Re: Pricing Translation Costs

Subject: Re: Pricing Translation Costs
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 12:18:18 +0100

Dick (and Christine),

There are a few comments to this and one earlier message about
localization/translation.

First, the prices you mention make any translator cry; in fact, half the
rates are considered to be good, but you see way lower rates paid. Of
course, these agencies require highest quality. OK, there must be some
space for the editing, which is also paid by the agency.

Anyway, it is really a question where the risks of failure are higher, by
working with an agency, or by working with an individual, assumed that both
provide a comparable result. IMHO, the individual is preferrable, because
localization/translation is not a commodity - even if it is paid per
volume. It is really helpful to know who worked on the material, and
whether that person may be available for further development. In order to
do a good localizaiton, appropriate training is needed, and for this, it is
very helpful to know the people.

One reason why customers ask for the English version (or the original
version to be honest) is that there are too many bad products. Here,
particularly big manufacturers overdid the localizaiton (by even localizing
macro languages, and making language version incompatible). A very
widespread product is for example Microsoft Word. This made many companies
specifying one language version as their standard. In most cases, it is
English. Another reason why some companies ask for the original US product
is price. There can be enormous price differences between the original and
the localized version.

However, this anglocentricism must not prevent the manufacturer to get
sloppy. The rules are clear: Safety relevant stuff MUST be localized, and
manuals in the local language are more than just a nice to have add-on,
even if the product is not fully localized.


Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering AG
Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch or 100012 -dot- 44 -at- compuserve -dot- com



Bridging the Knowledge Gap



______________



>I forgot to mention I have a list of localization vendors as well. As
>you may have guessed from the number of responses you received, many,
>many companies today sell their products worldwide and localization is a
>must. Governments of some countries (France is one) won't even consider
>buying products unless they are completely localized.
>
>However, (and I'm sure this will surprise you) many offshore end-users
>also want the original ENGLISH version of the documentation. Why?
>According to several of our in-country sales offices, many end users
>have received incorrectly "translated" documents in the past and have
>had serious problems because of it. Consequently, they don't entirely
>trust the translated version of the documents and can read at least some
>of the English anyway. As you probably know, in many countries today,
>many people speak at least some English as well as their native
>language. English classes are *required* in some European countries.
>
>-dg
>




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