Work done vs work indicated in the PO
Thread poster: Sandesh Ghimire
An agency offered me a job for 1200 USD that involved transcription and translation. Their PO indicated that the number of the words transcribed will be about 12000 which I need to translated. At the end of the project, however, the number of words are hardly over 4000 and they are now saying that they had overvalued the work I was supposed to do. So they are now suggesting revising the rate to $600.
I remember doing the breathtaking work of transcribing.
What do I do?
| | Samuel Murray
Local time: 09:33
English to Afrikaans
| Two approaches || Jul 14, 2015 |
Sandesh Ghimire wrote:
An agency offered me a job for [1000 LSD] that involved transcription and translation. Their PO indicated that the number of the words transcribed will be about  which I need to translate. At the end of the project, however, the number of words are hardly over  and they are now saying that they had overvalued the work I was supposed to do. So they are now suggesting revising the rate to [500 LSD]. ... I remember doing the breathtaking work of transcribing.
On the one hand, when you accepted the job, you had cleared your schedule of other jobs for the expected duration of a job of this size, and while doing the job, you paced yourself to fit that schedule. For this reason, the agency should pay you the full amount (or close to it) that was originally agreed.
On the other hand, the PO tied the amount of payment to the number of words (not the number of hours), which means that if the number of words is significantly less than originally intended (in this case, 33% of the original word count), the agency is right to expect you to accept a reduced amount.
On another hand, transcription should ideally not be paid per word but per minute or per hour. So the solution that I suggest to you is to determine how long the transcription took, and charge an hourly rate for it (it takes 6-8 hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio, so take the length of the recording, multiply it by 8, and multiply that by your hourly rate, to get the transcription rate), and then charge a word rate for the number of words that you translated. This will reduce the amount that you get paid, but by less than what the agency might like.
[Edited at 2015-07-14 10:42 GMT]
| || |
| Hourly rate for transcription || Jul 14, 2015 |
I agree with Samuel. Charge an hourly rate for transcription and a per word rate for translation.
I think you can not expect to have 1200 USD though as the project is not as big as expected. Unfortunately that happens...
Local time: 08:33
The transcription took as long as it took. It won't have taken vastly less time because of fewer words - a bit but not considerably: you had to listen to all of it, after all.
Then the second part of the job was for translation, and there were 8,000 fewer words than expected. The agency made an error, plus you allocated time for the project, as Samuel says. So you can't accept being paid only for the 4,000 words. But maybe you could split the difference and offer them a discount that, say, equates to 5,000 words of translation? Or less if they're handling this in a bullying manner.
Would that be fair to both parties?
Of course, you'd be doing it out of the goodness of your heart, as a non-repeatable business offer so make sure you invoice them for the full amount but then deduct your kind offer from the final total.
Next time: insist on a two-part fee! 1. Transcription per minute of audio/video. 2. Translation per word of transcript.
| | Lincoln Hui
Local time: 16:33
Chinese to English
| Act fairly and keep your best interests at heart || Jul 14, 2015 |
One of my first major jobs involved translation of a game. The text I received contained a large amount of essentially repeated text,usually with only a single variable changed across a number of strings, that did not show up as such in a CAT analysis but was easily handled in large chunks with some search+replace. When the PM (who was also involved in the translation) found out he discussed this with me and I agreed to give a discount for very high % matches, even though there was no such agreement beforehand. I still made a lot for the effort actually spent, and I continue to work with this client to this day.
In another case one of the agency's files contained a large amount of text that was either intended for word filters or disingenuous SEO optimization. I skipped the text (which was largely untranslatable), informed them as such and offered to charge the text in question at 10% of the agreed rate to offset the time I spent on reviewing it. The agency accepted happily and everybody was happy.
The agency looks like it's willing to pay you 1/2 for what they perceive as 1/3 of the word. This indicates that they're not going out of their way to cheat you, and I believe you will be able to negotiate as long as you provide valid reasons and parley in a fair manner.
...as a side note, I would love to charge audio translations by target word. At $0.10/word that comes out to nearly $20 per audio minute, and I do audio translations at a rate of 1 audio minute = 3-5 real minutes. That comes out to an hourly rate of nearly $400.
[Edited at 2015-07-14 12:54 GMT]
| || |
To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:
You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »
Work done vs work indicated in the PO
|BaccS – Business Accounting Software|
|Modern desktop project management for freelance translators|
BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!
More info »
|Anycount & Translation Office 3000|
|Translation Office 3000|
Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.
More info »