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I was asked to correct mistakes in source language. Should I charge?
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 17:12
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Jan 24, 2003

Hello,



I have been asked by a new client to tell him the mistakes I can see in the source language. Since he´s a new client I don´t know whether to charge him for that or not. And if so, how much would it be. Thank you



Cali


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Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
As a rule... Jan 24, 2003

Good evening,



As a rule, I always have a look at the source text to make sure:



1) That I understand everything upfront and that there are no strange acronyms or other expressions created for the client\'s internal use only (and which only makes sense to them!)



2) That there are indeed no typos or very ambiguous statements (which in turn could be difficult to translate or for any reader to understand both in the source & target) - since we aim for the clarity of the message.



I do not charge extra for reporting typos or ambiguities which I find in the source text.



I feel that this is part of my job to point these things out if there are obvious mistakes or problems.



If on the other hand, you can clearly see that the source text has been written by a non-native of that language, and that your client wants you to carefully go through it with a very fine comb, then you should charge them a fee if it looks like the source text would require \"professional re-writing\".



Kind regards,



Nathalie

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-24 01:42]


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:12
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Just as for proofreading Jan 24, 2003

What your client wants is a proofreading, a separate type of job. It is absolutely fair to charge the client a proofreading rate (whatever is the current rate in your language pair, usually it\'s a percentage of translation rate - 50% may be)).

I sometimes do a free proofreading of a source text but ONLY for my best clients with whom I have a longterm relationship - I treat it as a \"free gift\", you now what I mean, something extra you like to give to you special client. If it is your new client, however, my advice is: be careful with \"free gifts\" - you will be expected to give them every next time . Proofreading is a job, it requires skill and competence: don\'t give it away.



Good luck,

Magda



[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-24 20:15]


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 06:12
English
+ ...
On Nathalie's & Magda's Advice Jan 24, 2003

It\'s sound!

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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:12
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You have to charge for it Jan 24, 2003

He\'s asking you specifically to proofread the source text (even if he does not put it in such terms), so you must treat this as you treat any proofreading job. Mind you, however, to tell him beforehand he will be charged for such job. He may very well expect to get it done for free!



Just tell him, OK, I can do it. My fee for proofreading is such and such.


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:12
English to French
Proofreading of the source language??? Jan 28, 2003

I overall agree with what was said, but I think something is not quite right here. If you are qualified to translate the text, it means that your native language is the target language. Right?



If, while translating, you note things which are not optimal in the source text, it\'s my understanding that you are expected to report them, as they might be cause of mistranslations. (\"Unclear source texts\" are a prime reason for ununderstandable translations, along with the \"fear to ask the client\" syndrome



If there are just too many errors, to the point that is does become a job on its own right, I guess the best alternative is to offer your client to find a native proofreader to \"fine tune\" (understand \"rewrite\") the text, and charge whatever you need to get it done.



I think it would be a mistake for you (non-native) to attemp proofreading the source and then translating it.


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Randi Stenstrop  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:12
Member (2003)
Swedish to Danish
+ ...
Free trial period - charge normal hourly rate later Jan 28, 2003



On 2003-01-24 00:22, Caliaa wrote:



Hello,

I have been asked by a new client to tell him the mistakes I can see in the source language. Since he´s a new client I don´t know whether to charge him for that or not. And if so, how much would it be. Thank you



Cali



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Randi Stenstrop  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:12
Member (2003)
Swedish to Danish
+ ...
Charge normal rate after free trial period Jan 28, 2003

Your new customer has asked you specifically to do extra work, so you should have told him immediately that he would have to pay for it. Having missed that opportunity, I would tell him that after a trial period he will have to pay for the proofreading if he wants you to continue. If he is worth having as a customer, he will accept that. He may not want the proofreading, but you will gain from this policy even if he doesn\'t, since you will have more time to do work you are paid for.

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Kay Fisher
German to English
+ ...
agree Feb 6, 2003

Quote:


I do not charge extra for reporting typos or ambiguities which I find in the source text.



I feel that this is part of my job to point these things out if there are obvious mistakes or problems.



If on the other hand, you can clearly see that the source text has been written by a non-native of that language, and that your client wants you to carefully go through it with a very fine comb, then you should charge them a fee if it looks like the source text would require \"professional re-writing\".





I agree 100%. As a non-native speaker of the source language I point out those errors in the source text which make a translation difficult.



If proof-reading of the source text to publication standard is required I will out-source the proof reading to a native-speaker colleague (and, of course, charge the customer for the privilege).



Kay

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