Do you charge more per word, and how much for PDF image files?
Thread poster: Stephanie Ezrol

Stephanie Ezrol  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:42
Member (2009)
English
+ ...
Dec 15, 2010

Do you charge more per word for PDF image files? The ones I have seen most often are photocopies of documents like school transcripts, other such government documents, and many types of older pre-computer type records or reports which can not be converted to a word file other than by some type of scanning program which usually introduces many wrong characters (depending on the quality of the original).

If you charge more, how much more? And are there are methods you recommend for dealing with these types of documents?


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Romanian to English
+ ...
Depends on the document Dec 15, 2010

Stephanie Ezrol wrote:

Do you charge more per word for PDF image files? The ones I have seen most often are photocopies of documents like school transcripts, other such government documents, and many types of older pre-computer type records or reports which can not be converted to a word file other than by some type of scanning program which usually introduces many wrong characters (depending on the quality of the original).

If you charge more, how much more? And are there are methods you recommend for dealing with these types of documents?


For a file that is just a scanned but simple document, no, I don't charge more. If the document is long and contains many repetitions, fuzzies, it might be worth converting it, even at the cost of extra efforts to make it "tradosable". With a normal scan, I can evaluate this with a rough OCR reading (which shows me if it is worth converting it at all).

For pdf files with images, tables etc., I charge a normal rate per target character/word (also letting the client know about the *estimative* quantity) plus 10-25% of the total price, depending on how complex the formatting is. If it's a mixture of text and tables and graphs in two columns, I definitely charge an extra 25%. I have a client that usually sends me this type of documents and he never complained about the pricing.

HTH

Annamaria


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imatahan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:42
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends Dec 15, 2010

It depends on the job.

As I work with the legal area, sometimes I have only personal documents to translate, and I use to ask a per page payment.

When you have a full process to translate, we use to count the words translated, and then ask fees per word.


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René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 10:42
Czech to German
+ ...
No. I actually appreciate clients, who let me do the OCR (text export) and formatting steps myself. Dec 15, 2010

I never charge surcharges for work from PDF and that is not only laziness to write more difficult quotes.

The reason is that I want to know what is in the DOC file that I will translate. You find that strange?

Since 2005 I am working with CAT tools and I must say that I depend on them already - I can’t work without them anymore. I prefer the Word + Translators Workbench workflow. This lets me work in a WYSIWYG environment and I am perfectly happy with this. But what would happen, if the file would contain superfluous styles that make the formatting change spontaneously, half of the text in text boxes with wild breaks in the middle of the sentences (segments)? In the past I got quite a lot of such DOC files for quotation from lower paying agencies and they did not even send the original PDF file along. The person who prepared those files obviously never worked with a CAT tool before nor did he/she know how a Word file should look like to be translation friendly with CAT. Needless to say, that I did not get the job, and I was not sad about that at all. These were typical translation brokers. They don't contact me anymore.

I do the preparation of PDF files or faxes for translation in Word for 10 years now already. Maybe it takes some 5 to 20 percent of the time that I need for the whole job, but I feel so well when I can prepare the file in the way I like and need it. Afterwards, I can concentrate much more on the translation itself, because no bad surprises are waiting for me in the DOC file. It also makes it much easier to meet the deadlines without fear.

I think this is really worth the small investment of time to do the OCR and formatting free of charge. Maybe some DTP guys in agencies get angry now, but this is really what I experienced in the last 10 years. To be fair to them I am admitting, that in better paying agencies sometimes there are some reasonable DTP guys, who create Word files convenient to work with. But still remains the question, how a DTP guy can prepare a text well for translation, when it is in a language he doesn’t understand at all. And I am collecting my work from all over Europe, so it would be really bad, if I could take jobs only from those with a reasonable (and polyglot) DTP guy.

René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de

Please note that English is neither my target language nor one of my source languages.


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