Sight translation rates
Thread poster: Prerna Bakshi
Prerna Bakshi  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 20:28
Hindi to English
+ ...
Jan 30, 2010

Hello Everyone,

I am not sure if I should be posting this question here, but I hope it is the right place. I have been offered a project in which the text is in Hindi (my native language) and I have to provide the translation back in English to the client who will be listening to me as I do so through Skype. I assume it is a sight translation case, but I might be wrong. The nature of the text is religious and is of 6000 words. I have been interpreting and translating for a while now but this will be the first time I will provide sight translation. As such, I am totally unaware about the rates. I would be grateful if anyone could tell me the average rate as well as anything else that I should know before I go along with this project.


Thanks,

Prerna


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Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:28
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Your hourly rate Jan 30, 2010

You might consider applying your hourly rate for the job (if it's only interpreting, i.e. speaking/reading in Skype) plus your rate for translation of 6,000 words (if you are supposed to prepare the text in advance).

[Редактировалось 2010-01-30 11:02 GMT]


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Prerna Bakshi  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 20:28
Hindi to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
how much an hour? Jan 30, 2010

Hi Natalia, the client would have the English text to which I would have no access to, and I would have to translate from Hindi (which has already been translated) into English verbally, but he also mentioned that if there is any area where the meaning seems off, I would have to provide him with the accurate translation. My big concern is that the text is religious in nature and thus have some very literal words thrown in and I have never done it before. So, I am not sure what am I supposed to do, should I translate literally or paraphrase at times when there is some problem with the translation? Also, how much should I charge per hour? It seems a bit stressful exercise?

Any help would be much appreciated.


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Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:28
Polish to English
+ ...
A nightmare job, I am afraid. Jan 30, 2010

1. The client has a written text, you will have no access to that text. Why no access? Is the text secret? I suggest to make the client understand that the translation will go smoother if you have access.
2. 6000 words - that can be more than 30 standard pages (1800 signs including spaces).
I assess the customer would need approx. 3 hours just to read - ask and make sure in order that you can prepare yourself. You would need the same time (or longer) to translate. In total, you would be required to fully concentrate for 4 up to 6 hours, or maybe longer. Are you capable of such effort? No coffee breaks?

Just two items which are of utmost importance to me. If the client replies: 'no access, no coffee breaks', I will not accept the job.

The hourly rate is difficult to specify as this heavily depends on multiple factors.
If I were offered such job and the client accepted my conditions, I would say USD 50 an hour, and 10 minute breaks each hour, no less than USD 200 if the job shorter than 4 hours.

Let's calculate higher rates for translating than for cleaning office rooms.

Regards

Andrzej


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Hildegard Klein-Bodenheimer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:28
English to German
+ ...
Think very hard if you want to do that Jan 30, 2010

Prerna Bakshi wrote:

the client would have the English text to which I would have no access to, and I would have to translate from Hindi (which has already been translated) into English verbally, but he also mentioned that if there is any area where the meaning seems off, I would have to provide him with the accurate translation... Also, how much should I charge per hour? It seems a bit stressful exercise?


That sounds very suspicious to me. Why would a client make you translate a text orally that they have already in their hands? They should give you the text for validation and if they need it orally let you then read it after the corrections. Then that would be a two step process: 1. Validation - charge per hour and then 2. you could give them afterwards a lower price for just reading a Hindi text.

The way the client wants it would be VERY strenuous. You have to translate while reading and when they find a difference to the text they have they will interrupt you and argue with you which one is correct. Depending how good or bad their text is that can take for ever.

Good luck,
Hildegard


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:28
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
too difficult Jan 30, 2010

I think what the client wants you to do is too difficult and potentially stressful and very time-consuming. I would try to convince the client to let you either edit the existing tranlation or do a back-translation, at your usual editing/translation rates.

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cmrawal  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 15:58
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
You may not accept this job Jan 30, 2010

Hi Prerna,

I would suggest that you may not accept this job.

It is obvious that you don't feel comfortable about this job because this is not your field. If you have had already some experience in this field, you would not have asked this question here.

It appears that the client wishes to cross-check if the Hindi translation already provided to him is correct or not. If so, you may ask the client to provide you both the source and target text beforehand so that you are able to comment about the quality of translation or the Hindi words used in the translation and their English equivalents. Otherwise, you may refuse to accept this job as a matter of principle.

C.M. Rawal


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jaymin
Canada
Local time: 05:28
Member (2009)
German to Korean
+ ...
Interpreting + Translating Jan 30, 2010

Sounds like interpreting and translating at the same time. The rate should be based on face-to-face interpretation rate and go by the hour with minimum 2 hours like in Ontario, Canada



[Edited at 2010-01-30 20:03 GMT]


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:28
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
it is a back translation job Jan 30, 2010

Andrzej Mierzejewski wrote:

1. The client has a written text, you will have no access to that text. Why no access? Is the text secret? I suggest to make the client understand that the translation will go smoother if you have access.


The reason why the topic starter has no access to the English text:

The source text of this project is in English, which has already been translated to Hindi, and the client needs the topic starter to translate Hindi back to English, so that he can compared this second English version with the source text. The sole purpose is to find out if the Hindi text matches the source English text.

Is that confusing?

[Edited at 2010-01-30 20:53 GMT]


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Dhiraj Khati  Identity Verified
Nepal
Local time: 16:13
Member (2009)
English to Nepali
+ ...
I don't think this work worth doing in such a condition. Jan 31, 2010

Looks very suspicious and uncommon.
I think the job provider is just checking the old translation as jyuan_us mentioned.
Best of Luck

[Edited at 2010-01-31 04:58 GMT]


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QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
Does it matter why the client wants it done this way? Jan 31, 2010

There are many situations where sight translation will be required for various reasons.

Perhaps the person to whom the document is addressed is illiterate or perhaps people just want to have an over-view first in order to pick information relevant to them.

I once had to sight-translate a few diaries and pages after pages of SMS records, reading the most intimate thoughts of the author who had been murdered. Police was looking for clues. At the end, no more than 20 pages were translated and used in evidence.

Charging an hourly rate is the best policy. Randomly grab a chunk of text from a religious book (ie Geeta) and time yourself while sight translating. This way you will know (1) if you will be comfortable with the subject; (2) how fast you can speak and translate. This will give you an idea of your hourly rate.

Also remember to tell your client the difference between sight-translation and translation, giving your client all the usual warnings on accuracy etc. Put a caveat on what you are about to do.



[Edited at 2010-01-31 13:13 GMT]


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Prerna Bakshi  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 20:28
Hindi to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for your replies. Feb 1, 2010

You all have been very kind to me and thanks to your suggestions, I was able to come to a conclusion that as much as painful it would have been to accept the project, I would. I wante to accept the job as I thought it would be challenging and something I can learn from. However, when I gave my quote to the client (as generous as I was), he diplomatically tried to convince me that since it was for such a noble cause (Bible text), most translators and editores would do it for free. Hence, I should as well, lol.

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