Non-fiction book translation budget: should translation and proofreading be itemized separately?
Thread poster: Victoria Patience

Victoria Patience
Local time: 10:06
Spanish to English
Feb 5, 2015

I've been approached to translate a 100,000 word general interest non-fiction book by a high-profile political figure from Spanish into English.
If their time frame allows, I will do the job myself. If they need it more urgently, I may have to work with one or two colleagues on the project, which would then imply proofreading for consistency (including of my own part). Should I itemize translating and proofreading on the budget or should the client only know the bottom line, as it were?


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:06
Member (2007)
+ ...
My 2 cents Feb 5, 2015

Somewhere along the line, there will need to be a proofreading step performed by someone who wasn't involved in the translation. This book will have far too high a profile to allow errors to be published, and we all know how difficult it is to find every little error in text we've produced ourselves. So the target text will need to be looked at carefully by someone whose only job is to trap errors, without worrying about whether it's a good translation. I think the client definitely has to have that step itemised separately. Apart from anything else, they may wish to have their own choice of proofreader.

I'm not sure there's anything to be gained by separating out the process of checking for accuracy and consistency, if you feel capable of doing those checks yourself.

But I hasten to add that I've never translated anything that longicon_smile.gif.


United Kingdom
Local time: 13:06
Polish to English
+ ...
The publisher normally also appoints an editor Feb 5, 2015

As far as I know, and in my (limited) experience of working with the publishers of print media, as well as writing online content (not translation related), any half-respectable publisher would not only have a proofreader check the final text, but would also appoint an editor for a book.

In the case of non-fiction it might be two editors - one that deals with the content matter (though that's perhaps more common with popular science/knowledge/education texts) and an editing professional who reads the text for language matters. Whether it would be returned to you for rewrite/s (not sure if it's a correct term for translation work) or left to them to do without your further input, I am not sure, and it might vary.

You can perform the work of initial editing for consistency yourself, if you share the task with others, but I would definitely make the potential client aware of such possibility and separate that task in the quote, making sure that such sharing of the task is acceptable to them.


Victoria Patience
Local time: 10:06
Spanish to English
Thank you Feb 6, 2015

Thank you both for your suggestions. I've itemized the two tasks, as you suggested, and am waiting to see what the client has to say.


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Non-fiction book translation budget: should translation and proofreading be itemized separately?

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