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Proofreading your own translation
Thread poster: xxxwonita
xxxwonita
China
Local time: 15:23
Jun 25, 2008

A few days ago I delivered my translation of a flyer as word file for a client. After the client has finished the layout work, she sent me the flyer as PDF file for a final proofreading.

A bit absurd, to proofread your own translation. How should I charge it?

Bin


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Rui Domingues  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:23
Member
French to Portuguese
+ ...
It is not absurd Jun 25, 2008

Hello,
I think it is not absurd, cause many clients ask to do that after the layout, its a final check to see if everything is in the right place, cause sometimes conversions change the place of the text,the characters, etc..


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not absurd Jun 25, 2008

When the layout work is done sometimes things can happen to the text (unsuspected changes, omissions, etc.), so it is a good idea to have a look at the final product.

Such problems have become much less frequent nowadays. Years ago many proofings and corrections were required and there was a lot of delay. Today you normally just whiz through it and confirm it is all OK.

Probably a small percentage (10-15% of the translation cost) would be plenty, and it is best to include the service and the price for it upfront rather than as an afterthought.


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Michaela Müller
Germany
Local time: 19:23
English to German
+ ...
Possible layout issues Jun 25, 2008

Hi Bin,

Usually layouted brochures etc. are sent to someone else than the translator for proofreading, because an independent proofreader is not familiar with your text and therefore has a better eye for layout issues etc.

But it is also normal that the agency wants you to check if there were no hyphenation or layout issues introduced in the layout process. Often the people doing the layout do not know the language of the translation, so they don't know where to insert hyphens, what kind of quotation marks, punctuation, formatting of numbers etc. you use in your language or if characters are corrupted.

These are the main things you should look out for when proofreading your own translation. You should also check if the text is complete and all paragraphs have been inserted at the right place and that the PDF text is the text you actually delivered to the agency.

I am not sure if the agency is going to pay you any extra money for this or if you already included a PDF proofreading in your rate.
I would charge by the hour or maybe also by word (Example: plain proofreading of German texts = ca. 2,000 words/hour). Not sure if the translation was into Chinese? I guess then you can charge extra for this, depending on how much time it takes you.

It also depends on how the agency wants to have your changes (if any) back. If you regularly do proofreadings in Acrobat, then you already know how to deal with this.

Hope this helps,
Michaela


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:23
English to German
+ ...
Absurd? Why? Jun 25, 2008

This has nothing to do with spellchecking, proofreading or editing. A layouter (who probably isn't familiar with your language!) put your text into a printable layout and format, and they simply want to know if they did it right and if you like the result because they don't want to mess with your nice translation.

Why this is supposed to be absurd is a mystery to me.

That's TQM.


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Αlban SHPΑTΑ  Identity Verified
Albania
Partial member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
PDF Jun 25, 2008

I used to do these kind of things for free for posters or brochures. It's actually not a big deal checking if everything is in place (that's what you will do) on the final print and it gets you lots of positive points. After all you are the only one who will know if everything is in place (especially with Chinese). All the designer did was copy/paste your translation into Illustrator. My suggestion is to check it for free.

Now, I also provide DTP with my translation, PDF files are easily edited with Adobe Illustrator. This way I give them the end product and I get some more pennies for DTP

[Edited at 2008-06-25 14:38]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:23
English to Dutch
+ ...
All the time Jun 25, 2008

There's an agency I work with that sends me the translated files converted to PDF's all the time.
I proofread them for free, it's part of the agreement I have with them.

I like it; I get to see the final result of my work and sometimes comment on the type setting or the final location of tags or symbols.

For few comments, I use the Comments feature in Adobe. If there's a lot to be modified, I use my CAT. If I've done my work properly the first time around, this final stage takes very little time.

@ Nicole: Pardon my ignorance, but what does TQM mean?


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:23
English to German
+ ...
Hi Margreet Jun 25, 2008

TQM = Total Quality Management

I absolutely agree with you.


