Do you charge extra for PowerPoints?
Thread poster: xxxLucyPatterso

xxxLucyPatterso
English
Jul 22, 2012

I just did a horrible PP translation last week - one of those full of graphs and small boxes with text, and the font was so small you could hardly see it on the computer screen.

I used my translation program to do it (otherwise it would have taken far longer) but even this program struggled with the PP and ended up leaving out sections, inserting the wrong font etc.

I had to spend extra time cutting and pasting text into tiny boxes and by the end of the ordeal was tempted never to translate a PP again.

How do you deal with such nightmare files and do you charge extra?


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Of course! Jul 22, 2012

LucyPatterson wrote:


How do you deal with such nightmare files and do you charge extra?


We are translators and not supposed to struggle with "strange" formats. Extra work will need a surcharge or will be charged by the hour.


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 22:26
English to German
+ ...
Return to sender Jul 22, 2012

Ask for a decent version of the file.

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Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Charge by the hour Jul 22, 2012

This is the option I offer a client who often sends me ppt files - sometimes they give way and convert it into Word, but otherwise I use TimeStamp and charge them accordingly. I have been working with them for a VERY long time, so there is no issue over trust.

btw, I don't consider this "charging extra".

[Edited at 2012-07-22 22:30 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
What Noni said Jul 23, 2012

In fact, it's the first "condition" on my own list of terms:

1) Basic rates apply to text documents in MS Word or compatible (easy to work with). Documents in other formats (Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, PageMaker, HTML, FreeHand, Open Office etc.) are priced according to their level of complexity and the actual time needed for translation/revision. The real-time hourly rate is € XX,XX / hour.

Some PPT files are OK, and you can process them more or less as quickly as a Word or plain text file; however, others are a nightmare, and although containing the same amount of text, can take 2 or 3 times longer to handle. So, logically you should charge for the extra time required.

I don't know how many times I've "finished" a PPT file then discovered lots of hidden texts boxes that had been invisible while working - on one occasion I had to work all night on a Sunday to deliver a PPT on the Monday morning which I thought I'd finished by 6 pm...

[Edited at 2012-07-23 08:05 GMT]

BTW, I bet those posting that they don't charge extra because they use CAT tools are already charging around twice what I do to start with, since my rates are based on simple TXT or Word and the real time it takes me to translate them - which can vary tremendously with PPT and other irksome formats, as many of us have found out.

[Edited at 2012-07-23 16:46 GMT]


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Kathinka van de Griendt  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:26
German to English
+ ...
With the right tool ... Jul 23, 2012

I don't charge extra. Why should I? SDLX, TagEditor or Trados Studio, just to name a few, handle these formats perfectly!

Regards, Kathinka


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 22:26
English to French
+ ...
charging more for PP translations Jul 23, 2012

LucyPatterson wrote:

I just did a horrible PP translation last week - one of those full of graphs and small boxes with text, and the font was so small you could hardly see it on the computer screen.


How do you deal with such nightmare files and do you charge extra?


I don't, but I feel I should start to. Apart from the extra time one can spend that is not dedicated to translation, I have not found a satisfying way to check my translation against the original on screen, so have have to print the whole lot, and that is an additional cost. So I think you should not be afraid of doing so. If you know how to check on screen with PP, please let me know!

Another problem with PowerPoint is that you cannot select the whole file and choose the language option. Instead, you have to set the language option for every marked text area, that too is time consuming and has nothing to do with translation, however I'd say it is pretty important to do so. I recently proofread a PP presentation and the translator had not bothered doing so, which means that there were some typos and grammar mistakes that s/he did not notice that a simple spellchecking would have been able to highlight should s/he have spent time setting the language for each box..

And as you know, time is also money...


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:26
Member
English to French
Formatting work involved most of the time with ppt Jul 23, 2012

Kathinka van de Griendt wrote:

I don't charge extra. Why should I? SDLX, TagEditor or Trados Studio, just to name a few, handle these formats perfectly!

Regards, Kathinka

Titles may need a smaller font because they don't fit on one line, paragraphs may need reworking because they spread onto a graphic...
A CAT tool helps, but doesn't eliminate text-fitting tasks, especially when the translation takes more space than the original.

