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Should I have my translations proofread before submitting to end client?
Thread poster: xxxmakenaiboy
xxxmakenaiboy
Japanese to English
Jul 24, 2008

Hello all,

I apologise if this has already been answered but I did a search / browse of this forum and couldn't find an answer.

I'm relatively new to the business side of translation and am trying to follow best practices.

I'm curious to know how many of you have your translation read by a proofreader prior to being submitted to an end client? Is this a cost that you see necessary as part of your translation process? Or what about the case when working for a smaller agency that does not have translations proofread?

I recently read of someone who didn't proofread their work, but when submitting the translation to the client, they included the words "This translation is yet to be proofread by a 3rd party".

I'm also looking at indemnity insurance. Do you think this is a worthwhile investment?

Thanks


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:34
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Either are good Jul 24, 2008

Either you tell the client that there has been no external proofreading or you get it done and tell them. The best is probably to arange it yourself - most clients will not arrrange an external proofreading. Obviously you factor this into your price.

With agencies, you do only arrange external rpoofreading if they request it. I have never heard of an agency that does not use proofreaders - they might very well not, but its is not our problem.

I don't have indemnity insurance but I probably should. So yes, do get one


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 01:34
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
A suggestion Jul 24, 2008

Hi makenaiboy

Thanks for posting at this forum.

If you let me, I will tell you something. In your post you are asking two very different things. One of them is about the need to proofread your work - here you are at the right forum for that.

As for Indemnity Insurance, please follow this thread: http://www.proz.com/topic/97532

Best regards,
Fabio Descalzi


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xxxmakenaiboy
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
No problem Jul 24, 2008

Fabio Descalzi wrote:

If you let me, I will tell you something. In your post you are asking two very different things. One of them is about the need to proofread your work - here you are at the right forum for that.

As for Indemnity Insurance, please follow this thread: http://www.proz.com/topic/97532

Best regards,
Fabio Descalzi


Hi Fabio. I'm happy for you to let me know. Thanks for that. I only posted the additional question here as I felt it tied in to one of the reasons translation should be proofread (as in protect yourself from mistakes) but I will follow the link you suggested.

Thanks


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xxxmakenaiboy
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your advice Jul 24, 2008

Ivana Friis Wilson wrote:

Either you tell the client that there has been no external proofreading or you get it done and tell them. The best is probably to arange it yourself - most clients will not arrrange an external proofreading. Obviously you factor this into your price.


Is it safe to generalise and say that freelance translators generally have their work proofread by a 3rd party before submitting to a direct client?

Ivana Friis Wilson wrote:
With agencies, you do only arrange external rpoofreading if they request it. I have never heard of an agency that does not use proofreaders - they might very well not, but its is not our problem.


Are you saying that if I make a mistake in my translation, the agency then submits it to the client but the client is not happy, it is not my fault, but the agency as they did not proofread it?

Thanks


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:34
English to French
+ ...
It is usually the client's (agency's) job Jul 24, 2008

If you work with an agency or other outsourcer (not a direct client), they are usually responsible for quality assurance. In fact, this is part of the reason why they pay you X amount for your work while they charge their client X amount + 50 to 300%.

If you work with a direct client, then you need to agree upon all your tasks in advance. If a client does want you to have the work reviewed and/or proofread by someone else, you are supposed to charge for that separately, since you will incur the cost of reviewing/proofreading on your end.

In any case, it is best to sign a contract. The contract should include clauses that determine what your responsibilities are and what the client's responsibilities are. For example, a good contract always specifies that, in case the client finds any problems with your translation, they should contact you so you can correct any mistakes/inconsistencies, and that if they decide to hire someone else for that, they will bear the costs (no reducing your payment because they decided to have someone review/proofread your translation). You should also include a clause that specifies how much time the client has to make claims after the work is delivered.

For more information on contracts, I suggest you search for the word 'contract' in the forum search. It is always best to clearly define what your work comprises before going ahead with the translation.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:34
Flemish to English
+ ...
S(tandard) O(peration) P(rocedure). Jul 24, 2008

Translation is a production process and proofreading/editing is the final stage of the process. Everybody -native and non-native alike- makes a mistake and two see more than one.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 05:34
English to German
+ ...
What does the PO or the contract indicate... Jul 24, 2008

Hi!
Usually you should be asking for specific instruction set.
Translation only, Translation + edited, Translation + edited and proof-read, Translation + edited + proof-read + reviewed and tr+ed+PR+RE+QA1 ( internal ) + QA external and finalizing. Infact you and your client are collaborating with each other, where you are the supplier and the client is the buyer of the service. But most clients do not pay for all production cycles involved in high-quality finish. You could also introduce further cycles, formatted or DTPed, Print-ready finish, Digital publishing etc., BR Brandis


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 05:34
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Hungary Jul 24, 2008

I don't really think any of my translations have been proofread (is that a word?) from start to finish, except for one.
Welcome to (a large part of) the Hungarian translation market - like rope dancing without a safety net.

