Small proofreading job
Thread poster: eva75

eva75
English
+ ...
May 15, 2006

I have just got a small proofreading job to do, topic is very general, socio-political, and only about 230 words. Should I charge by hour or by words. It would only take me 30 minutes or so to do, what would a fair rate be for this kind of text?

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Saskia Steur  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
use a minimum charge May 15, 2006

I use a minimum charge for small projects.
Perhaps that would help you here.

Best regards,
Saskia


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:48
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Free of charge May 15, 2006

I suggest a totally different approach.

Proofreading, perhaps surprisingly, can be more risky than translating. So first of all, do a risk assessment. Check what the document will be used for. If it is for publication, for example a publicity brochure to be printed in 100,000 copies, then any mistake you fail to spot would be down to you, not the translator. Reprinting is expensive, and they might ask you to foot the bill. So you might want to turn this job down.

If you accept this job, and charge nothing, no money changes hands, and therefore there is no contract. That, I am told, gives you much better legal protection in the event of a dispute.

Another reasons for charging nothing can be summed up as 'brownie points'. The job will take you little time (I estimate 15-20 minutes), and you and your customer will probably spend more time on processing the invoice and handling the paperwork. So your customer will be doubly pleased to get the document proofread and to skip the admin.

For that reason, I often do small jobs at no charge. Sometimes the brownie points yield future dividends, sometimes not. In general, I find they do.

At the end of the day, it has to be your commercial decision whether to charge or not. But I just wanted to put forward some reasons for what sounds at first like an unbusinesslike approach.


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eva75
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
private individual May 15, 2006

Peter Linton wrote:

I suggest a totally different approach.

Proofreading, perhaps surprisingly, can be more risky than translating. So first of all, do a risk assessment. Check what the document will be used for. If it is for publication, for example a publicity brochure to be printed in 100,000 copies, then any mistake you fail to spot would be down to you, not the translator. Reprinting is expensive, and they might ask you to foot the bill. So you might want to turn this job down.

If you accept this job, and charge nothing, no money changes hands, and therefore there is no contract. That, I am told, gives you much better legal protection in the event of a dispute.

Another reasons for charging nothing can be summed up as 'brownie points'. The job will take you little time (I estimate 15-20 minutes), and you and your customer will probably spend more time on processing the invoice and handling the paperwork. So your customer will be doubly pleased to get the document proofread and to skip the admin.

For that reason, I often do small jobs at no charge. Sometimes the brownie points yield future dividends, sometimes not. In general, I find they do.

At the end of the day, it has to be your commercial decision whether to charge or not. But I just wanted to put forward some reasons for what sounds at first like an unbusinesslike approach.








Well, it's not for a company or anything, it's just for a private individual ... and I need every penny I can get at the moment, to be honest!


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:48
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
OK May 15, 2006

Then take Saskia Steur's advice. £10 ?

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Teresa Bento  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:48
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes May 16, 2006

So why not making a mininum charge? I usually charge per word or per subtitle (since it's my area of expertise).

Good luck


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