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Poll: Do you think your customers would pay you extra if you outsourced proofreading of your translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:49
SITE STAFF
Nov 17, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think your customers would pay you extra if you outsourced proofreading of your translations?".

This poll was originally submitted by Julian Holmes. View the poll results »



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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
Romanian to English
+ ...
Depends on what you mean by proofreading Nov 17, 2016

Rereading my own translation, making sure there are no spelling errors or typos, is included in my rate. I can't imagine this not being included in a professional translation.

If proofreading means checking of the same by a second pair of eyes and possibly some terminological checking, as well, then yes, I have clients who pay extra for this second opinion. Very few clients draw a distinction between proofreading and editing, btw.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:49
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
??? Nov 17, 2016

For the life of me, I cannot remember ever having submitted this poll. I am really royally befuddled.

And, I'm positive this will lead to the perennial "What is 'proofreading/reviewing/checking/editing'?" debate.

I think polls should be run within earshot of when they were submitted instead of ageing in the vaults. Time for a beer already, methinks.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:49
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Unlikely Nov 17, 2016

for most of them, because they already have proofreaders/editors/revisers in place, which I find quite reassuring.

However, I have one or two domestic (Danish) agencies, who offer a higher rate if I take care of external proofreading.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 17, 2016

N/A (Not Applicable).
My clients send me their stuff and all they're worried about is getting it back suitably good-to-go. It could be checked and remedied by Sooty and his magic wand for all they know...
Izzy-wizzy...

Cultural note:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sooty

[Edited at 2016-11-17 09:23 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Nov 17, 2016

That's what I have been doing for the last 20 years. As I said before (other quick polls around this topic) I have an arrangement with a trusted colleague (we worked in-house together for 20 years) where we proofread each other's work. Quality-wise, it's the BEST decision I've ever made...

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
+1 Nov 17, 2016

neilmac wrote:

My clients send me their stuff and all they're worried about is getting it back suitably good-to-go. It could be checked and remedied by Sooty and his magic wand for all they know...


Lol


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:49
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Nov 17, 2016

Actually, this has been requested by 2 of my customers recently, but it is a rare case.
I do actually prefer them to deal with that sort of stuff.


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:49
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Some do Nov 17, 2016

Some clients have their own proofreaders, but many don't - even agencies, and of course direct clients. When quality is important (no, not always - many translations are done just "to see what this is about"), they may ask me to find a proofreader and mostly are prepared to pay extra. Even agencies that normally do have their own - these may be unavailable at a given time, it happened to me.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:49
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Highly unlikely Nov 17, 2016

If they have reasons to want my output checked by a second pair of eyes, they'll make sure to hire these eyes directly, to make sure it's really another individual.

In my web page on hiring translation agencies vs. freelance translators, among my tips for choosing a translation agency:
... check if they demand that translators deliver fully-proofread material, while asserting that all their work is reviewed by someone else. If they do, you may be paying extra for services you won't get.


If some agencies DO that, I'm certain they KNOW it.

I've seen agencies boldly advertising on the home page of their web site something to the tune of...
Every translation we deliver will have been thoroughly checked and edited by a native speaker of the destination language country who is and has been living there for several years.

Then their translator recruitment page says...
You MUST always deliver perfect, finely proofread work. You are hereby notified that any complaints from our clients on your workmanship will be grounds for us to unappealably deduct XXX from your payment.

It's based on the ancient "You get what you INSPECT, not what you EXPECT" principle.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:49
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Nov 17, 2016

Most of my clients are agencies, and they arrange for 'proofreading' themselves.

Some of them pay me to do it on other people's work, though I am cutting down on it.
We evade the issue and call it 'Korrektur' in Danish - I am sure my Danish colleagues have a definition, but I get instructions every time about precisely what the client is expecting me to do.

The few clients who are not agencies are usually private individuals who think my rates are steep enough already, or simply do not have the money to pay extra. If their jobs are simple certificates, it is not necessary.

In many cases it would take extra time, which we don't always have. I check as I go along, and do my utmost to get things right at the first attempt. This is where limited time is spent best, and there is less for a proofreader/reviewer to do anyway.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Nov 17, 2016

I mostly work for international organizations that have fixed rates. They may or may not choose to use their own reviewers.

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Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:49
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Highly likely for direct customers Nov 17, 2016

Whenever I do translations that are intended for publication or are legally significant, one of my trusted colleagues does the proofreading. I pay my proofreader and my customers pay me for translation + proofreading.

Mind you, I mostly work for direct customers, so I cannot tell what agencies would do.


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matt robinson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:49
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Let's get busy Nov 17, 2016

In contrast to neilmac, I feel an independent sweep of all work is useful. If there are serious errors, someone might sue.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
We'll try to be gentle on you, Julian ;) Nov 17, 2016

I answered 50/50 on the basis that:
- agency clients wouldn't want to
- some direct clients already do
- other direct clients have decided not to.

I always offer direct clients the option of translation only (which of course includes careful checks by me!), or including proofreading by a "second pair of eyes". A few have gone for both although with English being such a "can do" language, they mostly prefer to find someone else, i.e. someone cheaper. Unfortunately, that person is rarely both a native speaker and a professional proofreader so it can end in tears. I do everything to make sure they aren't my tears . I'll respond to a few queries but if it's clear that they're risking a perfectly good translation then I'll make it clear that it's at their own risk - and cost. I've had problems even with non-professional native English speakers. They don't often mess things up totally but older people (like me, but ones that haven't kept up with developments) often want me to write too (IMO) formally, and to add all those annoying little superscripts to dates, etc.


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