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Problem with Proofreader
Thread poster: AlexandriaPraha

AlexandriaPraha
United States
Sep 21, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I am just starting out working as a translator (on contract) with a company. As I am still a bit unsure of things so I hired someone to do some proofreading. Long story short, it was basically a nightmare. He turned in the work over 2 weeks late and cost me around $1000 in wages (as I wasn't being assigned new projects while this one was still being completed). We had agreed on a price and then he tried to raise it after the assignment was finished, saying that the language was more technical than he had originally thought.

I understand that technical translations cost more, however he had had the material for weeks and never mentioned this. Also, it is not a technical manual it is marketing material for a company that doesn't get too in-depth regarding how the product actually works. Regarding the delay- how is this usually handled by clients? Since it was someone I was recommended by someone else I didn't bother with a contract... (Naive, I know).

Any advice or insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 04:55
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Two Faults in One Sep 23, 2015

AlexandriaPraha wrote:

We had agreed on a price and then he tried to raise it after the assignment was finished, saying that the language was more technical than he had originally thought.



Nobody has any right to raise the price after the assignment is finished. Period. The price is a commitment that both parties agree upon before the assignment. The expectation is that the price will be paid exactly as agreed. No more, no less.

As anyone can guess, the excuse here is totally irrelevant. I will not even discuss it. Furthermore, there is a delay in returning the job. Therefore, there are actually two different faults here. He should be penalized for at least one.


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
English to French
+ ...
Let's hear the other side of the story before judging Sep 23, 2015

Maybe the translation did require a lot of editing...

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Was this an enormous job? Sep 23, 2015

You say he delivered two weeks after the deadline. That's an incredibly long time. What was going on during that time? Was it clear early on that things weren't going well, or did he get taken ill at the last minute, or did things seem to be on track but then he went silent?

A contract wouldn't normally be required between a translator and a proofreader, and it probably wouldn't really give you any added protection. I'm assuming here that everything is in writing and was agreed to e.g. payment and deadline.

He certainly isn't due any extra. Unless he has a very good reason for the delay I would have thought he should be offering a discount.


 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:55
English to Russian
proofreading is not reading Sep 23, 2015

The most common problem is that some believe proofreading to be a lower criticality work — you do not translate it, you just read it. No muss, no fuss...
In fact, proofreading is the last stand at the translation battlefield. Translators may stumble. Proofreaders may not. This is what they are paid for.
Before hiring, you need to make sure that your potential proofreader understands it.
In your case, I would suggest that you pay what you owe and say goodbye.

[Edited at 2015-09-23 19:32 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
agreed but Sep 23, 2015

ATIL KAYHAN wrote:

AlexandriaPraha wrote:

We had agreed on a price and then he tried to raise it after the assignment was finished, saying that the language was more technical than he had originally thought.



Nobody has any right to raise the price after the assignment is finished. Period. The price is a commitment that both parties agree upon before the assignment. The expectation is that the price will be paid exactly as agreed. No more, no less.

As anyone can guess, the excuse here is totally irrelevant. I will not even discuss it. Furthermore, there is a delay in returning the job. Therefore, there are actually two different faults here. He should be penalized for at least one.



I agree with your points basically but this statement of yours is beyond my understanding: "Therefore, there are actually two different faults here. He should be penalized for at least one".

Did you imply that it is a fault for this guy to raise his quote after the job has been done. How can that be categorized as a "fault"? You further mentioned that he should be penalized for now of the 2 faults".Did you imply he can be penalized for raining his price? If so, how?


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
imaginary vs factual Sep 23, 2015

AlexandriaPraha wrote:

He turned in the work over 2 weeks late and cost me around $1000 in wages (as I wasn't being assigned new projects while this one was still being completed).


I think your statement is imaginary, not factual. How can you proof that your would get $1000 more in "Wages" if he would have turned in his job on time?


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 08:55
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Fact of proofreading jobs Sep 24, 2015

jyuan_us wrote:

I think your statement is imaginary, not factual. How can you proof that your would get $1000 more in "Wages" if he would have turned in his job on time?


It is critical to review facts written here. Imaginary sometimes hides the fact of proofreading jobs.

Soonthon L.


 

Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:55
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Perhaps Sep 25, 2015

jyuan_us wrote:

AlexandriaPraha wrote:

He turned in the work over 2 weeks late and cost me around $1000 in wages (as I wasn't being assigned new projects while this one was still being completed).


I think your statement is imaginary, not factual. How can you proof that your would get $1000 more in "Wages" if he would have turned in his job on time?


