Do You Charge Extra to Recreate Tables and Graphs in Translations?
Thread poster: Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:20
Italian to English
+ ...
May 13, 2007

If a client sends you a document in PDF format (which means you have to recreate the entire document unless you have a PDF converter program) with tables and graphs that need to be translated, do you charge for this "extra" work (and if so, how)?

I consider this to be extra because it obviously takes more time to recreate a table or graph in Word than it does to simply translate an exisiting graph.

I have a document which contains one table and three graphs that need to be recreated and I expect that it will take an extra 1-2 hours to format all of the info in the translated document.

Thanks for any input you can provide.


Local time: 17:20
French to Dutch
+ ...
Do they have to be recreated? May 13, 2007

Ask your client first. In most cases it is useless. If they have to be recreated, quote for one or two hours at your normal rate and ask your client if he agrees. If he just wants a translation, type the captions in your file.


Luisa Fiorini  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:20
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, I do May 13, 2007

Hi Nicole,

I usually add a 30% to my rate to recreate tables and graphs that need to be translated and that are on a PDF scanned document, like the one you are working on.icon_wink.gif



Terry Costin
Local time: 17:20
Dutch to English
+ ...
Charge the appropriate rate, charge extra May 13, 2007


if you do not make it clear from the start, how you operate, then many agencies will try to get you to do the work for the same price.

It is better, unless you are desperate for work, to say you charge 20% (at least) extra, for layout, such as messing around in Power Point, etcetera.
I have experience with this, and I did not charge extra, but I am a translator not a set-up merchant or DTP expert, layout takes extra time.

One agency even had me creating those little text balloons, the whole lot, for the same price, and they obviously charged the client a lot extra for this service.
Agencies will reduce their costs as much as possible even where they ought not to, meaning; reduce the costs by underpaying the translator.

As a translator I think you ought to be translating from word into word, in most cases, and any variation on this theme, should cost the assignment giver, more money.

It can be hard though, to keep to this, seeing as how it is not exactly easy to get your assignments in the first place, still, this isn't a good way of thinking because it'd mean we'd all be working here in Europe, according to Indian rates of 4 to 5 cents per word.

Yes, so I say charge the appropriate price even if it means losing an assignment.


Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Local time: 10:20
English to Spanish
Email exchange with my Client: May 13, 2007

"Dear Client,
The PDF you sent contains 32 largely enough tables that need to be recreated on MS Word in order to be translated.
Kindly send me these tables formatted on MS Word, or this job will be priced separately."

Often, Client's reply is "Please quote the formatting job and let me know how much will you charge for all."

Tipically, I do the job and get paid extra for it.



Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Not yet, But maybe May 13, 2007

I'd really like to as I have one client who always sends me PDF files with lots of tables. I've tried negotiating but somehow that has not worked out.

But the truth is I don't feel motivated enough as it is much more difficult than the jobs that I usually do and much more time-consuming. I have a PDF converter that is quite good but there is a lot of work that needs to be done afterwards... especially with tables, if I want to use a CAT tool (which is mandatory in this case). And it takes me hours to do that. Sometimes, I end up asking myself if it is really worth the trouble as other clients always send me the .DOC file to work on.

Anyways, I'll have to work this thing out so that I don't end up feeling demotivated... especially since there is a trados discount involved... I'd like to know how everyone else does this.


Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:20
French to English
+ ...
Go back to your client May 13, 2007

Yes, like Tadzio, I think the answer is to go back to your client and give them the option.

Either you could just provide a key to tables, figures etc in your document and they can cross-reference with the original file, or depending on the type of pdf file you could cut and past the diagram/table in your translation and provide a key underneath.

If they want the whole thing redoing (heaven forbid), I'd either tell them you'll charge on an hourly basis for the extra work or ask them to provide the figures. It's surely cheaper for them to get a qualified typist to type the figures, than pay translator's rates! I did that with one of my agencies recently for a set of worksheets for painters and decorators which were all on scanned pdf files (i.e. not extractable!) and were mainly figures with minimal text. They very kindly sent me a Word version of the whole lot which they had typed out - much more cost-effective all round!

Good luck!


gdesai  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:50
German to English
Charge extra or get matter pre-formatted May 14, 2007

That is what I do-I give them the option.
More often that not, I get the tables pre-formatted. Makes my job easy too, for i have to just enter figures/text.
And in case of having to make tables, I charge extra at a percentage of text within the table.

[Edited at 2007-05-14 07:25]


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