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Correcting someone else's translation
Thread poster: eccotraduttrice
eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 15:23
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 19, 2007

A regular client of mine had me correct a bad translation that someone else had done for her. While I didn't exactly have to re-translate from scratch, I did do some very significant rewriting and retranslating. I'm just not sure how to charge for this -- by the word doesn't exactly seem appropriate, but I don't know what the alternative would be. Any ideas?

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simona dachille  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:23
Italian to English
charge by the hour Mar 19, 2007

cantare wrote:

A regular client of mine had me correct a bad translation that someone else had done for her. While I didn't exactly have to re-translate from scratch, I did do some very significant rewriting and retranslating. I'm just not sure how to charge for this -- by the word doesn't exactly seem appropriate, but I don't know what the alternative would be. Any ideas?



For these situations I would charge by the hour.


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Marcin Wierzbicki  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
English to Polish
+ ...
hourly rate/50% of standard rate for translation Mar 19, 2007

some alternatives..

mw


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Nicolas Coyer  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 15:23
Spanish to French
+ ...
Hourly rate Mar 19, 2007

If you've spent a lot of time rewriting the whole thing, you should charge by the hour.
Some client automatically offer this option when they know it's going to be "heavy editing".


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Véronique L.  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:23
English to French
+ ...
charge per hour Mar 19, 2007

To my opinion, charging proofreading per word doesn't really mean anything as it all depends on the quality of the target text you get. In this case, I would advise you to tell your client that the translation was particularly bad, explain why and charge per hour.

Hope I've been of any help...

Good luck!

Véronique


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eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 15:23
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone! Mar 19, 2007

The client was very aware of the poor quality of the translation. In fact, the client actually asked me to confirm her suspicion that the translator was not a native speaker of English as he had claimed to be.

Now I have to come up with an hourly rate, which I've never had to do before.

Thanks again for all your input!


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:23
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Rule of thumb Mar 19, 2007

A wdely used rule of thumb for proofreading/reviewing is 1,000 words per hour for average quality, 1,500 if the text is already og good qiuality.

Yours sounds like a 500 words per hour job.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:23
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Hourly rate Mar 19, 2007

It is a good idea to always calculate how much you earn or intend to earn per hour - at least on average. The hourly rate should be the same for both translating and proofreading, in other words what an hour of your time is worth to you! Proofreading is only "cheaper" in the sense that, in the event that the text is well translated, you can proofread twice as much in an hour as you can translate.

How much do you need to earn in a year/month/week? How many hours per week are you willing to work in order to earn the weekly amount that you need to earn? Then a simple division will produce an hourly rate. Don't forget to calculate on the basis of 46 weeks per year, not 52, to allow for public holidays and annual holiday allowance.


Astrid


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 22:23
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
my two cents Mar 19, 2007

1) First do not rush - evaluate how "good/bad" is the text, but in great detail, not just "taking a look". It is almost like Murphy's law logics that the text to be proofread at first glance seems not too bad even if the quality is up to the average. The usual mistake I used to make - to tell the client "OK, I will do it and will do it rather fast". However, when you start real work, the further you go, the more changes and improvements it needs (if you really want to pull up the text to a decent quality) - it usually appears not that good as it appeared at first glance. That usually means quite a lot of additional time, effort and a feeling of kinda "self-pity" ("Ah, why did I take this text - it is much more work than it appeared - so many things to be improved – hell of a work?" - you plan 2-3 hours and spend half a day, your schedules go upside down, etc...

2) Analyze the text in a great detail and fairly tell the client the real situation and your exact estimation of hours you will really need to spend on that text (even with some small “reserve” that will actually melt when you reach the end of the proofing). And get their confirmation that the number of hours ("proofing cost estimate") is OK for them (best to have a PO). If the client agrees, OK, if not - sometimes better not to take poor-to-average quality texts. At least in my experience, it is always better and more reasonable to take some translation, at least from the financial side, and it is much easier than proofreading. + Have in mind that you, as the proofreader, actually have to undertake the final responsibility for the “defects” made by someone other – it is always easier to do “your own work” that correcting someone else’s “defects”.

If the client does not agree on your estimation of hours, and gives a much smaller number, then you can tell him/her that within the given number of hours you can correct the most critical mistakes only. But tell them clearly. That often helps the clients to change their mind (who will want the text corrected "just for the worst mistakes"?) and clients, if they are professional, fair, and quality-minded, finally agree on the previously provided number of hours (as they realize they really do not need a "semi-product" just because they want to save on a couple of hours for the proof-reader)...

I suggest trying that - it worked in my own practice really well and helped to avoid overspent time on such proofreadings And I do not think these “percentages” pro rata to the translation word price can really work here – texts might be really very different, and better to charge based on the actual situation.


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