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Poll: How long does it take you to proofread a 250 word page?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:58
SITE STAFF
Dec 5, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How long does it take you to proofread a 250 word page?".

This poll was originally submitted by Amira El-Wattar

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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chopra_2002  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:28
Member (2008)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Depends Dec 5, 2007

If the quality is poor, it will consume more than half an hour but if the quality is satisfactory, it will take just 15 minutes.

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Evija Rimšāne  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 12:58
Member
English to Latvian
For me, it depends too Dec 5, 2007

langclinic wrote:

If the quality is poor, it will consume more than half an hour but if the quality is satisfactory, it will take just 15 minutes.


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Maria Malamova-Pancheva  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 12:58
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Depends on quality and subject matter Dec 5, 2007

It might take anywhere from 15 minutes up to two hours.

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 07:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
< 15 minutes Dec 5, 2007

Assuming that the text is one that I'd be competent to translate myself, and assuming I have the source text available, it should never take longer to proof-read that it would to translate it from scratch.

15 minutes for 250 words would correspond to a worst-case scenario.

MediaMatrix


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:58
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Proofreading, editing... or re-translating ? Dec 5, 2007

It has happened to me before, that different agencies send "texts to proofread" that need...
a) a monolingual proofreading, or
b) a bilingual editing, or
c) to be rather re-translated.
Conceded: if the PM doesn't speak the target language, maybe the job to be done is not so clear from the beginning, and you might expect any of the 3 cases. But I have faced some different situations too...
You must bear this in mind when considering which rate you are offered for the job. Some agencies state that "if the proofreading means translating segments again, you will cash your extra job" - some others are not so clear.

Sorry if I went a little bit off-topic, but there are too many factors that are decisive in the quickness of a "proofreading job". Of course: if you expect to do a job as stated in a), it is much quicker than b) or c).


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Ricardo Pereira  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:58
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends Dec 5, 2007

I think it depends on the subject and on the quality of the translation itself.

Cheers, Ricardo

www.rmpereira.com


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Alfredo Tutino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:58
English to Italian
+ ...
depends Dec 5, 2007

if we really speak about simple proof-reading - i.e. final check of a text I translated myself (for spelling, punctuation marks, capitalization and the like) - it usually takes about five minutes (and never more than ten). For other tasks on other texts, there is no telling - the sky's the limit! (or, rather, my patience...)

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rule number 1 Dec 5, 2007

Fabio Descalzi wrote:
You must bear this in mind when considering which rate you are offered for the job. Some agencies state that "if the proofreading means translating segments again, you will cash your extra job" - some others are not so clear.


Rule number 1 of proofreading: ask to see the text and make an assessment before quoting or accepting a rate. I've received texts that ranged from only needing a few minor corrections all the way to the PM saying, "I'll send along the original in case you don´t understand something". That´s when the red flags should go up and you´d better be prepared to negotiate or accept doing a translation/re-translation/ghost-writing job at the price of proofreading.

That having been said, I´d also say 15 minutes is a maximum per page for real proofreading.


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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:58
Member
English
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What John said... in general... Dec 5, 2007

I regularly get things to "proofread" that were written in English by non native speakers, so there is no original to compare them to. It's a nightmare, since it involves second guessing what they were trying to say in the original Catalan or Spanish and then translating that. Dangerous waters await he who embarks on that voyage.... and it is more time consuming than doing an original translation.

Straight proof-reading of a translation from another colleague can take time too as it basically involves you translating as you go along and then seeing if you agree with his or her choices. This is a can of worms people. Personally, I would guarantee a 15 minute job only in cases of true monolingual proof-reading.

[Edited at 2007-12-05 17:07]


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 07:58
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
A can of worms indeed Dec 5, 2007

Berni Armstrong wrote:

Straight proof-reading of a translation from another colleague can take time too as it basically involves you translating as you go along and then seeing if you agree with his or her choices. This is a can of worms people. Personally, I would guarantee a 15 minute job only in cases of true monolingual proof-reading.


This is an accurate description of my experience with proofreading. My main proofreading work is my own translation work. That almost always takes me less than 15 minutes per page as I strive to get the translation right the first time around.

I only accept proofreading jobs as a favor or when I do not have very much work, which is not very often.

[Edited at 2007-12-05 16:30]


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Mike Hunter
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:58
Member
English to Flemish
+ ...
Translation Manager's viewpoint - it depends Dec 5, 2007

I agree with most of the previous comments. It is of course much easier if its regular work for the same end client, and the same translator and proof reader are used consistently. As an agency we are sometimes asked to proof work we haven't translated, and like for freelancers, it can be a can of worms.

What I don't like is nasty surprises, e.g. someone accepts a proofing job having looked at the text (source and target), and then tries to charge for an inordinant amount of time. Fortunately this doesn't happen very often. Incidentally, there are reasonable clients out there who will accept a job needs retranslating, and pay accordingly.

Cheers

Mike


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other Dec 5, 2007

If it were to take 15 minutes for a 250 word page, I would throw it in the trash and and start again from scratch.

I don't do proofreading anyway, hate it!


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:58
English to Spanish
Proofreading, or editing? Dec 5, 2007

To me, proofreading means reading the translated document only (no comparison with the source document), in order to do a final check for typos, misspellings and the odd misplaced colon.

If that's the case, I think that even 15 minutes for a 250 word page is way too much, but perhaps I've misunderstood what "proofreading" means.


If you mean editing, then I don't know because I don't do that

[Edited at 2007-12-05 17:36]


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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:58
Member
English
+ ...
Strictly speaking Andrea is right... Dec 5, 2007

Andrea Riffo wrote:

To me, proofreading means reading the translated document only (no comparison with the source document)...


That is the dictionary definition, it is also the job my aunt spent 40 years doing for a Chicago publisher's. But in this profession, what most agencies usually call "proofreading" is checking a colleague's work for any major errors or misreadings, etc. I am assuming that the poll was asked in that spirit. Was it?


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