To charge or not to charge?
Thread poster: IrinaGM
IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:31
English to Georgian
+ ...
Aug 26, 2004

I know this topic has been discussed numerous times but this case is little bit different.
How do you/or do you charge for a small proofreading job (about 100 words). I originally did the translation. It took me 5 minutes to proofread and there were no major errors.
Personally, I don't want to charge for this at all but at the same time I don't want to give the impression and get in a habit of doing free work. Any thoughts will be appreciated.


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
You relationship with the client Aug 26, 2004

If you've already translated and/or proofread thousands of words for them and have a good relationship, they wouldn't like to be charged. I don't think I would like to charge them, either.
On the other hand, I did my first proofreading job ever the other day: they just offered me a minimum price, which was luxurious for the assignment (thirty words, three zero). Obviously, it was the first time I was contacted by them and couldn't refuse to charge so as not to develop bad habits, as you mentioned.
If I charge the same ratio during the rest of my career, I'll become a millionnaire.
Javier


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
English to Tamil
+ ...
Minimum billing is indicated here Aug 26, 2004

Minimum billing is indicated in just such cases. For translations, my minimum billing is for 200 words and the clients have been informed of this. So at times if you just get say 50 words and you don't feel like charging it, do tell the client that for once you waive this. In that way he will appreciate your gesture. If on the other hand you do such jobs free of cost as a matter of course, you will just be taken for granted. Needless to say, the general idea is to charge the minimum rate. In that way the client will be motivated to give more work, at least for the sake of giving more than 200 words.

In your case, you can charge for 30 minutes of work at your hourly rate.

Regards,
N.Raghavan

[Edited at 2004-08-28 05:02]


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Ilde Grimaldi  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:31
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
not to charge Aug 26, 2004

If I'm not mistaken, Irina is asking whether to bill (5 minute in the example) the proofreading she did of her own translation, before delivery.
IMHO:
Business practise is that the proofreading we do of our own translation before delivery is included in the rate we charge to deliver the translated document. The proof-reading from a different person is billed and is done because each text is perfectible and beacause we're only human and a good translation can only be deemed error-free if checked by four professional eyes instead of two.

ciao
Ilde

please see this recent topic
http://www.proz.com/post/160212


[Edited at 2004-08-26 12:06]


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Antje Harder  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:31
Swedish to German
+ ...
Depends on the situation Aug 26, 2004

@Ilde:
I had the impression that Irina didn't talk about the final proofreading before delivery to the client but rather about a further proofreading on a later occasion (maybe after the text has been reformatted).
Of course you should not charge the "normal" proofreading which is part of the translation job.

@Irina:
I agree with xáudar and Narasimhan, usually extra proofreading should be paid, but especially if it's a regular client you might just tell the client that by way of an exception he'll get it for free as an extra service.
However, this is how I deal with my (direct) clients - I consider these (minor) free services as "marketing expenses".

Regards from Sweden,
Antje


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 11:31
French to English
Important to tell the customer Aug 26, 2004

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

do tell the client that for once you waive this. In that way he will appreciate your gesture.


I totally agree with this. I was given the very same advice a couple of years ago, and at first I felt a bit silly making a big deal about small jobs that sometimes only took me 5 or 10 minutes to do anyway by saying things like: as a "special gesture" or "exceptionally" or "although it is not my usual policy"...etc...but I soon realized that it is important to tell the customer when you are offering something for free (even small jobs) that it is indeed a special favor. They do appreciate it and it keeps them from taking such offers for granted in the future.

After all, you are giving your time and providing expertise, so don't be afraid to let the customer know!

Regards,
Sara


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IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:31
English to Georgian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
- Aug 26, 2004

Thank you all for your advice.
No, I do not charge for proofreading my own translation before delivering it to my client but this is a different case. I am sorry if I did not make this clear in my original posting. This translation was done back in July. This particular agency has a policy of having this document translated by several translators and then having one translator look at all the translations and choose the most suitable version. I guess this translation has gone through numerous hands and now the agency is asking me to proofread the final translation one more time before delivering it to the client.
So I think I'll do as Narasimhan and Sara suggested. I won't charge for this but tell the client that I'm doing this as a special favor to them.
And then I'll hope they give me more work...

Thank you all.
-Irina

[Edited at 2004-08-26 11:18]


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:31
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Absolutely Aug 26, 2004

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

do tell the client that for once you waive this. In that way he will appreciate your gesture.


I totally agree with this. I was given the very same advice a couple of years ago, and at first I felt a bit silly making a big deal about small jobs that sometimes only took me 5 or 10 minutes to do anyway by saying things like: as a "special gesture" or "exceptionally" or "although it is not my usual policy"...etc...but I soon realized that it is important to tell the customer when you are offering something for free (even small jobs) that it is indeed a special favor. They do appreciate it and it keeps them from taking such offers for granted in the future.

After all, you are giving your time and providing expertise, so don't be afraid to let the customer know!

Regards,
Sara


Giuli


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Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What does client say about that? Aug 27, 2004

Hi,

What does your client say about that? Did he issue a PO together with the job to be proofread?

I have had similar tasks but my clients always issued a PO for that PR job (I had done the translation myself) so I guess it is ok for them to pay for it. They will be asking to check format and other details we weren't able to check when working on rtf or tag editor formats so it seems right we get some payment for it.

See what your clients says. If he is a good client that pays ok and gives you a lot of work and does not issue a PO for that task, maybe it is ok to do it free:-)

All the best
Mónica
English into European Portuguese Translator
Member of APT, IOL and ITI


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IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:31
English to Georgian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
An update. Aug 27, 2004

Thank you Mynica.

No, they did not issue the PO. But when I e-mailed them the finished product and told them that it would be free since they've been so good to me. I got a big thank you and I got a feeling that they were surprised that I did not charge them. So I guess they expected for me to charge. But I do not regret my decision. As Antje mentioned earlier "it's a good PR"))

-Irina


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hedsonia  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
You need to charge for anything you do professionally Aug 28, 2004

-Irina- wrote:

I know this topic has been discussed numerous times but this case is little bit different.
How do you/or do you charge for a small proofreading job (about 100 words). I originally did the translation. It took me 5 minutes to proofread and there were no major errors.
Personally, I don't want to charge for this at all but at the same time I don't want to give the impression and get in a habit of doing free work. Any thoughts will be appreciated.


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hedsonia  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
You need to charge for anything you do professionally. Aug 28, 2004

-Irina- wrote:

I know this topic has been discussed numerous times but this case is little bit different.
How do you/or do you charge for a small proofreading job (about 100 words). I originally did the translation. It took me 5 minutes to proofread and there were no major errors.
Personally, I don't want to charge for this at all but at the same time I don't want to give the impression and get in a habit of doing free work. Any thoughts will be appreciated.


Of course you need to charge! That should not even be a question. IF it took you 5 minutes to read it, how long did it take you to learn the second language? We need to look at our linguistic expertise in a professional way. If I go to an attorney for 5 minutes, or to a doctor, will they do it for free? No one should give their work away or it will cheapen the profession and some other clients will come to expect for all of us to do it.


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