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Proofreading for EUR 0.45/page
Thread poster: Ugne Vitkute
Ugne Vitkute  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 00:19
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Jan 9, 2009

What do you think about the above rate? It was offered to me by an agency in Luxembourg outsourcing proofreading of court reports of European Court of Justice. The workload is 1000 C5 pages. The outsourcer claims there are about 10 errors to be reported in a query sheet per 500 pages, so there is virtually no work. There is no need to correct any of the mistakes as the text cannot be changed, so I only need to spot make-up and layout problems. I asked for an hourly rate because I actually have to read and read attentively all the pages to spot the split words, wrong fonts, etc. The outsourcer refused. What do you think?

[Edited at 2009-01-09 12:10 GMT]


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 05:19
English to Indonesian
+ ...
fairly logical argument Jan 9, 2009

imo, your argument for hourly rate is logical. if error ratio is acceptable for them, why do they bother to have it proofread anyway? they might only be looking for procedural formalities, i.e., every translation will be proofread etc. the problem is, we can't rely on statistics, i.e., low error ratio. we still have to go through the translation. personally, i will just refuse the offer and move on.

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 23:19
English to Croatian
+ ...
Below the low Jan 9, 2009

It's really a silly rate. Especially for such a material related to the European Court of Justice. It's not like you are proofreading cake recipes, is it ?

Perhaps you need your pay, and I don't wanna sound patronizing, but I wouldn't do it at that rate.

I charge proofreading exclusively by the hours, and it starts with $25 by the hour.

Good luck.


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Is this a typo? Jan 9, 2009

Ugne Vitkute wrote: What do you think about the above rate?

Unless there is some kind of typo involved, you were just quoted 4 1/2 Euro-cents per C5 page (.59 of a standard A4 page).

I don't understand, how could a qualified linguist agree to do anything for 4 cents? How could anyone? It takes up more than 4 cents of my time just to open a file.

Did I miss something?


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Ugne Vitkute  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 00:19
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry Jan 9, 2009

Janet Rubin wrote:

Ugne Vitkute wrote: What do you think about the above rate?

Unless there is some kind of typo involved, you were just quoted 4 1/2 Euro-cents per C5 page (.59 of a standard A4 page).

I don't understand, how could a qualified linguist agree to do anything for 4 cents? How could anyone? It takes up more than 4 cents of my time just to open a file.

Did I miss something?


I am very sorry, yes it was my typo. EUR 0.45 it had to be.


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Still seems low... Jan 9, 2009

Ugne Vitkute wrote: EUR 0.45 it had to be.

Better, but... this is 45 cents.

So, what you need to determine is, how much of your time is worth 45 cents?

Let's say you wanted to earn EUR 30 an hour, that would mean you'd have to be able to proofread 66 pages per hour (so just over one a minute).

Do you think that's possible? Have they shown you any examples of these pages?


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Ugne Vitkute  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 00:19
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No way in 1 min. Jan 9, 2009

Janet Rubin wrote:

Ugne Vitkute wrote: EUR 0.45 it had to be.

Better, but... this is 45 cents.

So, what you need to determine is, how much of your time is worth 45 cents?

Let's say you wanted to earn EUR 30 an hour, that would mean you'd have to be able to proofread 66 pages per hour (so just over one a minute).

Do you think that's possible? Have they shown you any examples of these pages?


Yes, I got one report in French for the layout comparison (but no document to be proofed, so I cannot say how many errors there can be) to take a look. And you know it is court report, so lots of new paragraphs, but other pages are full of text, lots of numbers, surnames, titles, etc. that all have to be verified against the original. So, one has to read very attentively and compare with the original, no way it can be done in 1 minute, esp. if there are errors that have to be reported in a separate query sheet.


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Your request seems justified Jan 9, 2009

Ugne Vitkute wrote: So, one has to read very attentively and compare with the original, no way it can be done in 1 minute, esp. if there are errors that have to be reported in a separate query sheet.

I think you have your answer then.

Speaking of which, have they replied to you regarding your request for an hourly rate? Did they indicate when they might reply?*

---

*Woops, I'm editing this because I see in your first post (now) that the outsourcer already refused.

I stick with my title though: your request is absolutely justified.

[Edited at 2009-01-09 12:37 GMT]


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Ugne Vitkute  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 00:19
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
hourly and page rates Jan 9, 2009

Their reply was 'I also know from experience how long this work takes and that is why I'm offering a rate per page.' Perhaps this is true, but I cannot say I believe it. On the other hand, if they know how fast the work goes, they can offer a corresponding hourly rate and be safe, too by stating the maximum hours to be allowed for the task.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:19
French to English
Cross purposes? Jan 9, 2009

Ugne Vitkute wrote:

Their reply was 'I also know from experience how long this work takes and that is why I'm offering a rate per page.' Perhaps this is true, but I cannot say I believe it. On the other hand, if they know how fast the work goes, they can offer a corresponding hourly rate and be safe, too by stating the maximum hours to be allowed for the task.


