I have never dealt with Japanese civil service jobs, but I do have two comments.
(1) I would interpret your quoted contract language to mean: This is
our budget for the translation, and here is how we have arrived at the
number. I would have expected simply a statement of the budget, so
perhaps the rest was hastily added for the benefit of the translator
(a foreigner) because they anticipate (察する) that you might need
additional explanation, and after calling around to agencies they
realize that their rate is much lower than what a professional
translator would normally charge. I would not worry about the
calculation other than to note that they are paying roughly half (or
less) of your normal rate, and I would make sure they understand that
(2) My 24 years as a freelancer have taught me there are mainly two
points of negotiation: rate and time. If the rate is set, perhaps you
can negotiate the time. In other words, considering that you are
normally busy with your regular work and this job is partly pro bono,
you can offer to do their translation when you are not otherwise
occupied with jobs paying your full rate. Because of the historical
nature of the material, I suspect you will have to work closely with
the museum staff to get the personal and place names correct, and to
verify background information that may not appear on the Japanese
labels but is essential for a satisfactory English explanation. I'm
sure that will take a lot of extra time, and they can hardly complain
if the time frame is extended.
Civil servants (and museum curators) live in a different milieu from
the business world, and I expect they would be unaccustomed to the
process of outsourcing a translation. Unlike Chris, I would assume
that their intentions are sincere, but their approach is awkward.
Nothing more sinister than that. If I were you, I would at least ask
for some other kind of compensation such as a free pass for a party of
3-5 persons to visit the museum several times a year, etc. (i.e.,
something they can provide at no additional cost to them).
Good luck on this project, if you decide to accept.
2012/2/25 sls <hiz--t...@islandnet.com>: