Rates for Proofreading
Thread poster: Marlis March-Catsellis

Marlis March-Catsellis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:57
Member (2009)
English to German
Jul 5, 2009

I just started as a freelance translator (English-German). How much can I charge for proofreading?

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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
Russian to English
+ ...
40 Euro per hour Jul 5, 2009

*

[Edited at 2009-07-05 20:05 GMT]


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:57
English to Russian
+ ...
Or: .. Jul 5, 2009

.. your per hour rate. However some agencies insist on per word rate for proofreading. I would also advise to add a minimum fee - some penny-pinchers would start an argument over the small size of the document, so let them know the minimum along with the rate.

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Melissa McMahon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 11:57
Member (2006)
French to English
Hour vs per word Jul 5, 2009

There's a good argument for suggesting a per hour rather than a per word rate, which is that "proofreading" can sometimes turn into "retranslation".

I'm sure there are or should be standards for what proofreading amounts to, it often seems to be about checking a translation or looking over a piece of translation work and so can really vary in terms of the time it takes.

Making sure you turn on a function such as "track changes" will show whoever is engaging you how much work was involved in proofing a text and how much time it took you.

MM


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chica nueva
Local time: 13:57
Chinese to English
Rates on site Jul 6, 2009

Hello Marlis

There are rates on site, see link here:
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/138757-proof_reading_basics.html

Lesley


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Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Ask to see Jul 6, 2009

Ask to see the whole document first, if possible (and not just a page or two which might not reflect the quality of the whole thing).

It will help you to estimate the number of hours it will take you to complete this particular work, therefore allowing you to give an appropriate quote.

A page might take you 10 minutes if it is almost perfect, but it might take you for hours if you have to rewrite/retranslate the whole thing.

I would also advise you charge per hour for proofreading jobs. When this is not possible, you can divide the number of hours you estimate necessary by the number of words to get a per word rate. If it is a really easy work, do not go too low, either. I usually charge half of my translation rate for easy proofreading work.

But remember, proofreading is often tricky.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
What is meant by proofreading? Jul 6, 2009

Marlis Catsellis wrote:

I just started as a freelance translator (English-German). How much can I charge for proofreading?


You need to clarify what exactly is meant, mainly becuase if you are starting out as a translator and it involves checking other writers' work (translations or non-native speakers), you might find you have insufficient experience.

Some of the very basic oversights (many not even forgiveable, like failing to spellcheck!) among novice and not-so-novice translators:

- Failing to spell check
- Failing to remove white/extra spaces
- Erratic punctaution (inconsistent, copying source - often with confusing outcomes)
- Incorrect/inconsistent style for references, tables and figures, and layout)
- Incorrect tense use (eg, ES writers overuse the Present perfect when referring to the past, and many translators fall straight for it)
- Poor use of referents and relatives

Leaving aside lack of translation experience, these are just some basics of good writing. You need to feel comfortable with correcting such problems - not to mention confident. A few years of translation experience is one way to get confidence.


[Edited at 2009-07-06 21:57 GMT]


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 19:57
Member
Spanish
+ ...
Per hour Jul 6, 2009

Lia Fail wrote:

Marlis Catsellis wrote:

I just started as a freelance translator (English-German). How much can I charge for proofreading?


You need to clarify what exactly is meant, mainly becuase if you are starting out as a translator and it involves checking other writers' work (translations or non-native speakers), you might find you have insufficient experience.

Some of the very basic oversights (many not even forgiveable, like failing to spellcheck!) among novice and not-so-novice translators:

- Failing to spell check
- Failing to remove white/extra spaces
- Erratic punctaution (inconsistent, copying source - often with confusing outcomes)
- Incorrect/inconsistent style for references, tables and figures, and layout)
- Incorrect tense use (eg, ES writers overuse the Present perfect when referring to the past, and many translators fall straight for it)
- Poor use of referents and relatives

Leaving aside lack of translation experience, these are just some basics of good writing. You need to feel comfortable with correcting such problems - not to mention confident. A few years of translation experience is one way to get confidence.


I fully agree with Lia. Different clients have different definitions or they're not even aware of the quality of the translations. Sometimes a proofreading job turns into a reviewing job or a re-translation job. I personally never ever take a "proofreading" job that requires to re-translate more than one or two sentences because it might mean that the translation was done by a non-professional.

[Edited at 2009-07-06 23:10 GMT]


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