On-line translations .. do you charge extra ?
Thread poster: Birthe Omark

Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:12
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
May 15, 2008

Lately I have had experience with online translation in different systems. I always start on an up-beat with an optimistic tune, but as I move along, I find the work more and more frustrating.

1) often the servers are slow - you therefore don't get a good flow in your work having to wait for up to 120 seconds or more for a segment to be saved (and if you press a button before time, you can start all over again with that segment - in some systems with everything which has been done in the whole module).

2) it is difficult to get an overview of the progress of the job - you don't know how much you have translated, and how much is left to be done.

3) it is difficult to ensure consistency in the translation, as concordance searches etc. are often rudimentary or non-existent.

4) when you do manage to search and look back into previously translated segments, you may find different styles and terminologies for the same words or types of sentences. Because the translations have been patched together over time with different translators.

5) you always (hopefully) get wiser, as you move along in a translation, and often you find better and more presice expressions - but sometimes closed units are not just closed - but locked - so there is no room for improvement, and you may have to stick with your first 'half-wit' expression !

Outsourcers might find this the second best to sliced bread, and think that this justifies tight budgets ...
What do you think ? do you find the jobs easier, or on the contrary - does the method warrant a surcharge. ?


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Dutch to German
+ ...
Charge by the hour May 15, 2008

Had a couple of those projects for a client who organzied this extremely well and who was happy to go along with my hourly rate. I was even required to do it on site, because it was critical information. That way, I couldn't care less how big the project was.

On a different occasion, I asked the IT department to give me the XML files that were behind this online system. They did not like the idea at first, but I managed to build a filter and I just processed it with my CAT tool. Everybody happy.

[Edited at 2008-05-15 11:35]

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:12
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Hourly rates may not be the solution May 15, 2008

I charge 40 Euro per hour, but rarely customers agree to be charged this rate. In reality I can achieve much more in one hour when paid word-rates, so I should charge at least 80 Euro. But I'm still searching for clients that would agree to this rate.
Using my own TMs I'm usually more productive than with the TM the client provides.
I have only once translated online, and I was later told that the customer was not happy with his system either. After that they continued to send Word-files.

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Alex Eames
Local time: 06:12
English to Polish
+ ...
Hourly rate works for us May 15, 2008

We've got one client who has a proprietory system on their website. It's a bit clunky, but we charge by the hour so get paid for the whole time working on their stuff. It's not a TM, but a database of answers to questionnaires.

Alex Eames
helping translators do better business

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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 08:12
English to Russian
I apply a higher rate May 15, 2008

Birthe Omark wrote:

do you find the jobs easier, or on the contrary - does the method warrant a surcharge. ?

I find working online to be inconvenient and time consuming. I always ask to send me the source file so that I could work offline. If the client refuse or can't do it I don't ask for a surcharge but simply apply a higher rate.

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