difficult rate
Thread poster: Laura Iovanna

Laura Iovanna
Local time: 02:24
English to Italian
+ ...
May 23, 2006

Hello dear colleagues!
I have a doubt concerning the rate I should apply for the following job.
An Italian publishing house has on paper (not on file!) a 300 page touristic guide in Italian (the original) and in English (the translation).
The things they want me to do are the following:
1) re-writing the Italian version (so that they have it on file)
2) re-writing the English one (for the same reason)
3) reviewing the English translation and correct it (as it was done by a non-translator)
4) translating it also into Spanish.

I find it quite complicated to decide how much I can ask. It seems quite a huge thing...
What I think it's the best thing to do is choosing a method of calculation.
In this case I cannot count words (since the document is on paper... about 300 pages). Therefore for the first part of the job (the typing) I could calculate how much time I need to copy a page.
Would you agree with that?
Would you choose the same method also for the revision? Or is it better to fix a percentage from my translation rate?
The last point. Would you also apply a discount for the translation into Spanish given the quantity?
The impression I had from the conversation with the responsible of the publishing house is that she has really no idea about rates. I think that she could faint after realizing how much she has to pay for!

Any suggestion? Not specifically on rates... more on the method you would use in order to arrive to a final price.

Thank you all!
Laura

p.s I would have for this job 2/3 months (I hope it's enough )


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 17:24
English to French
+ ...
Outsourcing May 23, 2006

Hi Laura

Have you considered outsourcing the typing? The company handling that for you will give you a quote, and you can concentrate on what's really your job, proofing and translating.

Just an idea...


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:24
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
OCR May 23, 2006

Laura Iovanna wrote:


The things they want me to do are the following:
1) re-writing the Italian version (so that they have it on file)
2) re-writing the English one (for the same reason)
3) reviewing the English translation and correct it (as it was done by a non-translator)
4) translating it also into Spanish.




Instead of re-writing the Italian/English versions..why don't you process the printed file with OCR (optical character recognition) software? I'm sure it would save you an enormous amount of time.
If you use a CAT tool, you could then also align the texts (after checking format and layout), create a TM and it would be easier to review the translation itself, segment per segment.
The same source text now on file could then be used to process your translation into Spanish.

Ciao, D.


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Laura Iovanna
Local time: 02:24
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
OCR May 23, 2006

I already thought about using OCR programmes or to give the typing to someone else... of course using OCR programmes would save me a lot of time... but how much time? We all know that they are not 100% precise... I have no idea about the time I would need for 300 pages clean and perfect and ready to be revised/translated! And therefore I don't know how much I can charge for it

Anyway, now I am making experiments with the OCR I have... so that I have an idea... If it is not sufficiently good and I have to check every single word for mistakes, it is be better to re-write it from the beginning!

Thanks anyway!
Laura


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:24
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Abbyy Fine Reader is very good May 23, 2006

Hi Laura,

Abbyy Fine Reader is very good at converting text - as long as you have a reasonably legibly copy to start with. You need to skim through on screen for the odd mistake - but there are usually very few mistakes in the text. Any time involved would be in order to format the document.

However, if it is a very poor copy, it is a different story. Therefore, the first thing to do is to convey this information to the publisher and try to get them to give you the original - or a very good copy of it. You could charge your hourly rate - not for re-typing, but for conversion and formatting. Maybe you will need to charge 1- 2 full days (of 8 hours each) for each copy, however, since 300 pages is still a lot to check through.

Astrid


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babs guzman  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:24
French to English
difficult rate May 23, 2006

They're really asking you to do a lot. The way I see it, you can come up with three different price grids:
1. Translation per word
2. Proofreading per hour
3. Typing per hour
Once you have a clear idea of the TOTAL amount, go back to the project creator and ask if she agrees to the price (as you say she could faint if she got the final bill). This is just to avoid any sensitive issues like contesting your rates, etc. Before you even start doing any work, a volume job like that would need confirmation of total package price.
Good luck.

babs guzman wrote:

Laura Iovanna wrote:

Hello dear colleagues!
I have a doubt concerning the rate I should apply for the following job.
An Italian publishing house has on paper (not on file!) a 300 page touristic guide in Italian (the original) and in English (the translation).
The things they want me to do are the following:
1) re-writing the Italian version (so that they have it on file)
2) re-writing the English one (for the same reason)
3) reviewing the English translation and correct it (as it was done by a non-translator)
4) translating it also into Spanish.

I find it quite complicated to decide how much I can ask. It seems quite a huge thing...
What I think it's the best thing to do is choosing a method of calculation.
In this case I cannot count words (since the document is on paper... about 300 pages). Therefore for the first part of the job (the typing) I could calculate how much time I need to copy a page.
Would you agree with that?
Would you choose the same method also for the revision? Or is it better to fix a percentage from my translation rate?
The last point. Would you also apply a discount for the translation into Spanish given the quantity?
The impression I had from the conversation with the responsible of the publishing house is that she has really no idea about rates. I think that she could faint after realizing how much she has to pay for!

Any suggestion? Not specifically on rates... more on the method you would use in order to arrive to a final price.

