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Poll: What was the largest project you ever worked on? (the part you actually translated)
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:45
SITE STAFF
Jul 4, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What was the largest project you ever worked on? (the part you actually translated)".

This poll was originally submitted by Ara Mkrtchyan

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 01:45
English to German
+ ...
my largest job ... Jul 4, 2006

was either for the technical university of Berlin or for the Siemens. I did not get today´s price, it was just a job in another job. In this course while these two organs were suporting me I have probably done a few million words translation and had got another few million words done by the others. That was academics or the science, only the final goal set counted and nothing else, one had to do in almost everything in this course of action. it was not a profession as a translator, the goals were set differently, but it did help me understand my today´s profession. I would say, I had probably did much of this work at no price . Best Brandis

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Ara Mkrtchyan  Identity Verified
Armenia
Local time: 03:45
English to Armenian
+ ...
Any discounts? Jul 4, 2006

Did you offer discounts for such big projects? In my practice, I sometimes offer a little discount but not always. A little I say, because even if you make a tiny discount, you get a considerable difference in large projects.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 01:45
English to German
+ ...
They were not directly translation projects Jul 4, 2006

Ara Mkrtchyan wrote:

Did you offer discounts for such big projects? In my practice, I sometimes offer a little discount but not always. A little I say, because even if you make a tiny discount, you get a considerable difference in large projects.
Hi! they were just a course of work plan in yet another bound by one or a few projects at the back. I was salaried person, being a student I was more than thankful for the wonderful opportunity, nothing translation and marketing stuff, it was tech and academic transfer job and refitting into the society, supporting the sales and fabricating teams, in this course the work quality was different and so was the pay. I am still with the TU-Berlin, only remotely. Those days there were other professional translation offices, even by groups many of these within Berlin are still today my friends, infact I had simulated the first data transmitter (called Modem) along with another friend of mine from cable engineering area from Indonesia. The first so called Modem marketed by the company that was employing me as student had charged the market over 75.000,- DM, It had lasted one and half years, soon the next generation was in. During this period broadband was almost 10 years old in the USA, but it was not a dual-cable technique, only datalines were prevalent. Discouts were probably given by the external offices, I have no idea. Best Brandis


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Big Projects Jul 5, 2006

Ara Mkrtchyan wrote:
Did you offer discounts for such big projects?


No discount at all.

Actually, depending on the circumstances, I charge extra for jobs with 150,000 words or more.

Working on my third one this year, actually (all for different clients).

--
Dyran


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 10:45
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Out of interest.... Jul 5, 2006

Dyran Altenburg wrote:
Actually, depending on the circumstances, I charge extra for jobs with 150,000 words or more.


Hi,
Just out of interest, what circumstances would you charge extra for on such large projects?

I only ask because it may help give us ideas in the future as I naturally assumed that everyone would always give a discount for large projects.

Thanks,
Mark


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Time is critical Jul 5, 2006

Chinese Concept wrote:
Just out of interest, what circumstances would you charge extra for on such large projects?

I participated in several projects with 300 000 to 800 000 words, where I translated 40 000 to 90 000 of them.

If the translation of a large software documentation would be done by a single translator, the software would be overaged before the translation would be finished.

Hence the translation has to be split up between several translators.

The more translators are working on a project, the more difficult it becomes to coordinate them to maintain consistency of terminology and style, requiring several editors and a final proof-reader, and this effort increases disproportionately to the number of translators.

So the agencies or freelance colleagues managing these projects had to increase their word rates for their clients accordingly (i.e. 50%-100%).

Even when you are working alone on a project, time is critical.
When you are fully busy for 4-10 weeks, you can loose many regular clients who would offer you smaller projects with shorter deadlines.

So you better calculate big projects with only 50% of your capacity, to enhance your availability for your regular clients.
If this would be too slow for a client, you would have to increase your rates accordingly.

Thank Whoever for projects of 1-3 weeks with an easy deadline.

