translation agency expectations

Moderator: John

translation agency expectations

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 08 Apr 2012, 23:58

I wonder how translation agencies think, because obviously they think that translators all have no life and therefore can translate 5 pages of text in less than 24 hours.

I got an email from an agency, saying they have 5 pages of stuff for me to translate (file attached too), saying they want it by 9am of April 9th. The rate is fairly decent, in line with what any standard CH-EN translators would charge, however what gets me is the deadline. The mail was sent only this morning.

I wrote back saying that while I can translate the document, I need about 3 days plus a day to check my work in order to translate and therefore I am not able to get it in such a short time.

I guess they don't get that people have stuff to do other than working on Sundays... even if I have no life and have nothing else to do but translate stuff on Sundays, 5 pages in 24 hours is asking a LOT. It doesn't even allow me time to check my work to make sure the target text is correct in meaning and style, not to mention I would pretty much need to rush the thing to meet the deadline. I also would only do an expedited job at a significant upcharge (because I do not like to rush things)

I have not heard back obviously but it looks like someone else is willing to rush it.
Cat-gut strings are made from kitten guts, stretched out to near breaking point and then hardened with grue saliva. As a result these give a feeling of Pain and anguish whenever played, and often end up playing themselves backwards as part of satanic rituals.

Typhoon Guitars
http://www.typhoonguitars.com
Taiwan Luthiers
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
 
Posts: 2882
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 05 Mar 2009, 15:15
1 Recommends(s)
80 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby PigBloodCake » 09 Apr 2012, 00:14

Taiwan Luthiers wrote:I wonder how translation agencies think, because obviously they think that translators all have no life and therefore can translate 5 pages of text in less than 24 hours.

I got an email from an agency, saying they have 5 pages of stuff for me to translate (file attached too), saying they want it by 9am of April 9th. The rate is fairly decent, in line with what any standard CH-EN translators would charge, however what gets me is the deadline. The mail was sent only this morning.

I wrote back saying that while I can translate the document, I need about 3 days plus a day to check my work in order to translate and therefore I am not able to get it in such a short time.

I guess they don't get that people have stuff to do other than working on Sundays... even if I have no life and have nothing else to do but translate stuff on Sundays, 5 pages in 24 hours is asking a LOT. It doesn't even allow me time to check my work to make sure the target text is correct in meaning and style, not to mention I would pretty much need to rush the thing to meet the deadline. I also would only do an expedited job at a significant upcharge (because I do not like to rush things)

I have not heard back obviously but it looks like someone else is willing to rush it.


Couldn't you just do a Google translation first and then fix the translations?

I did that on a few paragraphs and it took me less than an hour (albeit it was from English to Chinese).
Life is a bitch and death is her sister.

I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell.
PigBloodCake
Sidewalk Geomancer (lù biān suàn mìng tān)
Sidewalk Geomancer (lù biān suàn mìng tān)
 
Posts: 1016
Joined: 07 Jun 2011, 16:51
9 Recommends(s)
27 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 09 Apr 2012, 00:56

In my experience, it is more work to fix a google translate than to do it from scratch. The grammar structure often gets badly scrambled, and oftentimes the translations are completely wrong. Might work if I don't care that the target text matches the original in style and meaning, which is what I aim for.
Cat-gut strings are made from kitten guts, stretched out to near breaking point and then hardened with grue saliva. As a result these give a feeling of Pain and anguish whenever played, and often end up playing themselves backwards as part of satanic rituals.

Typhoon Guitars
http://www.typhoonguitars.com
Taiwan Luthiers
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
 
Posts: 2882
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 05 Mar 2009, 15:15
1 Recommends(s)
80 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Chris » 09 Apr 2012, 11:50

Google translate can be useful to get the gist of something, or to get a quick and dirty overview of something for your own reference, but I would not recommend it if you want to produce a quality, professional translation. For effective Google translating, you have to do a lot of pre-processing (simplifying statements, adding periods, adding pronouns, etc.), then Google Translate it, then do a lot of post-processing (cleaning up sentence structure, comparing with the original, etc.). The result will likely be something of a lesser quality than doing it from scratch.

And then you get things that are completely messed up. For example, all too often it translates 國中 as "in the country" instead of "junior high school".

If a translation agency demands a 5-page (about 2500 character) translation within 24 hours, I could do it if I had no prior commitments. But if I already had plans (highly likely), I would just tell them I can't take this particular job, or ask if I could have an extra day.
Forumosan avatar
Chris
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 14784
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 15:51
Location: Type-A, Tie-one-on
82 Recommends(s)
173 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Feiren » 09 Apr 2012, 12:09

You should easily be able to do five pages in 24 hours. Otherwise, the economics of translation are probably not in your favor. Three days plus a day to check is way too much.
Feiren
Former City Mayor (qiánrèn shìzhǎng)
Former City Mayor (qiánrèn shìzhǎng)
 
Posts: 4887
Joined: 05 Jan 2002, 17:01
Location: Drum Tower
4 Recommends(s)
197 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 09 Apr 2012, 14:12

Feiren wrote:You should easily be able to do five pages in 24 hours. Otherwise, the economics of translation are probably not in your favor. Three days plus a day to check is way too much.