Thank you all!
Laura

p.s I would have for this job 2/3 months (I hope it's enough )


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Harry Hermawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 07:24
Member (2005)
English to Indonesian
Logical stages May 24, 2006

babs guzman wrote:
...
The way I see it, you can come up with three different price grids:
1. Translation per word
2. Proofreading per hour
3. Typing per hour
...
Before you even start doing any work, a volume job like that would need confirmation of total package price.
Good luck.



It's often the case when a potential client wants something done and not realising that the work can sometimes have consequences i.e. the price can be big.

I would agree on the three stages proposed by 'babs guzman' as it is a logical way to break down and then building it up and presenting it to the potential client.

Anyway, here in Jakarta, the most common reply after we as translator/provider get after all the details have been worked out: 1) 'Ok, we'll be in touch' 2) 'Good, we'll think about it' 3) 'Great!'

And, ending up with potential client not calling back, even if we called them up, the silent respond is expected.

Anyway, don't be discouraged.

GOOD LUCK.




[Edited at 2006-05-24 00:08]


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Laura Iovanna
Local time: 02:24
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
single rate May 24, 2006

I agree to give her a rate for each single task and not for the entire job.
I think that the discussion and the following negotiation would be much easier.
And I will certainly choose an hourly rate for the typing as well. Yesterday I try to scan and convert on file few pages. My OCR is not bad. Obviously there are minor mistakes (spelling mainly and formating) but I think in 1 hour I can scan, convert and check for spelling mistakes at least 4 pages. I hope it is a reasonable speed, I really don't know. When you scan 2/3 pages is one thing, when you do it for 300 is another!!

I will definitely try to speak to her openly before saying my final price. I will try to understand her reaction, but obviously I can't lower too much my regular rates.

Thank you all for this exchange of views!

Laura


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xxxtarpo
English to Dutch
Be cautious May 24, 2006

My experience is that a publishing house doesn't know how much a translator (or a service provider in general) costs and how much he will be going to charge. You'll have to be clear from the beginning (hourly rates AND total price), and you should have signatures and a contract before starting your work. Their alternative solution is to have a student doing it on saturdays or on a two-months contract for minimum wages, and they'll compare you with the student, which of course is not fair. That is why publishing houses are the difficult part of direct clients.

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Laura Iovanna
Local time: 02:24
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
:-( May 24, 2006

tarpo wrote:

My experience is that a publishing house doesn't know how much a translator (or a service provider in general) costs and how much he will be going to charge. You'll have to be clear from the beginning (hourly rates AND total price), and you should have signatures and a contract before starting your work. Their alternative solution is to have a student doing it on saturdays or on a two-months contract for minimum wages, and they'll compare you with the student, which of course is not fair. That is why publishing houses are the difficult part of direct clients.



Yes of course, I would never accept such a job without a contract duly signed and approved. I will be very cautious with it, because I don't know them. I must say that the impression was good, but you never know...
According to what I was told, they used for some time a translation agency... but they were not happy with prices and communications in general (apparently they were very slow in replying). So they looked for a direct translator... and here I am


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 02:24
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
How far OCR can go... May 24, 2006

I have a trilingual dictionary on paper (three books with languages XYZ,YZX,ZXY, pages upon pages in Times Roman, 3 columns).

I cut up the ZXY - yes, I know, it's a sin, but I just destroyed the binding -, had the Kyocera office copier/scanner read loose pages - both sides, automatic - and then used Abby Reader to OCR the images obtained. It was not exactly one day's work, more like 3 days for cca 250 pages, 30.000 entries.

I had absolutely no errors in OCR and what remains to be done is get this stuff into MultiTerm - which is a problem with multiline entries (sigh), so it needs some additional work (*)

I had OCR cases of other kind as well - so-called PDF files, made of sh*ty JPG images of business correspondence, with all kinds of written comments, rubber stamps and coffee stains on them. That was hell, compared to the paradise above.

smo

* - which would be unnecessary if the printing house printed CDROMs instead of books...

[Edited at 2006-05-24 09:32]


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:24
German to English
+ ...
OCR May 24, 2006

I just wanted to confirm what others have said - my results with OCR have been very similar to those of Astrid and Vito: If the quality of the source is good, the OCR-program (the best I've worked with was Abbyy Fine Reader) shouldn't have many problems (if at all).

It may not be easy to locate, but someone MUST have an electronic version (it surely wasn't written by hand). On the other hand, if they are willing to pay and you are willing to work, then why not do it?


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Laura Iovanna
Local time: 02:24
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
OCR again May 24, 2006

Thank you all for your replies.
I confirm that my OCR (Omnipage) is quite good. I found more spelling mistakes in Italian rather than in English (maybe because we have accented vowels é è ò à ..... all accented vowels are transformed into strange symbols).
But anyway it is not a huge thing to do. I have been asking around for typing rates and I found out that the price per page is around 0.50 / 1 €

It is not an heavy work but yet 0.50 € per page! I will think about it... maybe I will tell them to give me the final text directly on file so that I can start with the translation and revision....

Thank you all anyway! I also had the opportunity to use properly my OCR program which I hardly knew!

Bye
Laura


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