Re: Translation costs

Subject: Re: Translation costs
From: Dick Gaskill <dickg -at- AG3D -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 14:54:27 -0800

That's all very well, but if you use freelancers, the coordination would
be a nightmare when you are localizing to several languages. You'd have
to find an in-country native speaker for each language you are
localizing to, manage the work of each, coordinate schedules, etc. and
make sure each can deliver the same file format and/or use tools you
use. Yes, I know about tools like Trados, but not all languages are
available on all platforms and/or OSes, and you have to have file
compatibility. There is a LOT more to consider when choosing a
localization vendor than just cost. I have a list of 20 questions that
I ask. A few people on this list have asked for it and I've sent it to
them. I won't clutter up the list by posting it unless a lot of people
ask for it.

It takes time to manage localization. Adding several translators to my
contract staff, even temporarily, would simply not be realistic. Yes,
it costs a bit more to use a vendor, but this way I am assured of
quality work, on time, and with considerably fewer hours of my time than
it would take when using freelancers because thee is only one contact.
Also unless the freelancers are tested and certified as they are in many
agencies, how would I determine that they understand my company's
technology well enough to translate my documents accurately? I simply
don't have time to train seven to twelve different translators in
high-end 3D graphics. An agency is the best solution for me.


From: Max Wyss [SMTP:prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH]
Sent: Friday, March 20, 1998 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: Translation costs

Geoff Hart asked me to forward the following message to the
discussion, as
he is having problems accessing the list. I guess this could
contribute to
the discussion.

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'll throw my vote behind Max Wyss on this issue. There are
>and bad translation agencies, just as there are good and bad
>freelancers. Don't let someone's employment status make your
>for you. Simplistically: Freelancers offer one unbeatable
>over agencies: you're not paying for the agency's overhead
>Large agencies offer one unbeatable advantage over freelancers:
>can offer complete project management and localisation services
>large and complex projects. For jobs somewhere in the middle,
>have to shop around to determine whether you need an agency.
>As for costs, I'll chime in that I've mostly seen rates of
>$0.10 and $0.30 (Canadian) per word in the source language;
>that's for Montreal (Canada). Personally, I freelance at $0.20
>(French to English). If you're managing a project, my own
>is that you'll need to budget either time or money for (1)
>proofreading to make sure the translation is complete and
>(you wouldn't believe some of the unedited things I'm given to
>translate) and (2) localisation to ensure that the language is
>appropriate to your actual audience. Neither of these is
trivial, and
>if you're planning to internationalize your product, a
freelancer is
>unlikely to have expertise in enough markets to help you; if
>only targeting one market, a freelancer working in that market
>probably handle the localisation issues automatically during
>translation. (Never let someone outside the market attempt
>localisation for you; for example Quebec French is very
>from French, Swiss, and Belgian French, and a Quebec-based
>would likely prove a poor choice for translations aimed at any
>those markets.)
>--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
>geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

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