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Let's say the charge is 5 cents per word for translating a social studies
curriculum, not using translation software. What does this 5 cents per word
charge include? For example, does this charge include the actual typing and
formatting of the document in addition to the translating, or would the
typing/formatting be an additional cost to the straight translation fee?
This can be a sticky topic but I will tell you what I think anyway. I am a
technical translator - full time and I feed my family of 4 with this. I find
5 cents (source word? I assume) slave wages unless you are currently living
in India or Kazakhstan or something. Whether this includes typing is a funny
question since unless you are just thinking the translation and recording on
some neuro-hard disk, I would think you would be typing it at the same time
(you're not considering writing by hand I hope). As for format, depending on
the original format of the document, translation memory software will
usually retain the original format so that after you are done and export
your work, the format is there and usually only needs a few minor tweaks
(there are some very reasonably priced applications out there). If you do
not use translation memory software, you would probably only need to write
over the original text and then do tweaking afterwards (length of page,
textboxes, etc.) providing you have the software the document is written in.
However, for terminology consistency's sake, I would not recommend this.
Basically I would translate some text pages and see how long it takes in
relation to the pay and see if it is worth the time at all. How much do you
need to live and pay your taxes and have enough to put in your pension plan
and insurances and still get some sleep, too? This should help you decide
how much you need to earn on the work you do - unless you are into labours
of love... I know this sounds simplistic but I truly believe that my time is
better spent marketing myself than tying up my time with low paying jobs. I
know some customers use the argument that this is a big job and they should
not have to pay as much because of the bulk but this is a faulty argument
because unless there are a lot of repetitions in the text, the translation
does not get any easier just because there is more - and esp with a text
book that goes from one topic to another for each of which you will have to
do terminology research.
Technical Translation and Documentation
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