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translation agency expectations

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Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 09 Apr 2012, 17:01

Chris wrote:
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.

I have gotten a bunch of scanned pdf that aren't editable text. Really hard to get a word count from it, and the trouble with PDF is that the computer seems to struggle with scrolling them, either sideways or up and down, as in the computer needs several seconds to respond to a scroll command, making them really annoying. I don't know if its because the computer sucks, or its because pdf's are inefficient.
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Re: translation agency expectations

Postby Chris » 09 Apr 2012, 17:06

Well, then definitely, asking for something like this to be done in 24 hours is a lot to ask.
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Re: translation agency expectations

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 09 Apr 2012, 19:13

Your computer sounds inefficient. PDFs are pretty easy to work with, but I'd charge per English word rather than source character unless they have an accurate word count for the file. You probably should have a look at why your computer's so slow!

Honestly I don't think the deadline's too bad, some of us translate full time from home and so keep rather odd hours. If I received a similar file today I would say 'Sorry, can you take it Wednesday?' but since I don't do anything Tuesday I'd be able to accept it if it came in tomorrow morning. But I would try asking for a higher rate, because I'm sure they asked for a higher rate for the rush job (unless they already assigned it to another translator who dropped it at the last minute).
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Re: translation agency expectations

Postby ironlady » 09 Apr 2012, 21:02

Just OCR the pdf files. Even if there are wrong characters, and the word count comes out a bit high because of counting digits and suchlike, it will give you a pretty good idea of the source count.

But freelancers need to learn: YOU ARE IN BUSINESS. You ARE a business. Businesses are sovereign. They decide what they will sell, they price it based on their business model, and they market it to others. I don't know of any professional that allows the customer to decide how much he feels like paying and when he feels like receiving the product or service. For some reason, probably the disperse nature of translators, who often have little contact with others, and the fact that translation is viewed as a great thing to do when other things fail and you happen to speak another language, which means there are lots of non-serious people who will work for a pittance -- agencies are quite able to play individual translators off against one another, or simply use them, break them, and go back for another one. There's an unending supply, especially as the economy gets worse and people "decide" they are translators. Check Craig's List if you don't believe me. :noway:
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