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Poll: Is your rate higher for translating handwritten texts than for translating type-written texts?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:44
SITE STAFF
Mar 12

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Is your rate higher for translating handwritten texts than for translating type-written texts?".

This poll was originally submitted by Catherine Earle. View the poll results »



 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 12:44
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Mar 12

Yes, a 50% surcharge.

Anastasia Kingsley Kinkusic
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:44
French to English
Yes for two reasons Mar 12

The first reason is that it takes longer as there is no existing text file to overwrite; the second reason is that some handwriting can be terrible to read. Both of these factors contribute to making the process take longer than working on a type-written text.

Muriel Vasconcellos
Joel Quezada Vasquez
Teresa Borges
ipv
maryblack
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Higher Mar 12

I haven’t translated a hand-written text for a few years now; I did it occasionally when I was working as a sworn translator in Belgium and I used to charge more if I had to spend time trying to decipher what was written on it.

Muriel Vasconcellos
Sofija Krnceska
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 12

I don't really do handwritten.
I might consider it as a BIG favour for someone, but really, I'd rather not have to.


Sofija Krnceska
Laura Bissio CT
Mladen Savic
Ricki Farn
Elaine Ruby
Philip Lees
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:44
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Higher Mar 12

Hand-written texts can take a very long time to decipher. I haven't done it for years because it's not worth my time.

I remember long ago translating a copy of a letter in Portuguese written to Thomas Jefferson, on the subject of slavery. I stuck it out for its historical value, but the process was long and painful and entailed a lot of guessing until the pieces came together. With handwriting, it's often like working a crossword puzzle: you gather clues from the adjacent context and similar configurations elsewhere in the text.


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 12:44
Member (2016)
English to German
Other Mar 12

I only translate electronic documents, and handwritten electronic documents are rather rare, so I never needed to ponder about a rate for that.

Ricki Farn
 

Anastasia Kingsley Kinkusic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Member (2011)
English
+ ...


Posted via
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Handwritten letters Mar 12

My first handwritten text translation was in 2005 between two brothers - one in Croatia (then Yugoslavia) and the other was in the USA. Since the US brother was a child when he emigrated, his knowledge of Croatian was very poor and most words were phonetically spelled out - and on top of that, they spoke in Dalmatian dialect, a mixture between Croatian and Italian with archaic terms! Quite a challenge. These 13 letters from 1939 to 1950 were the basis for a book called “As the Tree Fell” by Pat Repanich (available on Amazon) who was the wife of the nephew of one of these brothers. As I was a friend, I charged very little, but these letters took me months to deceipher. I occasionally get requests for handwritten texts and have always charged the same price as for a normal, typed or printed text, but in the future I’ll be sure to ask for a higher rate.

 

Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:44
Member (2014)
Swedish to English
+ ...
It depends Mar 12

For a handwritten text I would charge for time taken, which would usually end up being a higher price than if I had charged by the [target] word.

However, occasionally I have breezed through what turned out to be easy text in easy handwriting, and then the price would be lower than the per word price.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It depends on whether I can read them Mar 12

I once had a fascinating set of instructions for craftsmen, hand-written by the designer, with beautiful drawings.
His handwriting was anything but beautiful! I was paid quite generously by the hour to phone him and get him to read the source text, so I could write it legibly. I take pride in my own handwriting, but that is another story.

That was many years ago now, when one of the big names in Denmark was going more or less from the 19th century to the 21st, simply springing the 20th century over!

I rarely see handwriting now, apart from signatures. Those would make an interesting study - they go from simple scribbles to real vignettes of someone's identity, childish to sophisticated, and they probably say quite a lot about the person in a very small space.

It is a pity the art of handwriting is disappearing in these digital times!


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Styles of handwriting and of signatures Mar 12

I'm enjoying these "and thereby hangs a tale...", and, at the risk of going off-topic, I would add that in a "previous life" as a trainee EFL teacher, I found my ability to recognise the handwritings of different nationalities helped me when correcting pieces of students' written work sent to us on a training course: the fact that I could recognise that a mistake was committed by, say, someone with Italian handwriting, meant that I could tailor my correction to one for an Italian speaker with their own particular set of mistakes in the English language.

As for signatures, when I sign here in Spain, people often ask me if I'm not going to add the "rúbrica", the flourishy squirly bit. I obviously didn't spend enough hours at the back of a classroom practising this and my signature seems too plain - and legible - for them. In contrast, to me, as with Christine, a lot of signatures here look very childish, especially since they often feature the given name only. But you should see some notaries' signatures - a thing of beauty in many cases and I wonder if there is a specific course offered to develop a suitable signature for this profession.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:44
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Mar 12

If the writing is very legible, then the rate remains the same. In case of e. g. a docotor's handwritten papers, a 50% surcharge will be added...provided I am confident to be able to decipher it.

 

Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:44
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
Other Mar 12

When it is a handwritten fragment within a standardized document like birth/marriage/divorce/death certificate, I charge my standard rate for the whole document. I never translated a fully handwritten document, but if I ever would, I assume the rate should be higher.

 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 12:44
Member (2005)
English to German
Handwritten? Mar 12

I haven't read a handwritten text in decades, and never translated one. Do they still exist?

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
 

Wilsonn Perez Reyes  Identity Verified
El Salvador
Local time: 04:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
? Mar 12

Ricki Farn wrote:

I haven't read a handwritten text in decades, and never translated one. Do they still exist?


Why shouldn't they exist? There are still valid old handwritten birth certificates from Latin America, for example.

[Edited at 2019-03-12 19:28 GMT]


 
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