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Revision: Words per hour ratio
Thread poster: Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)

Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:54
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Jan 2, 2006

Dear all,

I am aware that there are several topics discussing this aspect.
However, I feel like agencies currently try to raise the words per hour volume for revision jobs. I had almost identical issues with two major European agencies, that ordered some revision work, calculated on a 2,000 words per hour ratio, though all previous work was calculated on 1,500 words per hour.
Not only, that they drop the freelancer's price by 33% in doing so, but they also try to establish that ratio without giving notice.
Are you aware of similar tactics?
Or have other agencies increased their words per hours ratios more frankly??
Is this an industry or European wide trend or are there only individual agencies doing this?

I am keen to hear what happens out there!!!
Happy New Year - though)

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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 22:54
German to English
+ ...
Words per hour - always the same? Jan 2, 2006

I always quote proofreading jobs individually - I would not say I can do N words per hour at a certain hourly rate, since you can never tell until you see the document what kind of speed you can work at. For a really first-class text with very few changes needed and which you are only revising in your A language (without comparing to the source language), 1,500-2,000 words per hour may be realistic. The sad fact is most of the jobs - at least most of the ones I get - for proofreading have been really incompetently translated - and in such cases I have no qualms about quoting up to 75% of my translation rate to proof these - the agents are well aware that most of the stuff they send out for revision is low quality and are often happy to pay good rates for revision if the translation is truly bad - seeing as the alternative is to pay full rate for a new translation.
I also use these high rates to tell agents (via their pockets) not to keep sending me badly translated work to proof, but to send me the stuff to translate in the first place, which is much less stressful.

[Edited at 2006-01-02 15:34]

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Teresa Reinhardt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:54
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Quote individually Jan 4, 2006

I agree w/James; I never quote an editing/proofing job until I have seen it. If it's really bad, I ask for my hourly rate and bill actual time spent.
To answer your question, I find it totally unacceptable for agencies to lower fees unilaterally and without notification. However, if you need their work, you may not have much leeway.
Otheewise, I would inform them of my rates (the beginning of the new year is a good time, or else when you receive a request for proofing) and ask them to confirm them in the work order.


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