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Proofreading - should I charge hourly or per word?
Thread poster: andre_
andre_
United States
Local time: 18:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 25, 2003

Hi guys,



I have a dilema. I have a potential job that requires proofreading, but I do not know whether to charge by the hour or by the word? I have to get back to this company on a quote or rate. The languages I would be proofreading would be from English to French and vice versa. Can anyone help me out by telling me how much they would charge and how they would charge? I thank everyone that can help in advance. Take care.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:28
German to English
Ask them to show you a sample May 25, 2003

Hello andre,
I prefer to charge per word for proofreading. The rate for proofreading is usually much lower than the rate for translating. But whatever you do, you should take a look at the text that is to be proofread before settling on a price. You may end up with a very badly translated text that could take longer to edit than to retranslate.
Best wishes, Kim


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:28
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I presume an average text May 25, 2003

may be easily proofread at 1,200 words/hour (and I've found it useful to make this clear at the outset). Nonetheless, there are clients who expect more careful work and tell me they don't mind an output of 1,000 on something more complicated. That way, even before I begin, a rough estimate has been arrived at. And if you're proofreading a good colleague, time can actually be cut by almost half.

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Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:28
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
By the word... May 26, 2003

Hello Andre,

If anything, charging by the word allows for a more concrete purchase order from the client and invoice from you to them. It can avoid future misundertsandings.

We charge by the word unless it's less than 1,000 words, in which case we charge a simple minimum fee.

Good luck!

Todd and Monica


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:58
English to Tamil
+ ...
It depends May 26, 2003

If you charge by the hour, there is the problem of the client accepting the number of hours you have claimed as being spent on hte job. Very difficult, if not impossible to control, should you be doing the work at home. If you can go to the client's premises and do the work there, you can charge by the hour plus taxi fares both sides plus tea, coffee, meals at the appropriate period as applicable. As you are charging by the hour, there is an addtional possibility that the client may get some of his small translation jobs done, say a fax or similar.
Otherwise, word rate is better. Here too the rate should be at least 50% of the actual word rate for original translation. On the other hand, the hour-rate for the original work will be the same as for proof reading.
Good luck.


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:28
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I always charge by the hour May 26, 2003

Since some clients have the nerve to send you an unedited machine translation, I\'d say it\'s safer to charge by the hour. I for one always do.

If they send me a good text, translated by a professional translator, the total amount always turns out less than if I had charged per word. If they send me a lousy text, they will inevitably pay more. But in any case, you get an honest rate.



HTH





Joeri

[Edited at 2003-05-26 07:04]


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:28
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I charge per word. May 26, 2003

I have always found it easier to charge per word. Per hour makes it more complicated to invoice.

Make sure though that you ask the client to sent you a representative sample of the translation, so that you can set the proofing price. Some translations are so bad that you'd be better off just doing the translation yourself. I always give them a range of an amount per word up to an average amount that I would normally charge for a translation amount (the normal translation fee per word would be higher for say a technical or very specialized translation). If the quality of the sample is good, you drop to the low end of the range; if bad to the high end of the range. Am I making sense?

I hope that this is helpful to you.
Lucinda.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
per hour May 26, 2003

I always charge per hour.

I never have had a client coming back and questioning my count. If the track changes function from Word is used, this acts as an indication of the amount of changes made.

I always tell them that I tend to edit at between 500 and 1000 words per hour, based on past experience with many hundreds of thousands of words. The 500 rate covers a machine translated job (I've had at least one passed off on me!) AND texts by non-native school-leavers with misguided notions of what writing - in English - is all about.

Another approach is to define a LEVEL of proofreading/editing: comprehensive, spot-check, etc (an excellent book on the subject: by Brian Mossop "Editing and Revising for Translators (?)", St. Jerome Publishing I believe).