I've been thinking about arranging for proofreading myself - perhaps the best option would be to team up with a colleague and proofread each other's work. One thing is certain: I'm not going to be paid extra for having had proofreading done before I submit my work.


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:34
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always have it proofread Jul 24, 2008

IMO, always have it proofread by a 3rd party if you work for a direct client. When you send the client the estimate for the job you have to take into account your translation, the proofreading done by a 3rd party and the final "proofreading" done again by you (plus any formatting, etc.)

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xxxmakenaiboy
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all the replies everyone, much appreciated Jul 24, 2008

Penelope Ausejo wrote:

IMO, always have it proofread by a 3rd party if you work for a direct client. When you send the client the estimate for the job you have to take into account your translation, the proofreading done by a 3rd party and the final "proofreading" done again by you (plus any formatting, etc.)


Makes perfect sense. I guess this means that proofreading needs to be calculated into the delivery time of a Project also.

The challenge I see here is: I get an urgent job Friday afternoon, with a deadline of Monday morning 9am. I complete the translation on Saturday afternoon and pass it to a 3rd party to be proofread. Obviously, I am placing my trust, reputation in the hands of someone in the hope that they will deliver a proofread document in time for me to quickly review and submit to the client. Has anyone had any issues with managing a proofreader and making a deadline or am I just overanalysing this?

Thanks


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:34
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Weekend rate and how to find a proofreader Jul 24, 2008

An urgent job over the weekend should be priced as such - so should the rate you in turn offer a proofreader.

In regards to your concern about trusting the proofreader - that is why many of us like to work for agencies, they take all that worry away so you can concentrate on what you are good at - translating.

When you work with direct clients, you are not just translating, you are also managing. So decide if you want that hat on as well.

It shouldn't be that hard to privately contact a collegue from proz - check their profile and their personality as it comes across in the forums, and pick one you think could be trustworthy and professional. Ask this person to partner with you as a proofreader. Much better than posting the job, I think.


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:34
English to Spanish
+ ...
Timing should be taking into account Jul 24, 2008

We all know that companies always need everything for "the day before yesterday" (as we say in Spanish). My experience, while working in different companies before becoming a translator, is that most of those really urgent documents sit for a while in different desks before being used. Thus, my recommendation is:

Ask your direct client for a longer due date so you can provide them with a perfect translation. We shouldn't accept jobs that are not realistic in "time-terms". Maybe it is just a matter of a few more hours or maybe one more day.

When a direct client contact me with a translation I always try to ask them for one or two more days than needed to account for problems that might arise during the process. Then if we can deliver earlier, they get very happy and if we cannot, they get the documents back in time.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:34
English to French
+ ...
You're not overanalyzing Jul 24, 2008

Your reaction is perfectly normal. In fact, good for you if you already thought of this.

Your question basically answers itself. You don't want to put your reputation between someone else's hands. That is why you make sure you have more than one reviewing/proofreading contact (if the first one is unavailable, move to the second one, and so on). That is also why you need to factor in more time than you know it will take. If you expect to translate a file within three days and you expect your proofreader to be done within a day, don't quote a four-day deadline - quote six days instead. If something doesn't work out as planned, you still have time to use an alternative.

This is actually project management. The question is, do you want to go this far just so you can translate? If not, then your safest bet is to never include reviewing/proofreading in your service, and offer to refer your client to your trusted reviewer/editor contacts should they require those services. This way, you need not worry about your reputation and you can concentrate on translation, while you are still adding value to your service by referring the client to your contacts.


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Sanjay Ray  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:04
Member (2002)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Proofreading is part of a translators job Jul 24, 2008

Proofreading is part of a translators job.


Very often, the proofreading part is not discussed with the translators. The clients may assume it is the duty of the translator to deliver a proofread job. The translator may think the client will arrange for a proofreader, because they are an agency.

As is already told, Translation as a process which constitutes of the following steps- glossary making, translation, typesetting, editing and proofreading. And as a general rule, the translator is supposed to deliver a final product that is error free.



If it is something which you think should be paid for, better negotiate with the client at the begining. It does not matter whether your client is an agency or a direct client.

THis is more so when they (clients) specifically mention that they need proofreading by a third party. Again negotiate before hand for third part charges and include in your translation rate.


Some people say that if you work with an agency they are usually responsible for quality assurance. So you dont need to prooread your files. To me it seems not fair. As a translator we should take responsibility for our job and can not expect some body else will do it for me.
If the client still arranges a third party proofreader it is good for them.

When you work with a direct client then you need to negotiate all the steps involved in the translation process and ask for a suitable rate.

In any case translators should take responsibility for their own jobs.


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