alignment: prices?
Thread poster: Wasp3

Wasp3
Italy
Local time: 05:38
German to Italian
+ ...
Jun 16, 2014

Hi, everybody!
My question is: how much does an alignment job cost?
I have just finished university and I want to start my career as a translator.
One of the first tasks they ask me is to make an alignment and I don't know how much a traslator is paid for this job. I presume it depends on the languages and the amount of hours, but I would like to have an idea, so to ask a right price.
Thanks for every answer!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My 2 cents Jun 16, 2014

Wasp3 wrote:
I presume it depends on the languages and the amount of hours, but I would like to have an idea, so to ask a right price.


I dioubt that it depends on the languages too much, but it would depend a lot on how easy the texts are to align. Do you know why they want/need you to do it? And have you seen the texts for alignment? If you have, then you may have a good enough idea of how long it will take to quote for the job. If you can't do that then all you can do is give your hourly rate. But it you're going to do that they'll need to be confident that you can get the job done quickly, otherwise the cost could be way over their budget. You say you were a student of translation and you use Trados so you do have some knowledge. But is it enough to do this job fast?

Your hourly rate is something that you need to determine for yourself, but there's a "community rates" tool here that can indicate an average - but that's all it is.


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Wasp3
Italy
Local time: 05:38
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
alignment Jun 16, 2014

Thank you!
So, basically, it depends on the time needed?
At the moment I don't known the details: they are going to add me to their databases for future jobs.
Thank you again


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 05:38
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Odd Jun 16, 2014

It's a little odd that they start out by offering an alignment job. It's not something that's usually contracted out to freelancers. Agencies usually dump these jobs on their full-time staffers.
I'm one of the very few freelance translators who actively seek alignment jobs. I still rarely get them. I've been using and writing alignment software for years, I've autoaligned hundres of millions of sentences and manually aligned more than a hundred thousand, perhaps two. Still, I don't clock myself so I don't know how many segments I do in an hour. BTW this heavily depends on what software you use and how smart you are about using it (and also what the texts are like and how well you speak the languages involved). People usually use winalign, which is a VERY inefficient tool.

I charge 30 EUR per 1000 sentence pairs, but I'm not even sure what hourly rate that translates to. I'd be very hesitant to propose a fee for you to charge. Just ask for the files and measure how much you can do in an hour before you set a fee.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:38
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Agree with Sheila Jun 17, 2014

Wasp3 wrote:
I have just finished university and I want to start my career as a translator. ... One of the first tasks they ask me is to make an alignment and I don't know how much a translator is paid for this job.


In an ideal world, alignment should be paid by the hour, I think. I have never done alignment as a paid job, though. My experience with alignment is from aligning translations for my own use. Things that can affect alignment speed include: the format in which the source files are, how similar the two sets of documents truly are, non-standard punctuation practice in one or both of the sets, fuzzy segments (i.e. highly similar sentences) in the files which lead to hard-to-spot misalignments, how good your alignment software is, and how skilled you are at using it.

Farkas can tell you a lot more about potential problems with alignment, since he's the alignment king (sorry, I'm just assuming his name is Farkas and that he is a man). His software is industrial grade -- I, on the other hand, use freelancer-grade tools, like WFC's PlusTools aligner. How much do you have to align, and is it all in one document, and do you know for a fact that the files(s) are highly similar and/or a translation of itself?


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Wasp3
Italy
Local time: 05:38
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jun 17, 2014

Thank you for the answers: very helpful!
As I said, I haven't seen the documents yet, they are just looking for translators to add to their databases for future jobs. Since I'm new in this field I wanted to ask how much can an alignment job be paid.
So, I understand that it is quite strange to ask this task as first job. I'll ask for more info and, maybe, other tasks.
Thank you again.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Just a word from a "been there, done that" Jun 17, 2014

FarkasAndras wrote:
It's a little odd that they start out by offering an alignment job. It's not something that's usually contracted out to freelancers.

So, this is strange practice from an agency that you don't know.

Wasp3 wrote:
At the moment I don't known the details: they are going to add me to their databases for future jobs.

So the above is something to bear in mind if/when they come up with anything more concrete. An agency that starts off by making strange demands often goes on in the same vein, and they sometimes have some rather odd ideas about their part in the relationship (e.g. how and when they should pay you for your work).

A few forms to be filled out; maybe a short translation test of up to 250 words or so - those are all that should be expected of you at the moment, if they don't have specific work for you. Plus there should at the very least be agreement on the absolute minimum you'll work for (and you don't want to be bothered with requests for anything lower). I advise you not to get into the habit of jumping through every hoop an agency places in front of you before presenting you with paid work. There's a disconcerting correlation between how much of your time an agency uses for free, and how much it will end up paying you.

Rather belatedly, let me welcome you to ProZ.com as an active and working member of the translation community (even though you registered a while back). If you intend to use the site as your professional showcase, I advise you to complete your profile fully and to follow all the good advice in the Site Guidance Centre, plus check out the Scam Centre and the Getting Established forum. Lots of useful info here.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 05:38
English to Hungarian
+ ...
me Jun 17, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Farkas can tell you a lot more about potential problems with alignment, since he's the alignment king (sorry, I'm just assuming his name is Farkas and that he is a man). His software is industrial grade -- I, on the other hand, use freelancer-grade tools, like WFC's PlusTools aligner. How much do you have to align, and is it all in one document, and do you know for a fact that the files(s) are highly similar and/or a translation of itself?


Actually, my first name is András. I guess it's my fault for registering on an English-language forum with my name in the Hungarian order. I am a man, though.


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