HTH:-)


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Maria Knorr
Local time: 18:28
English
+ ...
Taxi fair? May 26, 2003

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

If you can go to the client\'s premises and do the work there, you can charge by the hour plus taxi fares both sides plus tea, coffee, meals at the appropriate period as applicable.


If you worked a \"normal\" job would you also charge for getting there, lunch, etc.? I know I don\'t, but may be I should. I am sorry but this just doesn\'t make sense.


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Magda Alberti
United States
Local time: 18:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
How much? May 26, 2003

I always charge by the hour, but how much is appropiate? I never know! I have read all replies and nobody mentioned real rates.
Depending on level of difficulty, I charge either US$50, US$40 or US$25 per hour. How does it sound?
I'm interested in receiving your comments malberti@fox.net. I don't know if this is approved by ProZ.com. if it is, please do so.
Magda


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Per hour / per word May 26, 2003

I charge US$40 per hour when I don't know who did the translation and US$0.04 per word when I'm familiar with the quality and style of the person who did it.

None of my clients have ever questioned the amount of time I spend revising texts (800 to 1,000 words per hour average).


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:58
English to Tamil
+ ...
Come on Mashulya May 27, 2003

The underlying assumption is that you are not a regular employee of the client. If you are, there is no question of charging anything special, be it by the hour or by the word. You do get a salary plus perks, which all told should cause the employer to spend an amount equivalent to the salary.

I am talking of a freelance translator and I know what I am talking about. I have been doing it for many years. Here goes:

It is only since Feb 2002, that I am using a computer and receive and send back jobs through email. Prior to that I used to give only handwritten translations. When the client protested and told me to get them typed, I used to refuse. As my handwriting is very good, the client had no problem in accepting handwritten work. In fact for one client I translated more than 100000 words over a period of 4 months and all this carried out in the client\'s premises during his normal working hours of 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM, six days a week. The advantage of this arrangement was that the client\'s sensitive documents did not leave his premises. Daily after around 2 hours of work, my sheets will be collected by a typist and typed in a computer. At around 4.30 PM the typed sheets will come to me for proofreading. In that way all were happy. My hourly rate was based on my word rate price for 2000 words for 8 hours.

Now if I am called for a proofreading job, I would charge on the same basis. The client will see me at work and there will be no problem of billing.

Have I succeeded in making myself clear?



Quote:


On 2003-05-26 13:50, Mashulya wrote:

Quote:
Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:



If you can go to the client\'s premises and do the work there, you can charge by the hour plus taxi fares both sides plus tea, coffee, meals at the appropriate period as applicable.




If you worked a \"normal\" job would you also charge for getting there, lunch, etc.? I know I don\'t, but may be I should. I am sorry but this just doesn\'t make sense.





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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:58
English to Tamil
+ ...
What's the problem Magda? May 27, 2003

How many words can you translate per hour if it is an original work? What\'s your word rate? Multiply both. That is your hourly rate. When you are charging by the hour, it is immaterial whether you are proofreading or doing original translation.

In fact I go a step further. At times, when you are doing work in the client\'s place, the client make you sit idle, while they are collecting the documents. I gently remind them that I am paid by the hour and they are actually wasting their time as my meter has already started. The effect is nothing short of spectacular. Documents materialize in no time.

Your hourly rate is a function of your actual translation speed and is the same as it would be for an original translation job paid by the hour at the client\'s premises.

If you go in for the work at your house, then also the above reasoning holds good.







Quote:


On 2003-05-26 14:57, Magda wrote:

I always charge by the hour, but how much is appropiate? I never know! I have read all replies and nobody mentioned real rates.

Depending on level of difficulty, I charge either US$50, US$40 or US$25 per hour. How does it sound?

I\'m interested in receiving your comments malberti@fox.net. I don\'t know if this is approved by ProZ.com. if it is, please do so.

Magda





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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:28
Flemish to English
+ ...
Combination of both May 31, 2003

Ensures that you are paid for your time, if there are not that many words and ensures that you are paid well if there are.

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