Really? I am assuming 1 page contains 1000 characters, if single spaced at normal fonts.

That is about 5000 characters, I don't know about you but that's a lot to ask in 24 hours, at least if you want to submit something that isn't full of errors.
Cat-gut strings are made from kitten guts, stretched out to near breaking point and then hardened with grue saliva. As a result these give a feeling of Pain and anguish whenever played, and often end up playing themselves backwards as part of satanic rituals.

Typhoon Guitars
http://www.typhoonguitars.com
Taiwan Luthiers
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
 
Posts: 2882
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 05 Mar 2009, 15:15
1 Recommends(s)
80 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby the bear » 09 Apr 2012, 15:04

Taiwan Luthiers wrote:
Feiren wrote:You should easily be able to do five pages in 24 hours. Otherwise, the economics of translation are probably not in your favor. Three days plus a day to check is way too much.


Really? I am assuming 1 page contains 1000 characters, if single spaced at normal fonts.

That is about 5000 characters, I don't know about you but that's a lot to ask in 24 hours, at least if you want to submit something that isn't full of errors.


I doubt 1 page contains 1000 characters. 500 maybe. Project managers in translation agencies will often work in this way. i.e. they'll offer a project to whoever they see on-line on their MSN and give the green light to whoever answers first. Speed of turnaround is the key factor in Taiwanese translation, not quality.
I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
Forumosan avatar
the bear
Buxiban Laoban (bǔxíbān lǎobǎn)
Buxiban Laoban (bǔxíbān lǎobǎn)
 
Posts: 3725
Joined: 14 Jul 2003, 14:45
Location: Taipei City
26 Recommends(s)
93 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Chris » 09 Apr 2012, 15:28

Assuming default margins and 12-point MingLiu fonts, one page could be just over 1000 characters if it's single-spaced, there are no spaces between paragraphs and the paragraphs are pretty full. One page could also be well under 100 characters if it's very sparse and there are diagrams. The papers I usually work with average 550 characters per page, because they're 1.5-spaced. This comes to about 350 or so English words.

Because "page" as a measure of project size can be pretty meaningless, it's always best to get a character count instead of a page count.
Forumosan avatar
Chris
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 14784
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 15:51
Location: Type-A, Tie-one-on
82 Recommends(s)
173 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 09 Apr 2012, 16:22

Chris wrote:Assuming default margins and 12-point MingLiu fonts, one page could be just over 1000 characters if it's single-spaced, there are no spaces between paragraphs and the paragraphs are pretty full. One page could also be well under 100 characters if it's very sparse and there are diagrams. The papers I usually work with average 550 characters per page, because they're 1.5-spaced. This comes to about 350 or so English words.

Because "page" as a measure of project size can be pretty meaningless, it's always best to get a character count instead of a page count.


It's difficult to get a word count, if its a scanned PDF.

Its weird to offer a project on Sundays though because most Westerners are going to have stuff to do on that day.
Cat-gut strings are made from kitten guts, stretched out to near breaking point and then hardened with grue saliva. As a result these give a feeling of Pain and anguish whenever played, and often end up playing themselves backwards as part of satanic rituals.

Typhoon Guitars
http://www.typhoonguitars.com
Taiwan Luthiers
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
Lost Winning Lotto Ticket (zhòngjiǎng cǎiquàn nòngdiū le)
 
Posts: 2882
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 05 Mar 2009, 15:15
1 Recommends(s)
80 Recognized(s)

6000

Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Chris » 09 Apr 2012, 16:49

Taiwan Luthiers wrote:It's difficult to get a word count, if its a scanned PDF.

Can you copy the words out as editable text, or do you have to work off of images?

I make it a policy not to accept files that aren't in some form of editable text. When I translate, I work directly in the file they give me (after making a copy of the original) and I need to be able to hover Dr. Eye over certain terms or paste them into Wenlin or other dictionaries, or Google. I'm fine with Word, OpenOffice, text, .rtf, and even PDF if the content is copyable as text, but I decline images, printouts and handwritten stuff... unless it's reallllly short.
Forumosan avatar
Chris
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 14784
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 15:51
Location: Type-A, Tie-one-on
82 Recommends(s)
173 Recognized(s)

6000

Next




 
 
 x

Return to Working in Taiwan



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: No Forumosans and 2 visitors

You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it -- CHARLES BUXTON