Track changes implemented per hour
Thread poster: Cristina Frasineanu

Cristina Frasineanu  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:06
Member (2013)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jul 23, 2016

Hello, I searched, but I could not find a similar topic.

For people who have to translate track changes from a source file and implement them in a target file: How many changes are estimated to be implemented per hour? Due to the fact it is not a continuous translation, it takes longer to identify the place to implement the change and even deletions take time.

I could find some macros to count the changes in a docx file, but I do not know how to estimate how many can be implemented in the target file in one hour. Insertions plus deletions.

Thank you.


 

Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:06
German to English
It depends Jul 23, 2016

I know that's a frustrating answer, but I don't think anyone can give you a reliable estimate. I assume you're trying to work out a quote? If I were you, I would work for 15 minutes, see how much I got done, and then make my calculations based on that.

 

Cristina Frasineanu  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:06
Member (2013)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
some agencies have a method Jul 23, 2016

Some agencies make a pretty good estimation, but I do not know how they do it. E.g. they say "this will take approx. 3 hours" and they are usually right. There are some specific jobs for EMA (pharma field) to be done this way.

The problem is that some other agencies try to pay by insertion word for this and this is not ok, it takes much longer than translating a continuous text.

[Edited at 2016-07-23 16:16 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Rate per hour worked Jul 23, 2016

I don't entirely understand your job but it certainly sounds unsuitable for any word tariff. All editing would normally be charged by the hour. In my case, I'm the one to determine the number of hours, not my client. But I will give them an estimate and I'll guarantee a maximum fee.

 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
1,000 to 2,000 words per hour Jul 23, 2016

To amplify the useful points made by Kelly Neudorfer and Sheila Wilson, I usually quote on the basis that I can deal with 2,000 words per hour of adequate quality source text, but only 1,000 words per hour for poor quality source texts.

If the text is really poor quality, charge at 500 words per hour or reject the job altogether. Otherwise you will spend many hours trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Actually, that saying is not a bad definition of what we translators do most of the time.


 

Patrice  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
Agree with every word in your post! Jul 23, 2016

Peter Linton wrote:

To amplify the useful points made by Kelly Neudorfer and Sheila Wilson, I usually quote on the basis that I can deal with 2,000 words per hour of adequate quality source text, but only 1,000 words per hour for poor quality source texts.

If the text is really poor quality, charge at 500 words per hour or reject the job altogether. Otherwise you will spend many hours trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Actually, that saying is not a bad definition of what we translators do most of the time.



 

Cristina Frasineanu  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:06
Member (2013)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It is not about quality Jul 24, 2016

Thank you for your answers. It is not about quality, the source text comes with changes that need to be matched in the target text (also using track changes). E.g. the indications of a medicinal product change over time or they add some undesirable effects. All these changes should be visible both in the source text and in the target text. The source text has insertions and deletions. E.g. 789 inserted words and 1500 deleted words. But most of the time, the changes do not mean whole sentences.

Some agencies estimate the time needed to implement the changes and they let me communicate the time spent at the end. But others want to know upfront and issue the PO beforehand.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Rate per hour Jul 24, 2016

I’m used to this type of job. Most of the agencies I work with trust me and I communicate the amount of time spent when I deliver the job, but for those who want to know beforehand that’s what I do: I select the page which has more track changes, do the work for half-page and quote per hour accordingly (stating sometimes that this number is probably an overestimate).

 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:06
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Two-fold calculation Jul 24, 2016

The only agency I really to this type of job for calculates the job in two parts: 1) Full review at a rate of 1000 words/hr + 2) inserted words at the word rate.
I'm not sure how they calculate the inserted words (I believe there is some kind of macro for it, though you also have to manually check how many insertions and deletions are just shuffling the same text to a different spot), but I've never had any complaints about their calculations.

Unfortunately, many (if not most) agencies will try to pay for the inserted words only.


 

Cristina Frasineanu  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:06
Member (2013)
English to Romanian
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TOPIC STARTER
Indeed Jul 25, 2016

You are right with "Unfortunately, many (if not most) agencies will try to pay for the inserted words only."

E.g. for 769 insertions and around 1500 deletions I spent approx. 5 hours.
I have found a macro that calculates the insertions accurately and another macro that includes punctuations marks when calculating the insertions and deletions, therefore it returns larger numbers.

I asked the agency that always makes a good estimation how they do it, but I do not know if they will be willing the share their secreticon_smile.gif.

I do not think that my other client would go for full review plus insertions. So far they issued a PO for insertions plus a min fee, but that covers half of the time effectively spent. I have told them I spent 5 hours and they did not seem to care.

I have other clients that let me state the time effectively spent in the end, but this is not the case with this client. If I do not settle the budget beforehand, they are not willing to change it at the end of the job.
If I do not find a "standard" way to estimate the time beforehand I might have to give up this client.


 

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:06
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Nothing to lose Jul 25, 2016

If it looks like you're going to lose this client anyway, then give them a quote with a good margin built into it (using the techniques people have already mentioned) and state that this is a maximum. I assume they'll be happy to alter the PO *downwards* after the job!

But if they can't deal with this, then either give them a quote that includes a large margin or just forget this client and move on to more reasonable ones.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
If they can't/won't pay for your time, they aren't worth keeping Jul 25, 2016

JaneD wrote:
If it looks like you're going to lose this client anyway, then give them a quote with a good margin built into it (using the techniques people have already mentioned) and state that this is a maximum. I assume they'll be happy to alter the PO *downwards* after the job!

But if they can't deal with this, then either give them a quote that includes a large margin

If Jane's suggestions above don't bear fruit, all you can do is go with her last one:
or just forget this client and move on to more reasonable ones.
unless you're agreeable to making a lot less per hour of your time. I'd personally feel the money (i.e. your time) would be better spent on looking for better clients.


 

Cristina Frasineanu  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:06
Member (2013)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Indeed Jul 25, 2016

Thank you.

The agency with good estimates replied and they said they just look at the files and take into account several factors, such as type of the project (simple update, adaptation to the originator wording, template update etc.), volume and the complexity of the insertions/deletions (several changes in a passage/sentence, entire passages to implement etc.).

Amd then I know they trust me if I say it took longer, because I also tell them when it took less time.


 


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