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Urgent- Average proofreading rate in UK?
Thread poster: Claudia Vale

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 18, 2007

Hello,

Can you please advise me of the going rate for proofreading in the UK? I've just been told that £35 per 1,000 words is above the going rate. I should mention that this is for proofreading and correcting a machine-translated document.

Can anyone shed any light?

Thank you.

[Edited at 2007-06-18 09:29]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:36
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
It is rather high, but charge by the hour if you can. Jun 18, 2007

The amount of work involved in proofreading varies so much, depending on how good a translation it is in the first place, that it is better to charge for your time at an hourly rate if the customer will accept this. I charge £25/hr. If you have to charge per 1000 words, I should think £25/1000 would be nearer the mark.

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Lenah Susianty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:36
Member (2004)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
per hour Jun 18, 2007

I charge usually around £25-30 per 1000 words, or if it is per hour then it is around £20-25 per hour.

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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jack. Jun 18, 2007

However, it didn't take me an hour per 1,000 words on this job. The translation was so poor (done with a machine) that I had to virtually translate from scratch. Is this editing rather than proofreading? It took me nearer to 2 hours for 1,000 words.

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:36
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
It was a translation Jun 18, 2007

Claudia Vale wrote:

However, it didn't take me an hour per 1,000 words on this job. The translation was so poor (done with a machine) that I had to virtually translate from scratch. Is this editing rather than proofreading? It took me nearer to 2 hours for 1,000 words.


Claudia,

no, that is neither editing, nor reviewing, and definitely not proofreading.
Three different tasks, and none of them is what you have done.
You have translated it.

Gianfranco


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What do you suggest? Jun 18, 2007

Thanks Gianfranco. What would you suggest? I am having trouble with the agency. We agreed a rate but as I started to work through the job, it became clear that the translation had been done by translation software. I have declined to continue the job because the timeframe was unrealistic for the amount of work involved and because they were not satisfied with what I had done. I have now been told that the rate I was offered (works out at £20 per hour) was above the going rate and that they would only pay me 50% of the work I have done.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:36
German to English
+ ...
Editing or proofreading? Jun 18, 2007

The translation was so poor (done with a machine) that I had to virtually translate from scratch. Is this editing rather than proofreading?


Neither. It's like dumping a pile of bricks on a plot of land and then asking a builder to "just repair the house" for you.

Marc


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Lenah. Jun 18, 2007

Lenah Susianty wrote:

I charge usually around £25-30 per 1000 words, or if it is per hour then it is around £20-25 per hour.


That's about what I thought.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:36
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Great lesson at a fairly low cost Jun 18, 2007

Claudia,

I think it is not a big deal, considering the size of this unfortunate project. You can do whatever you like, ask for a full translation fee, as a matter of principle, or let it go, and accept what was initially agreed. It's up to you.

It is also possible that the agency is actually unaware of the quality received from the translator. It could be a bad translator, or a machine translation, or a mixture, if somebody incompetent or too clever has run the document on a machine translation, edited a few details here and there, and tried to pass it as a proper job.

In your situation, if there is a loss is not very big, and you can put it down as a fairly inexpensive experience, learn a lesson from it.
The lesson is that before accepting any editing, reviewing or proofreading job it is always advisable to have the actual document in hand. Any price agreed in advance should be confirmed after the material has been examined.
By the way, in most cases, a representative sample or the whole job is also advisable when accepting or quoting for a translation too.

In most cases that is just a wise precaution, but there are situations where it can save a lot of grief and misunderstanding.
("Sorry, this translation is so bad that it takes much longer, or requires retranslation. It will take xxx hours and it will cost yyy. Shall I proceed?")


bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2007-06-18 10:28]


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Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I've definitely learned a lesson here! Jun 18, 2007

Thanks for the advice, Gianfranco. I made the mistake of trusting the agency because I had already worked for them without any problems. Oh well...

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:36
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Your normal translation rate and a 20% surcharge.... Jun 18, 2007

.... for handling a machine translation, is my opinion.


Astrid


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Anne Goff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:36
French to English
+ ...
Ton of Bricks Jun 19, 2007

Marc P wrote:

Neither. It's like dumping a pile of bricks on a plot of land and then asking a builder to "just repair the house" for you.

Marc


Great comparison!


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