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Postediting rates
Thread poster: Guillermo de la Puerta

Guillermo de la Puerta  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
German to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 10

Hello everybody

A translation agency has just asked me about my postediting rates.
So far I have never been asked that question and after searching on the internet, I see that it is about correcting machine-made translations , I suppose that by machines it refers to eg. google translator or other.

There have been some times when I met an agency that gave me to correct a machine-made translation and I have to say that the effort I made to correct that - I gave up after correcting few pages - is almost greater than making a new translation starting from zero... Isn't this a way to get translations at the price of corrections?

I would like to know what rates are proposed. Somewhat higher than the correction but lower than the translation? I just want to know if this is the case, or not, or what rates are usually offered.

Thanks in advance


[Editado a las 2018-07-10 15:15 GMT]


 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
0.0001 off your usual rates Jul 10

You can 'pre-translate' yourself with a Google translate plug-in. costs 20 USD per 1,000,000 characters.
That's about 0.0001 per word.

If you normally charge 10 per word, you could go down to 9.9999icon_wink.gif


Philippe Etienne
Iris Schmerda
 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 09:57
German to English
+ ...
in general Jul 10

In general you charge for the work you do. However, if I did work outside my area of expertise where it would take me much longer than someone who has the needed expertise, I probably would not fully charge that amount of my time. If that makes sense. (Has happened on very rare occasions when I mis-assessed a project, esp. in early years).

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
IMHO your normal translation rate Jul 10

I don't do PEMT, and the reason is very simple.

The client wants to save money, assuming that by first shoving their source text through free Google Translate, you should charge less than your regular translation rate.

If this method held any merit whatsoever, since it's free, why shouldn't I - as a translator - pre-process ALL translations assigned to me with GT before tackling them?

If I don't do it, there must be some reason(s). The first one is that it doesn't lower my production cost in any way.


Philippe Etienne
Iris Schmerda
Joe France
Viviane Marx
Jasmina
Kuochoe Nikoi
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:57
Member
English to French
MT and MT Jul 10

Guillermo de la Puerta wrote:
I suppose that by machines it refers to eg. google translator or other.

With Google translate, I agree with Richard and José.
We can machine-translate the text ourselves, edit it and turn it into something usable. Or not.

If it's serious machine translation, the raw MT is usually more usable and more in line with glossaries/past human translations/typical phrasing, etc. However, it depends on the customer requirements. If they want a translation that doesn't sound like a translation, then I assume your full rate applies and you'll be better off translating from scratch.
If the scope is strictly limited to making sure the translation is correct in form and conveys the original meaning, then anything higher than 75% of your full rate (the kind of effort needed for a fuzzy match with CAT tools) may make the assignment worth your while, id est your hourly income post-editing is at least the same as your hourly income translating.
Sales brochures, presentations, leaflets, press packs, training, marketing speech and the like are de facto excluded.

And:
My experience is in EN>FR only. The more confidential the language, the more dodgy the MT output I would assume.
Post-editing MT requires a different mindset from editing a human translation. Don't make a sentence perfect, make it usable.
It's draining, because MT can really come up with totally wrong meanings that "look" right.
Some agencies will try to sell you discounted CAT matches on top of the reduced MT rate. No.

Philippe
(a few 100,000s MTPEed words a decade or so ago, a failed limited attempt half a decade or so ago that cured me from ever touching MT again, and no visible MT improvement since first attempt in 2000)


 

Octavio Armendariz  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:57
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
MT Rates Jul 10

Personally, I've been offered 70% of my regular rate but what you charge depends on the quality of the MT. If you get a MT that is usable, then you might consider agreeing to a lower rate. On the other hand, if the MT is outright nonsense you should consider charging you full rate.

I have been doing post editing for one of the leading translation agencies in Paris in FR-EN. I have to admit that the quality of neural machine translation is getting better all the time. With this quality, I can post edit about 3,000 words in a couple of hours whereas something like that usually takes me an entire day from scratch.

Such quality can be obtained only when dealing with a narrow subject matter such as legal, financial, medical,etc. I believe that we need to embrace MT. It's no use sticking your head in the sand and pretending it's not going to have a big impact on the industry. Clients are looking for more than lowering translation costs, they are looking for speed. I often get offers to translate 8,000 words for the next day. This is unrealistic but with machine translation one is able to meet such deadline and still provide a quality product.

I think I strayed somewhat from the topic. Please excuse me. But I think I answered your question in the first paragraph.


Emma Page
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Charge an hourly rate Jul 10

Guillermo de la Puerta wrote:
A translation agency has just asked me about my postediting rates. So far I have never been asked that question and after searching on the internet, I see that it is about correcting machine-made translations, I suppose that by machines it refers to eg. Google Transle or other.


