Do I Charge for a re-sent file?
Thread poster: Paula S. Cardoso

Paula S. Cardoso
Netherlands
Local time: 23:02
English to Portuguese
Oct 4, 2012

Hello Everybody!

I've been contacted by an agency and now I'm doing a small 3500w translation for them. I'm being paid 0.05usd/word and 0.045/repeat.

They sent me a file which had some UI and I wasn't given any instruction about them, so I left it as is. Now, one day later, after delivery, they sent the files back, proofread, and tell me I need to translate the UI too.

I am translating the UI, no biggie. It is taking me a lot of time to read the text, find what needs to be translated (xml file) and replacing one by one or propagating when possible.

Do I charge the translation of these "new words"? Do I charge it as proofreading? Do I not charge? I gave them a considerable discount since my fee is 0.06euro/word.

Can someone help me with an insight?

Thanks to anybody who can help me.


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:02
English to Dutch
+ ...
No extra charge Oct 4, 2012

The client sent you a job and you accepted it. So you should do the work at the agreed price.
Unless the UI items were not included in the wordcount of course. Check that. But if they were, that's it.

You should have inquired immediately when you found out that there was UI in the job.

BTW, what CAT are you using? Because any half decent CAT would hide all XML code so you wouldn't have to hunt for translateables.

Finally, it's all up to you of course, but a discount on an already quite low rate of 0.06 euro/word?


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Acronym Oct 4, 2012

By UI do you mean User Interfaces? If the client wanted them translated, perhaps they should have pointed that out - or maybe you should have asked them. However, my view is that it's all part of the job and you should be paid for translating these items.

I always insist my clients make it clear what needs to be translated or not, for example I always tell them I don't do acronyms unless defined beforehand. Another thing I often have to ask them to clarify is whether I am translating descriptions or instructions, as the syntax doesn't always make it clear. Another frequent one I have to ask one software company is "What does the user actually see on screen?"


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:02
Member
English to French
Text with UI Oct 4, 2012

The first thing to know in this case is:
Is the program localised?
If yes, please provide a UI glossary.
If not, how should I handle them?
1) leave them as is
2) leave them and add a free translation between brackets
3) translate them freely and hope that the reader will know what this UI term actually refers to on their screens.*

Agencies who do their homework will let you know without your asking. The others will learn through your queries.

*I don't really see any interest in translating UI without any reference to the source UI if the program is not translated. In the reader's shoes, I would find it difficult to follow a step-by-step procedure if I had to back-translate each and every single UI term on the fly.

As regards charging more for this new round of work, I wouldn't because I wasn't inquisitive enough in the first place.

Philippe


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Word count is important here Oct 4, 2012

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:
The client sent you a job and you accepted it. So you should do the work at the agreed price.
Unless the UI items were not included in the wordcount of course.


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Paula S. Cardoso
Netherlands
Local time: 23:02
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
I considered the UI untranslatables. Oct 4, 2012

I considered the UI untranslatables, as in, english words that aren't translated to portuguese, like sharepoint and Excel. I had no information beforehand and the words were paid for. It took me 4,5 hours to find, search on the Microsoft website for the translation, replace, or contextually translate them.

I'm considering in charging them as 3h of proofreading (20usd/h) since I could have done this in the first go but had to go back and weed out all the UI (user interface) and translate/keep/adapt. My time was wasted (as in I could have done this in a lot less time bc it was in the run of the translation) on the first send. What do I do about this extra time?

The client, Indian Agency, did not provide the translated UI from the client and I believe they haven't thought of that. Since I'm the only one translating to PT I assume my translation will be used to translate the software.

I've been doing this for a looong time but I haven't had any direct clients. Agencies will pay you only this much. If I ask for more, they'll drop me, so I only settle for my minimum 0.05usd, which is very little. I got offered 0.02usd on numerous occasions and I shut them down immediately.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:02
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You should have asked Oct 5, 2012

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:
You should have inquired immediately when you found out that there was UI in the job.

Exactly.

