How much to charge if I have to re-edit the text while translating?
Thread poster: Carlos Sosa

Carlos Sosa
Uruguay
Local time: 22:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 30, 2006

I am translating a large technical document from italian to spanish and it has several tables that are so bad done that I can't read the text.
So, to finish the work I have to do them again, properly.
How much should I raise my fees because the customer sent me a document out of proper conditions?

I know I can renegotiate succesfully, but I don't know how much to ask.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:09
English to German
+ ...
How much do you charge per hour? Jun 30, 2006

Hi Carlos,
IMO this type of work should be charged by the hour - having said that, it would have been best to negotiate this from the outset.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Why do we always assume the source text is perfect? Jun 30, 2006

Carlos Sosa wrote:
So, to finish the work I have to do them again, properly.
How much should I raise my fees because the customer sent me a document out of proper conditions?


If the client had asked you to do the editing, then you should charge for it.

However, this is one reason why the translator should be a master of both languages he translates. Some translators (especially international ones) have become spoilt by print-ready source texts. The fact is that translation isn't always the *last* step in a multilingual publishing venture, and translators are often called upon to translate half-baked or unedited source documents. You should not assume that translation will be easy, when determining your rate. You should assume that you will suffer, and then be glad when you don't.

That said, if the text is ambiguous or simply non-sensical, then it is good and right that you query it with the client.


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Carlos Sosa
Uruguay
Local time: 22:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
it's all about the tables Jun 30, 2006

Samuel, I had some experiences with source texts that must be proof-readed before translating, but this is not the case.

I have some questionaries and tables with data that have been done using the "draw table" feature in word, instead of inserting a table or embedding excel. It wasn't even well drawn. Some sentences are hidden because the cell is too small, and the whole table is too large for the page. Almost 40 of the 100 pages of the pages of the document are like that.

I usually use OpenOffice because it is so much easier to edit and you can trust the file will stay that way, but because of the size of the document I decided to use Word from the beginning. Now I have to sweat because a multimillionaire corporation can't use tables properly.

Another problem with this: my delivery date got screwed.


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