handwritten docs
Thread poster: Srini Venkataraman

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 17:05
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
Oct 5, 2013

Of late I have started getting handwritten material ( scanned pdf)- in general and legal domains. Of course readability is also an issue. Should I try a sample translation before quoting or any rough % increase like 15-20% will do?

Edited:
I have just declined the work, on seeing the sample doc, for a job posted today:
Telugu to English translations - legal docs

[Edited at 2013-10-05 23:33 GMT]


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Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:05
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Legal Oct 6, 2013

In case of legal documents I would go for a test first to see if it meets your clients wishes. I did a translation once, handwritten letters from soldiers in Worldwar II. It sometimes took a lot of imagination to find out what was written. And following the story, the red line, was quite handy. Names were sometimes shortened because of a lack of space etc. It did it for free, the institute had no money at all.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
The problem... Oct 6, 2013

Srini Venkataraman wrote:

Of late I have started getting handwritten material ( scanned pdf)- in general and legal domains. Of course readability is also an issue. Should I try a sample translation before quoting or any rough % increase like 15-20% will do?

Edited:
I have just declined the work, on seeing the sample doc, for a job posted today:
Telugu to English translations - legal docs

[Edited at 2013-10-05 23:33 GMT]


The extra time you would have to spend on this could be spent doing more translations and getting paid for them.

If I were a sadist I might suggest that you:

- accept the job;
- write your translations out by hand, perhaps legibly, perhaps not;
- scan them as PDFs; and
- submit the scans as the finished translations.


Seriously though: I would suggest you time yourself to see how long it takes you to type out a Word document, from one of the handwritten scans you have been given.

Then add the cost of that additional time to your normal rate, plus something for the thanklessness of having to do it.

[Edited at 2013-10-06 10:01 GMT]


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Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 17:05
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Tom Oct 6, 2013

There was one more icing on the cake: I even need not have bothered to see the doc if I had known the final rate is $ 0.015/word!!!

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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:05
German to English
Waste of time Oct 6, 2013

Srini Venkataraman wrote:

Of late I have started getting handwritten material ( scanned pdf)- in general and legal domains. Of course readability is also an issue. Should I try a sample translation before quoting or any rough % increase like 15-20% will do?

Edited:
I have just declined the work, on seeing the sample doc, for a job posted today:
Telugu to English translations - legal docs

[Edited at 2013-10-05 23:33 GMT]


Total waste of time and non-profitable. Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Next!

Steve K.


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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:05
German to English
ROFL Oct 6, 2013

Srini Venkataraman wrote:

There was one more icing on the cake: I even need not have bothered to see the doc if I had known the final rate is $ 0.015/word!!!


It's not very often I roll on the floor, laughing, but this did it for me!

Steve K.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:05
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
In general, it depends Oct 7, 2013

I still smile as I think of one client who used to send handwritten texts for translation. He was an artist and designer of ceramics, and at his age and standing in the company, he simply refused to use a computer.

His writing was not always legible, but there were beautiful working drawings of what he wanted, and the agency let me call him if I had any difficulty with reading his writing or terminology. He was really fun to talk to, and he knew the English technical terms for the processes he used in his work.

I was paid by the hour.

I often see handwritten sections in legal documents or medical records. I mail the client if they are illegible, and ask what to do about them. In some cases the answer is simply to write [handwritten: illegible] and move on. In others the client has to obtain and send a legible version of the handwritten sections.

It is quite simple: we are translators, not mind readers, so the text must be legible. And of course, the rate paid, either in time or per word, must be reasonable.

I am not a sworn translator or State Authorised, but those who are will usually know the standard procedure in their country.


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