This is one of the basic things you ask when you translate a document about a software product. I think you should edit the document at no cost, learn from the experience... and raise your rates for God's sake!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
UI approach differs per language Oct 5, 2012

Paula S. Cardoso wrote:
I considered the UI untranslatables, as in, English words that aren't translated to Portuguese, like "sharepoint" and "Excel". I had no information beforehand ... It took me 4,5 hours to find, search on the Microsoft website for the translation, replace, or contextually translate them.


I think that different languages treat these things differently, and the client should trust you to make the right decision if he doesn't tell you something specific. You did not translate these, not because you were lazy but because you took an informed decision not to. The client disagreed and wanted you to translate them. It is difficult to judge here, but I think you were right initially, although I'm not sure what would be "fair" to the client.

I think it is a client's duty to tell a translator how to deal with such things, if such things occur in the text. C'mon, this is a common problem in these types of text, so the client should really have known to tell you... unless this is a first-time client or a client who has never worked with other languages before.

I'm considering in charging them as 3h of proofreading (20usd/h) since I could have done this in the first go but had to go back and weed out all the UI (user interface) and translate/keep/adapt.


It sounds to me like the agency thought that you should be able to "fix" your translation in a matter of minutes or seconds. Perhaps the client did not realise that translating those terms would require such amounts of research. However, I think you should have informed the client that it is likely to take very long to research those terms and that it would have to be charged separately.

Since I'm the only one translating to PT I assume my translation will be used to translate the software.


I don't understand this comment...?


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Paula S. Cardoso
Netherlands
Local time: 23:02
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Samuel, Oct 5, 2012

You got my point, precisely.

I didn't have any orientation regarding the UI. Since there are many software here in Brazil that aren't translated, the manual I translated made perfect sense since it was instructing someone how to do things on a software. I could even have translated the general terms like Open, Save as, etc, but the text would look and feel completely inconsistent. Part PTBr part EN.

The weird part is, he didn't complain or anything, there wasn't a problem, after my delivery he simply sent me an email telling me that the client sent word about the translation and wanted the UI translated. I don't know if he had that information before sending me the job (first time I'm working for them) or if he waited after I was done.

Samuel Murray wrote:

Since I'm the only one translating to PT I assume my translation will be used to translate the software.


I don't understand this comment...?



If, and that is a big IF, the client translate the software, they could use my TM to translate the UI terms.

I decided I will charge for those 3h and I hope I get paid. I do not want to be prejudiced but the agency is Indian and they were supposed to pay me for the first delivery today and haven't. The agreement was that they were going to pay me 5working days after the delivery of the files and invoice, since it is the first time we are working together.

I'll wait until the 12th, the day after the second invoice has to be paid and then I'll see what I'll do. The best part is, I really like simple and direct jobs like these and if everything goes well, I would love to have this agency as a client. But, I'm always afraid of having to remind ppl they have to pay me and they replace me with another translator. It's the same problem with my fee.


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Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 17:02
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Low prices invite cheapskates Oct 6, 2012

I think your problem goes deeper than this particular miscommunication with the agency. IMHO, your rates are painfully low. I sympathize with your worries about raising your rates and losing clients, but this is a common problem for translators and freelancers in general. All of the business advice I've ever read says that lowering your prices just to get business will easily backfire. Doing so tends to attract the clients who are real cheapskates, who don't want to pay for your going the extra mile to deliver a quality product, who may not even care about quality, and who haggle over every last penny, all of which makes you feel disrespected and resentful. Translating is a beautiful and skilled profession, so we shouldn't let ourselves be subjected to exploitation that ruins our pride and pleasure in our work.

Here are 2 resources I urge you and all other Proz members to read:

"Using Low Rates to Attract Clients" by Walt Kania of The Freelancery: see
http://thefreelancery.com/2012/09/using-low-rates-to-attract-clients/

"No Peanuts! Statement of Principles" at No Peanuts for Translators (If You're Not a Monkey, Stop Working for Peanuts!); see
http://nopeanuts.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/statement/

It takes courage to raise your rates to decent wages, but there are ways to do so gracefully and successfully. I hope you do so. Good luck!


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