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How long would this translation take?
Thread poster: Narrator

Narrator
Local time: 10:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 9, 2010

I know there's no definitive answer to this question but I'm wondering what a rough estimate would be on how long it would take to translate a 3600 word text from English to Spanish. It's a simple text, nothing complex at all, consisting of many short sentences and paragraphs of a few sentences. Many of the phrases are duplicated but I find it takes me about as long to find and compare a phrase that sounds familiar as it does to just translate it again. This is all being done manually and I don't translate full-time. I'm just curious as to how long it would take most full-time translators who translate manually. I guess the CAT tools would flag duplicates?
Thanks!


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:17
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Ballpark figures Apr 9, 2010

5 to 15 hours depending. Sorry, but "nothing complex" is as poor a description as you could possibly provide. There are always requirements, and my familiarity with the subject matter may differ.

2,000 to 2,500 words is the daily norm for most translators, a day being 8 working hours.

[Edited at 2010-04-09 18:20 GMT]


 

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 11:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
3 hours (max) Apr 9, 2010

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

2,000 to 2,500 words is the daily norm for most translators, a day being 8 working hours.


That is no doubt one of the main reasons why so many translators find it difficult to make a living from translation.

3,600 words of the kind (vaguely) described by Narrator shouldn't take more than three hours.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2010-04-09 18:26 GMT]


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:17
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Speak for yourself please Apr 9, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

2,000 to 2,500 words is the daily norm for most translators, a day being 8 working hours.


That is no doubt one of the main reasons why so many translators find it difficult to make a living from translation.

3,600 words of the kind (vaguely) described by Narrator shouldn't take more than three hours.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2010-04-09 18:26 GMT]


You sound very sure of yourself for someone who hasn't seen the text in question, not to mention condescending. I translate up to 1,000 words an hour in my fields of expertise, and I don't find it difficult to make a living from translation. Still, I will never allow myself only 1 hour to do 1k words, much less 3 hours to do 3k words.


 

Narrator
Local time: 10:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I realize it's a poor description Apr 9, 2010

But it's nothing complex. Phrases like - To make a payment using your credit card press 1.

That sort of thing.

I find it takes me a while to take the source material and format it in a way that's easy for me to work with - and then take the final product and place it back in the original document which sometimes requires my cutting and pasting dozens - sometimes a couple hundred - files.
I also find it takes me just about as long to locate a duplicate phrase as it does to just translate it again.

At first glance it looked as though it wouldn't take as long as it did. But, as I said, I don't do this full-time and I wanted to see if I was way off base here.


 

xxxNMR
France
Local time: 16:17
French to Dutch
+ ...
Just one question Apr 9, 2010

Narrator wrote:
format it in a way that's easy for me to work with - and then take the final product and place it back in the original document which sometimes requires my cutting and pasting dozens - sometimes a couple hundred - files.

Don't understand why you should be cutting and pasting? Can't you translate it where it is, by overwriting, for instance? Which software has been used?

As for repeated sentences, yes, CATs take them into account. Learning the basic functions of a simple CAT takes about 2 hours.


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:17
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Translation Memory Apr 9, 2010

NMR has already mentioned CAT. To be more specific, TM (translation memory) exists precisely because, as narrator writes, I also find it takes me just about as long to locate a duplicate phrase as it does to just translate it again. The TM program finds it for you, automatically and almost instantly if it's a whole sentence (identical or similar to the one you're about to translate), or you can use a context search to find part of a sentence.
narrator is mainly an actress, voiceover and storyteller and, having 20 years of translation experience, I suppose she has become habituated to the ways translation was done 20 years ago.
The TM product WordFast can be used free of charge with translation memories up to about 500 sentence pairs. This applies to WordFast Classic, which requires Microsoft Word, and probably to WordFast Pro also, which doesn't (I haven't used WF Pro).

Oliver


 

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 11:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
But... Apr 9, 2010

Oliver Walter wrote:

NMR has already mentioned CAT. To be more specific, TM (translation memory) exists precisely because, as narrator writes, I also find it takes me just about as long to locate a duplicate phrase as it does to just translate it again. The TM program finds it for you, automatically and almost instantly if it's a whole sentence (identical or similar to the one you're about to translate), or you can use a context search to find part of a sentence.
...


... why on earth would any self-respecting professional translator want to to use a CAT for a text which, as described in Narrators first post, is "nothing complex".

Narrator's problem, as I (now) see it, is not 'how long does it take to translate 3,600 words' but, rather, 'how long does it take to cut 'n' paste several hundred short phrases. That's a totally different question.

If it's quicker to retranslate from memory, then that's the best approach. After all, that's why we have memories ... isn't it?

MediaMatrix


 

Narrator
Local time: 10:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Free CAT could be useful Apr 9, 2010

I would imagine!

