Translation shortening
Thread poster: emaleu

emaleu  Identity Verified
Canada
Member
English to French
+ ...
May 20, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

A client wants me to shorten translations that were done by another translator.

I have never done this before and I wish to know how I should charge.

Thanks in advance for your help!


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Elif Baykara  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:18
Member (2015)
German to Turkish
+ ...
I suppose that this is an edition task, May 20, 2015

So you may charge accordingly.

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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:18
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
By the hour May 20, 2015

The only sensible way to do this is to charge by the hour.

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Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:18
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Charge by hours May 20, 2015

Why not charging this service by your work hours rate? Take steps in fully hours.

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emaleu  Identity Verified
Canada
Member
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 20, 2015

Thanks Erik and Matthias, I think that's what I will do!

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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:18
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Purpose? May 20, 2015

What will they be used for? Usually gisting or abstracting by translators is done in order to avoid a translation of the entire document when only selected information is of interest/use to the client and/or to determine if they have sufficient interest in the document to translate it in its entirely. If the full translation has already been done, there doesn't seem to be much point...
Certainly, you should charge hourly in any case. I would ask the client for very clear directives about what kind of information they want retained, and what they are OK leaving out. Personally, I've found that this type of work can be fraught with misunderstandings about what can be retained/removed. If possible, ask for examples of previous abridgments, or if there are several files, have them give you feedback on one before you proceed with the others.


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Vladimir Morozov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:18
English to Russian
+ ...
Your normal editing rate plus shortening percentage May 20, 2015

As an alternative, I suggest that you charge your normal rate for editing plus the percentage by which you are supposed to shorten the translation.

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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:18
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree with Rudolf May 20, 2015

It doesn't seem to make much sense at this stage, but in any case, I'd make sure I follow Rudolf's advice.

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emaleu  Identity Verified
Canada
Member
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 20, 2015

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

What will they be used for? Usually gisting or abstracting by translators is done in order to avoid a translation of the entire document when only selected information is of interest/use to the client and/or to determine if they have sufficient interest in the document to translate it in its entirely. If the full translation has already been done, there doesn't seem to be much point...
Certainly, you should charge hourly in any case. I would ask the client for very clear directives about what kind of information they want retained, and what they are OK leaving out. Personally, I've found that this type of work can be fraught with misunderstandings about what can be retained/removed. If possible, ask for examples of previous abridgments, or if there are several files, have them give you feedback on one before you proceed with the others.


Thank you Rudolf.

I followed your advice and it was very helpful.

Thanks again!


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Make sure what they want May 20, 2015

Of course, we learned how to separate important ideas from secondary, how to compress via generalization, how to concatenate sentences, how to replace complex/compound structures/participles, how to rearrange sub/micro/topics, how to restructure wording, how to use (shorter) synonyms and so on, but what is the purpose?

If the target is, say, 50% words or 2/3 number of chars, then it's one way, if it's about pleonasm/empty/parasite words, then it's quite different, if something else, then another way.
If possible, ask for a list of 'bad' words.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2015-05-20 15:21 GMT]


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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:18
Serbian to English
+ ...
what exactly do they want? May 20, 2015

have they given you any target?

Do they want a shorter version of a full translation?
Have they compared the number of characters in FR and in EN and concluded from the ratio that the translation is ways more verbose than it ought to be? And now want another version of a "normal" translation where this ratio will be "normal"?
If that is the case, just translate it again from scratch and charge accordingly - better for you AND better for them.

Most important: have you seen the ST and the translation? Be careful not to let yourself in a nightmare job that is supposed to be "just few changes ..."

OTOH if they want some sort of "digest" or "overview" than charging by the hour is a sensible approach -

Given that's it's much more difficult to be short and to the point than being verbose, I would even suggest the price for the "normal" translation increased by 20% (or 30% or more).

Yes, exactly that: charge them more if they a shorter translation.

If it sounds crazy, it's not; to make an analogy with programming computers, any beginner can write bloatware, but you need a lot of knowledge to write programs that are quick and don't waste computer's resources.


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