What's your thought on a 100+ word projects that comes with 50+ pages of instruction?
Thread poster: Tola Sann

Tola Sann  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 15:21
Member
English to Khmer (Central)
+ ...
Jan 20

I am not sure if this is normal for agencies especially the larger ones, but I occasionally get projects with less than a few hundred words that come with 50 or even more pages of instruction? I understand its important to follow the right instruction, but do you find it instead of helping, it is counter-productive (confusing!?)

 

Veronica Montserrat
France
Local time: 09:21
Member (2020)
English to French
+ ...
I find it counter-productive and very confusing. Jan 20

I actually took a test for an agency recently and as in your example, the text to translate was very short, but first I had to go through a tons of instructions. I gave up.

I don't know if it's normal, I rarely work for agencies.


Slobodan Kozarčić
Tom in London
Robert Rietvelt
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:21
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Charge for your time! Jan 20

If I had to spend a lot of time reading instructions, I would seriously consider charging for my time.

The word rates many agencies offer barely cover the overheads of administration and invoicing, especially on small jobs.
I normally do my own research, by checking the client's website or any special terminology, so if they send a couple of pages of instructions that I can use instead, that is fine.

Fifty pages is too much for a small job. That will take you at l
... See more
If I had to spend a lot of time reading instructions, I would seriously consider charging for my time.

The word rates many agencies offer barely cover the overheads of administration and invoicing, especially on small jobs.
I normally do my own research, by checking the client's website or any special terminology, so if they send a couple of pages of instructions that I can use instead, that is fine.

Fifty pages is too much for a small job. That will take you at least two or three hours to read, and the rate for a few hundred words does not pay for your time. If you cannot find a section quickly that is relevant to your job and skip the rest, then it is not reasonable in my opinion.
Collapse


Tomasz Sienicki
Robert Forstag
William Tierney
Teresa Borges
Philip Lees
Tola Sann
Nathan Russell
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
It's an investment Jan 20

The first time you do such a job you may lose money, but if you go on to do them regularly it can pay off... and pay off handsomely if you are insisting on a decent minimum charge (one hour in my case).

It's a risk you can choose to take or not take...

If it's drug documentation (which is where I get jobs like this) then you may well find that most of the instructions don't apply to you or are just common sense and can therefore be ignored.


Teresa Borges
Grigori Gazarian
Philip Lees
Adieu
Dan Lucas
Nathan Russell
 

Felipe Tomasi  Identity Verified
Brazil
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends Jan 20

In my point of view, it depends on how the instructions are clear and not confusing. If you can read and absorb the content without having much difficulty, then is worthy; otherwise is counter-productive.

It also depends whether you are familiar with the language and jargon of the area you are translating.


Grigori Gazarian
Aline Amorim
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
infinite time-wasting information overload bundle of confusion Jan 21

Send them straight back with clear instructions on time management and a binding requirement to read through their infinite time-wasting information overload bundle of confusion, then they can send the job back with only the few guidelines that actually apply to it, at which point when they're ready to do the job instead of wasting everyone's time we'll decide on an appropriate deadline, later obviously than if they’d kept it simple from the start.

 

Tola Sann  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 15:21
Member
English to Khmer (Central)
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks all for the input! Jan 21

I just feel it's a kind of a QA show off to their clients, which is actually quite counterproductive.. It was like the translation is about a footnote of a product but then you have to get to know all about the company, style, market.....etc. Hopefull agencies pick this up and know that it is not always helpful for such practice.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Tola Jan 21

Tola Sann wrote:
I occasionally get projects with less than a few hundred words that come with 50 or even more pages of instruction.


Yes, this is so absurd that I believe the right thing to do is quickly scan through the instructions to see which of it applies to you. Often, when there is a deluge of reference material, the client is simply sharing everything with you even if it doesn't apply to your language, or to the specific project that you're working on. It does not necessarily mean that the PM is lazy.

Alternatively, you can ask the agency if they can please tell you which of the pages relate to the specific job they sent. When I get instructions that exceed 10 pages (not counting style guides, glossaries, etc.), I typically tell the client, "sorry, the instructions are too long" or "too complicated". Often, the PM will then come with new instructions that fit in a single e-mail.

[Edited at 2021-01-21 08:38 GMT]


Rachel Waddington
Christine Andersen
Aline Amorim
Robert Rietvelt
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:21
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My thought Jan 21

Tola Sann wrote:

I am not sure if this is normal for agencies especially the larger ones, but I occasionally get projects with less than a few hundred words that come with 50 or even more pages of instruction? I understand its important to follow the right instruction, but do you find it instead of helping, it is counter-productive (confusing!?)


I would have nothing to do with a job like that because it would potentially be never-ending.


 

Anthony John Keily
Local time: 09:21
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
It's not normal Jan 23

At all. It's insane, but also a little... intriguing.

I'd be tempted to send it back with 100 + pages of translator's notes, which would include my grandmother's biography and my daughter's most recent stoichiometry university exam paper.


Chris S
Robert Rietvelt
 


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


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

What's your thought on a 100+ word projects that comes with 50+ pages of instruction?

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2021
One central location to store and manage multilingual terminology.

By providing access to all those involved in applying terminology (such as engineers, marketers, translators, and terminologists), our terminology management solution ensures consistent and high-quality content from source through to translation.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



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