How to deal with changes in the source text for a translation?
Thread poster: Manon Gaimard

Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:14
French to Italian
+ ...
Dec 9, 2013

Good evening everyone,

I'm currently working for several translation agencies. The translation I'm currently working on is a 150-page-play script, from Italian into French, my mother tongue.

I was asked to send the first 40 pages today, which I did (I even sent more than 50).
The agency answered me saying to suspend the translation for now because the scriptwriter could change some parts of it.

How would you charge the translation afterwards?

Feel free to share your experiences

Thanks a lot !


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SBlack
French to English
+ ...
Compare documents Dec 9, 2013

If it is a Word document, you can compare the two source documents and it will highlight the changes. You can change your translation accordingly.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
She said "charge", not "change":-) Dec 9, 2013

I would charge by the hour if there are any changes to what you've translated already.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Dec 9, 2013

Or did you mean "change", Manon?

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Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:14
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
chaRge :) Dec 9, 2013

philgoddard wrote:

Or did you mean "change", Manon?


I meant charge, meaning having them pay me for my work

I don't know how to count the words, should I count the words from the original text, the words from the modified text or both ?

thanks !


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:14
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
One possible solution Dec 9, 2013

If the changes are minor alterations scattered throughout the text I would charge the rate agreed upon for the translation already completed, and my hourly rate for the time spent implementing the changes to the script.

In case of massive changes, i.e. addition of a new scene, I would charge the usual per word rate.

HTH

Buon lavoro!


[Edited at 2013-12-09 19:36 GMT]


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Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:14
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hour rate Dec 9, 2013

Thank you both for answering. Since it never happened to me to charge hourly, I have absolutely no idea of the rates.
My price for a "cartella" of 1500 characters is 13€. What do you suggest / how much do you personally charge hourly?

Thank you


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:14
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Surely they will be doing this, won't they? Dec 9, 2013

SBlack wrote:
If it is a Word document, you can compare the two source documents and it will highlight the changes. You can change your translation accordingly.

I would have thought that if they're changing it, they'd mark those changed areas at the same time.

Then you could charge for editing/translating as suitable. Basically, whatever it says on the invoice, clients are always paying for our time in the end, so just make sure they pay enough to cover the time it takes you.


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Texte Style
Local time: 16:14
French to English
How much is changing? Dec 9, 2013

It very much depends on the amount of rewriting. If the client has marked the changes for me, I tend to charge for whole sentences, in that even if there's just a "n'est-ce pas" tacked on at the end, you do still need to read the whole thing to see whether you need to translate it as "isn't it" or "do you". Otherwise, I charge an hourly rate

I have no idea of "cartella" or a price per character. To work out your hourly rate, work out how much time you spend on a cartella. If for the sake of argument you take two hours to do one cartella, then your hourly rate would be €6.50. That means that it will be every bit as lucrative to work on the modifications as on the actual translation, however long it might take.


(nice new photo by the way Sheila!)


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Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:14
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I hope so ! Dec 10, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I would have thought that if they're changing it, they'd mark those changed areas at the same time.


I hope they will, otherwise it's going to be hard to look for and find all the differences in such a long text...

As far as the quantity of changes is concerned, I have absolutely no idea, yet. The least the better...

I just wanted to anticipate to be able to deal with it

I'll update the post when I know

thank you!


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SBlack
French to English
+ ...
Ideally client tracks changes but not always! Dec 10, 2013

Manon Gaimard wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I would have thought that if they're changing it, they'd mark those changed areas at the same time.


I hope they will, otherwise it's going to be hard to look for and find all the differences in such a long text...


I agree with PPs to cha -R- ge by the hour. (Off I go to the optometrist's). Not a bad idea to clarify beforehand how the changes will be incorporated so that you can see them easily. I have received revisions for which the rereader forgot to turn on "track changes" or even did not know the feature existed.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:14
English to Polish
+ ...
Hourly rate Dec 10, 2013

If you really need to offer such a service, you should probably use an hourly rate unless changes are tracked and the process is not significantly lengthier and burdensome than normal translation.

On the other hand, you can do it free of charge but explain that you don't normally offer translation of non-finished documents (which finds some added support in how you aren't charging them right now). There's a chance they'll basically start finalising documents before submitting them for translation.

I would not charge if the calculation of the fees were to take more time (or just a little less) than the work itself.


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Manon Gaimard  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:14
French to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Actually, they weren't supposed to make changes! Dec 10, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:


On the other hand, you can do it free of charge but explain that you don't normally offer translation of non-finished documents (which finds some added support in how you aren't charging them right now). There's a chance they'll basically start finalising documents before submitting them for translation.

I would not charge if the calculation of the fees were to take more time (or just a little less) than the work itself.


Hi Łukasz,

In the beginning they sent me the whole file (a play script of 150 pages) to translate, without telling me at any moment the scriptwriter could still make changes. (By the way, if I were a scriptwriter, I would wait until I'm sure of my "version" to ask for a translation...).
I've already translated and sent the translation agency 50 pages, for which they replied to suspend the translation because the scriptwriter is willing to make some changes (no idea whether they're significant or not...)
I'm afraid he changes a lot of things in the pages I've already translated. We'll see what the agency says...

Thank you


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:14
Italian to English
Changes happen Dec 10, 2013

Manon Gaimard wrote:

I've already translated and sent the translation agency 50 pages, for which they replied to suspend the translation because the scriptwriter is willing to make some changes (no idea whether they're significant or not...)
I'm afraid he changes a lot of things in the pages I've already translated. We'll see what the agency says...



If you are translating a work in progress, you could agree a fee for a set number of words and fix a rate for any changes that take the word count over the limit. If you specify a CAT tool for the job, you will be able to compare the original and revised texts, and give the customer a clear idea of how many new words have been added during redrafting.

I realise this isn't much help with your present job but it is an approach I have used successfully in the past.


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