Help: Quotation.
Thread poster: Lenneth

Lenneth
Chile
Local time: 07:17
English to Spanish
May 6, 2013

Hi, everyoneicon_smile.gif

I finished my studies on December last year (English - Spanish Translator), and well, someone asked me to translate this very difficult standard related to engeneering. The document has a total of 9.000 words in English, and they asked me to translate it into Spanish.

Since I'm a "newbie" on making quotations, I thought I should charge $30 CLP per word (that's Chilean pesos), making a total (for the 9.000 word) of $270.000 CLP (that's around $576 USD; or 369 GBP). I also thought about telling the client that it would take from 3 to 3,5 weeks to have the document ready.

What do you think about it? Am I charging too much for being a begginer? Or maybe I'm taking too long to translate de document (which has a high level of technical vocabulary)?

Thank you very much in advance,

Cheers,

Lenneth


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends May 6, 2013

I'm no math wizard and I work in euros, but at first glance it looks like roughly 5 cents a word, which is cheap (for Spain/Europe) if the text is as technical as you say. If you are happy with the sum and the client hasn't complained, I wouldn't worry about it being too much.

In my opinion, whether you are a beginner or not is immaterial if you are confident enough that you can do a good job.

But don't just take my word for it - I'm sure someone better informed will be able to give you better advice.


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:17
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Congratulations May 6, 2013

Dear Lenneth,

First, congratulations on your graduation last December. Second, I honestly do not think that you are charging too much. If the client has accepted your rates, then you are on the right track. The issue of rates becomes a real problem only when the client objects to your rates, which in this case they did not. Third, the timing issue also becomes a real problem if the client objects to it, again. It looks like you and the client agreed both on the rates you will charge and the deadline. I would not worry about it under these circumstances. Have fun and good luck!


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:17
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My two cents May 6, 2013

Lenneth wrote:
I finished my studies on December last year (English - Spanish Translator), and well, someone asked me to translate this very difficult standard related to engeneering.

To be totally honest, I was tempted not to keep reading. My main thought about this in particular is that maybe it is risky to take this job. If it is a standard, clearly it should be translated by an experienced technical translator or by an expert in the field. I just thought I'd mention it, so that you have a chance to A) reconsider doing the job, or B) set the expectations right with your customer and let them know that you are not an expert at the moment.

No matter how much the customer pays, they will always expect a good translation, and by doing a translation for which you are not sufficiently experienced, you put yourself at risk of failing, something you cannot really allow to happen in a very competitive market.

I am only talking of experience here. I would however understand if you did not take my word for it: the best way to learn about the consequences of overconfidence is to experience them first hand. Or maybe I am totally wrong and you finally get an excellent feedback from the end users of the text. If that is the case, please email me and I will take back all this and eat it.

May I just suggest that, if you take the job and happen to know of someone who is an expert in the field, you let them have a look at your work well before the due date so that they can help you straighten any misunderstandings and choose the right terminology.

Good luck with the project in any case!


 

Paz González  Identity Verified
Chile
English to Spanish
It's too much time May 6, 2013

Dear Lenneth,

Like you, I'm a Chilean translator and its great that you've got your degree. I think that your rate it is really good, but I think that 3 weeks is too much time. I know that you are a newbsie that's why I think that 7 days it's a good timming for a perfect translation, 10 days as the most and you can do it.

Good luck!


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:17
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Good advice May 6, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
May I just suggest that, if you take the job and happen to know of someone who is an expert in the field, you let them have a look at your work well before the due date so that they can help you straighten any misunderstandings and choose the right terminology.


On the face of it, this seems a very difficult job for a newbie, although you've given yourself a long lead time to polish it. Our problem is that we know so little about you that it's impossible to tell whether you're qualified to do the job, and that's what really counts for your client. You have a translation qualification, but are you qualified, in the larger sense of the word, to take on engineering texts of this type? I think it might have been a good idea to have added a little to the per-word rate, which seems rather low, to pay for a proofreader.

Anyway, good luck with it!


 

Lenneth
Chile
Local time: 07:17
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
TY! May 6, 2013

Hi, everyone

First of all, thank you very much for your replies. You've helped me a lot!

I haven't sent the quotation yet, since I wanted to know other translators' opinions first.

Thank you very much one more time and I'll let you know what happens in the endicon_smile.gif

Cheers,

Lenneth


 

almacarle
Local time: 12:17
English to Italian
+ ...
www supervisors May 6, 2013

hi

I have more than 20 years old experience in translation in and from 5 -6 languages, but in difficult items I always consider to give a part of the money I earn to an expert supervisor, to control everything

We work in pairs, I control hers and she controls mine, so usually I do not have to pay (but sometimes I do) and I am sure to consigne always a perfetc work, perfect from the point of view of micro language and other kind of errors

we have a constant co-operation and we grow together in translating different fields

4 eyes see more than 2:-)

kind regards

alma carle


 

Steven Segaert
Estonia
Local time: 13:17
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
My advice May 7, 2013

Don't translate something you don't understand. If you have to find out what every other term means before searching for the correct translation, it quickly becomes a nightmare.

If you understand what the document is about, it becomes much easier to estimate a time and a budget. A good rule of thumb is to count 300 words per hour. That will give you both a timing and an idea of how much you need to charge.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:17
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not only that May 7, 2013

Steven Segaert wrote:
Don't translate something you don't understand. If you have to find out what every other term means before searching for the correct translation, it quickly becomes a nightmare.

In technical translation, the problem is not finding a translation for a part or feature, but understanding what the heck the part or feature does, how it moves, how it interacts with other parts or features, and why and when it operates. All these things you can only learn from experience or actual knowledge on the matter.

You can only gather such knowledge actually seeing the items in action or by having someone explain them to you in the most graphical way possible. Unfortunately my experience with newly graduated translators shows that they fail to see the importance of understanding the devices, and concentrate too much in finding possible target words for a term, use them rather randomly most of the time, and produce a lot of words every day no matter what.icon_smile.gif


 


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