Rates for a Patent Translation heavy on tables
Thread poster: Timothy Miller

Timothy Miller
Local time: 18:45
Japanese to English
Feb 12, 2008

Hello everyone,

I have been offered a patent translation job (from Japanese to English), and it consists of about 16 pages. But the first 3-4 pages are text, while the final pages are all tables. I am negotiating with the agency about how to charge for such a document. It seems that a word count will obviously be too low, because the tables don't contain many words.

So at first I suggested charging by the hour (30 dollars), especially since formatting tables, etc. may take some time. But the agency mentioned that the client might need a more detailed estimation since I may not be able to quote how many hours it will take until I start. So they suggested either a flat rate, or a charge per word and then a separate charge for all the tables.

I am not sure how what is the best way to set a rate? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


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Binnur Tuncel van Pomeren  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:45
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Word works very well with me! Feb 12, 2008

Dear Timothy,

Word is a pre-defined method both for you and for your client.
Otherwise, you would stick to hours, which can turn out to be bitter for you:
You, because you don't want to give any other person any thought that you try to rip him/her off and would rush throughout your project.

At the other side of the coin is your client, and naturally he/she wants to see the horizon.

For rates (if you want to earn EUR 30,00 per hour), I'd recommend you heartily to visit http://www.proz.com/?sp=rate_calc

Good luck with your new assignment.

Binnur


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widati utami  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 09:45
Japanese to Indonesian
+ ...
Per project Feb 12, 2008

I have been in similar situation. The agent then offered me rate per project. So, I didn't have to count the words or how long I would work. Fortunately, the rate they offered was bigger than word-based rate I usually use;-)

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:45
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Charge per word and then a separate charge for the tables Feb 12, 2008

Hi Timothy,

I would personally charge my usual word rate and then work out a separate charge for the tables. However, you would have to be able to give the client an approximate estimate of the time that the tables would take you. You should really be able to estimate from experience how long they might take, and then fix a round figure for them accordingly.


Astrid


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Binnur Tuncel van Pomeren  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:45
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Time management Feb 12, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Hi Timothy,

I would personally charge my usual word rate and then work out a separate charge for the tables. However, you would have to be able to give the client an approximate estimate of the time that the tables would take you. You should really be able to estimate from experience how long they might take, and then fix a round figure for them accordingly.


Astrid

Dear Astrid,
Why do you charge extra for tables ? Cattools (especially trados) are ideal while dealing with tables. But, maybe I don't get your point. Could you please clarify?
I fully agree with your point about time management. One should be able to estimate the daily output he/she can produce without risking the deadline.
lovely regards,
Binnur



[Edited at 2008-02-12 21:30]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:45
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Tables do take longer Feb 12, 2008

Hi Binnur,

Tables are fiddly, and they do take longer, in Trados as well. It may even be simply because you do not have proper sentences in a table. That means that you cannot cover as many words in an hour usually, so allowance has to be made for that.

Also, my experience of tables in Trados is that of pulling around the lines in the table to uncover the boxes, and then having to put the lines back in the right place again after having finished the translation. It all takes time.

Maybe it is better in Tag editor; I would not know about that. I do not like the interface of Tag Editor, so always use Translator's Workbench.

However, we should each know how many words per hour we can do of straight text, and how many words per hour, on the other hand, with fiddly jobs.

Astrid


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The source document may be hardcopy, that's why Feb 13, 2008

Binnur Tuncel van Pomeren wrote:

Dear Astrid,
Why do you charge extra for tables ? Cattools (especially trados) are ideal while dealing with tables.


The source material for Japanese patent translation jobs are very often hardcopies, and of such a quality that there is no hope for OCR. I assume that's why Timothy was talking about formatting the tables, because he will have to recreate the document from scratch.
By the way, 30 USD per hour sounds an very low rate to me, especially for patents. (But that's another story.)


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Timothy Miller
Local time: 18:45
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your replies! Feb 13, 2008

I agree that it would be best for me to charge per word and then charge a separate amount for tables.

As Katalin pointed out, patents are not given in trados or even word format...they are almost always given to me in PDF format. Therefore I have to recreate each table by hand. And as everyone knows, making tables in Word/Excel isn't difficult...but it does take time and can be a major pain!

I ended up following most of your suggests, and I gave the agency one idea for a flat rate, and if that wasn't acceptable I offered a per word rate and then an hourly rate for the tables and estimated the time it would take me to create the tables. We will see what happens. Thanks so much for all your advice!


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Binnur Tuncel van Pomeren  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:45
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Key word: scanned documents Feb 14, 2008

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

The source material for Japanese patent translation jobs are very often hardcopies, and of such a quality that there is no hope for OCR.


Thank you Katalin. I suppose, indeed I got what Astrid says. For me, any hardcopy with or without tables mean an extra day for delivery (< 8 pages, +1 day). This is a kind of DTP work and you should check each word and format for their correctness and properness.

Good luck Timothy and good day to everyone.

Binnur


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