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Poll: In your opinion, what is the perfect sized translation job?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:25
SITE STAFF
Apr 16, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In your opinion, what is the perfect sized translation job?".

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:25
French to English
5000-10000 Apr 16, 2013

Big enough to get your teeth into, small enough not to get sick of the sight of it.

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Carmen Grabs
Germany
Local time: 00:25
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
> 10.000 Apr 16, 2013

Why? Because the more you translate within the same terminology, the better you - and finally the result - gets. Good for your client, good for you.

Also, it takes relatively longer to get into the translation flow with smaller jobs. But if I had the choice to select two options, I would have gone for 2500-5000 as the second option.


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 00:25
French to English
+ ...
Whatever my customer needs Apr 16, 2013

The perfect sized translation job is whatever my customer needs and is willing to pay for.

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Melanie Maiwald-Meylahn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:25
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
5,000-10,000 Apr 16, 2013

5,000-10,000 words are most profitable, I think.

It is big enough to really get into the translation and not so big that I have to turn down my other clients for weeks.

My second choice would be more than 10,000 words with a long deadline, because that gives me the chance to accept smaller jobs in between.

[Edited at 2013-04-16 08:52 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-04-16 08:55 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-04-16 08:55 GMT]


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:25
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Other Apr 16, 2013

In my field longer jobs have more identical paragraphs, so it is better for me.
The worst part is when you check the translation: longer translations lead to a wonderful sleeping time, when you can miss something


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:25
English to German
+ ...
Same here. Apr 16, 2013

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Big enough to get your teeth into, small enough not to get sick of the sight of it.


Aside from writing a lot of PR and advertising for heavy machinery, I also write the operator manuals for those industry monsters. After 150 pages latest, my brain has locked into a certain thinking mode, and it takes quite a while to snap out of it and to be able to write a lively, passionate and enthusiastic text again.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other - the size is not important Apr 16, 2013

I happily do tiny jobs for good clients, while I rage over them when someone sends me 150 words and points out that 50 of them are repeats and they will only pay for 102 of them... so what is my best rate? !

That sort of client gets a short mail about my minimum rate and perhaps the cost of living in Scandinavia if it is a European client.

I tend to do a lot of quite small jobs - between 1000-2000 words, and I do sometimes get tired of them if they go beyond 10 000. But the content, how tight the deadline is and how well the source is written - and of course the rate the client will pay - are far more important than the size of the job.

Often the short, neat marketing texts are fun, while longer blurb is difficult, because it is hard to translate the superfluous waffle without sounding like a waste of everybody's time. Less is really more in some situations.

If the source is well-written, and there is enough content to bear a long text, then I don't mind whole books up to 100 000 words - provided I have time and the rate is right. I have really enjoyed a couple of projects like that, where there was a good deadline, and I could take on work for regular clients as well.


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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:25
Member (2012)
German to English
variety is the spice of life Apr 16, 2013

I like my jobs as varied as possible, texts that are too long tend to drag on, unless they are very interesting. not like my current job which has me yawning before I even open Studio and has me popping in here every 5 minutes just to see if there might be an interesting word or anything else to wake up my brain cells again

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Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 00:25
English to Czech
+ ...
I agree... Apr 16, 2013

Melanie Maiwald-Meylahn wrote:

5,000-10,000 words are most profitable, I think.

It is big enough to really get into the translation and not so big that I have to turn down my other clients for weeks.

My second choice would be more than 10,000 words with a long deadline, because that gives me the chance to accept smaller jobs in between.



But it always depends on the deadline. In case of larger volumes I need enough time to be able to reread the whole translation really and edit it appropriately, which isn't always the case, unfortunately.

[Edited at 2013-04-16 09:43 GMT]


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
<100 words Apr 16, 2013

Due to our minimum charge

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:25
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
5000-10000 Apr 16, 2013

exactly! big enough to work on for a few days but not so big that you get sick of it. However, I am always able to take smaller jobs, as I get quite a few editing requests from regular clients.

I just did a 10K job and i was glad to see the end of it! But with the current Euro rate, i'll be worth it...


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
2,500 - 5,000 Apr 16, 2013

My second choice would be 5,000 - 10,000, which is mostly what I get. However, I also get assignments in all the other categories listed, so there is plenty of variety as far as length goes.

It depends on the subject, of course. I recently finished one at 55,000 words, and I enjoyed it all the way to the end.


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Berna Bleeker
Local time: 00:25
Member (2011)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Other Apr 16, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:

...the content, how tight the deadline is and how well the source is written - and of course the rate the client will pay - are far more important than the size of the job.


Exactly!

[Edited at 2013-04-16 12:15 GMT]


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
The bigger the better Apr 16, 2013

As a technical translator, I do like to get my teeth into big projects. When you finish them you get a big rush and are left with a huge sense of achievement.

You can plan ahead (i.e. budget and organize your schedule well in advance) so that you can take on smaller projects as your engine revs up and you go into overdrive because you've dug more into it and have gained an in-depth insight of the product, and towards the end it becomes just a matter of how fast you can type.

I think the largest one I've ever taken on was data management software for a lineup of analytical instruments. It was about 1,800 HTML files (probably between 550,000 and 600,000 source characters) and took almost 5 months to complete.

Oh, BTW
I just opted for the largest number in this poll because J>E translators don't think in words.


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