Proofreading rates - industry standard?
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:45
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Nov 11, 2002

I was recently asked to take a regular proofreading job, and I need advice on what to charge.

I would like to know what is the \"standard\" or average (or whatever we want to call it) rate for proofreading. Since rates obviously vary geographically and according to languages, I am not asking for actual numbers, but rather a percentage figure, let\'s say 50% or 30% or 20%, etc. of the translation rate in the given language pair and geography.

Let\'s assume that the text to be proofread is nothing exteremely bad, NOT machine translation, just an \"average\" quality human translation.



I hope this question is not against the rules here, since I am not asking for actual dollar figures.



Thanks

Katalin





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Uwe Schwenk
Local time: 21:45
English to German
Proofreading Nov 11, 2002

You might want to consider charging by the hour, instead of a percentage of the translation rate, because depending on context, it can otherwise become a loss.



Uwe


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Dinorah Maria Tijerino-Acosta
Local time: 21:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Proofreading Nov 11, 2002

I agree with Uwe, I charge per hour, otherwise you end up expending more unpaid time







Dinorah


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David Sirett
Local time: 04:45
French to English
+ ...
As Uwe says... Nov 11, 2002

Charge by the hour, at a rate than gives you equivalent income to your translation work, at least at first. If this worries your customer, you could propose a ceiling, a maximum number of hours you\'d charge, job by job. You say it would be regular work, so after a while you would have an idea of how good/bad the initial translations were. Maybe then you could switch to a per word rate if it made your customer happier.

I\'m assuming that by proofreading you mean rereading/revising.

NOTE: There is no industry standard rate or \"going rate\" for any translation-related work. You might be surprised how high rates can go in some cases, and of course all of us on ProZ know how low they can go!


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:45
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
PCO productivity stats Nov 11, 2002

seem to assume that proofers have 240% more output than translators in word terms (i.e., 1,200 words/hour as against 500). You could probably arrive at a figure based on that.

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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:45
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
some clients will prefer a rate per word... Nov 12, 2002

...as opposed to per hour, so that they can issue a PO for the job without having to wait for the job to be completed and the amount of hours spent on it worked out.

I usually apply 2 rates, depending on the work entailed: 50% of my translation fee, and 30%. And my revision productivity does match both these percentages and the figure Parrot quotes.

The variation depends on the nature of the text (if it\'s technical, revision also implies checking against specific glossaries that correct terminology has been used), on the linguistic and stylistic quality of the translation, and on the needs for shortening text for copyfitting purpose (usually the case for tech manuals)


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 04:45
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
30-40% Nov 12, 2002

Dear Katalin,



I do not know much about industry standard but Parrot\'s info (approx. 42%) seems to confirm my and Roberta\'s figures.



Mats


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Elzbieta
Netherlands
Local time: 04:45
Dutch to Polish
+ ...
25% Nov 12, 2002

... is the proofreading rate payed by the Dutch agencies I\'m working for.

In case that the translation would be below the average quality, probably some higher word rate or rate per hour could be negotiated. But this never happened to me yet, so I\'m cannot tell for sure.


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 04:45
French to Dutch
+ ...
Proofreading Nov 12, 2002

Publishers have an industry standard of 20.000 characters per hour for \"clean work\" (finding some typesetting errors, forgotten words, etc. in a monolingual situation). For editing translations, 20 - 25 % of the translation rate sounds reasonable (but it all depends of the quality of the translation!).

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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 04:45
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
25%??? Nov 12, 2002

Elzbieta, I\'m afraid they\'re misleading you! 25% of the translation rate is certainly not the standard for Dutch translations! (Except if your translation rate is very high.) You might want to consider renegotiating your rates...



Furthermore, I always charge by the hour. Some clients will send you a machine translation for you to edit, which simply means that you give them a very cheap translation. It never happened to me, but it did to a few colleagues I know...



fwiw





Joeri


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xxxmmachado
English to Portuguese
42% Nov 12, 2002

Hello,



42% is also what I charge for proofreading jobs. I also have a minimum rate equivalent to one hour work for jobs under 2000 words (source). This seems to be acceptable by companies that only send me jobs for proofreading. With companies I also do translation jobs, that may vary. Also, it is a good idea to let companies know how many words we proofread by the hour. Many companies prefer this method once they know you (and know you will charge them in a fair way).



Hope this helps

Regards,

Mónica


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