0.01 USD per word for proofreading??!!
Thread poster: Yan Yuliang

Yan Yuliang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:33
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Jan 23, 2014

Hello all,
Recently I have passed the test of an agency, which recognized my quality and wanted me to work as their proofreader. However the rate they provide is somewhat disappointing: 0.01 USD per word.

The language pair is from English to Chinese. Does anybody know the "normal" proofreading rate? I don't want to ruin the market by accepting unreasonably low-priced projects.

Waiting for your reply!


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 03:33
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
No Jan 23, 2014

Not even for English > Chinese. Even the mainland China agencies that I work with offer better proofread rates than that.

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Yan Yuliang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:33
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jan 23, 2014

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Not even for English > Chinese. Even the mainland China agencies that I work with offer better proofread rates than that.


And also glad to see you here. ^_^


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Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 14:33
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
Caution is required Jan 23, 2014

If someone is offering proofreading work make sure it remains proofreading.
There is a propensity to make it as Editing so notionally you will get a further lower rate.
Every time this happens I have to demand a new PO for the difference in the rates.
Some companies are using this terminology very loose to their advantage.

A similar thing I am seeing sometimes ( non- impacting). The agencies instead of introducing me as an interpreter in a over the phone interpreting, they say here is your translator for......

Bottom line: remember murphy's law. "Anything that can possibly go wrong, does."


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 22:33
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
well... Jan 23, 2014

With the recent tendencies, such rates will soon become "normal" not only for proofreading, but for translation...

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Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:33
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
You can inform the clients of your hourly rate. Jan 23, 2014

I only accept proofreading, editing and revision assignments if the client pays my hourly rate. I'd recommend setting such a rate (or range of rates) to be able to work in the most efficient way and not to worry about potential issues of the test: the worse the text is, the more the client will pay you, because you charge per hour, not per word.

[Редактировалось 2014-01-23 19:37 GMT]

[Редактировалось 2014-01-23 19:37 GMT]


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Sarah Hilditch  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:33
Italian to English
+ ...
Hourly rate is best Jan 23, 2014

I agree with Natalia. Most of the agencies I work for pay by the hour for proofreading, and ask me to indicate how long I took when I deliver the job.

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Kartika C  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 02:33
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Means to proof hourly work Jan 24, 2014

Hi, Natalia and Sarah! How do you proof how many hours it took for you guys to proofread/edit your work? I've been translating for several years now and have always charged per source word for proofreading/editing works. I also think it's not ideal because each job has different percentage of mistakes.

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Jean@LA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:33
English to Chinese
+ ...
English-Chinese: $0.03-$0.05 per source word Jan 24, 2014

I think a reasonable proofreading/editing per-word rate for our language pair should be within the range as indicated in my title.

A few UK agencies offer a little less, but not as low as $0.01. For proofreading/editing jobs, always ask to check the translation quality before you commit. Otherwise, work out a more flexible deal upfront with the PM for him or her to agree to increase the budget if you need to do a massive revision. Log your time to calculate your hourly rate when you do proofreading/editing. After a while, you'll have a gut feeling whether you're offered a fair deal.


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Jason Rogers
United States
Local time: 15:33
Member (2016)
French to English
+ ...
thanks for posting the question. Jan 24, 2014

I appreciate this post. I'm fairly new to the independent contractor/freelance side of translation, but what folks are saying here makes sense. I recently saw an agency advertisement for English language proofreading at about USD 0.015 (1.5 cents) per word. I wasn't quite sure what to think about that.

But as others pointed out, the quality of the translation is key; one that requires major revision and constant re-checking with the original simply takes more work. Charging by the hour makes a lot of sense.

best of luck!


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Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 14:33
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
proofreading of txml Jan 24, 2014

During proofreading of txml ( I charge by the hour), do you look at the source to check any segments are not translated/mistranslated? If the job is proofreading, I don't look at source at all, but apparently some agencies expect source is to be seen and any mis-/missed translations are identified and attended to. Would like to know your opinion.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:33
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Normal Jan 24, 2014

MariusV wrote:

With the recent tendencies, such rates will soon become "normal" not only for proofreading, but for translation...


Well, they will be/become "normal", but only if the translators, proof-readers and editors accept them.

What if no one will work for pennies anymore? (I know, ideal world scheme.)

Years ago I accepted a fairly decent rate because the PO was for the lip-sync translation for dubbing of 8 videos. The next time the agency approached me with another 6 videos, I was asked if I would accept a 28% (odd percentage) lower rate. The justification was that "there are people who will do it even for 50% of the rate you (I) charge".

My reply was as polite as it was firm, thank, but no, thank you.

The point is, translation (and its affiliated services) seems to be the only type of service that allows for the customer to "dictate" the price. And the "blame" lies not with the agencies, simply because they need/want to make a profit. So why should they pay EUR (or USD, or any other currency) 0.10 if they can get it for 0.01?

[Edited at 2014-01-24 08:28 GMT]


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Branka Ramadanovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:33
Member
English to Croatian
+ ...
Unfortunately, Jan 24, 2014

Thayenga wrote:

MariusV wrote:

With the recent tendencies, such rates will soon become "normal" not only for proofreading, but for translation...


Well, they will be/become "normal", but only if the translators, proof-readers and editors accept them.

What if no one will work for pennies anymore? (I know, ideal world scheme.)

Years ago I accepted a fairly decent rate because the PO was for the lip-sync translation for dubbing of 8 videos. The next time the agency approached me with another 6 videos, I was asked if I would accept a 28% (odd percentage) lower rate. The justification was that "there are people who will do it even for 50% of the rate you (I) charge".

My reply was as polite as it was firm, thank, but no, thank you.

The point is, translation (and its affiliated services) seems to be the only type of service that allows for the customer to "dictate" the price. And the "blame" lies not with the agencies, simply because they need/want to make a profit. So why should they pay EUR (or USD, or any other currency) 0.10 if they can get it for 0.01?

[Edited at 2014-01-24 08:28 GMT]



You are right in one, that this is an ideal world scheme. There are a HUGE number of people who will work for pennies, particularly those who have not passed university studies and do not have language (or other) university diplomas, but who just claim "they know" the language and therefore can translate. Proz.com admits them all in its membership, they only need to pay And of course, they can even register at Proz.com (or anywhere else for that matter, such at Aquarius, Translatorscafe, etc) even for FREE. So, even if they manage to attract a job at 0.01 of whatever currency, it is still useful for them, you see:) I have a feeling that due to this fact, our profession has been awfully underestimated. Here in Bosnia, where I live, there is even no national translators' association, so it feels much worse in terms of prices and all. Now I am really sorry that the same thing is happening at the international market. Unless we all unite somehow and stop this, unless we make some kind of an international association, those rates will just continue to drop until 0.000000000000....1 of whichever currency, I am afraid.

Best,
Branka


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:33
English to Polish
+ ...
... Jan 26, 2014

I do sometimes proofread at almost that exact rate, but in the following setup:

- the 'client' is a fellow translator
- and a good one
- who I have gone to school or otherwise spent a piece of life with
- the arrangement is not publicised
- I am not formally undertaking any sort of financial responsibility.

This basically means I go through a text in my field for a friend who generally knows and follows the rules.


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KateKaminski
Local time: 20:33
German to English
No thanks Jan 27, 2014

So I would have to read through 1000 words (most likely something extremely boring), cross-check it with the same text in another language, remaining highly alert for any errors. All for $10.00?

I would rather spend an hour doing something more enjoyable for $0.00!


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0.01 USD per word for proofreading??!!

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