Proofreading word count
Thread poster: O. Morais

O. Morais
Local time: 13:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jul 16, 2008

I feel a bit confused regarding word count in translation proofreading as I have just finished my first job at that. I wonder if both source and target texts are included in the word count, or if only the target text should. I would really appreciate if you could enlighten me on this matter. Many thanks.


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:24
English to French
+ ...
The wordcount stands for the number of words you proofread Jul 16, 2008

If you really only proofread, then the source text has nothing to do with the wordcount or even the task you accomplish. Proofreading is about checking grammar, spelling, punctuation, readability and consistency of the target text. It doesn't encompass checking that everything was translated, that the correct terminology was used and that the translation is accurate - that would be reviewing.

When you proofread, you only handle the target text, and therefore, only the target text is counted. However, when you review, you are dealing with both texts, and that can be a bit harder to assess. In such cases, it is best to simply charge by the hour. Make sure you charge your full hourly translation rate - since reviewing the text will take you less time than translating it, it will also cost the client proportionally less money. After all, you know how much an hour of your time is worth.

For more information on proofreading and reviewing, you can read this article:

All the best!


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 06:24
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
The target text Jul 16, 2008

The target text is what needs to be checked, corrected, and counted. You don't need to do any work on the source text, so it is not counted.

I am not as rigorous in drawing the line between proofreading and reviewing as Victoria, and I do not proofread without having the source text handy. For example when a translator is inconsistent in the use of a phrase or term, you do need to look at the source text to see if maybe the phrase or term was not translated correctly to begin with. If the punctuation seems wrong or causes me to question the meaning of the sentence, I do check the punctuation and meaning of the source text. I find it extremely difficult to "just" proofread and usually quickly find myself sliding into reviewing. Therefore, as Victoria suggests, I usually charge by the hour rather than by word count.

[Edited at 2008-07-16 21:59]


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