Poll: Do you charge different rates depending on the file format?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:33
SITE STAFF
Feb 27, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge different rates depending on the file format?".

This poll was originally submitted by Madalena Ribeiro

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:33
English to Croatian
+ ...
absolutely Feb 27, 2009

It's not the same to work on a .doc or PDF or .ppt... Simple reason being, I do not just translate but I format to the original as well.

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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 21:33
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Of course! Feb 27, 2009

I not only charge different rates depending on the file format (translating a plain text file does not require the same amount of time/resources as translating an InDesign file) but, in addition to my per-word rates, I also charge an hourly fee for processing images and other objects within the main files.

An example of this are .doc or .ppt documents that have images that need to be translated. In this case my total fee is the number of words multiplied by my per-word rate plus the number of hours it took me to edit and translate the images (even just a few words can take quite a while!) multiplied by my hourly rate.

I thought that this was standard practice. Isn't it?

Laureana


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:33
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Naturally Feb 27, 2009

I charge an hourly fee for proofreading based on word counts. A certain numbers of hours is then added to this base rate to account for differences in formatting, primarily for powerpoint and pdf files, both of which require additional formatting.

I also adjust word or line fees for translation depending on format. Although I do work for one wonderful agency that deals with all the pdf difficulties for me. They get a discount, because they make my work easier.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
German to English
+ ...
PDFs Feb 27, 2009

As a colleague recommended to me at a Powwow, if you quote a 20% surcharge for a PDF, it can be surprising sometimes how quickly the original Word doc can be found.

And what's wrong with a surcharge? OCR software doesn't come for free.

Chris


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 02:33
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oh yes Feb 27, 2009

It was one of the first lessons I learnt (the hard way of course!). And as Textklick so wisely says, this encourages clients to request translations in formats which are easier for us to work in!

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Lise Leavitt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:33
Member (2008)
Danish to English
+ ...
No...I should have though earlier on.. Feb 27, 2009

I used to sweat seeing scanned PDF files, not just plain PDFs (I did purchase a converter)...but lately I purchased a new all-in-printer...it allows me to scan a document and save it in various files, i.e. editable text document. So now all the certificates and diplomas, etc. are a piece of cake in the doc. format No formatting tables etc., they are all there as in the original...pheeeewww

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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 02:33
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
OCR software Feb 27, 2009

Textklick wrote:

As a colleague recommended to me at a Powwow, if you quote a 20% surcharge for a PDF, it can be surprising sometimes how quickly the original Word doc can be found.

And what's wrong with a surcharge? OCR software doesn't come for free.

Chris


COULD NOT AGREE MORE


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Mara Ballarini  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 10:33
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
especially for Autocad Feb 27, 2009

I usually get ready to go files, i.e. the .doc version of a .pdf, the tag editor version of an excel file, and so on.
I don't get too many Autocad drawings to translate, but if I do, that of course involves a surcharge because it's obviously more difficult and time consuming to translate with this software, and also not many actually have it and know how to use it


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:33
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends Feb 28, 2009

Normally when I receive a PDF, the first thing that I do is to ask the client if he/she has a .doc or .ttx version. In 90% of the cases, they provide me a .doc or a .ttx and the problem is solved

If this is not possible at all and I have to work with the PDF, there are two possibilities:
- The PDF is plain text - in this case I won't charge more.
- The PDF involves tables, images and special formatting - in this case I would have to charge more.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good question! You guys embolden me! Feb 28, 2009

I've been charging more in a few cases - for example, PDFs with complications, objects with captions inside, files that are hard to see...

Once I had a series of huge spreadsheets that had been reduced to fit the page - the words were illegible and when magnified they were mostly a blur with a few recognizable elements here and there. The client couldn't find the originals and ended up sweetening the pot to the point that I was motivated to decipher them based on clues from related sources.

I once had a colleague who simply declared: "I don't do arts and crafts" - and stuck to her guns.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
And now to the ultimate question... Feb 28, 2009

Direct clients may be more likely to pay the premium, wheras agencies may be more willing to create a text file to help us out. We saw the other day that many of us charge less when working for agencies.

So in the end it might be more interesting to ask which we DISLIKE more: (1) working with tricky formatting and getting paid extra? or (2) getting paid less and avoiding the hassle?


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:33
Italian to English
+ ...
It depends Mar 2, 2009

I do with some clients for some files, I don't with others. I don't use OCR as routine, as except for highly complex files I find that the extra time I spend correcting all the unwanted paragraph breaks, strange formatting and random text boxes it puts in isn't worth it.

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

Direct clients may be more likely to pay the premium, wheras agencies may be more willing to create a text file to help us out. We saw the other day that many of us charge less when working for agencies.

So in the end it might be more interesting to ask which we DISLIKE more: (1) working with tricky formatting and getting paid extra? or (2) getting paid less and avoiding the hassle?


It's an interesting question, and I suppose my answer - again - is "it depends". I confess I quite enjoy constructing tables, so if that's all involved I'd rather get paid more to do them. But I'm not equipped to deal with highly complicated layouts, so in those cases I make it clear that I won't be providing a faithful reproduction of the original. Asking for more and suddenly finding the original Word file becomes available isn't possible in most cases, as most medical records are handwritten and a lot of the correspondence I get has been sent TO the client, not BY the client.


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