How do I best calculate my reviewing/proofreading capacity per day?
Thread poster: Fredrik Pettersson

Fredrik Pettersson  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2009)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Oct 21, 2010

How do I best calculate my reviewing/proofreading capacity and rates?

I've done two translation projects for the same translation agency now that involved new words, fuzzy matches and repeat words. My translation capacity is 4,000 new words/day.

Compared to this (4,000 new translated words per day), how much is minimum and maximum of words that it possible to review or proofread each day? I presume reviewing would be a lower number as it would involve checking source against target, compared to proofreading which only involves checking target text for spelling errors etc.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:19
English to German
+ ...
2000/6000 ratio Oct 21, 2010

Is the standard at a large agency client of mine (2000 words of translation/day, 6000 words of editing/day. Editing involves comparing source and target, of course).

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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 04:19
English to Arabic
+ ...
It depends Oct 21, 2010

It depends on the subject matter and quality of translation under review. In my opinion, there is no rigid number. However, it has been a practice by certain companies/translators that one can review a bigger number of words (at 50%) than he/she can translate. For example, if you can translate X words/day, so you can review X+50%/day. Finally, as mentioned above, it depends on the subject matter and quality of translation.

If you want to calculate it, give it a try and see, but the result shall apply only to such type/quality of translation that you gave it a try. By the time, you can come up with an average.

[Edited at 2010-10-21 05:53 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Your definition of proofreading Oct 21, 2010

Fredrik Pettersson wrote:
I presume reviewing would be a lower number as it would involve checking source against target, compared to proofreading which only involves checking target text for spelling errors etc.


It seems that your definition of "proofreading" is "a light edit". This is a very common definition out there, but it is not always the definition of the client. After all, the original meaning of "proof reading" (galley proof reading) is to compare and synchronise two texts in two different formats.

When a client requests a "proofreading" alone, my assumption is that they do want me to compare the two languages' texts. When a client wants "proofreading" along with "translation" or with "translation and editing", then my assumption is that they want me to compare the final file (often in PDF) against either the final translation or against the original file, to check for gross meaning errors.

My own translation speed is between 400 and 800 words per hour, and my own reviewing speed is between 1200 and 2000 words per hour. Does that help?


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 04:19
English to Arabic
+ ...
Your definition of proofreading Oct 21, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

When a client requests a "proofreading" alone, my assumption is that they do want me to compare the two languages' texts. When a client wants "proofreading" along with "translation" or with "translation and editing", then my assumption is that they want me to compare the final file (often in PDF) against either the final translation or against the original file, to check for gross meaning errors.


My established understanding for “proofreading” is to fix grammatical & spelling mistakes and sometimes formatting before printing target language (source language has nothing to do with this). As for editing, it means reviewing and editing target language in view of source language.

However, such understanding differs sometimes from client to another. Therefore, it is questionable and it is better to refer to client to get clarification.

Related topics:

http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/34473-editing_vs_proofreading.html
http://thecopyeditorsdesk.com/2008/11/10/editing-vs-proofreading-is-there-a-difference/


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Cristina Cajoto  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:19
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
1000 words/hour Oct 21, 2010

An important client of mine has established a ratio of 1000 words/hour for editing (comparing source and target). It works fine for me, but that depends on your knowledge of the topic, among other factors.

Hope it helps.

Best regards,

Cristina.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Depends on the quality Oct 21, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:
My own translation speed is between 400 and 800 words per hour, and my own reviewing speed is between 1200 and 2000 words per hour. Does that help?


I find it comes out at anything from 1000 to 3000 wph. 3000 is for final proofreading of well-written or well-translated text, reading it through very carefully to spot things that haven't been caught by the spell-checker e.g. "from" instead of "form". On the other hand, if it's been done by a non-native speaker with a not very good command of the language, it'll take me an hour to do just 1000 words. If it's going to take longer I reject it as a proofreading job.

BTW those figures are for proofreading the target text only as that's what I have the most experience in. Sometimes, they are not translations at all, rather texts written in English by non-native speakers.


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:19
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You should measure not calculate Oct 21, 2010

If you are new to revision then the ballpark figures mentioned by colleagues with several years of revision experience may be irrelevant.

Make sure not to overestimate your capacity: revision done in haste will almost certainly lead to conflicts with the translator. Ask for very detailed specifications as to what is expected from you, and stick to it.

Before accepting the assignment, make sure to take a good look at the translation. As Sheila said, the speed at which you can progress depends very strongly on the translation quality. If you don't take a good look, you may very well agree to revise a hopeless garbage that should best be retranslated.

Attila


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:19
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Three to four times translation volume for the same period Oct 21, 2010

For bilingual review, as a general guideline.

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