How to charge for proofreading changes to a word doc?
Thread poster: Lucia Vargas

Lucia Vargas  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:11
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
May 31, 2010

Hi,

I was asked to proofread only the changes made to a word document in spanish. I was given the word doc with changes and the original document in pdf in english. I am supposed to check that the translation is ok, grammar ok, etc. But, sometimes I inevitably had to change the complete sentence to make it clear.

My question is, how would you charge for this kind of job? I always work with word counts but with this one, it's hard to count. any suggestions? Thanks!


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CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Charge by the hour May 31, 2010

I always charge by the hour in this kind of tasks.

Hope this helps!

Regards,

Cristina


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Geoffrey Pratt
Local time: 01:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Proofreading charges. May 31, 2010

Like Cristina, I always charge by the hour for this service. However, if it turns out that you practically need to translate a large part of it again (this sometimes happens), then I go back and try and re-negotiate the deal.

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Lucia Vargas  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:11
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
How is the hour rate related to the word count? May 31, 2010

Thanks for your suggestions Cristina and Almagro, now I wonder, how do you calculate a rate for the hour? And do yo just tell to the customer, ok it took me X hours, it will be $Y?

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CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Suggestion May 31, 2010

Hi Lucia,

It usually depends on the rate you charge the client by word, since you may have different clients and different rates for each one. I found a simple method is to multiply by 3 the rate per word (I mean the digit, not the actual rate). So, for instance, if you charge 0.09/word, you could charge 27.00/hour (3 x 9). This is just one method, I'm sure there are others and that other people have other systems.

Regarding how you tell the client, this is usually agreed previously. And, yes, usually the client agrees, but he/she must first agree on the rate per hour. If you did not agree it previously, I suggest you tell the client this work must be charged by hour and tell him/her what is your rate. Hopefully, the client will agree with you. Otherwise, you can always negotiate.

Wish you luck,

Cristina


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:11
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I don't quite understand May 31, 2010

Hello Lucia,

I wonder if they are asking you to do something ridiculous here, so I'd like to clarify.

I was asked to proofread only the changes made to a word document in spanish. I was given the word doc with changes and the original document in pdf in english.


So what you received was (1) a Word document, in Spanish, with some changes in Spanish (made using Word's "track changes" tool) and (2) a pdf in English. Is that right?

I am supposed to check that the translation is ok, grammar ok, etc. But, sometimes I inevitably had to change the complete sentence to make it clear.


You mean they only want you to look at the changes made in Spanish and then compare them against the English pdf, only making changes to the changes and not to the previous Spanish version? Is that clear, and if it is, is it correct?

If that is what they are asking you to do, and if they only want to pay you for those words, then you (and they) have a problem! Of course you might have to change the sentence as a whole. It's ridiculous to expect proofreading of individual words. Even if you do, in fact, only change a word used in error, you still have to read the entire Spanish sentence and the entire English sentence before you can decide on remedial action. That must be paid for.

My question is, how would you charge for this kind of job? I always work with word counts but with this one, it's hard to count. any suggestions? Thanks!


I often work with word counts rather than hourly rates, too, as I find clients prefer it. Often, it's for proofreading CVs in my case. If I tell the client (a private individual) "it'll be 30€ per hour, but I don't know how long it will take" they would go elsewhere Instead, I examine the document carefully to evaluate the time needed, then I give them a per-word rate which will give me the correct rate-per-hour.

I would imagine you need to charge at least for each sentence where there has been a change, regardless of whether you (1) make no change (2) change individual words in-situ (3) rework the entire sentence.


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