OP was literally offered work by the same company via other PMs who were unaware of the situation; once they found out that OP still hasn't delivered the work, they said "sorry, but we gotta assign it to someone else".

This, is an "imaginary" situation that the OP could be facing. Just an idea, of course.

I say this because I do have one client who operates on this exact system. You see all jobs proposed to you (or rather, people who work in that language pair), and you can see if the project remains available, or if it has been assigned to someone else. You see the prices, the language pair, and the due date. So no, it's not imaginary at all, it's factual. While this agency I work with does not have a rule which says that you can't take up two projects at a time, were it in place, this would have been my situation - I haven't turned in the work yet and therefore I am losing out on X amount of dollars because of work I could have potentially taken on. Every client is different, and every situation is different, you know.

However, perhaps there's a different side to this story than what we are reading here. Why would they raise the rate and deliver 2 weeks late? That's a long period of delay. Was the original file to be proofread in such poor shape that extensive work needed to be done?


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
English to French
+ ...
Let us hear the other side of the story Sep 25, 2015

There we go.

Rita Pang wrote:

Was the original file to be proofread in such poor shape that extensive work needed to be done?


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
What are trying to get at? Sep 25, 2015

JL01 wrote:

There we go.

Rita Pang wrote:

Was the original file to be proofread in such poor shape that extensive work needed to be done?


You will feel satisfied if the whole prolem had been caused by the OP herself, or what?

Even if it turns out to be true that extensive work needed to be done on the original translation, it is unbelievable that the proofreader " turned in the work over 2 weeks late".

Someone delivers his contract work 2 weeks later than the agreed turnaround time? What's wrong with the world?


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 01:55
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Why wait 2 weeks? Sep 26, 2015

What excuse did the proofreader give for the delay? Or was he simply MIA?

What's done is done, but next time build enough time into the project so that you can either do the proofreading yourself or find another proofreader and still be able to deliver the project on time.


 

PatrickMoreschi
United States
Local time: 19:55
Process of proofreading Sep 28, 2015

If you take a deeper look into the process of proofreading, you will find that it takes time, especially when there are a number of typographical errors to be rectified and minute grammatical and spelling mistakes that cannot be ignored. There are times when the person might have to write an entire part again. I agree that it might take some time. The delay is somewhere acceptable, but the increased amount that you were asked to pay is something annoying.

 

joana_diter
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:55
English to Bulgarian
Hire freelancers through platforms to avoid such uncomfortable situations Oct 23, 2015

I also had similar situations in the past. You think that you have hired the right person and paid upfront, but then it all went wrong. In your case you can only hope that the proofreader will be good enough to send back a well-written document, but in the future you can omit such issues by simply using a proofreading platform, such as www.proofable.com or www.elance.com or www.freelancer.com. At any of them you will have the option to put the funds into an escrow account. In this way the money will be released to the proofreader only once they have completed and returned the document to you. Safe for both sides and also fair. The other benefit from using proofreading platforms is that you get the best price as proofreaders bid for your work. You get to choose and pick the best freelance proofreader.

I hope that this helps.icon_smile.gif


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I really must disagree Oct 26, 2015

joana_diter wrote:
in the future you can omit such issues by simply using a proofreading platform, such as www.proofable.com or www.elance.com or www.freelancer.com. At any of them you will have the option to put the funds into an escrow account. In this way the money will be released to the proofreader only once they have completed and returned the document to you. Safe for both sides and also fair. The other benefit from using proofreading platforms is that you get the best price as proofreaders bid for your work. You get to choose and pick the best freelance proofreader.

I know from personal experience that Elance and Freelancer.com are a total waste of space and time for a professional proofreader and for any client who REALLY wants a proper job done. To be honest, Proofable looks even worse. On the supplier side these platforms are for people who think they know a thing or two about how a text should look. Maybe they're a bored retired person or carer tied to the home; maybe they are unemployed and desperate; maybe a student with time on their hands; or even someone who already has a full-time job but can't make ends meet and hopes to earn a few pennies/cents in the evenings or at weekends. Whoever they are, they aren't professional proofreaders/copywriters/translators or whatever. They're amateurs.

Yes, professional do sometimes register on those sites. But they quote maybe $30 per hour whereas the amateurs are happy with $5-10. But then those amateurs don't have to pay out for taxes, social contributions, professional memberships, accountants, professional training, insurance... and they don't have to factor in holidays, sickness, pensions...


 
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