Harry


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Ara Mkrtchyan  Identity Verified
Armenia
Local time: 03:45
English to Armenian
+ ...
Das klingt logisch, Harry Jul 5, 2006

Quite logical. Don't you think, however, that in that case a client is more inclined to give you persoanlly less work, i. e. only a part of it, and leave the other parts to other translators in order to pay a single translator less? You are quire right regarding the fact that there must be coordination here, and that coordination directly proportional to the number of translators. But suppose that the three translators, for example, try to charge more than usual, like you do. Are you likely to get the big project (let it be non-software so as to avoid moral depreciation)?

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Mahammad Kalfat
Local time: 01:45
Arabic to English
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K? Jul 5, 2006

What does "K" stand for as a unit of measurement in the poll choices?

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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 01:45
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
144,000 words in one day! Jul 5, 2006

144,000 words in one day, that is my absolute daily record. Needless to say there were a lot of repetitions and exact matches! Proof reading the project took me a lot longer than translating.

Furthermore, I have quite a lot of large projects (often a series of simplified prospectuses) and I do not give discounts for those large volumes, because doing a large project often means I have to refuse other projects during a certain period, with the risk of losing clients.

Joeri


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Ara Mkrtchyan  Identity Verified
Armenia
Local time: 03:45
English to Armenian
+ ...
Thousand Jul 5, 2006

m f kalfat wrote:

What does "K" stand for as a unit of measurement in the poll choices?

K stands for Kilo=thounsand (words)

Joeri: 144000 words a day?? It makes kinda 360 pages?!...


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Mahammad Kalfat
Local time: 01:45
Arabic to English
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X kilo words! Jul 5, 2006

weird! first time ever to encounter this usage! my life record is nearly 110 kilo words (a book).

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:45
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Simple math Jul 5, 2006

Chinese Concept wrote:

Dyran Altenburg wrote:
Actually, depending on the circumstances, I charge extra for jobs with 150,000 words or more.


Hi,
Just out of interest, what circumstances would you charge extra for on such large projects?

I only ask because it may help give us ideas in the future as I naturally assumed that everyone would always give a discount for large projects.


on the premise that overtime pay is normal in most countries.

If you quote an average production of 2,500 words in an 8-hour working day, it's evident that someone obliging you to do 4,000 is giving you 1,500 to do by way of overtime.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Charging more than "usual" Jul 5, 2006

Ara Mkrtchyan wrote:
Don't you think, however, that in that case a client is more inclined to give you personally less work, i. e. only a part of it, and leave the other parts to other translators in order to pay a single translator less?

Yes, of course, and this is intended. It will keep my other clients happy and enough sleep and spare time for me.

But since it is a hard and risky business to find skilled and reliable translators with acceptable rates for a specific kind of project, the client will try to give as much as possible to the ones with whom he had good experiences.
You are quite right regarding the fact that there must be coordination here, and that coordination is directly proportional to the number of translators.

I have the impression (and I know project managers who agree with this), that the coordination effort is even more than proportional to the number of translators (plus editors). But this is difficult to measure, since you usually have more important things to do..
But suppose that the three translators, for example, try to charge more than usual, like you do. Are you likely to get the big project?

I am not sure I understand this question. But I think none of us would charge more than usual. The point is: which rate is usual for which kind of work and conditions?

And I do offer fuzzy discounts, which may compensate for any surcharges. My most profitable project was the translation of a poorly designed webshop database of several 100K words which came with 80% repetitions. I made my profit by pre-processing it to 98% repetitions and finished the project within 2 weeks

[Edited at 2006-07-05 14:00]


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:45
German to English
+ ...
102,098 words Jul 5, 2006

The largest single translation that I have ever worked on alone is the one I am currently working on - it is a textbook on branding and has 102,098 words. I was given a total of about seven weeks to complete it.

I gave my client a small discount not because of the size (I do end up having to say "no" to other clients quite frequently), but because this particular client is great - she gives me quite a lot of work within my area of specialization, she also pays half up front and the other half within a couple of days after receiving my invoice.

The last translation assignment I had before that (I finished it the day before I received the translation above) was also a textbook, albeit on German tax law, with about 66,882 words. They seem to be getting bigger and bigger.


[Edited at 2006-07-05 12:06]


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