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Charging fees: include profreading?
Thread poster: Sophie Briere

Sophie Briere  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:39
French to English
+ ...
Jul 30, 2004

Hi,

I have a question concerning fees: I just started out as a translator and had my first job a couple of weeks ago. I billed the client on a per word basis and also an hourly rate for proofreading. I had sent them my rates beforehand of course but they are now surprised that I billed them for proofreading.
I had put - the job was from FR to EN: "lecture et relecture" and explained to them that it refers to me proofreading the document once to make sure I didn't make any mistakes and doing a second quick scan.
It all makes sense to me but apparently not to them.
Is this very common? How can I not charge for proofreading?
The company's answer was: "It is unusal to proofread what you have translated yourself."

Any thoughts?


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:39
Member (2002)
English to German
Proofreading Jul 30, 2004

Indeed your translation rate should include proofreading. Good translations are publishable and of course you must have double-checked their quality.
You only charge proofreading fees if you proofread the translation of another translator.


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Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:39
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
... own translation including proofreading Jul 30, 2004

I agree with Andy's posting.

Proofreading your own translation prior to submitting it to the client goes without saying. Before you return the translation to the client (agency or direct customer) you have to ensure it is correct (grammar, punctuation, omissions, etc.) and as such your total charge (per word or per line or whatever) should include your own proofreading.

Chargeable proofreading is for example to check other translators's work before the agency passes it on to their end client.

HTH

and P.S. Please make sure you have either a purchase order in advance or send your direct client a quick confirmation or order acceptance & charges prior to commencing to avoid any "surprises".

[Edited at 2004-07-30 15:08]


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LindaMcM  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:39
Swedish to German
+ ...
I agree... Jul 30, 2004

... I also only charge for the proofreading of documents which are not made by myself.

I take the proofreading of my own texts and translations for granted.

Linda


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
Agree with Andy! Jul 30, 2004

Andy Lemminger wrote:

Indeed your translation rate should include proofreading. Good translations are publishable and of course you must have double-checked their quality.
You only charge proofreading fees if you proofread the translation of another translator.


Or, I would add, if changes are made to your translation and then you are required to verify that everything in it is correct. But the proofreading to make sure that one is delivering an excellent-quality job should be included in the rate one charges per word!


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:39
German to English
+ ...
Agree that self-proofing should be included, but Jul 30, 2004

you can charge extra for proofreading a typeset copy of your own work. At least when English texts are typeset in Germany, errors often creep in that are not the translator's.

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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
agree with everyone so far... Jul 30, 2004

Daina Jauntirans wrote:
you can charge extra for proofreading a typeset copy of your own work. At least when English texts are typeset in Germany, errors often creep in that are not the translator's.



Or you can add this cost to your total charges if you will be doing the formatting yourself, e.g. if you translate in formats such as PowerPoint or Quark.

But a straight translation in Word format definitely entails you will be delivering a document free of spelling and grammar mistakes, even if your client is a translation agency that will conduct their own quality control.

By the way, the client sounds very decent, I can imagine others may have been less courteous to you in this situation...if I were you I would do my best to keep them as a client

Hope this helps,

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EUTI
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com


[Edited at 2004-07-30 17:15]


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:39
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
So do I Jul 30, 2004

LiMaBi wrote:

I take the proofreading of my own texts and translations for granted.

Linda


Absolutely.


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Giacomo Camaiora  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:39
English to Italian
+ ...
Agree as above Jul 30, 2004

Susana Galilea wrote:

By the way, the client sounds very decent, I can imagine others may have been less courteous to you in this situation...if I were you I would do my best to keep them as a client



Yes, the real surprise is the quiet reaction of the client, as performing both translation and proofreading is a bit abnormal for a translator. By definition, proofreading must be performed by someone else than the translator.

Giacomo


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
French to English
+ ...
It's part of the job. Jul 30, 2004

I agree with the others - proofreading is part of translation and should not be billed separately.

Paula


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Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:39
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I agree. Jul 30, 2004

Susana Galilea wrote:

But a straight translation in Word format definitely entails you will be delivering a document free of spelling and grammar mistakes, even if your client is a translation agency that will conduct their own quality control.


I agree 100%.


Sormane


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Cecilia Benitez  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
A good translation is always re-read by the author Jul 31, 2004

Elise56 wrote:

Hi,

I have a question concerning fees: I just started out as a translator and had my first job a couple of weeks ago. I billed the client on a per word basis and also an hourly rate for proofreading. I had sent them my rates beforehand of course but they are now surprised that I billed them for proofreading.
I had put - the job was from FR to EN: "lecture et relecture" and explained to them that it refers to me proofreading the document once to make sure I didn't make any mistakes and doing a second quick scan.
It all makes sense to me but apparently not to them.
Is this very common? How can I not charge for proofreading?
The company's answer was: "It is unusal to proofread what you have translated yourself."

Any thoughts?


Hi Elise56,

I think that a good translation must always be read by the author, and we must be sure that it has no errors, before delivery to the client. And I would say that the price/word normally include this practice. Proofreading is usually done by another translator, and many agencies have their own proofreaders. It is my point of view, sorry but I would not charge for proofreading my own translation.


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