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How much proofreading do you do for 7.5 (seven and a half) Euros?
Thread poster: Christine Andersen

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:54
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Jul 2, 2014

I have recently started working with a new client, and their rate for translation is not princely for my language pair, but not bad either.

Then came the first proofreading job, which they will pay for at a per-word rate. OK, it is only a page, but it comes with a 6-page glossary, a comment from the translator and a style guide from the end client on their corporate style and I don't know what.

It took me several minutes just to open the PDF and get past the glossy illustrations to see if there was anything in it for me.

Assuming I can search the glossary electronically - which I can - by the time I have registered this job in my system and read the documents, I have used up all the time paid for.

The translator has provided a reference for one of the terms that took a long time to find... so there goes several minutes clicking on that. Unless I decide just to trust the translator.

The only positive thing is that there is no assessment scheme to fill in, but I am welcome to write a general comment on the quality in the mail when I return the file with tracked changes.

I need not set this one up in Studio, Word is fine...

This is a Danish agency, and at my hourly rate they are paying for about 15 minutes!

So when do I actually proofread it?

I wil do it this time, but from now on that agency will be added to my list of clients I translate for, but do not do proofreading.

As they seem sensible, I will explain why and introduce a minimum rate for small translation jobs. Otherwise they will simply be turned down out of hand unless the job is big enough.

I have enough work to keep me madly busy working for clients who pay for the time it takes!


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Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:54
German to English
good plan Jul 2, 2014

If you say they're reasonable, then I think your plan of telling them that you have a minimum rate for proofreading jobs and explaining why is a good one. Either they'll make a note of your minimum rate for proofreading or will only send you translating jobs, and both options would be better for you than ending up doing work you're not being paid for!

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Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:54
Member (2010)
English to French
charge by hour Jul 2, 2014

Hi Christine,

1) I had some bad experiences with proofreading charged by the word. In case of a lot of flaws in the translation, charge by the word is not profitable at all. Charge per hour or don't take the job (isn't it below your minimum charge?) unless you want to enter this account.

2) about the additional guidelines etc, it takes a lot of time to install them, read them etc, it is not worth if you plan to proofread only one page.
This additional work should be done only for the translation / proofreading of a big text (or many files!).

Good luck to you,

Madeleine

[Edited at 2014-07-02 07:58 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'd certainly explain the problem to them Jul 2, 2014

What you've told us may make interesting reading for them, too, as they seem a decent enough company.

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Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:54
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
None at all! Jul 2, 2014

I decided early on that I would never charge less than half an hour, and so far all my clients have accepted that - with or without giving me a bit more to do to be sure they get their money's worth.
If your relationship with this agency is good, I think Sheila's right: you have nothing to lose by giving them a measured reality check, and potentially plenty to gain.
Good luck!


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:54
Italian to English
None! Jul 2, 2014

I have a minimum fee that applies for both proofreading and translation jobs. I would explain the situation and see what they say.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:54
Russian to English
+ ...
About two pages, Jul 2, 2014

if the text is not horrible. 1.5, perhaps-- 250 word pages.

[Edited at 2014-07-02 12:19 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:54
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It was a sample for a new end client... Jul 2, 2014

I rewrote a sentence or two and shined the text up, and told the agency I would do it at their price this time, but not normally.

The PM thanked me nicely and said it was going to the end client without charge, but she would agree to a minimum rate another time - she could see it was a tall order when the rate was converted into time. For larger jobs it is more viable, but I still would not do much revision or checking terminology at the rate per word - it would be strictly proofreading.

Anyway, if they pay as promptly as everyone says they do, I will give this agency a 5 in due course on the BB.

So the story ends well.


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Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:54
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Coffee Jul 2, 2014

I guess it gives me the time to get my coffee and open the files, read a little, not much more.
In case it comes in like a Studio package, nicely stuffed with terms etcetera, I would work 12 minutes for that price as I charge per hour.


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Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:54
English to French
Repeat end client or not? Jul 2, 2014

Hello Christine, I think the two most relevant items here are those you didn't tell us: (1) is it a repeat end client and (2) was the translation high qualilty. I wouldn't mind a large setup for a small job if the end client is a regular and I can get used to their quirks. Also really important is the quality of the translation. In a good situation, you have a serious translator who wants to keep it all from that client, a PM who wants to keep a good working pair T+E, and you get used to the terminology and style --> this is a winner, regardless of the time you lost at first. So, tell us

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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:54
Member (2012)
French to English
It depends Jul 2, 2014

If it's an interesting topic, and I've got nothing else to do, I will happily spend as long as it takes to do a good job, regardless of money, because I enjoy it.

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asia20002  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:54
English to Polish
+ ...
kinds of rates Jul 2, 2014

I prefer a rate per word. I had some bad experiences with rates per hour. Recently I have been told that an about 2400-word-long proofreading should take about 1.3 hours. I was not very difficult but still. I think that a rate per word is more objective.

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Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:54
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Per hour = Per hour of YOUR time Jul 2, 2014

asia20002 wrote:
Recently I have been told that an about 2400-word-long proofreading should take about 1.3 hours.

These are only expectations of this particular client. You actually charge per hour of your work, and the time you spend on proofreading depends on how good or bad the translation is (provided you are qualified for this job). I usually proofread/edit at a speed of 1,000 words/hour, but that's because they send me excellent translations (and I know what to expect). There's also a client that sends me very different projects (mostly small, under 1 hour of my time) with unpredictable quality (usually average, with occasional excellent and horrible translations). I warned them in advance that I will inform them of the time spent on a current assignment after I've completed it (I send the proofread file by email and record the time to be added to my monthly invoice).
asia20002 wrote:
I think that a rate per word is more objective.

No, it's just easier for a client - to know in advance how much/little to pay to you (if you accept a task with a fixed rate based on the number of words, you risk getting a machine translation and rewriting it at 25% of your normal rate for translation).


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asia20002  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:54
English to Polish
+ ...
rate per hour Jul 3, 2014

I was usually told that the proofreading should take e.g. 1 hour and that's all. I think that it would lead to long and not necessarily pleasant discussions if i demanded another price after the work. That's why I don't feel comfortable with such jobs.

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Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:54
German to Swedish
+ ...
Nothing Jul 3, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

How much proofreading do you do for 7.5 (seven and a half) Euros?



Nothing. It's just extra bookkeeping. A net loss.

Well, maybe 5 minutes' worth. No glossaries.
I'd do it for free as a favor to an old client.

[Edited at 2014-07-03 07:29 GMT]


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How much proofreading do you do for 7.5 (seven and a half) Euros?

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