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Poll: Do you charge a surcharge for translation of PDF to Word converted documents?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:44
SITE STAFF
Oct 5, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge a surcharge for translation of PDF to Word converted documents?".

This poll was originally submitted by EN/ES>DE. View the poll results »



 

Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:44
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
It depends Oct 5, 2016

It depends if a CAT tool is required, but usually I don't.

 

Natalia Kulichkina  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:44
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
Depends. Oct 5, 2016

Depends. If the source text is in PDF and my CAT tool works OK with it or if it can easily be converted to Word by say NitroPro, then I don't charge extra and apply source document word count.
However if it's a scan copy that can't be properly converted or can be converted with major defects only, then I apply word count based on the target text. And things also depend on the quality of the source copy.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Oct 5, 2016

Nowadays, I can usually convert most PDFs into a workable word-compatible format, either with Nitro Pro or MS Office/Word. As long as I can modify the text without having to waste time fiddling about with formatting issues, I don’t see any reason to charge extra.
However, if the job does involve any faffing about other than basic translation, I might propose a hike, which usually ends up with the client providing the text in a more accessible format, or deciding to do the DTP/formatting themselves.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Also depends Oct 5, 2016

If it is something simple like a Danish baptism certificate (which is used as a birth certificate) I probably do not charge extra, as I have a template and can easily fill in the details about as effectively as using a CAT.

Otherwise I ask for the PDF, because the conversions often make a real hash of the extra Danish letters, æ, ø and å, and the OCR or conversion has trouble with other combinations too.

However, these PDFs sometimes come from private individuals who have to pay VAT on top of my rate... and the documents are small, so I tend to keep the rate moderate if possible.

With agencies I point out that it takes extra time and effort, and negotiate some kind of payment for it if I can. Some say they will find another translator! Which makes me feel guilty, but I hope the next translator wants to be paid too, and the agency goes along with it when they run out of time.


 

Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:44
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, if... Oct 5, 2016

the conversion is not 100% perfect and editable.

My translation rates are for translation work, and so I usually charge the extra time it took me to (re-)format the text. I let the client know in advance that I will be charging extra for this.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:44
Member (2006)
German to English
No Oct 5, 2016

And they get back the same format as I get.
If the text is really untranslateable, then I just send it back.


 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 19:44
French to English
+ ...
No... Oct 5, 2016

But I'm starting to think I should.

 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:44
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Sometimes ... Oct 5, 2016

I do a fair quantity of handwritten medical notes which come to me in pdf/jpg format.
When I know the formatting and deciphering will take longer than regular translation, I do charge extra.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:44
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Oct 5, 2016

Because I don't accept scanned PDF documents. In my book, PDF = Pretty Dead Format.

Besides, clients in Japan provide text in digital editable format. Otherwise, it would be a very laborious task to figure out the total number of source characters, and almost impossible in the case of big documents 100's of pages long. FYI, clients in Japan are obligated by law to provide this info in PO's.

Small edits

[Edited at 2016-10-05 12:35 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-10-05 23:11 GMT]


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:44
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Other Oct 5, 2016

I turn them down if they are not provided in editable format... not worth the hassle... icon_biggrin.gif

 

Katrin Bosse  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:44
Member (2009)
Dutch to German
+ ...
It depends Oct 5, 2016

Ana Vozone wrote:

My translation rates are for translation work, and so I usually charge the extra time it took me to (re-)format the text. I let the client know in advance that I will be charging extra for this.


Same here. If the conversion is straight-forward and if practically no formating is necessary, I don't charge for it.

In other cases, when the converted WORD file is a multi-layered mess of texts, inserted graphics and text fields, I usually leave it to the client: re-formating the translated document is an extra service that they can either do in-house, or pay me to do it. Either way works for me.

[Bearbeitet am 2016-10-05 12:38 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends! Oct 5, 2016

Like Diane I have been working for some time with a medical doctor from whom I receive handwritten notes in pdf format. At first, I charged extra because I did spend a lot of time trying to decipher what she had written, but not any more… On the other hand, one of my best clients (a direct client who pays very good rates and gives me work every month) always sends non-convertible PDFs, so we agreed on charging according to the target word count.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Not applicable Oct 5, 2016

I don't use Trados so it's fine translating the original PDF

Old skool, innit?


 

Ilan Rubin (X)  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:44
Russian to English
I normally refuse to translate PDFs Oct 5, 2016

It's the client's job to send me a text in editable format. If there was some good reason why that was impossible I would translate the pdf subject to a heavy surcharge (I would think about 50% as it would be a much slower job) but that hasn't happened as yet.

 
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