You're absolutely right about my using antiquated (manual) translation methods because I only really translate in conjunction with voice work and if something comes my way that's complex I do the smart thing and hire someone to do the translation.

But I'm all for productivity and saving time! I'll look into those - I'm sure there are a lot of time saving methods I'm not aware of.


 

PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 16:17
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
What magic wand do you use? Apr 10, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

2,000 to 2,500 words is the daily norm for most translators, a day being 8 working hours.


That is no doubt one of the main reasons why so many translators find it difficult to make a living from translation.

3,600 words of the kind (vaguely) described by Narrator shouldn't take more than three hours.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2010-04-09 18:26 GMT]


When I use my best CAT, and I work my absolute field of expertise, I may translate around 1,000 words per hour, but then I have not had as much as one split second to proof/review/QA.

If you can do around 1,200 words per hour in a proofed quality, I would like to know your trickicon_smile.gif

And otherwise, I agree with Mikhail Kropotov - the average number of translated words per day is around 2,000-2,500.

[Edited at 2010-04-10 05:36 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:17
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree... under the right conditions Apr 10, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:
3,600 words of the kind (vaguely) described by Narrator shouldn't take more than three hours.

I agree that this is perfectly feasible, but only under the right conditions:
- An experienced translator, and a fast typer
- A topic (simple or complex) in which the translator is experienced (little need to research terms)
- An efficient CAT tool, and experience using it
- Possibility to translate right in the source files (with no cutting and pasting)

I think that the 2,500-word day is a measure most of us use for statistical and planning purposes, but a vast majority of us in the English-Spanish pair would be able to produce a lot more a day under the above conditions.

[Edited at 2010-04-10 06:11 GMT]


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:17
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Could it be that some clients require it? Apr 10, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:

... why on earth would any self-respecting professional translator want to to use a CAT for a text which, as described in Narrators first post, is "nothing complex".

MediaMatrix


If the client requests it, then I use a CAT tool no matter what kind of text it is, and it has nothing to do with being a "self-respecting professional translator". Your attitude is quite stunning. How about trying to accept that different people have different ways of doing things, and your way may not be the one size that fits all?

I confirm that the accepted average for quoting in my language pairs is 2,000 - 2,500 words per day, even though most professionals - which I am - do much more than that in their fields. If you work for 3 cents a word, that standard output isn't enough to live on in Europe, but maybe it is in another country.

[Edited at 2010-04-10 12:24 GMT]


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:17
German to Spanish
+ ...
How long would this translation take? Apr 10, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

mediamatrix wrote:
3,600 words of the kind (vaguely) described by Narrator shouldn't take more than three hours.

I agree that this is perfectly feasible, but only under the right conditions:
- An experienced translator, and a fast typer
- A topic (simple or complex) in which the translator is experienced (little need to research terms)
- An efficient CAT tool, and experience using it
- Possibility to translate right in the source files (with no cutting and pasting)

I think that the 2,500-word day is a measure most of us use for statistical and planning purposes, but a vast majority of us in the English-Spanish pair would be able to produce a lot more a day under the above conditions.

[Edited at 2010-04-10 06:11 GMT]


I only would like to add an item to the "an efficient CAt tool"...: A dictation tool like DNS..icon_biggrin.gif


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:17
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
CAT (TM) tools Apr 10, 2010

Woodstock wrote:
mediamatrix wrote:
... why on earth would any self-respecting professional translator want to to use a CAT for a text which, as described in Narrators first post, is "nothing complex".
MediaMatrix

If the client requests it, then I use a CAT tool no matter what kind of text it is, and it has nothing to do with being a "self-respecting professional translator". Your attitude is quite stunning. How about trying to accept that different people have different ways of doing things, and your way may not be the one size that fits all?

The answer to mediamatrix's question (why on earth...) is simply that it can make the job faster, in fact more so if it is not complex because there will probably be a greater number of repeated sentences in the text.
mediamatrix wrote:
If it's quicker to retranslate from memory, then that's the best approach. After all, that's why we have memories ... isn't it?

Yes indeed, but you did qualify this with If. My point is that when using TM, the if condition is not likely to be met: the TM remembers an already-translated sentence and types it into the target text for you faster than you can remember your exact translation and type it on the keyboard (or speak it into a voice recognition program).
In the most favourable cases (i.e. where every source-text sentence is already in the translation memory and you will use the same translation for each one as was previously used), your translation can be done as fast as you can read the source sentence, read the translation proposed by the TM program and press Alt-Down to accept it and go on to the next sentence.

Oliver


 

Narrator
Local time: 10:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
rates can't be that low Apr 11, 2010

If you work for 3 cents a word


Ouch. That can't be right, can it? Aren't normal rates closer to 30?


 
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