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Average proofreading rates : medical -technical
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:17
Flemish to English
+ ...
Sep 18, 2007

Usually, I do not work alone but have MDs, professors of medicine acting as terminology-suppliers and proofreaders These people are used to ask about 50 euros/£ per consulation of about 20 minutes and not per hour.
So I was wondering what/how to pay these professionals for their contribution?
Should I pay them per hour ?
For technical translations, I paid an engineer 750 euros for reviewing a translation (as a subcontractor for an agency)of 80 pages worth 3350 euros. A fair price?

[Edited at 2007-09-18 10:46]


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:17
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
fair price of proofreading Sep 18, 2007

The average I pay is 20% - 30% of the amount I charge for a job. And I usually outsource proofreading to other linguist with a background in the subject field.
(so, not to a professional lawyer of doktor, but to a translator with legal or medical background).
For professionals I guess the amount you pay is a bonus on their already elevated salary, something they only do when they have some time or want to relax a bit??

As long as they accept your jobs, I guess they're happy with the money...

Ed


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:17
Dutch to English
+ ...
At the end of the day ... Sep 18, 2007

... I wouldn't expect them to work for less than what they can usually charge for their time doing their normal job.

Can't talk for doctors, engineers etc but as a lawyer, I'd personally find the rate very low - working on an assumed 300 words per page, it's only around EUR 0.03 per word. An ordinary proofreader earns that (at least for NL»EN).

Assuming the translation is very good - let's say you could proof a maximum of 2,000 words an hour (which is pushing it), it means a doctor, engineer or lawyer earning EUR 60,00 an hour - so certainly not great rates.

But if they are happy and doing a good job (because not all doctors, engineers, lawyers etc would necessarily do a good job), it may be extra pocket money for them or a welcome change of pace - so why not? Maybe their own line of business is slow. It's simply a matter of negotiation.

In response to your other question, no reason why you can't agree an hourly rate.




[Edited at 2007-09-18 12:58]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 04:17
French to Dutch
+ ...
My opinion Sep 18, 2007

In time proofreading generally takes about 1/3 of translation time. It depends of how the translation has been done, but you are asking for averages. Besides, you will have supplementary job handling, difficulties to find someone who is reliable and VERY long deadlines. In the normal translation industry, having a document proofread by an expert is not feasible, economically speaking. and even by a specialized translator, on the long run. Or do you have clients who pay 0.25 - 0.30 €/word? There is only one solution, become yourself specialized in some areas, deliver quality and have eventually another person have a quick look at it for typos and grammar, but cut all other overhead expenses.

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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:17
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
What does proofreading mean? Sep 18, 2007

I never offer proofreading. I might do if it meant proofreading, but it rarely does, in my experience at least - more like a heavy correction nightmare.

As Debs says, why earn less than for translating? You can apply your translation rate on an hour-by-hour basis according to how much time it takes you, but nobody will want to pay for that.


Mervyn


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:17
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Rate differentiation Sep 18, 2007

The people I've asked to proofread are professionals in other fields, who already earn a decent income as professor, gyneacologist, dentist, pharmacist, engineer, lawyer etc. They consider proofreading i.e. reviewing the translated text for correctness of content as an extra activity/income, not as a full-time occupation.
For a car with a star, you pay a bit more than for a car with a drakkar on it.
Some companies are willing and able to pay high rates for specialized texts, but you will not find these companies on proz.com.
You have to market your product in person to them as a result of team-work, not as I, the best and the brightest. I don't have to search for these people, I have already found them.
To illustrate the difference between an agency and a direct client/company: some years ago, I placed a bid for a construction specification. I asked some €7000 for about 120 pages. The construction company gave the translation to someone else, because it considered my bid too low and hence not professional.


[Edited at 2007-09-18 18:22]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 04:17
French to Dutch
+ ...
I am convinced of that Sep 18, 2007

Williamson wrote:

Some companies are willing and able to pay high rates for specialized texts, but you will not find these companies on proz.com.


Congratulations if you found some. But even then, cost price, hidden costs included, should not exceed the selling price. An example: some time ago a client asked me to have my translations verified by another person. The proofreader, a friend of mine, added lots of things and modified other things, with footnotes and remarks. I spent hours in deciding what I should keep and what I should replace by older translations and in cleaning the file (the hidden costs). Total costs were 150% of my invoice to the client. For a marketing text, subject: toys. It wasn't worth the money.

In general, subcontracting:
1) takes time (there is more project management, and clients don't want to wait two weeks for a 1000-word text, even if it is complicated)
2) can be dangerous, especially if you cannot count upon your subcontractor or if you aren't able to verify what you are delivering
3) is expensive (sometimes more than you think, there are hidden costs and don't forget the liability insurance)
4) is risky, because your subcontractor should be paid, generally before your clients are paying you and even if your clients don't pay.
It is another job than translating, it is business.


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