How long does it take to translate 30-35 help file topics?
Thread poster: cbcoti

cbcoti
Local time: 06:03
English to Danish
Feb 27, 2013

How long does it take for an agency using professional translators to translate 30-35 help file topics (approx. 84.000 words, about half repeated from earlier project)?

We do not have a termonology database. The software is for educated users within a specific field and contains field specific and company specific terms.

What would be the fastest, this could be done?

And... how much faster would it be, if we had a proper terminology management?

I know it can only be a guess, when you haven't seen the actual material, but I'd be grateful for your input.


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:03
English to Russian
+ ...
42 man-days, to be on the safe side Feb 27, 2013

Most agencies I know budget their time on the basis of 2000 words per translator per day. In practice, some translators can work much faster, but I wouldn't count on it until you have tried the particular topic with the particular translator team at least once, or at least until the translators have seen the actual text and given you a firm commitment.

Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but neither repetitions in the text nor proper terminology management would really make it any faster. Terminology management makes the output more consistent, but it takes a lot of time and effort to implement, and it addresses the issue of quality rather than quantity.

If you know you have to split the text between several translators, it's in your interest to pick the best and fastest ones you can find, even if their rates are very high, otherwise you stand to lose a lot of time and money editing and reconciling the output of different translators. Terminology management will make it slightly better, but honestly, you definitely don't want to deal with a large group of inexperienced translators, take just a few good ones instead.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
20 man-days Feb 27, 2013

I agree with Anton about all things said, except for the repetitions.

Translating online helps is a job usually done by IT-savvy translators who have proper tools (computer-aided translation tools) to expedite the process and save the customer some money. This has been the case for well over a decade. The repeated words will never be processed for free, however. Instead, translators using CAT tools will charge a percentage of their rate in the repeated words.

[Edited at 2013-02-27 16:17 GMT]


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:03
English to Russian
+ ...
Repetitions Feb 27, 2013

Tomas, I'd have agreed with you if these were internal repetitions within the text itself. Only in an ideal world would "half of them repeated from the previous project" save half of your time. Every time a client of mine sends me a partially pretranslated file with matches from their own TM, I find a lot of segments that are very doubtful or even downright wrong. Even if they were all good, I would never reuse someone else's translation without checking it segment by segment. Thus, possible time savings from reusing a prior project done by someone else would only be a few percent at the most. Typically, the segments that can be reused without spending extra time on them are fairly short and simple (e.g. standard headings), and would not otherwise take much time to translate. It's a typical case of the 80/20 rule working against us.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:03
English to German
+ ...
I agree with Anton. Also, don't forget about the time needed for proofreading. Feb 27, 2013

Anton Konashenok wrote:

Most agencies I know budget their time on the basis of 2000 words per translator per day. In practice, some translators can work much faster, but I wouldn't count on it until you have tried the particular topic with the particular translator team at least once, or at least until the translators have seen the actual text and given you a firm commitment.

Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but neither repetitions in the text nor proper terminology management would really make it any faster. Terminology management makes the output more consistent, but it takes a lot of time and effort to implement, and it addresses the issue of quality rather than quantity.

If you know you have to split the text between several translators, it's in your interest to pick the best and fastest ones you can find, even if their rates are very high, otherwise you stand to lose a lot of time and money editing and reconciling the output of different translators. Terminology management will make it slightly better, but honestly, you definitely don't want to deal with a large group of inexperienced translators, take just a few good ones instead.



As an outsourcer who insists on top-notch quality, any less than 42 days PLUS the days needed for proofreading (turnaround time approx. 6000 words / day, depending on the quality of the translation) is considered gambling.


 

cbcoti
Local time: 06:03
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
I had wrong word count Feb 28, 2013

Thank you for all your replies. You all seem to agree on the avaverage 2000 words per day.

I found out that the word count was wrong, because it was based on an output file, where our translation tool was not set up to only count translation candidates. The correct wordcount is just above 7000 words in one help file project.

So, if I understand correcly, we would need 5 days (3-4 days for translation, a bit more than 1 for proofreading) for a project this size?

This will of course be followed by proofreading/approval by our country offices (NOT included in the 5 days mentioned).

I believe that some kind of terminology management is necessary if we begin to use an agency. Our software is aimed at a specific academic/technical field, and we also invent new terms for each release. Any tips on where to start?

Cudos to Anton for not blindly trusting what's given. Sometimes, bad translations seem to breed like rabbits... But how do you explain this to your clients?


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:03
English to German
+ ...
One more thing, cbcoti :-) Feb 28, 2013

cbcoti wrote:

Thank you for all your replies. You all seem to agree on the avaverage 2000 words per day.

I found out that the word count was wrong, because it was based on an output file, where our translation tool was not set up to only count translation candidates. The correct wordcount is just above 7000 words in one help file project.

So, if I understand correcly, we would need 5 days (3-4 days for translation, a bit more than 1 for proofreading) for a project this size?

This will of course be followed by proofreading/approval by our country offices (NOT included in the 5 days mentioned).

I believe that some kind of terminology management is necessary if we begin to use an agency. Our software is aimed at a specific academic/technical field, and we also invent new terms for each release. Any tips on where to start?

Cudos to Anton for not blindly trusting what's given. Sometimes, bad translations seem to breed like rabbits... But how do you explain this to your clients?



Neither agencies nor professional translators work like vending machines. Good agencies as well as good translators are always booked up in advance. Do not expect your services being taken care of starting the very moment you place your "order" via email. You are dealing with businesses that might be older and larger than yours. Just listen what they will tell you.


 

cbcoti
Local time: 06:03
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Nicole Feb 28, 2013

I was aware of that fact, but if I wasn't I would be in for a nasty surprise, so I very much appreciate you telling meicon_smile.gif

I have had trouble trying to exlain managers that our internal people have other obligations. And I will have trouble convincing them that a professional agency is the way to go.

How early will I need to book? Will I have trouble getting something done in week 22-23?

I will start today, working on finding the right agency, while internally trying to persuade the people sitting on the budget - and preparing a termbase (if I can figure out how to).

This is a challenging situation for me. I know just enough about language theory to know about the pitfalls of translation, but I know next to nothing about how it is really done. Feel free to tell me if there are things I should know but didn't think to ask!

Again, thanks to all of you for your help.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:03
English to German
+ ...
Another thing that will you help finding the right agency Mar 1, 2013

cbcoti wrote:
I will start today, working on finding the right agency, while internally trying to persuade the people sitting on the budget - and preparing a termbase (if I can figure out how to).


Ask if the proofread translation will be checked again by the original translator. Only good agencies will do that.


 

cbcoti
Local time: 06:03
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
That's one thing I didn't think of Mar 4, 2013

So thanks again!

Do any of you know of any online "hos to pick an agency" guide?
I did attend a conference session on this once, but it only listed all the questions to ask, not which answers you should look for....


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How long does it take to translate 30-35 help file topics?

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search