Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Agency rating lists: update

In my February post about agency rating lists, I said that to access the TranslatorCafé "Hall of Fame and Shame" it was to necessary to pay TranslatorsCafé's $120 membership.

I have now been informed that any payment to TranslatorsCafé is sufficient to access the Hall of Fame and Shame. From the message I received:

[...] any payment (starting from $10 for credentials verification) [is] enough to get full and unrestricted access to the Hall of Fame and Shame without any time limitation. Active members also have full access irrespective of their membership status. For those who cannot pay, there is always a possibility to ask any moderator to provide with free access.

I will also update the original post with this new information.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ask to see it first

Corinne McKay, in her excellent blog Thoughts on Translation, recently had an informative post on whether translators should be paid by the word or by the hour.

After a paragraph detailing the advantages of pricing by the word, she starts to mention the disadvantages:

Pricing by the word has an obvious disadvantage from the translator’s side, which is that you are agreeing to work for a flat and fixed rate. So, when you get to those three pages of barely legible handwriting, or the document that’s been scanned, faxed and photocopied eight times before arriving in your inbox, you have to decide whether you need to negotiate a higher per-word rate.

All true, but that's why one should always ask to see the project first, and only then quote on it. In the case of handwritten documents, and the like, also, quoting by the source word makes little sense: much better to provide a quote by the target word (unless one wants to spend time counting words on paper).

My standard answer for requests such as those mentioned above is normally:

Our estimate for the work is X dollars, based on the information you provided and our standard rate of X cents / word. We calculate the word count on the source language, except for documents not available in editable electronic format, for which the word count is calculated on the target text. For handwritten and other hard-to-read documents, there is a minimum fee of X dollars / document. Please note that this is an estimate only. We can provide a binding quote, and confirm our availability for the job, only after seeing the actual documents to translate.