Word count when editing a text
Thread poster: Claudia Guiraldes Kallens

Claudia Guiraldes Kallens
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:52
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 10, 2012

When I am asked to review/proof-read a translation I base the word count on the translated text becuse it makes perfect sense, however last week when I queried a payment from an agency I realised they had done the word count on the original text. The project manager told me that in 10 years she had never seen anybody charge per target text. I was mystified.
I want to ask how do other people do it? I have never had that problem with other clients.
Claudia


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree on the word count before accepting job May 10, 2012

Or, ideally, get your client to agree to an hourly rate.

 

Claudia Guiraldes Kallens
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:52
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hourly rate May 10, 2012

Yes some clients prefer hourly rate but even that i calculate on the basis of the translated text (around 1000 words/hour), you see it never occured to me that for a review someone would base the rate on the source text, I assumed it was a standard thing, that is why I'm asking how do other people do it.
Thanks for your thoughts Noniicon_smile.gif


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:52
English
+ ...
Payment, whether hourly or per word, May 10, 2012

is for working on the text you are reviewing. That is, you are not reviewing/editing or proofreading the source text. You are checking for and correcting errors in the translated text.

Edited to add: Your reply must be, "In 10 years [or however many it is] of editing and proofreading, you have never seen anyone charge per source text. It would be ridiculous to charge per word based on the word count of a text other than the one you are supposed to edit or proofread."

[Edited at 2012-05-10 22:27 GMT]

Edited to add: In my opinion.

[Edited at 2012-05-11 18:09 GMT]


 

Catherine Gilsenan
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:52
French to English
+ ...
target/source May 10, 2012

It depends.

Some agencies charge based on source text, some based on target text, but they should state this and agree it with you from the outset.

Personally, when I'm dealing with direct clients, I tend to charge based on the translated text, since many documents come in other format (e.g. PDF) in which it is not possible to do a word count. As I deliver my translations using Word, I can easily do a word count of the translated text.

So, it can be done either way, as long as you agree with everybody in advance which way it will be done for each project.

But you mention that you are reviewing/proof-reading translations. In my opinion this should be based on the translated text, or else, as has been suggested, agree an hourly rate.

[Edited at 2012-05-10 22:50 GMT]


 

rpr  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:52
German to Danish
+ ...
a bit OT - counting words in PDF May 11, 2012

Just to let you know, that there is a possibility to count words in PDF- files:

http://abracadabrapdf.net/articles.php?lng=fr&pg=718



This Add-in only works in Adobe only, as far as I know not in other PDF- applications like Sumatra etc.

Regards, Rolf


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 15:52
English to German
+ ...
Per hour May 12, 2012

Proofreading per word does not make any sense. The time taken depends on the quality of the translation, not the numer of words. I offer a rate per hour. Then the client agency normally states the number of hours allowed based on their budget. Then I take it or not.

 

Claudia Guiraldes Kallens
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:52
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The point of my question May 12, 2012

Hi Rolf, you are probably right but regardless whether you charge per word or per hour, the question was: should you take the word count or estimate the time based on the source or the target text? Which for me is a no-brainer...so I was very surprised to be challenged on it!
Thanks for your opinion


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:52
English to German
+ ...
Not true. May 12, 2012

Rolf Kern wrote:

Proofreading per word does not make any sense. The time taken depends on the quality of the translation, not the numer of words. I offer a rate per hour. Then the client agency normally states the number of hours allowed based on their budget. Then I take it or not.


I take on proofreading jobs only for one specific company - my largest client. They use only the best translators. Proofreading or editing - there is hardly anything to do, reading the texts from my colleagues is a pleasure. They make their translator / editor teams work together in person. Delivering flawless text as the initial translation is some kind of sports among this crowd and most definitely among the partners.

I would be a complete idiot not to charge per word.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:52
English to German
+ ...
what were you actually doing? May 12, 2012

claudia16 wrote:

Hi Rolf, you are probably right but regardless whether you charge per word or per hour, the question was: should you take the word count or estimate the time based on the source or the target text? Which for me is a no-brainer...so I was very surprised to be challenged on it!
Thanks for your opinion


Hi Claudia,

did you ever have to deal with/read the source text for this project = were you expected to fix major translation mistakes and fix the style of the tentative target text as well? That would be major editing.
Or were you only presented with the target text and asked to improve its style?

Bernhard

[Edited at 2012-05-12 21:04 GMT]


 


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Word count when editing a text

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