LSP and end client definitions of proofreading/editing/review?
Thread poster: Jan Sundström

Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:59
English to Swedish
+ ...
Apr 23, 2012

Hi all,

Due to the nature of these tasks, various LSPs and end clients often have wildly different expectations of what is included in the levels of proofreading/editing/reviewing.

I noticed that some linguists and agencies came up with their own shortlists and definitions, just to clarify what services they offer. A couple of examples I stumbled on:
http://www.mcrobertstranslations.com/2011/09/the-difference-between-editing-and-proofreading-a-translation/
http://www.en.src.aau.dk/Translation%20and%20text%20revision/

But neither of these are totally clear cut for me.
Did you ever come across a really detailed, well-structured definition that you follow? Something that a client sent you, or maybe picked up elsewhere?


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 00:59
English to Indonesian
+ ...
To me and my clients Apr 23, 2012

the three terms are the same.

Anytime a potential client asks my editing/proofreading/reviewing rate, I always tell them that my rate is US$40 per hour (one thousand words).:)


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Hermann  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
English to German
+ ...
Not so... Apr 23, 2012

Hipyan Nopri wrote:

the three terms are the same.

Anytime a potential client asks my editing/proofreading/reviewing rate, I always tell them that my rate is US$40 per hour (one thousand words).:)


Proofreading should only cover spelling and grammar checks, editing goes well beyond. It includes linguistic and stylistic checks and should make the translation easier to read. It is also charged at a higher rate.

The requirements/expectations are, however, not always made clear. This could be solved with an SLA between provider and client.


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 00:59
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Theoretically, yes but . . . Apr 23, 2012

Hermann wrote:
Proofreading should only cover spelling and grammar checks, editing goes well beyond. It includes linguistic and stylistic checks and should make the translation easier to read. It is also charged at a higher rate.

at least in my personal experience, the case is otherwise.

I apply the same rate to any of the three and correct what should be corrected, and the clients agree with these.

I apply the policies because, in general, clients do not have clear understanding of editing, proofreading, and reviewing.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
More or less work Apr 23, 2012

Hipyan Nopri wrote:
Anytime a potential client asks my editing/proofreading/reviewing rate, I always tell them that my rate is US$40 per hour (one thousand words).:)


I entirely agree that the hourly rate is the hourly rate - whatever the job. But scanning a document to see if there are any typos MUST be quicker than comparing two files (source and target) to see whether absolutely everything has been translated correctly, including sorting terminology and/or grammar issues where necessary.

I really don't think a definitive definition exists, so I always make sure my clients know what my quote covers (and doesn't cover).

Sheila


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 01:59
Chinese to English
What is and is not possible Apr 23, 2012

Some of my bigger agency clients do seem to have some clarity on this. They go through well-defined translation-edit-proofread procedures - though, just searching now, I can't find a document which gives me a full account of what these stages mean. But as I recall they are:
1) translation - aims to produce a finished document
2) edit - checks for meaning
3) QA - focused on English wording

The problem is that the procedure rarely works as planned, because you don't get the quality in the first stage. Editing jobs in my pair are (almost) always retranslation. QA is a full edit.

So even when you have good definitions and procedures, you can't guarantee to be able to apply them.


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xxxchristela
Same here Apr 23, 2012

Hipyan Nopri wrote:

Hermann wrote:
Proofreading should only cover spelling and grammar checks, editing goes well beyond. It includes linguistic and stylistic checks and should make the translation easier to read. It is also charged at a higher rate.

at least in my personal experience, the case is otherwise.

I apply the same rate to any of the three and correct what should be corrected, and the clients agree with these.

I apply the policies because, in general, clients do not have clear understanding of editing, proofreading, and reviewing.


If clients want only spell- and grammar check, they tell it. But this doesn't happen very often (I had one case the last years, a book), and generally they ask a corrector for this, not a translator.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rules were made to be... flexible Apr 23, 2012

Hermann wrote

Proofreading should only cover spelling and grammar checks, editing goes well beyond. It includes linguistic and stylistic checks and should make the translation easier to read. It is also charged at a higher rate.

The requirements/expectations are, however, not always made clear. This could be solved with an SLA between provider and client.


It depends on your definition. For example, I call the service I offer "revision" rather than "proofreading". This covers spelling and grammar checks, and I also tidy up the style and try to improve the understandability where necessary, at all times by consultation with the client. I charge what is supposedly the normal basic "proofing rate" (i. e. 25% of my basic per-word rate), or else a "real-time" hourly rate if the job takes longer than usual, which is currently 35,50 €/h.

I have never provided a written SLA but have never been asked for one - my clients know what they are getting.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:59
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The only safe way is to check with the client every time. Apr 23, 2012

As Neilmac says, the rules must be flexible. We should discuss what clients need, but not let them dictate how we do our work.

A couple of agencies I work for offer two levels of 'proofreading', and then you have to be aware which you are agreeing to do. If they want a lot of fiddling with formatting and so on, then they say so, but if not, the deadline may be too tight, and I don't get paid extra for doing it...

At least they know what they are talking about.

Others have only very hazy ideas. The PMs can't always read both languages and have difficulty judging the quality of the target.

The definitions that apply to monolingual proofreading for printers are not suitable for the jobs that translators are usually asked to do, which are more or less bilingual - checking either a translation or a text written by a non-native.

Here we have to remember that WE are the experts.
One of my clients tells me: 'Do what you can in two hours - I can't afford any more'.
In fact I often invoice her for less - her texts are almost perfect when I get them!

Others get a nasty shock when I quote realistic figures. They imagine you can compare with the source, spell check, revise the style, add comments and fill in a form, all in the time it takes me to read through the text once! (Several thousand words an hour...)

If they can't or won't pay, then you have to agree on some compromise first, or else you may end up working for peanuts and the client will feel badly treated too.


[Edited at 2012-04-24 14:26 GMT]


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:59
English
+ ...
On my profile Apr 24, 2012

I explain the differences between proofreading and the various levels of editing.

This has been discussed before in another forum thread http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/203345-wrong_definition_of_proof_reading-page2.html

I agree with Christine that it's best to check with the client every time. Ask to see the text so you can determine whether it needs proofreading or editing and then discuss this with the client.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:59
English
+ ...
The difference between reading and proofreading Apr 24, 2012

Christine Andersen wrote:


Others get a nasty shock when I quote realistic figures. They imagine you can compare with the source, spell check, revise the style, add comments and fill in a form, all in the time it takes me to through the text once! (Several thousand words an hour...)



I read once someplace on the Internet a handy way to get people to understand the difference between reading and "proofreading," that is, reading to find errors.

Give someone a text and tell them there are 6 errors in the text. Ask them to find them. They will read the text much more slowly and with much more attention and concentration than if they were not looking for those errors.

[Edited at 2012-04-24 17:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-24 17:33 GMT]


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