How to calculate the rate for linguistic proof
Thread poster: sashamo
Mar 5, 2012

I am asked to include the rate for post DTP linguistic proof in my translation rate (this will occur on a PDF and the throughoutput is estmated at 6000 words per hour). Could somebogy please tell me how to estimate the rate for this linguistic proof?

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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
6000 words an hour??? Mar 5, 2012

You need to divide that by about 10 before even discussing the rate.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:50
Member (2007)
English
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What is it? Mar 5, 2012

sashamo wrote:
post DTP linguistic proof ... (this will occur on a PDF and the throughoutput is estmated at 6000 words per hour).


What on earth are they expecting you to do? Normal reading speed is only twice that, just skimming through a text. You presumably have to read very carefully to make sure there are no errors, and then you have to stop and perform some sort of action each time you spot a problem.

I do a lot of proofing and revising, but I can't imagine what this is. Do let us know, please.

Sheila


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sashamo
TOPIC STARTER
... Mar 5, 2012

Thank you for your answers. I am supposed to do proofing of my own translation after it was edited. Since I have never done it before, I have no idea what should be a reasonable amount of words per hour and how much should I charge for it (they request a rate per word for this proofing to be added to the translation rate).

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sashamo
TOPIC STARTER
I've got an update Mar 6, 2012

They sent me a more detailed explanation of what I'm expected to do: The Linguistic Proof is a final Quality Assurance check by the translator on the formatted target language files. This
proof does not take the place of an edit because the translation has already been edited by a separate linguist earlier in the process. We have estimated 6,000 words per hour for the time it would take to read through a document, check the source as needed, annotate the PDF, and update the bilingual files. We do not expect stylistic or extensive changes at this stage of the workflow.
Is it realistic?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:50
Member (2007)
English
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I do that job Mar 6, 2012

sashamo wrote:
The Linguistic Proof is a final Quality Assurance check by the translator on the formatted target language files. This proof does not take the place of an edit because the translation has already been edited by a separate linguist earlier in the process. We have estimated 6,000 words per hour for the time it would take to read through a document, check the source as needed, annotate the PDF, and update the bilingual files. We do not expect stylistic or extensive changes at this stage of the workflow.
Is it realistic?


I perform a final QA service for a couple of agencies. I only have to check the target text (I don't usually understand a word of the source). I charge a per-word rate that equates to 3000 words per hour. Normally, that's enough to cover reading the text in Word and occasionally using "Track Changes" to mark problems. Proofreading has already been done on the bilingual texts - though the agencies do seem to skip that sometimes.

I don't think I could possibly do more words per hour as you have to read everything very carefully. It isn't like reading a novel, after all. The most important things to look for are spelling and typographical errors that have escaped other checks. In English, my "favourite" error is mixing "form" and "from" but I often see others e.g. "lose" and "loose" confused (typo or translator error?). The other thing I look for is punctuation and you simply cannot spot double spaces if you just scan a text at 6000 wpm.

It doesn't sound to me as though more than 2500 wph would be feasible for the work you have to do, but that's just my opinion.

Sheila


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Gosh Sheila, you're quick!! Mar 6, 2012

I very rarely do proof-reading with a target text alone, but when I do my speed is somewhere between 1000 and 1500 words/hour (600 to 1000 words/hour with a source text to have to refer back to). However, if I had translated the text myself (which I understand is the case in question) and it was a simple matter of accepting/rejecting someone's else's 'Track Changes' (I assume) then I would up that speed to around 1700 to 2000 words/hour. I'm assuming here that the 'editor' has not made too many unnecessary changes or even made the document worse, which can sometimes happen.

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BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Committing to an editing or proofreading job, sight unseen? Mar 6, 2012

I would advise against committing to an editing or proofreading job without seeing the text first.
You can't tell how long the job will really take you. Consider the experience you have or do not have in this type of work and how well you know the topic. How can you know what quality to expect?

2,500 words per hour is normal speed for an experienced, skilled proofreader working with a nearly spotless (target language) text. 600-1000 words per hour is more realistic.

Take a look at the information provided by one of the professional associations of editors and proofreaders:
"Please note that rates are higher for specialist editing services in areas requiring professional knowledge of technical concepts, terminology or methodologies.


