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Poll: Do you charge extra to translate files in Power Point?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Oct 17, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge extra to translate files in Power Point?".

This poll was originally submitted by philgoddard. View the poll results »



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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:16
Member (2006)
German to English
Nope Oct 17, 2010

Good old TagEditor

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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not at all heavy-going Oct 17, 2010

No, I like translating PPTs, lots of repetition. No sorting out mangles sentences, on the whole nice easy translation.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 17, 2010

Not really "extra". I charge for formats other than Word according to the real time it takes to process them A PowerPoint doc may contain only 1K in text but can take more than twice the time needed for the same amount of plain text, depending on fonts, size, formatting... etc.
The only problem is that my approach calls for a degree of mutual trust between the client and myself which is not always easy to achieve, especially with new clients.

Along with my usual rates, I usually send a list of collaboration conditions to clients, and [with apologies to non-Spanish speakers] this is the first up:
"Nota:
1) Las tarifas arriba mencionadas son aplicables a los documentos de texto en WORD o compatible (de fácil manejo). Los documentos en otros formatos (PDF, PageMaker, PowerPoint, HTML, FreeHand, etc.) se tasan en función de su nivel de complejidad y el tiempo real necesario para su traducción/revisión. La tarifa vigente por horas en tiempo real es de XX,XX €/hora."


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
English to German
+ ...
No. Oct 17, 2010

In general I prefer to translate files in their original software. It will save me a lot of time and nerves later on. The reason: German translations may add up to 30% in text length and this way I have total control of the layout.

Honestly, at times I am very tired of the usual game: Receiving text prepared for CAT tools, the typesetting is done by people who couldn't order a cup of coffee in this language, I receive the PDFs and then I have to write a novel regarding all the changes. Paid or not - I am a translator, not a graphic design instructor.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tell me about it Oct 17, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote: Honestly, at times I am very tired of the usual game: Receiving text prepared for CAT tools, the typesetting is done by people who couldn't order a cup of coffee in this language, I receive the PDFs and then I have to write a novel regarding all the changes. Paid or not - I am a translator, not a graphic design instructor.


I was recently sent a 70 page annual report to revise that had already been typeset and formatted for printing before some bright spark realised it needed translating. They converted it to PDF and sent it to me, which I then converted back to Word to process. To cut a long story short, the printer's formatting caused so many problems that it took about 4 times as long as a "normal" text in compatible format.
I find the only way to try to prevent this is to nag clients systematically about it, which isn't always possible or advisable, or charge a real-time rate where possible (see above).


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 10:16
English to Russian
+ ...
special rate Oct 17, 2010

Power Point presentations usually require creative approach, they often contain numerous separate fields within a slide, require font readjustment due to difference in the number of characters after translation and lots of other aspects causing extra time and labor consumption. I'm always surprised to hear about people translating Power Point presentations and charging same price as if it were a MSWord text.

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 09:16
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Real time Oct 17, 2010

neilmac wrote:

Not really "extra". I charge for formats other than Word according to the real time it takes to process them A PowerPoint doc may contain only 1K in text but can take more than twice the time needed for the same amount of plain text, depending on fonts, size, formatting... etc.
The only problem is that my approach calls for a degree of mutual trust between the client and myself which is not always easy to achieve, especially with new clients.

Along with my usual rates, I usually send a list of collaboration conditions to clients,
quote]

Exactly

And as far as I can make out with my approximate calculations, this is fair. Resetting the pages in Power Point is a bit of a bore, but I prefer do to it myself than let others mangle the English, and I'm pretty quick. My clients haven't complained so far.

I use Time Stamp (free download) to monitor my time.

Noni


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, if they want it reformatted Oct 17, 2010

I charge 20% extra if the client wants me to adjust all the layout issues that will come up after translation, which often includes fixing poor and inconsistent formatting techniques used by the original author.

IMHO PowerPoint is Microsoft's second worst software package (Publisher is #1). It is often unreliable from one computer to another. For instance, if a user creates a presentation on their desktop, and then takes their notebook for their show, unless great care has been taken to keep both machines identically set up, there will be a variable risk for disaster.