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Arturo Delgado  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:23
English to Spanish
Good thing to do Jun 25, 2008

Your client is smart. You are the best person to notice if anything was changed when they did the layout.
One time I translated a brochure from English into Spanish. The person in charge of the layout, pictures, fonts, etc. took the liberty to change my headings capitalizing every single word (as if it were English). Good thing my client had sent his brochure to me for proofreading, right?
You will do this quickly, so I would charge depending on time spent on proofreading.
Charge by the hour.
Good luck,
Arturo


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:23
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thanks Nicole Jun 25, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:

TQM = Total Quality Management

I absolutely agree with you.


Thank you, Nicole. That's something to remember


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:23
English to French
+ ...
Not really proofreading Jun 25, 2008

Funny, I am working on this exact same task at the moment, for software packaging (lots of pictures, flaps, etc.).

This task is not really proofreading - it doesn't mean to find errors in the text per se. When translating packaging and fancy manuals with a complicated layout, you hardly get any context. In my case, at the moment, there are segments that contain only one word, such as for example "copy". Without seeing the PDF for this documents, it is hard for me to determine if this word is an imperative word or a noun. The only surefire way to check is to see your own translation laid out as the final product. Then, you can spot errors - not yours most of the time, but the DTP person's in most cases.

So, you are not really proofreading the content - you are just making sure that everything is in the right place. A problem that also occurs often with this type of work is that things get chopped off the end of a line. I usually translate from English to French and French always takes up at least 20% more room, so the text often cannot fit on the same line, and somehow ends of lines get chopped off. Again, this is not my fault - but most DTP people don't speak the language you translate into, so they don't realize the sentence is not complete.

I've never charged for this separately. However, when I first quote on such jobs, I take into account the additional time spent on this particular task and quote accordingly (I usually just slap a penny onto my per word rate - this task doesn't take very long, even when there are errors to comment on).

If you are approached for this type of work in the future, do ask if this task will be needed at the end, and quote accordingly.

[Edited at 2008-06-25 16:17]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 19:23
German to English
Not really proofreading II Jun 25, 2008

No, what you're doing is *checking proofs* (as in galley or page proof) in the classical sense, which is checking for layout errors: missing lines, bad hyphenations (especially), a false correction made by the graphics dept. (they mean well, really)...

Some history for you:

(galley) proof, n. Printing.
A proof taken from composed type before page composition to allow for the detection and correction of errors.

Galley proofs issued earlier in the proofreading and copyediting process are called either galleys or galley proof, while those created in a near-final version for editing and checking purposes are sometimes called page proofs. It is at this stage that most mistakes have already been corrected, and any mistake caught at this stage will be very expensive to correct. Page proofs typically also have a near-final layout, so that the layout can be examined also.


sylvie
www.einmalich.net


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 14:23
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
I prefer it Jun 25, 2008

I've sometimes insisted on seeing the proofs before publishing, because it's our last chance to change something - one letter, one accent that was "misplaced" during layout, which is something I experienced in the old-school way of doing things back in the 80s. Today, as Henry says, fewer eyes are needed, but for something with wide distribution (and high printing and transportation costs), one last look is never wasted. Like Viktoria, when I get this kind of project I add a penny or two to my rate to cover the time required for this final review, as it really does not take much time.

Nancy

[Edited at 2008-06-25 19:01]


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Melzie
Local time: 19:23
French to English
+ ...
It's included in my fee Jun 26, 2008

and I get really hacked off if the printer "forgets" to send me the final proof. It is amazing how often some well meaning person will say to themselves: "oh it's just a two word heading, it'll be much quicker if I do it myself!" Not to mention automatic settings on the software for the original language that split words wrong for English and follow rules that are not the same from one language to another.

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Tansy  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:23
Member (2008)
German to English
Satzkorrektur Jun 26, 2008

The term for this in German is "Satzkorrektur" and it's a standard part of the job for all brochures/flyers/customer mailings that I translate. As others have commented it's basically to check that all the text is where it should be, nothing is missing and the hyphenation is correct before the material is printed. I make notes detailing any corrections in the pdf file using Acrobat Writer. The pdf file is returned to the DTP agency and then comes back to me to check that the corrections have been properly implemented. When everything is perfect I have to give the ok for printing ("Druckfreigabe"). I always charge this work on an hourly basis and depending on the number of corrections needed and number of times the file goes back and forth between me and the DTP agency it can be quite time consuming!

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