Although speeds vary, the following guidelines may be useful:
Editing
Complex about 800 words per hour
Simple about 1,600 words per hour
Proofreading
Complex 2,000 words per hour
Simple 4,000 words per hour"

http://www.afepi.ie/faqs.htm

[Edited at 2012-03-07 07:57 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:50
Member (2007)
English
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There's a big "but" Mar 6, 2012

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:

I very rarely do proof-reading with a target text alone, but when I do my speed is somewhere between 1000 and 1500 words/hour (600 to 1000 words/hour with a source text to have to refer back to). However, if I had translated the text myself (which I understand is the case in question) and it was a simple matter of accepting/rejecting someone's else's 'Track Changes' (I assume) then I would up that speed to around 1700 to 2000 words/hour. I'm assuming here that the 'editor' has not made too many unnecessary changes or even made the document worse, which can sometimes happen.


It isn't quite the same as proofreading: these texts are supposed to have already been proofread, in fact I have often sent back multi-page texts with no changes marked at all, which is seldom the case with normal proofreading in my experience. On the occasions where it clearly hasn't been proofread (or even spell-checked!), I only mark the changes if they few and far between. Anything more and I have the right to send it back with enough changes marked to justify my decision and the time taken.

My speed for other types of editing are just the same as yours.

Sheila


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BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Proofreading vs. QA Mar 6, 2012

Proofreading and QA are two different kinds of fish, as Sheila pointed out. Final proofreading is when you fine-comb a text for potential typos and other small errors that may have escaped the translator's reviser or may have been introduced by the type setter (such errors do happen even in the age of e-publishing) before the text is sent to print (or the end client) and after it is printed (books), while the purpose of a QA is not just to deliver a spotless text but to grade the translation provider. Companies usually have their own (internal) rules for different types of texts. With a QA you know exactly what type of error and how many of them are allowed, which is why you can send the text back after checking even a very small part of it.

[Edited at 2012-03-07 08:00 GMT]


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sashamo
TOPIC STARTER
thanks everyone Mar 7, 2012

.

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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 07:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Automate as much as possible. Mar 7, 2012

[quote]Sheila Wilson wrote:

sashamo wrote:
The other thing I look for is punctuation and you simply cannot spot double spaces if you just scan a text at 6000 wpm.

Sheila


Any text editor will do a global replace of double spaces with single spaces. Or you can restrict it to specific sections if doing it globally doesn't work for some reason. And run it several times to remove triple, quadruple spaces etc.

Also replacements like [", " for " ,"] or [". " for " ."] work
(N.B. that's two spaces after the full stop if you're old fashioned

Donal.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:50
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
short cuts Mar 7, 2012

DLyons wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:
The other thing I look for is punctuation and you simply cannot spot double spaces if you just scan a text at 6000 wpm.


Any text editor will do a global replace of double spaces with single spaces.


I certainly use search/replace tools, Donal, but no way would I use global edits. In going through one by one, and making the decision to replace or skip each one, I often find occurrences that I didn't want to change for one reason or another. And there are sometimes spacing problems in formatted text which need to be addressed (I'm thinking mainly of CVs here). In the final analysis, I'd rather trust my own judgement than a machine, even if it does take a bit longer. At least I only have myself to blame if I foul up.

Sheila


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Texte Style
Local time: 08:50
French to English
Automatic hyphenation and headlines Mar 8, 2012

are also things you need to look out for.

In both my languages, the rule is to cut the word between syllables when the whole word won't fit at the end of the line, however they each have a different definition of what constitutes a syllable. So I always used to skim down the right hand side of each column of text and check each hyphenated word in Websters.
Then I got a desperate call from DTP: when they forced a change I had suggested, it led to other words being hyphenated elsewhere, so please could I check them too? This had probably been happening all the time, yet nobody had ever bothered about it, it was the new girl who was on trial period trying to do a better job than the previous guy! It occurred to me that it ought really be possible to set the DTP software to hyphenate according to English rules. This turned out to be the case, so now I simply check the hyphenation and tell them to change the setting rather than laboriously checking each hyphenated word.

As for headings, I find that the DTP guy will copy and paste the bulk of my text, but for short headings will simply type them himself rather than going back to my file to copy just three words. Any mistakes introduced will be very prominent!!

One other point in French is that they use italics for all quotations (I'm talking about articles in magazines). I duly remove the italics in my translation, then the DTP guy painstakingly puts them back in... and I patiently explain that if I took them out, it was for a reason.

Other than that, since the translation has already been proofread by myself, my colleague and my client, I simply skim through. I occasionally find a better way of putting things simply because I'm looking at the text with fresh eyes, and there are sometimes errors in bits that the client hasn't bothered to have me translate, such as country fact sheets specifying Melbourne as the capital of Australia.

This work is either billed by the hour or included in the price per word of the translation. 3,000 words per hour sounds about right: it probably takes me less time than that but that's what I would allow for, including interruptions (very frequent for me).


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