Proofreading for 10$. Suggestion needed.
Thread poster: Anna Muntean Stacanova

Anna Muntean Stacanova
United States
Local time: 08:01
Russian to English
+ ...
Apr 30, 2009

Hello!

I would be happy to hear what you thin is a good price for this job.
I do not want to ask much but somehow my calculation show a very small price 7$

The job is to proofread the text for a website. The number of words is 757.

I was working one hour and then (because it is for a website and website is a company's face) I was checking again and again for maybe another hour. I can drop one hour and it will be in total one hour of work.

My usual price for proofreading is 0.015 per word. But is 10$ too little or am I greedy.... ?

Thank you

Inka


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Uwe Schwenk
Local time: 07:01
English to German
Proofreading Apr 30, 2009

A project like this would fall under minimum charge. I would recommend that you establish a certain minimum charge (if you have not done so already). While this is a small job per se, the effort on your side is not covered by the USD 10. You have to turn on the computer get your reference material ready verify the translation, potentially searching for terms, etc.

I am not really in a position to tell you what you should charge. That is something you would have to decide based on your efforts required.


If you look at my profile, I charge between USD 35 and 50 as minimum charge.


Uwe


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:01
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Minimum fee Apr 30, 2009

Establish a minimum fee and let your clients know it. Check your language pairs for the hourly fees (under Jobs > Rates) from your colleagues to give you an idea of how much they charge. In this way you contribute to the practice of charging an hourly fee and help yourself to increase your income.

HTH


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Laurie Price  Identity Verified
Mexico
Spanish to English
+ ...
NOT greedy Apr 30, 2009

Ina,

I don't know if it's because of the economy where you are, but the prices you quoted, all of them, are quite low.

You are right -- a corporate website represents a company; it is their "face" and it looks very bad if it's filled with errors. I wonder if you and your clients are valuing your work appropriately.

It really takes training for the eye and the mind to work together and not play tricks. Imagine if there's an extra zero in a figure on a contract? Who's responsible? The proofreader. On the other hand, I once caught that kind of mistake, saving the newspaper where I worked and possibly the entire Mexican economy from collapse (this was in 1995).

You have to earn enough to feel good about what you're doing. It is not charity. Ten dollars an hour is too low. And seven doesn't merit further comment!

Take a look through the forum discussions -- I'm sure this has come up many times. Also take a look at the rates calculator, or google "proofreading" or variations thereof and look at different websites and the rates they post.

Good luck & hope you ask for what you deserve!
Laurie


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protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
This is a shame that we are even offered these rates! Apr 30, 2009

Hello,
I side with Laurie here. The rates are ridiculously low and I have never heard of such rates outside this website. This job can't take less than one hour and none of us can survive getting less than minimum hourly rate.
Send them packing if they dare even offer these rates.
Good luck,
EP


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I would charge an hour of work Apr 30, 2009

Ina Muntean Stacanova wrote:
My usual price for proofreading is 0.015 per word. But is 10$ too little or am I greedy....


In a situation like this, I would charge a full hour of work.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:01
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
You normally have to arrange the price in advance Apr 30, 2009

A lot of people charge about EUR 30.00 per hour for proofreading. Maybe in the USA they charge $ 30.00 (I wouldn't know, since I live in Europe).

I guess you should think approximately along those lines for an hour's work.

P.S. The standard amount to proofread in an hour is 1000 words. 750 words would then take three-quarters of an hour, but the minimum fee should be for one hour. A smaller job will easily take up the extra 15 minutes anyway.

[Edited at 2009-04-30 21:27 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Those rates are very low - house cleaners earn more May 1, 2009

Inka,
Since you live in the US, it seems to me that the rates you are charging are very low.
Based on your highest per word rate, with a normal daily workload of 2000-2500 words you would earn around $100-$125.
Proofreading is normally charged by the hour, and I think 1000 words per hour is a normal speed if the translation is good.
$0.015/word for proofreading means you earn $15.00 per hour.
House cleaners are paid more than these figures.

Anything less than an hour is usually billed as a "minimum charge", which is normally the same as the charge for 1 hour for most people.

Katalin


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Anna Muntean Stacanova
United States
Local time: 08:01
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's great and useful advice from you. May 1, 2009

Thanks much for answering!

I will decide on the minimum charge and hourly rate and in the future just charge it!

I would like to answer to everybody also:


Katalin:

That's very useful to know, so if next proofreading takes 30 minutes I will charge as per hour of work. Yeah, my rates I really low. I did not mind it before April. Translation was my second job for 5 years, sometimes full-time and sometimes part-time. I usually took a project, made sure the deadline is far away and took my time working on it.
Now I am trying to make a quick 'jump start", therefore lower rates for one or two months. It is not my voluntary choice though...