To answer the original question I don't charge extra for basic text adaptation. After translation in a CAT tool, fitting the text properly is usually a matter of minutes with a standard 20-30 slide presentation.
Of course, if I am required to keep the same font size or other layout constraints, or if it takes far more time than anticipated because of hidden text boxes and dodgy formatting, then it costs more.

Philippe


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:26
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
I don't charge extra, but... Jul 23, 2012

I don't charge extra, as the format doesn't make a difference when you work with a CAT tool. However, I explicitly agree with my clients that my rate covers translation only: I will not adapt the layout in any way and leave this to my customers (mainly agencies). They usually have personal that is fully qualified to do that, and for a lower hourly rate than mine.

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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 22:26
English to Czech
+ ...
Extra charge for post-processing Jul 23, 2012

I don't charge any extra fees for the translation, but I do charge an hourly-based fee for post-processing.

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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
I realise... Jul 23, 2012

Kathinka van de Griendt wrote:

I don't charge extra. Why should I? SDLX, TagEditor or Trados Studio, just to name a few, handle these formats perfectly!

Regards, Kathinka


... that you got your software FOC and that's why you are able not to charge extra for using it for a PPT. Sometimes it helps but sometimes you still have a lot of extra work.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I charge for tidying up the formatting afterwards Jul 23, 2012

Kathinka van de Griendt wrote:

I don't charge extra. Why should I? SDLX, TagEditor or Trados Studio, just to name a few, handle these formats perfectly!

Regards, Kathinka


It certainly takes extra time, as English often takes up more space than my source language. But not always...

Otherwise I tell the client that it needs doing, if they prefer to let their DTP department do it - and I sigh with relief!

You do need to warn the client before taking on the job, and agree on the rate, but don't let them tell you it's all included.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I give them the option Jul 23, 2012

The basic service, on my standard per-word translation rate means I'll be using Werecat, translate it on Word using WF Classic, and deliver as-is. EN > PT translation often causes text to "swell" up to 20%, resulting in overlapped bulleted texts, and several other misalignments. Several clients tell me they have some PPT wizard that will tidy it up in no time, so all I'll do is to translate and review.

Other clients want a finished presentation, so I add 30% on the translation cost to tidy up the presentation after translation. More often than not, presentation developers never thought someone would translate that @#$%, so one-liner bullets don't have indents, things of this sort, which must be fixed manually, one at a time.

I avoid at all costs charging by the hour. When it's an interpreting job, for instance, there is no alternative: I must be available there for a certain period of time. However for other jobs, let's take a DTP gig for example. If the client requests it to be done with Page Maker, in which I have 20+ years' experience, I'll do anything in a snap, getting grossly underpaid for all my investment in mastering it. Conversely, if they force me to use Quark, they'll be grossly overcharged for all the hours I'll spend reading manuals and help screens. So either way, it's likely to be unfair


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 17:26
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Changing the language in .ppt files Jul 24, 2012

Anne R wrote:

Another problem with PowerPoint is that you cannot select the whole file and choose the language option. Instead, you have to set the language option for every marked text area, that too is time consuming and has nothing to do with translation, however I'd say it is pretty important to do so.


Not to hijack the thread or anything, but it's really easy to change the language of all text elements in a .ppt file with a simple VB macro:

Option Explicit
Public Sub ChangeSpellCheckingLanguagetoEngUS()
Dim j As Integer, k As Integer, scount As Integer, fcount As Integer
scount = ActivePresentation.Slides.Count
For j = 1 To scount
fcount = ActivePresentation.Slides(j).Shapes.Count
For k = 1 To fcount
If ActivePresentation.Slides(j).Shapes(k).HasTextFrame Then
ActivePresentation.Slides(j).Shapes(k) _
.TextFrame.TextRange.LanguageID = msoLanguageIDEnglishUS
End If
Next k
Next j
End Sub

Copy and paste that into a new macro module, change "msoLanguageIDEnglishUS" for any language you want using the MS Language IDs, et voilà!


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