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Proofreading by a language native
Thread poster: Alexei Abramov

Alexei Abramov
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:59
English to Russian
Mar 17, 2006

Hello!

A client of mine has asked me if I could have my translations of his texts into English proofread by a person native in this language. Of course, the client first of all wants to know how much it could cost him.

It is a rather new thing to me, so I'd like to ask a piece of advice as to the terms of this service and its cost.

Thank you!


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Kevin Kelly  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
Member (2005)
Russian to English
+ ...
Ideal world vs. real world Mar 17, 2006

In an ideal world no translator should attempt to translate into any language other than his/her native. However, the reality is that this is done very frequently, particularly in the Russian>English language pair. That being said, any translation done into a language that is not the translator's native language should be edited/proofread by an experienced native speaker.

I personally am convinced that the fairest way to do this is for the editor/proofreader to charge by the hour, and I would expect a decent editor to charge somewhere between $25-40/hr. This way, if the original translation is of good quality, the work can be done quickly at relatively low additional cost to the client. If the original translation is poor, the editor/proofreader will be fairly compensated, and perhaps the client will learn the lesson that if quality is important, it's best to first engage a native speaking translator.

My personal opinion, of course.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
German to English
+ ...
Proofreading by a language native Mar 17, 2006

I charge 50% of my normal translation fee if I'm expected to check the translation against the original, and 25% if I'm only expected to read through the translation for style and correct the errors typically made by a non-native.

I prefer this method as the cost is more transparent to the customer, but charging by the hour is probably more popular.

Marc


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Flemish to English
+ ...
Anglosaxon vision Mar 17, 2006

Kevin Kelly wrote:

In an ideal world no translator should attempt to translate into any language other than his/her native. However, the reality is that this is done very frequently, particularly in the Russian>English language pair. That being said, any translation done into a language that is not the translator's native language should be edited/proofread by an experienced native speaker.


My personal opinion, of course.


In an ideal world every translator should attempt to translate into a language which he/she has learnt upto a native level. After all, "native" does not equal "native profoundness".
If you do not translate into the target language of your language combination, you do not practise, you do not make the effort to look up words, grammatical and stylistic problems, ... and you forget the intricasies of the target-language.
That way, you will never attain "native profoundness"...
It is not because you copied a language from your mother that you should translate only into that language.
My mother can bearly write her own language. It all depends upon your educational level and environment in which you grew up.

[Edited at 2006-03-17 12:04]


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 21:59
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Good advice Mar 17, 2006

Kevin Kelly wrote:

In an ideal world no translator should attempt to translate into any language other than his/her native. However, the reality is that this is done very frequently, particularly in the Russian>English language pair. That being said, any translation done into a language that is not the translator's native language should be edited/proofread by an experienced native speaker.

I personally am convinced that the fairest way to do this is for the editor/proofreader to charge by the hour, and I would expect a decent editor to charge somewhere between $25-40/hr. This way, if the original translation is of good quality, the work can be done quickly at relatively low additional cost to the client. If the original translation is poor, the editor/proofreader will be fairly compensated, and perhaps the client will learn the lesson that if quality is important, it's best to first engage a native speaking translator.

My personal opinion, of course.


I also live in a country where many non-natives are convinced that their English is completely native. Proofreading jobs are that in name alone-they are usually a fancy way to say 'retranslation'. People pick their terms out of the dictionary, since native gut feeling is absent for obvious reasons. They are convinced they have done a superb job and it is, until a native starts to read it. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so to speak.
So, as you say, if it really is a good job (am still waiting for one of those-in the meantime I avoid accepting 'proofreading' jobs, since they are usually created when the agency sees a looming disaster-and that includes work done by natives who weren't up to the job) then it won't cost much and if it is in fact a retranslation then the 'proofreader' will be paid fairly.

[Edited at 2006-03-17 13:33]


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Alexei Abramov
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:59
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Mar 18, 2006

Thank you for your answers, now I have sufficient information to provide to my client.

As to the discussion of whether a non-native should attempt translating into a foreign language or not, well, I believe that the top quality job can only be done by a native speaker. How ever I also agree that translating into to your native language only is not very good for your skills.

Ultimately, it is all up to the customer. If he wants the best and can afford paying the top rate, he hires a native speaker.

In my case I was told that the Englishman, who read my translation, said it was ok, but made some editing, however. Whatever the editing might be:)


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E.LA
Spanish to German
+ ...
Knowing the price in advance Mar 18, 2006

I do a lot of proofreading in German. I charge a word-price as this is the best way for the translator or agency to know the price in advance.
I do not agree with hour price - as it is my advantage if I read quickly and my disadvantage if I need more time.

I proofread a lot of translations made by Germans, means already native speakers - and I still find a lot to correct.
For two reasons:
1. Two pair of eyes see more than one.
2. The translator is a little bit (sometimes more) fixed in the other language, while I read the German text without influence of the source language.

Good agencies should use proofreaders all the time!

Though I must say there are a lot of proofreaders who change nonsense only to show that they are busy


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