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Proofreading and word counts
Thread poster: Jesús Marín Mateos

Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 16, 2007

Hi,
I am a bit confused because I have been offered a large proofreading job and have had to refuse it. The original word count was 23,000 words and the Spanish translation was 28,000. I agreed on the rate but they wanted to pay the original word count and I said no so no job.
This has happended before for short documents where there were 50 words difference but in this case it is 5,000 difference... anyone has got any similar experience?????
Regards.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I don't mind either way Nov 16, 2007

Jesús Marín Mateos wrote:
The original word count was 23,000 words and the Spanish translation was 28,000. I agreed on the rate but they wanted to pay the original word count and I said no.


The thing with proofreading is that you're really not being paid per word but per phrase, and there should be more or less the same number of phrases in both texts, even if the one has a lot more words in it. Remember, you're not typing... you're only reading and scraping with your finger.


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abufaraz
Pakistan
Local time: 17:09
English to Urdu
+ ...
It is according to the Source Text. Nov 16, 2007

In majority of the cases, the words are counted from the source text for translation as well as proof reading,...... At least I do like that.

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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It goes agains the proofreader Nov 16, 2007

At the end of the day I would have to read 5000 words more so to me, even if some of you seem to like it against all reason, does not make sense.
Regards.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:09
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
Why don't you charge by the hour? Nov 17, 2007

That why the word count doesn't matter, but the quality of the document you are checking does.

Actually, since I switched to this method, most of the time the customer pays less for the job, but you are protected if the translation turns out to be terrible and takes up more of your time than it should, or in your case, when it will obviously take longer to read 5,000 words more.

However, when I have charged by the word, it has been on target count, which, of course, in my case (Spanish to English) is less than the source.


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Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:09
Polish to English
+ ...
To Samuel Nov 17, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Remember, you're not typing... you're only reading and scraping with your finger.



If only that were always true...

[Edited at 2007-11-17 18:53]


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Common expansion factor? Nov 17, 2007

I don't see anything wrong with charging based on the target or the source word count in a scenario like this. You do, however, need to make it clear what you're using. It is extremely unlikely that the source text and the target text will have the exact same word count in any language pair. There is nothing wrong with saying that your rate is $X per word if it's based on the English word count and $Y if it's based on the Spanish word count.

That said, in your specific case, the word count between the source and the target has expanded about 22% (I'm making an assumption that this was text translated from English to Spanish, please correct me if I misunderstood). That's rather large and suggests to me that the translator might not be particularly good. I might mention that in discussions with my potential client.


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maryblack  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Nikki Nov 18, 2007

I also charge by the hour for proofreading and have found, just like Nikki, that it is usually cheaper for the client. But that way, when you're faced with an awful text, you're sure to be paid fairly. Otherwise, again I agree, I want to be paid for the wordcount of the text that I'm proofreading - the one in the target language. Another policy of mine with proofreading is that I insist on seeing the translated text before agreeing to proofread because there are some texts that are just beyond help and basically need to be re-translated.

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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes you are right... Nov 18, 2007

Thanks you are right Paul..... I did say I would charge on the target language word count and they said no. So I had to refuse the job (someone else might be doing it I guess). I think 15%-20% is the right difference between languages (at least my experience) and the fact that it was a large project (23,000 words source) made the difference quite self evident...thanks.

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