skills, and in a one-person business it is impossible to be good at everything. We can supplement each other, and make the best of our differences. There are also experts in DTP who do not translate.

TransAfrique wrote:

I thought everyone just quoted a price with DTP enclosed already? E.g. I take a look at the document, factor in translation, formatting, etc. and return with a quote that takes all that into account. If it's $100 for translating and $60 for everything else, I quote $160. A breakdown is available if the client requests it, but few do.


I don't do DTP, take it or leave it.
Most agencies I have discussed this with actually thank me for not messing up their codes, as they have people who know what they are doing, and it may take hours to work out what went wrong and sort it out if someone makes changes without understanding the consequences.

I charge by the hour for tidying up PowerPoint - my target language often takes up more space than the source, and may overrun line breaks, or vanish at the edges of text boxes, etc.

If the client will not pay, then I don't do the job.
Any agency worth working for knows perfectly well that DTP takes time, investment in software and skill.
I do my very best to translate the text suitably for the target readers, and I do understand enough about printing and layout to shorten the text if it helps, but I know my limitations.

The client is not always right. In fact they pay us to know more about our own job than they do!

icon_smile.gif


 

crista_b
United States
Local time: 14:33
French to English
+ ...
meet in the middle? Feb 20, 2012

You could offer to translate an .inx file using TagEditor, then it would be up to the client to clean up the .ttx from TagEditor and adjust the InDesign file on their end. It takes less work for them than if you just translate in a Word file and they copy-paste, and it should cost less to them than asking you to do the DTP work.

If they don't like that option, I say you just include DTP costs in your quote. Almost all agencies will quote translation and DTP to their client so why should they expect you to do the DTP for free?


 


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How do you convince clients that DTP is not part of translation work?

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