It could be Google Translate, but it could also be some private machine translation system that outputs more useable text. In addition, you have to find out to what degree you're allowed to deviate from the machine translation. Either way, the best way to charge for PEMT is by the hour. PEMT can take less time than translating from scratch, but it can also take longer, so you can't just have a per-word rate.

If the agency insists on a per-word rate, then I would suggest adding 20-30% on top of your usual per-word rate -- not out of spite but purely for economical reasons, as you can't be certain that PEMT will take as much time or less time than translating from scratch.

If you charge per hour, it is an incentive to the client to give you good quality machine translations to begin with.


 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Post editing rate Jul 11

It really depends. Never quote (or quote at our normal translation rate) until you’ve seen the actual text.

I’ve seen texts (mostly technical) that were so good that you only needed to proofread it and edit in some instances. This is because the text was based on a previous translation, was coming from client’s “trained” memory and was technical in nature. There, I offered 50% of my normal translation rate and both I and the client were happy.

Now, if the client ran the text through GT, or any other engine for that matter, what you get is a Frankenstein-style text, with serious mutations in DNA. You will never ever achieve a smooth outcome. The text will remain “ugly”. The only option is to retranslate it and there you know what the answer is; your normal translation rate.

If someone asks you: how much alcohol can you drink? And imagine you answer: “three bottles”. Three bottle of what? Vodka? Wine? Beer? I can drink three bottle of beer, but certainly wouldn’t be able to drink three bottles of vodka. Therefore, there is no clear answer to the question: what should I charge for post editing? You will never go wrong if you charge your normal translation rate. But if you want to go lower, make sure you’ve had a good look at the actual text. Then, and only then, you’ll decide if it’s “beer”, “vodka” or “wine”.

Good luck!


Emma Page
Kuochoe Nikoi
 

Guillermo de la Puerta  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A hard work Jul 11

Everytime I've been asked to correct a machine-made translation, I had the impression that it is much easier to do a completely new translation, than correcting the machine-made translation.

I don't know if acceptable machine made translations exist, but so far I have never seen one.
So I understand If translators offer a rate which is the same or almost the same as the translation rate.

By the way, I would like yo know which are these acceptable translation machines, if any.


 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 09:57
German to English
+ ...
hourly fee Jul 11

If the translation is decent, then it will cost them less; if dreadful, it will cost them more.

This is both fair, and a bit "political". There is a trend where middlemen and some end clients use MT and then want to pay someone to "post-edit" at 50% or 25% of the usual per word fee - thus essentially paying half or a quarter of the normal fee. Yet the work may become more difficult and take longer. As long as they get this huge "discount", it's a rewarding thing to do. If all translators charged for the actual work involved - which hourly fees would reflect - this option would become much less attractive. And more fair for all involved.


 

Emma Page
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:57
Member (2017)
French to English
+ ...
I also have had a positive experience post-editing MT Jul 12

Octavio Armendariz wrote:

I have been doing post editing for one of the leading translation agencies in Paris in FR-EN. I have to admit that the quality of neural machine translation is getting better all the time. With this quality, I can post edit about 3,000 words in a couple of hours whereas something like that usually takes me an entire day from scratch.

Such quality can be obtained only when dealing with a narrow subject matter such as legal, financial, medical,etc. I believe that we need to embrace MT. It's no use sticking your head in the sand and pretending it's not going to have a big impact on the industry. Clients are looking for more than lowering translation costs, they are looking for speed. I often get offers to translate 8,000 words for the next day. This is unrealistic but with machine translation one is able to meet such deadline and still provide a quality product.


I too have a good client for whom I do a lot of MTPE. They always send me a sample of the machine translated text for me to look over before I agree to do it for a reduced rate. This way I can assess whether the MT is truly making my job easier (and in nearly all cases with them, it does), or if it will be more work than just translating. With good MT output I translate 2-4x faster than I would normally. This means that even working at 65% of my full rate, I make a better hourly wage on these jobs.

If you think all MT is equivalent to google translate, you have probably never worked with a custom product which has been trained on a specific, relevant corpus of texts. If a client asks you to review a machine translation and refuses to show it to you first, they are not working in good faith. Use common sense but, as Octavio points out, don't reject a technology just because you dislike it in theory...


 

Trevino Translations
France
Local time: 16:57
French to English
+ ...
Post editing rates Jul 16

Hello,

Having done some post-editing, it's my experience that you still have to read every word on the page and make decisions and modifications.

Personally, I refuse post-editing now as I find it no fun to do and I don't see why I should be expected to charge less for fixing machine translations.

But if you would like to try post-editing, I suggest asking to see the machine translation in question in order to better judge the task ahead.



Best regards,


Trevino Translations


 


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