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Poll: Do you charge extra for files with formatting issues (images with text, etc.)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:35
SITE STAFF
May 12, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge extra for files with formatting issues (images with text, etc.)?".

This poll was originally submitted by INES Reisch. View the poll results »



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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 11:35
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No May 12, 2015

I just don't do them. Just plain text in a digitally manageable format or nothing.

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Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:35
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
No May 12, 2015

In legal translations, those issues are common.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 12, 2015

I usually insist that the perpetrators (clients or authors) deal with these millstones. If I have to handle them and it makes the translation process take longer, then I might charge extra.

In fact, one of my collaboration conditions states that "inserted graphic objects often hamper the basic translation service, and may incur a consequent increase in fees, as more time is required to carry out the work"...


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:35
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes ... May 12, 2015

If I know it will take me extra time I estimate how long and add in an extra amount to cover the time spent in my quote for formatting, etc.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:35
Member (2006)
German to English
No May 12, 2015

It happens very rarely, but I should do as the effort is immense!

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Samantha Payn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:35
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
It depends May 12, 2015

I usually don't but if a lot of extra effort is required then I would.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:35
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I voted yes May 12, 2015

... but it depends what you mean by issues. If they are actual problems, then I don't mess with them, and of course don't charge unless I waste a lot of time over them. The client has to sort that kind of thing out, and most agencies prefer to do it themselves.
(Anyone in their right mind would prefer a competent DTP person to do it rather than me... )

If the text in image(s) is reasonably straighforward, I set up a two or three-column table in Word and type the source text in one column and the translation in another. (Comments, if any, go in the third column.)
Then I probably charge for half an hour's work, or the actual time spent if it is longer.

I charge for tidying up in PowerPoint if the client really wants me to do it.

Excel sheets cost extra too, unless I can feed them into my CAT and ignore the formatting.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:35
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! May 12, 2015

I try to preserve the original format as much as possible but I have never been asked to provide layout/formatting! The type of texts I usually translate do not have special formatting requirements...

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes? May 12, 2015

I've just added on 50% for translating a PDF file, does that count?

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David Earl  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:35
Member (2007)
German to English
I offer three approaches... May 12, 2015

when I see embedded images/pictures.

1. Leave 'em
2. Translate 'em using a table of source & target language for no extra charge.
3. Edit the image for an hourly rate (plus VAT). I also generally ask the customer/agency to get the original image, if possible. Copying the image out of the file tends to result in problems related to resolution.

Screenshots from software are a special issue. Generally, those customers already have their software in English, so I ask that they replace the screenshots and provide me with a list of preferred terminology based on the existing localization. Terms used in the documentation need to match the screenshots, right?

If the customer/author has embedded other files (such as Excel worksheets), I ask for the original files. Trying to translate through a "container file" causes too many problems. (Note: "container file" means, for example, the Word file that contains the embedded Excel worksheet.) Generally, I also ask that the customer re-assemble the files after the translation has been returned to them. That keeps any unforeseeable difficulties in the hands of the people who created those issues.

The increasing use of textboxes in various formats (Word and Powerpoint, mostly) causes it's own set of headaches, when the translation must be longer than the space provided for the original language. My solutions to those issues depend on the available space, but I will re-size, and even move, textboxes when the available visual space allows that as part of my cleanup process. Sometimes reducing the font size by a point or two is enough; sometimes the textbox/-es has/have to be re-translated, because space is simply too tight.

David.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, but these are 'services', not 'issues' May 12, 2015

I charge for everything I do, however I won't do anything that I consider unnecessary, unless the client insists that they really want it, and are willing to pay for it, after I have had a chance to educate them on the issue.

The most typical example is when a client asks me to translate a video for dubbing or subtitling AND wants a transcript in the original language. For technical reasons (rhythm, metrics, conciseness - depending on the case), translation for dubbing or subtitling is done directly from the audio track. If they want the transcript because they want to have one, that's another service ordered, not charging 'extra'.

On the same line, if they want DTP service, I'll charge them for it.

If it's merely preserving the existing format on a Word file, WordFast (and hopefully most CAT tools) will take care of it. As Word is a word processor (and NOT a DTP app), text will reflow accordingly.

If it's a "live" PDF, I have the resources (Infix Pro) to export text, translate, import, and fix layout issues arising from text swell/shrinkage. This service has a price tag, of course. If it's a "dead" (= scanned) PDF and they wait the translation laid out exactly as the original, the full DTP service rate applies. As a rule of thumb, the latter option costs, per (physical) page, twice as much as the former one.

If it's a PPT presentation, I may translate it at plain translation rate, and leave it as-is. One client told me, My secretary is a PowerPoint wizard, let her fix it; she'll do it in no time. If a client doesn't have such a genius on board, I can do it for 30% of the translation cost. I consider it fair, since it will be proportional to the quantity of text therein.

If the translation job, whatever it is, includes images with embedded text, the client may provide me with the same images, text-free, so I can apply the translation to it at no additional cost... or request and pay for my graphic editing service.

IMO all formatting "issues" can be solved with services. Incidentally, I offer most of these services, while I know that many highly skilled translators don't. Now and then one of these outsources such services to me. Another option is to check whether the client wants to do or outsource them on their own.

I think clients should be entitled to transparency and all available options to choose from in such cases.


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
premium May 12, 2015

I charge an additional 10% premium for uneditable files, whether scanned images, pdf files that can not be easily OCRed, or that, upon OCR treatment, still require my time to reformat to be useful/workable, hardcopy materials, faxed materials, etc.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:35
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends May 12, 2015

If the additional formatting requirements are minor, I usually don't charge extra. If the formatting problem is requiring a few hours (as in a recent project) to format the file before I can even start with the translation, then a 10 % surcharge applies.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 12, 2015



[Edited at 2015-05-12 15:26 GMT]


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