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Poll: On average, what is your proofreading rate?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:33
SITE STAFF
Apr 6, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "On average, what is your proofreading rate?".

This poll was originally submitted by linguaport

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:33
English to Swedish
+ ...
1/3 Apr 6, 2006



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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:33
French to English
+ ...
by the hour Apr 6, 2006

I charge by the hour, so this does not apply to me - depending on the quality of the text, it could be any of the above - or even higher than my translation rate

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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:33
Member
French to English
+ ...
Per report Apr 6, 2006

For my biggest client I do a lot of report editing for which I charge on a per report basis. This most often ends up being equivalent to or higher than my basic translation rates.

For other clients I charge on a per word basis, set depending on the quality of the document to be proofread, but Mara's comment has got me thinking that an hourly rate could be a better idea.


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 08:33
German to English
Same here Apr 6, 2006

I charge per hour proofreading what I would get per hour translating calculated on my 300 word per hour average speed of translating German into English.

So my rate is the same as translation. 100%


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
pity that .... Apr 6, 2006

...you didn't specify a level of difficulty! There's a huge difference between texts and the main difference is the level of technical complexity.

I have just edited a non-native's technical text and it's not far off 100% of my translation rate

A simpler text would be close to 30%

PS My interpretation of rate here is not as a per word rate, but as a level of payment comparable to payment for the equivalent translation. That was my take on the basis of the presentation of the multiple choice options.

[Edited at 2006-04-06 08:42]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:33
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I charge for my time too.... Apr 6, 2006

I simply could not work out a fair rate otherwise.

Sometimes I proofread for Danish colleagues who want a native speaker to check their work - and it barely takes longer than just reading the text through! I have learnt a lot from this kind of job, and I don't always charge for the lengthy telephone conversation afterwards where we discuss the text! (We may discuss a lot of other things along the way, as friends do, and then they would be just as entitled to charge me )


If an agency sends me a client's text the reaction is occasionally: 'No way, this is impossible' if no source text exists. I have learnt to refuse the really hopeless cases...


Sometimes the texts are as good as those of my colleagues mentioned above, and I say so, but charge for my time.


But I get every level in between, and in some cases I'd rather have a good glossary or wordlist and translate instead!


That is the risk of working in English - when people think they can write English, just because they can follow the news on CNN... Some can, and some should admit they write far better in their own language.

And then there are menus... I laughed all day yesterday about the menu I rewrote. It offered 'stuffed belly peppers' (HELP!!)
I saw them belly-dancing across the table, in bright colours, but they might have been the 'deli-belly' type instead - and next course was a beef meet on a tipple (triple platter), accompanied by Slow Cole.

-- Well, you would be too if you had too much tipple, wouldn't you?



[Edited at 2006-04-06 09:08]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:33
Member
English to Turkish
I also charge by the hour Apr 6, 2006

But in cases where I team up with the translator whom I know beforehand, mine equals to 1/3, too. I agree that anything but hourly charge would be tricky if you had no idea what the quality of the translation would be like.

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Ouadoud  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:33
English to Arabic
+ ...
proofreading vs reviewing Apr 6, 2006

I make a clear distinction between proofreading and reviewing.

for proofreading, I check the text itself "as if it were an independent entity" (if I may say): grammar, style, punctuation, readability.

For reviewing, I review the text "as a translated text, connected therefore with a source text": faithfulness of the message, as well as readability as a final Arabic or French text (since my target languages are Ar and Fr). The reviewer in many cases is given more tools than the proofreader: apart from the necessary source and target documents, he may be given directions as to "gender and/or cultural sensitive issues" to monitor in the translation. We're talking about high quality of course!

Those are two distinct jobs. In the UNO and UNESCO standards, the reviewer, officially called REVISER is the highest degree that a translator can reach, and it's better paid too. A job that's usually assigned to veteran translators, and that's also done once translators are retired from such organizations. I have a couple of friends like that and they're treasures of knowledge and expertise.

I follow that system, proofreading is 20-40 pc of translation rate. Reviewing depends very much of the quality of the translation and the value of the text...