The late and mourned Astound, if properly used, had no such problems. However though Astound was able to import PPT presentations for significant enhancements, it was unable to export them back to PowerPoint for the client's joy. Also, Astound's last verion 8 dates back from 2001. Though both the program and its standalone presentations run much better under Windows XP than the W98 it was created for, their compatibility with Vista & W7 is unknown.

What I usually offer clients, sometimes successfully, is to convert their whole show - including PPT-extrinsic video, if there is any - to interactive DVD. This is 100% reliable, and much more flexible, as it can be shown with either a standard DVD player, or any computer that has DVD playing software. The downside is that this is costs more than 20% over the translation.

The last client who bought the idea of such a DVD was so happy with the results that they ordered 150 copies of that disk for distribution to all attendees in a product launch event.


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xanthippe  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:16
Italian to French
+ ...
not for powerpoint or others tagged files Oct 17, 2010

BUT.... I charge for pdf where I have to "fight" with the layout (when there is a lot of graphics, pictures with text inside....)


no charge for powerpoint, excel, xml..... because TagEditor is just magic!!!!!


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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 04:16
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
TagEditor Oct 17, 2010

Michael Harris wrote:
Good old TagEditor


If I didn't use TagEditor I wouldn't even consider translating ppt files.


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 09:16
French to Dutch
+ ...
Entirely second this Oct 17, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I charge 20% extra if the client wants me to adjust all the layout issues that will come up after translation, which often includes fixing poor and inconsistent formatting techniques used by the original author.


But... I am one of those who checks translation and lay-out after the translation, in Powerpoint, and make adjustments if necessary. Therefore I charge between 10-30%, sometimes more if there are lots of modifications (per hour). And the files I deliver are ready to be projected.
Out of experience, I know that lots of translators only translate, deliver their first rough translation and leave the rest to someone else. They can be sure that the client won't come back. (I once assisted to a conference where the speaker had English slides with typing errors in them, magnified at 20 cm or so. A shame for the translator).

PS and yes, I do use Wordfast Pro, which is fine for PPT.

[Modifié le 2010-10-18 07:15 GMT]


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Andrés Ureta  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just tag-edit the world Oct 17, 2010

Why extra charge if we have our patron saint Tag Editor? besides, powerpoints are extra easy to translate as they are mainly short sentences straight to the point.

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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:16
Member (2009)
French to English
Why, when I have CAT tools? Oct 17, 2010

Trados Studio handles PowerPoint files just fine, so why should I charge extra? It may help that, unlike Nicole's situation with German, when I translate French to English the resulting text is a tad smaller thus I rarely have problems with trying to get the text to fit nicely. I do charge extra when the formatting is going to take extra time, but this usually comes up with scanned PDF files.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The opposite effect Oct 17, 2010

Jenn Mercer wrote:
Trados Studio handles PowerPoint files just fine, so why should I charge extra? It may help that, unlike Nicole's situation with German, when I translate French to English the resulting text is a tad smaller thus I rarely have problems with trying to get the text to fit nicely. I do charge extra when the formatting is going to take extra time, but this usually comes up with scanned PDF files.


If your target text becomes actually smaller (which often happens when I go from PT to EN), the pervasive bullets may have less lines than the original, so depending on the formatting strategy used you'll have to readjust spacing/centering/alignment.

Also, if the text transitions into the slide, the entry speed of a much shorter text may become a distracting crawl.

It's all a matter of discussing with the client how far they they want the translator to go. A couple of days ago a colleague consulted with me on what she should do about a PPT presentation where all the (numerous) tables and charts to translate were embedded graphics (e.g. jpg, etc.). She is a specialist in translating medical texts far above my head, but definitely not a computer graphics expert. I told her to warn the client that graphic editing may be a complex and possibly expensive process (I didn't see the graphics), and by 'magic' they provided her with a fully editable PPT!


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