Pricing translation that involves scanned tables
Thread poster: John Fossey

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:46
Member (2008)
French to English
Aug 28, 2013

Occasionally a client asks for translation of documents that consist of scanned tables. These always seem to involve a lot of extra work, whether creating the tables with an OCR program such as ABBYY or manually recreating the table. How do you charge for this extra work? Personally I don't like an hourly charge because I would prefer to agree on the total ahead of time. Any ideas?

 

James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:46
Russian to English
+ ...
No escape Aug 28, 2013

Ultimately, you need to make a decent amount of money per hour of work in order to survive, if not prosper. In cases like that I estimate how long the project will take from previous experience with similar jobs and quote a total price on that basis. That's essentially what a painter, a carpenter, an auto mechanic or even a physician does when telling you how much something is going to cost. Sure, sometimes you get it wrong, especially in the beginning -- but with practice you'll get better at it.

Or you could just say no to jobs like that...

[Edited at 2013-08-28 20:25 GMT]


 

James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:46
Russian to English
+ ...
No escape Aug 28, 2013

James McVay wrote:

Ultimately, you need to make a decent amount of money per hour of work in order to survive, if not prosper. In cases like that I estimate how long the project will take from previous experience with similar jobs and quote a total price based on how much I need per hour That's essentially what a painter, a carpenter, an auto mechanic or even a physician does when telling you how much something is going to cost. Sure, sometimes you get it wrong, especially in the beginning -- but with practice you'll get better at it.

Or you could just say no to jobs like that...

[Edited at 2013-08-28 20:25 GMT]


Oops, I meant that as an update, not a quote.

[Edited at 2013-08-28 20:28 GMT]


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:46
Chinese to English
Don't do them Aug 28, 2013

I regard complex tables as a DTP service, and I don't offer that.

I let clients know that I will give them a translation that is accurate and clear, so that they can tell at a glance which segment in English relates to which source text segment. But I don't do any formatting that goes beyond the basic Word functions. A basic table doesn't take too much time, so I'll put the text in a table, but it won't be shaped or coloured or positioned particularly cleverly. That's for the client's DTP guys to do.

If it's a big table with a lot of numbers, I leave the numbers out, too. Get a typist.

But I don't find simple tables to be particularly time-consuming.


 


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Pricing translation that involves scanned tables

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