Cost of proofreading
Thread poster: barelon

barelon
Spain
Local time: 01:21
May 19, 2013

What would be the ratea usually associated with proofreading a translation of literary fiction?

For example, how much would you charge to proofread a 50k word book?

Thanks in Advance,

Carlos

[Edited at 2013-05-19 21:53 GMT]


 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:21
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
By the hour May 20, 2013

I would charge my hourly rate. It's the time I do spend on that project, good or badly translated.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to German
+ ...
Hello barelon May 20, 2013

A minimum of 30% of your regular translation rate.
It is unlikely that anyone will reply with hard facts and figures: The internet never forgets. This is a public forum. Who wants to be remembered by his/her current rate that in three years will be ancient and outdated?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:21
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
How much do you need to earn in that time? May 20, 2013

As it's a translation that needs proofreading (presumably checking target against text as opposed to simply check,ing the target?), then it should be chqrged as any other job of that kind. OTOH, you may want to give small discounts if the deadline is comfortable, enabling you to do the work in "quiet" moments.

The bottom line always has to be "how much money do I need to earn in the time I spend on this job?". If you're very busy all the time, then you'll clearly need to be paid a high rate to fit in another job. If you have quiet spells where available work doesn't quite fill the time you allocate to work, then you may be able to take work on for a little less. BUT beware of offering massive discounts to fill empty hours, particularly with large-volume jobs. You still have bills to pay at the end of the month; and every low-paid job that you accept may result in turning down a higher-paid job five minutes later. You are always better advised to keep some time free for marketing: encourage those better-paid jobs to come to you next month.

As far as numbers of euros etc are concerned, that's your decision.


 

IrimiConsulting  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:21
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Usually 20-25 % of my translation rate May 20, 2013

Normally I charge 20 or 25 percent of my translation rate for proofreading. For extended proofreading (e.g. including terminology corrections, classifications of errors, editing and other stuff) I usually charge by the hour.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:21
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends May 20, 2013

As a general rule, as Nicole has mentioned, proofreading should cost about 1/3 of the translation, IF translator and proofreader are same-level professionals.

However what does same-level mean here?

Obviously, they work the same language pairs. The best indicator is that they wouldn't mind reversing the roles between translator and proofreader, the outcome wouldn't be much different if they did it, and neither would attempt to change their respective role's rates because of that shift.

So I have my translation rates. When prospects ask me about my proofreading rates, I tell them that same-level story, and advise them that if the translator they get is in any way not as competent as I am for that job, the proofreading rate might vary from that 1/3 to my full translation rate, in case redoing from scratch is justified.

This is an old trick some outsourcers try to play:

The "normal" way:
Translation by A $100 + Proofreading by B $30 = Total $130

Their "slick" way:
Translation by C $50 + Proofreading by B $30 = Total $80
... $50 extra profit; quality at B's level, unchanged

Then the "slicker" way came up:
Translation by Google $0 + Post-MT editing by B $30 = Total $30
... $100 extra profit, quality at B's level
... until B got smart!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends May 20, 2013

I used to charge 25% of my translation rate for text revision (not "proofreading" per se, but let's leave that debate for another time).
However, nowadays there are so many people using MT and then seeking "correction" work done on the result that it is seldom profitable. I now tell my clients not to try to save money by doing this and to simply send me their texts to translate whenever possible. Either that, or I try to get them to accept a "real-time" hourly rate. None of my regular direct clients has ever refused or complained about this, but this approach probably wouldn't work with agencies, who are usually more about business than people, if you know what I mean.

"Habalando se entiende la gente".


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to German
+ ...
Well, according to the original poster this is about a literary fiction. May 20, 2013

neilmac wrote:

I used to charge 25% of my translation rate for text revision (not "proofreading" per se, but let's leave that debate for another time).
However, nowadays there are so many people using MT and then seeking "correction" work done on the result that it is seldom profitable. I now tell my clients not to try to save money by doing this and to simply send me their texts to translate whenever possible. Either that, or I try to get them to accept a "real-time" hourly rate. None of my regular direct clients has ever refused or complained about this, but this approach probably wouldn't work with agencies, who are usually more about business than people, if you know what I mean.

"Habalando se entiende la gente".



I don't think that this book translation has been done by Google Translate. If so, it might even hit the New York Times Bestseller List as the Martian version. icon_smile.gif


 

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:21
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Rule of thumb: 33% May 20, 2013

I normally charge 33% of my respective translation rate unless it is very combersome or includes retransaltion (case by case decision).

[Edited at 2013-05-20 12:12 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
1/3 of the translation rate May 20, 2013

The rate for "regular" proofreading is about 1/3 of my translation rate provided the translation was done by a competent translator.

The rate for proofreading MT's lies around 50% of my translation rate. Google translations require the full translation rate, that is, should I accept them.

Editing rates are somewhat higher.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:21
English to Polish
+ ...
50% or so May 22, 2013

I avoid those jobs. If I can't, I name 50% and warn that while I could go down to 30% if the translator is good, but never below 20% for reading alone, I could also take it up to 70% or drop it if it can't be salvaged.

Poland generally doesn't recognise the difference among proofreading, review, editing etc.

At any rate, I dislike proof jobs because they take as much time as translation while being more cumbersome and stressful and paying half.


 


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