Charging for formatting
Thread poster: Libero_Lang_Lab

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:42
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jun 28, 2009

I'd be interested to know how others approach charging extra for time-consuming formatting.

I've just been tackling a 120 page document, supplied as pdf. The target doc was delivered as a word file, which meant that all the tables needed to be recreated. It was quite time consuming. I didn't clock the exact amount of time expended, but certainly feel that a surcharge should be applied.

How do others tackle this kind of scenario?

Cheers,
D


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:42
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Dan Jun 28, 2009

Investing into FineReader would save you lots of time and efforts

Best,
Natalia


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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:42
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
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MODERATOR
In my case Jun 28, 2009

What I do is add an hourly charge for the number of hours spent on formatting, recreating graphics, or other "non translation" tasks.
However, I always agree on this with my customer before accepting a job and provide a rough estimate of the number of hours I will invoice. Did you discuss this beforehand with your client? If not, I don't know how easy it will be to bring up dozens of formatting hours after the job is complete.
Let me know how it goes.
Laureana


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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:42
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Laureana Jun 28, 2009

Thanks Laureana,

That makes sense to me. On this occasion we didn't agree anything in advance, as everything was rushed - but no excuse in hindsight. Equally, we didn't agree the rate per 1000 - this client, with whom i have a longstanding relationship, seems happy to trust us when we go above our standard rate for certain jobs.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:42
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Hourly rate Jun 28, 2009

I would have charged the whole job by the hour.

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Grace Horsley  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:42
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
Higher rate for non-editable formats Jun 29, 2009

I charge a higher rate for translating texts in non-editable formats, which of course covers pdf. I hope that this will also encourage clients to send the document in Word whenever possible.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:42
French to English
+ ...
Surcharge Jun 29, 2009

I usually charge a 10% surcharge for pdf files. As Grace says, this normally means that the client micraculously comes up with a Word file at the last minute! However, I would agree the surcharge before doing the job. I tend to use Abbyy or Solid for pdf conversions, which is well worthwhile, but I still find there can be formatting issues, especially with Abbyy when the conversion is from a scanned pdf, so I feel the surcharge is still justifiable, even with file conversion software.

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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:42
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Then you'll have no problem Jun 29, 2009

Daniel Brennan wrote:

Thanks Laureana,

That makes sense to me. On this occasion we didn't agree anything in advance, as everything was rushed - but no excuse in hindsight. Equally, we didn't agree the rate per 1000 - this client, with whom i have a longstanding relationship, seems happy to trust us when we go above our standard rate for certain jobs.


If you have a longstanding relationship with a reasonable client, then you'll have no problem at all.
I'm glad I could be of help.
Have a nice day!


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Giffted  Identity Verified
Dominican Republic
Local time: 02:42
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Something similar.... Jun 29, 2009

In my case, I agreed the translation price including the DTP of the final document.
The project was assigned to various translators, and I was asked to do the DTP for one of the other translators.
I charged 30% of the word count and the customer agreed. I did it because: 1- It was a lot of work just to do the formatting, including graphics and charts; and 2 - I didn't do the translation for those files, so I could apply the "all inclusive" offer.
I like the 10% increase for pdf files...it makes sense.
I also must say that using DeskUnpdf by Docudesk has been a great help. It is a very nice tool for an affordable price.


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:42
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
% surcharge for complex formatting Jul 28, 2009

My policy is to add a flat percentage surcharge for complex formatting, typically 15%.

Of course, I may waive it or even quote a higher per-word rate instead, depending on the customer. Some of mine just don't buy the 'surcharge' thing!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Formatting is not translating Jul 28, 2009

Daniel Brennan wrote:

I'd be interested to know how others approach charging extra for time-consuming formatting.

I've just been tackling a 120 page document, supplied as pdf. The target doc was delivered as a word file, which meant that all the tables needed to be recreated. It was quite time consuming. I didn't clock the exact amount of time expended, but certainly feel that a surcharge should be applied.

How do others tackle this kind of scenario?

Cheers,
D


Daniel

I don't know about you, but I'm a translator, not a formatter of documents !

I sometimes get pdfs from clients who can't, or won't, create a Word file I can work on. So before even starting the translation I have to spend time creating one.

If it's a very small job for a good client I don't make a fuss about it, but if it's going to take up a lot of time I offer the client two options: (a) I'll create a Word file but will charge *double* my usual tariff (b) the client can provide me with a Word file and I'll charge my usual tariff.

I was recently asked to do an entire book, working only from scanned image files of every page! I calculated that simply to create a Word file, before even beginning the translation, would have taken me about 2 months (of extremely tedious work). So I informed the client of this and that I would charge double and that I really didn't want to do this, as it would get in the way of my other work. Whereupon the client withdrew the job and said he'd try to get the end user to provide a Word file. I'm still waiting

The translator should focus only on translating. Not on anything else that has nothing to do with translating.

[Edited at 2009-07-28 12:01 GMT]


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