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proofreader's rates and duties
Thread poster: pokozy
Local time: 16:06
English to Russian
Jan 14, 2005

Could you explain for beginner what are the standard duties of proofreader? If it is a translated text, is it supposed to compare it with the original? And what are the average rates per word for this type of work?

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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:06
English to German
+ ...
Depends Jan 14, 2005

To decide what kind of proofreading level a document needs you need to consider a couple of things. Mainly, what did the client ask you to do? Does he want you to check the spelling, grammar fluency of the translation (unilingual check) or does he want you to verify that the translation is reflecting the source text (comparative check)? What kind of impression do you have when you read the first paragraphs of the translation? Is the text fluent or are there a lot of typos and misspellings?

I usually work on medical documents where accuracy is absolutely necessary. When I proofread another translator's work, I start with a unilingual check on spelling, grammar and fluency. Once I have finished that, I compare it against the source text to check for transfer and completeness.

It is advisable to charge proofreading (or revising) per hour. However, some clients don't want that and suggest pricing per word. If the translation is good and you don't need to change a lot you can agree on a per word price which should be somewhere around 20-30% of your translation rate per word. If the translation is really bad and you need to do it from scratch it is advisable to charge per hour or to proofread two or three paragraphs and to inform the client about the bad quality.




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baroni  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:06
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
It's true Jan 14, 2005

Nadja is absolutely right.

Don't forget to ask your customer (when he comes in touch with you) if the text was translated by a mother tongue or by a no native speaker.
It will help you to give a fair price and to calculate how much time you will need.

Good luck

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
This is the definition we use Jan 14, 2005

EDIT: Compare the entire translation against the original text for completeness, correction, stylistic accuracy, consistency (internal and with reference materials), proper terminology, lack of mistranslations and typos. Assure that instructions, specs and Q&A have been followed.

PROOF: Read the translation to check spelling, extended characters, high-level formatting, date and number formats, index, TOCs, and product names. Visually compare the entire text against the original in order to make sure that there is not text or graphics missing, and that no text is cut off.

Usual rates AFAIK are about (plus minus) 1/3 of rate for equal volume translation.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:06
German to English
+ ...
proofreader's rates and duties Jan 15, 2005

pokozy wrote:

Could you explain for beginner what are the standard duties of proofreader?

None... because there is no standard definition of "proofreader", unfortunately. At one time there was, but it now seems to have as many definitions as "democracy".

I offer my customers two forms of checking: essentially for the correctness of the translation in the first instance, and only for style (including punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc.) in the second (checking the translation includes these aspects as well). In the first case, I check the translation against the original; in the second, I check the final text without reference to the original, although it is good to have the original as well, if there is one - not infrequently, though, a customer will ask me to check a document written directly in English by a non-native speaker.

I reserve "proofreading" for its original meaning, the reading of proofs, and don't offer that service.


[Edited at 2005-01-15 08:36]

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Olaf Reibedanz  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:06
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Some things to bear in mind... Jan 16, 2005

Here are some important factors to take into account:
- complexity of the text
- quality of the translation
- deadline

As regards the rate, you can charge either
- by the hour (20 - 50 EUR/USD is common)
- by target word (0,02 – 0,05 EUR/USD is common)

As a general rule, I would not accept any proofreading assignment and proofreading rate before I have seen the text. (The same holds true for translation assignments, of course).

Hope this gives you a better idea

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