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Thread poster: Angel_7

Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:26
French to English
+ ...
Mar 24, 2006

I know everyone will differ with this, but if I take proofreading to mean checking a translation for accuracy against the source text, how long should it roughly take to do 1000 words. As I am new in the business I know that at some point I may be offered a job with "x" number of words and asked how long it will take me and i really have no idea. Does anyone have any idea for both general and specialist texts?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Depends Mar 25, 2006

It depends completely on the quality of the translation provided to you, and that is infinitely variable. Your fees should reflect the same.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:26
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Dangerous Mar 25, 2006

with unknown source. Always look at the text first before you put a price on it. Unless the customer agrees to pay by the our.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:26
Dutch to English
+ ...
Reasonable quality: 1 hour Mar 25, 2006

I agree with the above postings. However, I use an hour per 1000 words as a rough guide. I always charge per hour and I always look at the translation first. If the quality is really bad, I decline it.

I also only proofread for a maximum of 6 hours per day in blocks of 2 hours with a proper break in-between. If I don't, my quality will suffer.

[Edited at 2006-03-25 07:16]

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Ricki Farn
Local time: 09:26
Member (2005)
English to German
Yes, 1 hour Mar 25, 2006

That is also what several agencies I know calculate for their inhouse copy editing

But it can be anything, really - I have done copy editing jobs that took longer than translating from scratch...

BTW I have never understood the distinction between "copy editing" and "proofreading", but in any case I refer to what you describe

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Angus Woo
Local time: 15:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
Like everyone has just said -- it all depends Mar 26, 2006

If the editor is good, then you are lucky. One thousand words won't cost you much time.

Yet, if otherwise, then it just might take you more than 2 hrs.

Take a look at the job before you quote is probably a better idea, unless of course you know the client very well.

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Trevor Butcher
Local time: 09:26
Depends on the style, too Mar 27, 2006

I find that one of the main variables is the style.

If it is formal (contract/certificate) then most translators seem to handle it reasonably well and any changes are relatively easy to implement. If the translator is OK, then you may easily do more than 1000 words/hour.

If the text is business or a thesis, then around 1000 words might be reasonable.

Indirect sales type texts, or those aimed at people not familiar with the subject generally take longer.

Direct sales or the more artistic or adventurous texts might drag you down to as low as 400 words / hour as you check references, hunt for that more appropriate word.

It can also depend on how familiar the translator is with the language, I check a lot of Poles translating into English and I spend a lot of time on informal texts just rewording Polish phrases and removing commas. Not that I don't see some really good translators, it's just something to be aware of.

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