Obviously, one possibility is that they are offering a low rate for a great deal of work.

However, you first said that they can't correct anything, you're just asked to spot layout problems. Later, you said you needed to check all the names and numbers etc.

The client appears to ony be expecting you to report 20 errors. On the face of it, whizzing through a page a minute, stopping once in a while to log an error, while not my idea of fun and not exactly well-paid, does not appear to be rip-off either.

I wonder if there is not a misunderstanding. Or perhaps the sample you were given was not of the usual standard. If you are interested in the job/client, I wonder whether taking a page or 2 from the sample and telling the client exactly what you would need to report on in terms of layout errors might clarify the issue.
I don't know - it just seems that the client's perception is that very little effort is involved, and your perception is that there is a lot, so I wonder if you have the same specification in mind about the deliverable, and whether the job spec needs to be clarified. Just a thought. Good luck.


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:19
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Spend 1 minute per page Jan 9, 2009

If converting this to your hourly rate it means you can only afford to spend 1 minute on each page, tell them that this is what you will do and that anything on the page after this minute is over will just be left unread. If they are so sure that it takes no time at all, they should be fine with this. You then really would not be responsible for the end result. If they do not agree with this, they are taking you for a ride as they know that in reality it takes more time.

Another option - EUR 0.45 x 1000 is roughly a weekly salary. Give them 5 working days, everything left over after this time you are not responsible for unless they want to pay additionally. Again, if they do not agree, they know they are lying and you are better off without them.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 23:19
English to Croatian
+ ...
0.45 EUR worth responsibility Jan 9, 2009

I hope you are aware that you will be responsible for the flawless condition of each page, and it's a huge commitment for such a low rate.

The client is trying to buy your responsibility at 0.45 EUR per page. Not my vision of professionalism.

Just my humble opinion.


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Ugne Vitkute  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 00:19
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Requirements and expectations Jan 9, 2009

Charlie, checking layout and make-up problems is what they say in their email. However, in the attached file of specifications it is much more:

The checking of the proofs involves:
- page layout against FR (reference version),
- word-divisions,
- avoid splitting of figures and words,
- title levels, styles (have to follow the FR version),
- headers and titles (date, format, case number),
- names of advocate, judges, presidents (list will be provided),
- footnotes (correct numbering, footnote on the same column as its call-out),
- page numbering in general and in the table of contents (titles and page numbers correspond to the document),
- missing references according to author’s corrections in FR (to be indicated on a provided query sheet).

So, bearing in mind the above requirements, I do not believe it will go as fast as one minute per page.

Burrell, I am afraid that taking the job and doing it inadequately would be very unprofessional from my side. I like my job and I would like to make it well... However, your suggestion about offering this 5 day per job thing seems reasonable. Just, I am not sure I will manage to really read 200 pages per day, would you?


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
OT: "salary" Jan 9, 2009

Burrell wrote: EUR 0.45 x 1000 is roughly a weekly salary.

Hmmm, you live in the UK and you earn EUR 450 per week?

Aside from that, we don't know what the OP earns per week (or even per hour; I only put in my argument of a page/minute based on a desired rate of EUR 30 per hour, which was never confirmed or denied), so saying that's a "weekly salary" is quite an assumption.

[If she did indeed earn EUR 30 per hour as I postulated for argument's sake, and she worked 30 hours per week at that rate, she would be earning EUR 900 per week]


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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:19
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
proofreading or spec checking? Jan 9, 2009

Is what you're being asked to do actually proofreading (it sounds like it's not), or spec (specification)/layout checking, which means--as you say below--checking layout and make-up, bad breaks, etc?

I've done this sort of thing in the distant past, and once you get a "system" or rhythm going, it does go quite quickly. A few quick visual scans down the page is all it takes. I would say on a typical day it was certainly possible to get through about 500 pages, depending on the complexity, though mercifully, when I did this sort of thing in the past I rarely had to spend an entire 8-hour day doing nothing but checking layouts. It is pretty tedious.

The important thing is to NOT READ THE TEXT. Not only does this slow you down, but it makes it harder to catch the things you're actually being paid to look for!

Whether or not it is worth your time depends on how much you expect to make. It is *not* a highly skilled sort of task, so the market may not bear a highly skilled worker sort of wage for it.


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