Fair rates: English > Spanish Translation + Proofreading
Thread poster: jaimitodc

jaimitodc
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:47
Aug 6, 2013

Hi there,

Just two questions that I would really appreciate some guidance on.

Context: A friend of mine has done a translation of a book that I am interested independently publishing in Spanish. I'm bilingual and editing his translation into Spanish (he's fluent in Spanish but not English). He originally translated the books just to use as study material.

- I wanted to get an idea from the community of what would be a fair price that an independent publisher would pay for the translation + editing of a 110,390 word book from English to Spanish? The language is non-technical spiritual/self-help/psychology.
- What would the proportional cost usually be between the translation and editing rates. i.e would the cost be 60% to the translator 40% to the editor/proofreader, 90%-10% or 50-%50%? What's the industry standard?

I just want to make sure that, given the nature of our friendship the fairest outcome is attained.

Many thanks in advance,

Jamie


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:47
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
The standard answer... Aug 6, 2013

jaimitodc wrote:

Hi there,

Just two questions that I would really appreciate some guidance on.

Context: A friend of mine has done a translation of a book that I am interested independently publishing in Spanish. I'm bilingual and editing his translation into Spanish (he's fluent in Spanish but not English). He originally translated the books just to use as study material.

- I wanted to get an idea from the community of what would be a fair price that an independent publisher would pay for the translation + editing of a 110,390 word book from English to Spanish? The language is non-technical spiritual/self-help/psychology.
- What would the proportional cost usually be between the translation and editing rates. i.e would the cost be 60% to the translator 40% to the editor/proofreader, 90%-10% or 50-%50%? What's the industry standard?

I just want to make sure that, given the nature of our friendship the fairest outcome is attained.

Many thanks in advance,

Jamie

...is "it depends".

The problem is that I'm not entirely sure what your role is - are you the one negotiating with the publisher, or are you officially acting as your friend's proofreader? If the former is the case, then your party negotiates with the publisher how publishing costs and revenue would be shared, then your party (you + friend) decides how to split the costs and revenue, if any. Translation rates are not relevant, and you also have to clear translation rights with the original author/publisher. In this case the publisher merely handles the publishing; your party must take care of translation and proofreading, and you'll actually have to pay the company if you want them to do additional editing.

If the publisher is paying for this as a translation, there are two ways to go:
1. Your friend gets paid as translator and he pays you to proofread/edit it. The company pays a translation rate, whatever that is, to your friend, then your friend pays you. Your agreement would be with your friend, not your company, and the company may hire its own proofreader completely independent of your party.
2. You reach an understanding with the company that you would be the proofreader that the company hires. The company pays your friend for translation and you for proofreading, which is usually around 50% of the translation rate.


 

jaimitodc
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:47
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks... to clarify Aug 6, 2013

Hi Lincoln,

Thanks for this!

To clarify>

I am buying the translation rights of the book, so I am in essence the publisher.

I just wanted to get an idea of what is a fair split for the total translation, editing, proofreading pie.

Lets say the book 110,390 words costs 100 units of money to translate.

Would it go 40%, 30%, 30% split?

And what would the total cost of the job be, I'm talking about your own subjective point of view, what would you charge me basicallyicon_smile.gif

I just would like to get some data so I know how much to pay myself (editor), how much to pay my friend (translator) and how much to pay a proofreader.

Thanks, I hope this helps to clarify.

Just need to data really

Best

Jamie


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:47
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
It still depends, of course Aug 6, 2013

If you are the sole party handling the publishing rights, I recommend that you offer him a share of the profits after cost. It can be a long-term royalty or you can cap it at some amount. As long as the translation is in and of itself a mutual interest and both of you understand fully that you are the sole bearer of all costs and risks for publication, I don't see why there should be an issue with this arrangement. It is important that you are able to recuperate your publishing costs first; you can discuss with your friend how you want to share the profit after cost.

In this case, you may or may not hire a proofreader as you see fit. The potential proofreader would give you a quote, and the costs of hiring one would be considered part of the publication costs that you incur. As far as standard translation rates are concerned, you can actually find a table of average community rates for each language pair on ProZ.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:47
Chinese to English
Proofreading rate 1/3 of translation rate Aug 7, 2013

Lincoln's answer above is right: it depends. But yes, rules of thumb do exist. When a translation agency gives a project to freelancers, assuming that both the translator and proofreader (in this context the term proofreader is used loosely to mean checker of translation accuracy and target language quality, but not editor) are competent, translators typically ask 1/3 of their translation rates for doing proofreading.
There are many reasons why that wouldn't be applicable to you - not working as professionals, additional role of editor, quality of the translation may demand a more work from the proofreader, etc., etc.


 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rule of thumb-1/2 of translation rate Aug 7, 2013

If you asked for 1/3 of your usual translation rate the job just wouldn't be worth your while. In my neck of the woods your proofreading rate is usually 1/2 your translation rate.

 


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Fair rates: English > Spanish Translation + Proofreading

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