Just to make you smile: Till April, 1 2009 I was a head teacher in a preschool. I made 100 $ per day, sometimes even less, as many head teachers do That is 12$ per hour, the house cleaner in the USA asks for 20$ per hour.



Astrid


The prices vary from $ 35-65, after reading the posts i think 35-50 is an affordable,
reasonable price.


Thomas, Uwe, Elias

Yes, sounds right! After I post I will go and check usual rates.


Protomatch

Yes, I feel like with these rates I am just spoiling the market to other translators, but it is only for first 2 months and believe me many clients don't mind paying a lot as long as they get a good job.


Lorie,


This is so interesting, that's great. I hope you boss really appreciated that
"On the other hand, I once caught that kind of mistake, saving the newspaper where I worked and possibly the entire Mexican economy from collapse (this was in 1995)."




Economy here is going down and quickly... Now many schools will be closing becasue of the swine flu, parents will have to take days off, and economy will be even worse, but ....

My rates are low indeed. I wish there was PM on ProZ, but since there is not I will say it: after a car accident (only car suffered) I lost a job. So I am jut trying to make translation my first job very fast. After I have at least some work flow, I promise I will raise my prices to decent and stop spoiling business to other translators. Actually I think low prices do not do that, but I read somebody on ProZ say that other translators with lower prices take his clients away....

Thanks again!!!




[Edited at 2009-05-01 05:07 GMT]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:01
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Sure, $ 35 -50 begins to sound a bit more respectable May 1, 2009

Hi Ina,

I was trying to push your price UP to 30, from your proposed $ 7 - 10 that you mentioned in your initial posting.

My experience with translation agencies is that they have a magic figure of 30 per hour in their heads concerning proofreading prices, or a figure of 0.03 per word, which amounts to the same thing. However, for this reason I never agree to proofread by the hour or word, because I translate for at least twice the price. I avoid proofreading if at all possible, but, when I do it, it is usually on condition that I quote an overall fixed price for the job in advance. I do this because I am quite fast at proofreading, and, if I translated my proposal into words or hours, no translation agency would accept it. However, they accept the fixed price.

Good luck in getting your business off the ground!

Astrid


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Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:01
Polish to English
+ ...
What would a plumber charge? May 1, 2009

If you called a plumber to fix a leaking pipe and offered him that amount, he would probably pull all the pipes out of your walls and leave you to mop up.

And the company would probably happily part with tens of thousands of dollars to advertise themselves in the press or the media.

Why is it that when it comes to translation, so many people start counting the pennies and thinking it's "not real work"?

So no, you're not being greedy.


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Anna Muntean Stacanova
United States
Local time: 08:01
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It is a an important job~ May 1, 2009

Mark, that's true.
Astrid, I actually was going to charge 30$ in the future for some time. I also work a little slowly than usual, so it will be 35$ later on.


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:01
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Please read more of the "Getting established" forum May 3, 2009

You will find a lot of useful information on it, relating to starting up.

Ina Muntean Stacanova wrote:
Yes, I feel like with these rates I am just spoiling the market to other translators, but it is only for first 2 months and believe me many clients don't mind paying a lot as long as they get a good job.

After I have at least some work flow, I promise I will raise my prices to decent and stop spoiling business to other translators. Actually I think low prices do not do that, but I read somebody on ProZ say that other translators with lower prices take his clients away....


I would like to point out a couple of misconceptions in your statements about the nature of the business.

Once you start as a cheapie, you establish yourself as one, and you will find much more difficult to raise your prices, particularly in today's economic climate.

The problem is not that you are taking business away from other translators by offering - dare I say - ridiculously low prices, but that you are lowering the general level of prices.

It is simple mathematics; if you work below the present level of average price, you drag it down, making it worse for everybody, making it more difficult to maintain an acceptable average for the whole profession.


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Ulf Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:01
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
My comment on low rates May 3, 2009

Hi,

When I started as a freelancer 11 years ago, I thought that I could start getting clients faster by charging a very low price and then raise my fee little by little.
However, I found out that I didn't get many jobs that way, and another freelancer told me that most agencies don't trust translators with low fees and the ones who do are bad payers (paying very late or trying to cut the fee even more, or simply not paying at all). I doubled my fee and quickly had my hands full with jobs.

In other words, advertizing a low fee made it harder for me to get jobs. Raise your fee and get the jobs you deserve.

Ulf


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