Proofreading rates
Thread poster: Karen Vincent-Jones

Karen Vincent-Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:13
French to English
+ ...
Apr 11

I have received a request for proofreading an article translation from ES_EN, but I have not done a proofreading job for some time so I'm not sure what current rates are. The article is 1300 words.
Could you help?


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:13
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
By the hour Apr 11

Karen Vincent-Jones wrote:

I have received a request for proofreading an article translation from ES_EN, but I have not done a proofreading job for some time so I'm not sure what current rates are. The article is 1300 words.
Could you help?


Ask your hourly rate. Some proofreadings can take you a lot of time due to the 'marvellous' quality of the translation.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Proofreading rate Apr 11

I always charge by the hour: 40 EUR/h

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Karen Vincent-Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:13
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How many hours? Apr 11

The trouble is, I am so out of practice with proofreading I don't know how many hours it will take me! A preview of the text suggests that substantial re-writing will be involved.

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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:13
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Hours Apr 11

Karen Vincent-Jones wrote:

The trouble is, I am so out of practice with proofreading I don't know how many hours it will take me! A preview of the text suggests that substantial re-writing will be involved.


You'll only know how many hours after you've completed the job.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:13
Member
French to English
+ ...
Per word / hourly rate Apr 11

For jobs only requiring a little bit of work, which will go through quite quickly, I usually charge per word, on the basis of about 40% of my full translation rate for the same sort of volume of text. This correlates pretty well with my comparative productivity for the two activities.

However, if it is evident that the job is going to require almost complete retranslation, then I charge on the basis of actual hours worked — but it's a nuisance having to keep track of those! Obviously the customer will want a rough idea of the cost, so I offer a price capped at what would be my normal full translation rate for that volume of text — but converted back to an equivalent hourly rate. This way, the customer knows roughly where they stand, and you have a safety-net. My actual productivity levels are none of my customer's business.

I have just been doing this exercise across a series of some 20 files, of slightly varying quality and in varying formats; overall, I found that my "per word" proofing rate correlated well with the actual time spent, albeit with some savings on certain documents and others taking slightly longer than predicted.

Here is a little calculation, based on purely fictitious figures, I hasten to add!

Let's say my normal translation rate is €0.10 / word, and I can comfortably translate around 500 words / hour; so I can consider that my target hourly rate is (say) €50.

If a customer comes to me to proof 2,000 words, I can offer them a rate of €0.04 / word — knowing that if the original translation is good, I should be able to do this in approximately 1.8 hours. BUT if the original translation is poor, I will quote them a capped price of "not more than 4 hours" = €200 max. — i.e. the same as my normal translation rate. If I then carefully note the actual time taken, and find it has taken more than 1.8 hrs, but less than 4 hours, then I can calculate the price on an hourly basis — but the customer is happy, since it has still come out lower than the worst-case capped price I quoted.





[Edited at 2018-04-11 18:54 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:13
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My policy Apr 11

My stated proofreading rate is one-third of my per-word translation rate, for competent human translation.

They might ask what I consider "competent", and I'd reply that it's "about as good as mine". (If I were deemed not competent, what would be the point in hiring me for proofreading?)

If they want, I can refer them - and have done so many times - to a number of colleagues that I know and consider competent in my language pair.

If I fail to consider the translation provided as "competent and human", my proofreading rate may rise up to my full translation rate, the latter case being when re-translating from scratch is justified.

As simple as that.


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Mair A-W (PhD)
Germany
Local time: 03:13
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
"proofreading" Apr 12

Karen Vincent-Jones wrote:

The trouble is, I am so out of practice with proofreading I don't know how many hours it will take me! A preview of the text suggests that substantial re-writing will be involved.


"Dear customer, A preview of this text suggests that substantial re-writing will be involved: it is in no way ready for proofreading. I would be happy to re-translate it for you at [my usual translation rate]. kthx."


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:13
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
professional quality 0,04 - 0,06 euro / source word for proofing Apr 12

professional quality 0,04 - 0,06 euro / source word for proofing depending on the content (technical expert knowlegde required??)
1300 words should normally not take more than 1,5 - 2 hours.

take quick look at the start and the end to see if the quality degrades

run a spell check - -if you already find lots of errors this is not professional quality

also take a look at the source if that is already chinglish or spanglish ... the translation won't be much better

if it is Machine Translation, or should you think this takes more than 1,5 hours - you need to charge full translation rate
just to retranslate it from scratch


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Karen Vincent-Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:13
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much. Apr 12

Thank you to everyone who has replied for your detailed and helpful comments. I think the distinction Tony M and Jose Enriquez made between normal proofreading (paid per word) and complete rewrite (paid in hours) is a good one. I now have a good idea of the reasonable rate for both, thanks to Edward, Teresa and Tony M again.
The content was quite technical, on implementing an EU directive.
In the end I went with Mair's suggestion and told the client that the text provided was not of a standard for normal proofreading and needed extensive work, which I was not prepared to undertake. I could have been more helpful and offered to re-translate it at my normal translation rate, but the client's request stressed the importance of rapid turnaround and low cost, so I didn't.
The client did not get back to me. I was relieved!


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