Reviewing is most often calculated on an hourly or a daily or a page basis

Salaam,

Ouadoud

P.S: the two jobs are often mixed in the translation industry, it's acceptable forordinary jobs. It shouldn't for important volumes and/or quality texts (i.e. literary)


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Proofreading vs. editing Apr 6, 2006

These two actrivities are very different, though many clients confuse them.

Editing involves reading word for word with the original, can be very time consuming, anywhere between 500-1000 words per hour, and for that I charge 30-50% of the translation rate.

But proofreading, which I usually estimate at about 3000 wds per hour in my language, *should* only involve minor changes, if the translation and edit steps were performed well, so I usually charge 10-15% of the translation rate for it (often by the hour).


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Debbie Tacium Ladry  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:33
French to English
It can be tricky... Apr 6, 2006

I tend to charge per word for editing, at a rate that I consider to be fair both for me and the person who is paying. I don't enjoy a per-hour rate because I'm not a clock-watcher.

But there is definitely a difference between simple proofreading and editing, which can involve rewriting in some cases. Ideally, it's best to get a look at the text before quoting the per-word rate.

For those who charge a per-hour rate - do you also pay a per-hour rate to have your own translations revised? On the few occasions when I have done this, I have been satisfied, except for one notable occasion when a reviser that was recommended to me took 2 hours to revise 320 words...and the changes made were few and far between!


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 04:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks for the info Apr 6, 2006

Ouadoud wrote:

I make a clear distinction between proofreading and reviewing.

for proofreading, I check the text itself "as if it were an independent entity" (if I may say): grammar, style, punctuation, readability.

For reviewing, I review the text "as a translated text, connected therefore with a source text": faithfulness of the message, as well as readability as a final Arabic or French text (since my target languages are Ar and Fr). The reviewer in many cases is given more tools than the proofreader: apart from the necessary source and target documents, he may be given directions as to "gender and/or cultural sensitive issues" to monitor in the translation. We're talking about high quality of course!

Those are two distinct jobs. In the UNO and UNESCO standards, the reviewer, officially called REVISER is the highest degree that a translator can reach, and it's better paid too. A job that's usually assigned to veteran translators, and that's also done once translators are retired from such organizations. I have a couple of friends like that and they're treasures of knowledge and expertise.

I follow that system, proofreading is 20-40 pc of translation rate. Reviewing depends very much of the quality of the translation and the value of the text...

Reviewing is most often calculated on an hourly or a daily or a page basis

Salaam,

Ouadoud

P.S: the two jobs are often mixed in the translation industry, it's acceptable forordinary jobs. It shouldn't for important volumes and/or quality texts (i.e. literary)

Hi Ouadoud,

Thank you for this interesting and useful information.

Walter


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Pilar T. Bayle  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
1/3 Apr 6, 2006

1/3 by word rate, only work from providers I know very well. If charging by the hour, it means I am taking care of some mess and my rate can average twice my translating rate.

P.
www.pbayle.com/blogs

[Edited at 2006-04-06 15:34]


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:33
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Hourly rate Apr 6, 2006

You never know how much, or little, you’ll have to do.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rates for proofreading vs. editing Apr 6, 2006

I charge .02-.04 for proofreading (.04 for medical technical), but I warn the client that I will not make any substantive changes. I will only look for spelling and grammar mistakes and classic problems such as use of definite/indefinite articles in a translation from a language such as Polish or Japanese that doesn't have them.

My editing rate ranges anywhere from .06 to .11 a word, depending on the text and the client (the highest rate being for organizations in the United Nations family).

Heck, many times it's faster for me to re-translate a text from scratch than to figure out how to preserve what's there.

I was recently offered a large translation job at a rate I was willing to agree to. Then the client did a bait-and-switch and said they had decided to use me as an editor -- at .02 a word. Their plan was to use an entry-level translator do the translation itself (undoubtely for a rate less than I had agreed to, since I had had to do some negotiating to get what I wanted) and then just have me "look it over"!!! By paying me .02 a word for editing, they probably hoped to save money and still capture my experience.

Guys, I venture to guess that this is a tactic we should be alert to.


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