Do you charge extra for certifying a translation (e.g as an ITI member)?
Thread poster: Nesrin

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:48
English to Arabic
+ ...
May 7, 2008

As an ITI member, I've only done a handful of certified translations so far, and I've never charged extra for that. But I just received an inquiry specifically asking me how much I would charge extra for certifying a translation. So should I really have been charging extra, and how much would be sensible?

Thanks


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:48
French to English
do they want you to certify someone else's translation? May 7, 2008

That does come up more than you would think it should. In that case, you should charge them an hourly rate for carefully reviewing the translation first. I have never charged for certifying my own translations.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:48
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Certifying my own translation May 7, 2008

Hi Joan - thanks for your reply. I'm talking about certifying my own translation. So I guess it's normal not to charge extra for that?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:48
French to English
normal for me May 7, 2008

But you might want to hear some other answers - why give away more than you have to:). I do have some clients with a habit of sending me really short jobs, arguing about a minimum fee and then springing the certification on me a day later. Them I am thinking about charging! I would like to hear how other people handle this.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
No extra charge May 7, 2008

I certify documents based on my U.S. Federal Court Certification. While this entails some extra work because the documents must be printed out and I stamp and initial all pages in addition to providing an initial certification document, the work itself is usually lucrative enough that I do not charge extra.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:48
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Included in fee May 7, 2008

I do a lot of certified documents, diplomas, birth certificates, driver's licences, etc. I don't charge extra for the certification but I do charge an hourly rate with a minimum of one hour. I don't certify documents that have been translated by someone else. They often require editing and re-formatting - then it is better to start from scratch.

To Joan: in the case you describe I would definitely charge extra for the certification after the fact.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:48
French to English
yes, you're right, I probably should be charging. May 7, 2008

The trouble with these guys is that they are a large agency, and about half the PMs do pay rush, weekend, and minimum fees without argument (not coincidently, I considering them very nice people and value them as clients), while some will nickel and dime me on everything. Now that I have a better idea who is who, I think I will just stop answering certain emails.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What's the purpose of certifying? May 7, 2008

Each country has its own laws regarding official acceptance of a translated document. For instance, AFAIK (there may be other countries doing this) Brazil and Spain will not accept a certified translation done by anyone other than their own government-certified (aka sworn) translators. Anyone wanting detail in how it works in Brazil, be my guest to http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/tpicen.html .

So, what does, e.g. a Brazilian sworn translation imply? That the translator did it within certain rules, and is legally responsible for the consequences of any inaccuracy. The translator was tested and deemed "officially competent" by the Brazilian government. If other governments, e.g. USA, UK, AU, and many others consider that enough, and accept such translation it's their game. The Spanish government, for instance, does not.

What does certification of a translator by a private organization like the ITI or any other mean? It means that the translator was tested and deemed qualified by that institution's standards. If any government elects to consider this qualification good enough for translations made by such qualified people good enough, again, it's their game.

Non-certified translations are services rendered to someone who is allowed to change them as much as they wish. Certified translations are documents where a translator states, and takes responsibility for it, that the contents of a document in one language correspond to what s/he is saying in another.

So it all depends on what the client intends to do with the translation. If all they want is a statement from you that the translation is good, that's nonsense. If it is to be submitted to any kind of authority, they should check if this kind of certification is enough... or required at all!

In order not to leave your question unanswered, in Brazil certified/sworn translations by authorized translators must follow rates set by government, so that covers the matter here. Regarding your case, unless there is some law or regulation governing it, I'd certainly charge extra for certifying a translation. The amount would depend on the kind of commitment I'd make, or responsibility I'd take, for its accuracy... and this doesn't mean I'd let out inaccurate translations otherwise.



[Edited at 2008-05-08 16:22]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kristina Kolic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 19:48
Member (2007)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Extra fee for certified translations May 7, 2008

In my country, it is common practice to charge an extra fee for certified translations (stamped and signed by a Court Interpreter). These certified translations, which can only be provided by Court Interpreters, are usually requested for personal documents and other documents to be submitted to the authorities.

In my opinion, an extra fee is justified considering the fact that most of the translations are being sent by email, while certified translations require to be printed in a given number of copies (usually two or three), duly stamped and signed by the translator, which takes more time.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on what kind of certification May 7, 2008

Usually when my clients ask for certification, they want me to mail them a hard copy of the translation attached to a printout of the original and a notarized certificate of accuracy. I do charge for that since I have to pay a notary and then take time out of my day to walk to the post office in the next town.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:48
English to Polish
+ ...
Pros & cons May 7, 2008

Kristina Mijic wrote:
In my opinion, an extra fee is justified considering the fact that most of the translations are being sent by email, while certified translations require to be printed in a given number of copies (usually two or three), duly stamped and signed by the translator, which takes more time.


You're right it takes time, but with small jobs the effort is negligible. On the other hand, you get selected for some jobs just because you're certified/sworn, so there's some offset.
I charge extra when certification indeed constitutes an effort or expense. For instance, last month I had to print out a 200-page contract in three copies, stamp and sign each page, bind... all of that put together took a long time.
If I do charge, I charge a percentage of the job value. What's the use of charging 1.50 euro extra? Hardly pays the time needed to add the item to my invoice. With 150.00 euro it's quite a different story.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:48
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all May 8, 2008

Thank you all for your input. I've decided not to charge extra for now, as long as these jobs are still few and far between, and are usually no more than two pages. Now if I should ever get a project like the one Iza mentions, I'm definitely going to charge by the hour.

I found the following information in the ITI documents I have, by the way:

"Charge for certification
Members have asked for guidance on this point, but ITI makes no recommendation as to certification charges. Members should base their charges on the time taken for certification and their normal hourly rate, as well as the value and convenience to their clients."


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Higher rate for certified translations May 8, 2008

If you do a certified translation you charge a higher per word rate. This is really because liability for the translation has been transferred to you. As José points out above, the ITI is a private organisation, therefore if you received the translation from an agency it is unlikely that liability for it has been transferred to you. If it was a direct client, the liability is yours anyway.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Do you charge extra for certifying a translation (e.g as an ITI member)?

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search