Proofreading
Thread poster: Maria Elena Gaborov Freites
Maria Elena Gaborov Freites  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:53
English to Spanish
Sep 29, 2014

What guidelines do I need to follow to charge for proofreading? I have never done it before and I am a little bit at a loss.
Thank you!


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:53
English to German
+ ...
A thorough assessment of the work involved will determine your rate Sep 29, 2014

Maria Elena Gaborov Freites wrote:

What guidelines do I need to follow to charge for proofreading? I have never done it before and I am a little bit at a loss.
Thank you!


If the text is so bad that it needs to be re-translated, it will have to cost as much as a translation.
That means the style can be horrible and unidiomatic or there are many grammatical errors and typos combined with poor style (this is important for marketing and other business texts and literary work).

In any case, I always ask for the original text and the translation to judge how good or how bad it is. If it's something that involves less work than the translation, I will do it for a lower but still reasonable rate. But I don't get many excellent texts. Half of a professional translation rate is often quite reasonable.



http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/272045-how_much_should_i_charge.html#2320522

Have you seen the original text? Is that what you are doing, comparing and "fixing" or are you simply making stylistic changes to a text in the target language without looking at the original?
This will make a big difference but in either case, the quality of the text and the time you figure it will take you will determine your rate/price.
I wouldn't recommend simply charging a third of some translation rate you once charged.

[Edited at 2014-09-29 18:39 GMT]


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Rogerio de Moraes  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Info is everything Sep 29, 2014

We know that "sometimes" not to say always, our job is tough.

The job of reviewing a translation is to review a text and not to retranslate it.

I think the best thing to do is to contact your agency and tell them the truth - what is really happening through all the process.

A crystal clear communication is crucial to all the relationships in life ,including, of course, the tranlation process.

Hope have helped you.

Cheers!

[Editada em 2014-09-29 19:50 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:53
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Rates Sep 29, 2014

Maria Elena Gaborov Freites wrote:

What guidelines do I need to follow to charge for proofreading? I have never done it before and I am a little bit at a loss.
Thank you!


You need to pay meticulous attention to detail. In case of poor quality this could easily mean having to read a sentence or paragraph more than once.

Even though the use of the original is not necessary for proofreading, in case of poor quality of the translation it is necessary to compare the translated text with the source text.

Unless you know the translator's quality, it is difficult to say how much time you will need to proofread a text. Therefore, proofreading assignments of more than 1 page should always be charged by the hour. (Even a 1-page translation can take more than 1 hour in case of poor quality.)

Charging per word can leave you spending unpaid hours trying to correct the translation..


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:53
English to German
+ ...
I do charge per word Sep 29, 2014

Thayenga wrote:

Unless you know the translator's quality, it is difficult to say how much time you will need to proofread a text. Therefore, proofreading assignments of more than 1 page should always be charged by the hour. (Even a 1-page translation can take more than 1 hour in case of poor quality.)

Charging per word can leave you spending unpaid hours trying to correct the translation..


Charging per hour is great if your client will wait and you can present the charge after you're done or if you can assess how many hours you will take to proofread the text. The latter might be possible but I find it less safe than a per-word quote.

I prefer to call this "proofreading" process "editing or revision" because I am looking at two texts, at least during the review process and often during the actual editing.
"Proofreading" in the traditional sense does not deal with an original text AND a translation but simply looks at a monolingual text to find mistakes and correct them. But here, we are talking about editing or revising a translated text.

Most clients will want to know up front how much they will have to pay and personally, I always quote the final price, and mostly per word - and from English to German I quote per English word. I don't think there's anything wrong with charging per word - and I only accept that kind of work if the translation is acceptable to me.



[Edited at 2014-09-29 21:29 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:53
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
The difference... Sep 29, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

I prefer to call this "proofreading" process "editing or revision" because I am looking at two texts, at least during the review process and often during the actual editing.
"Proofreading" in the traditional sense does not deal with an original text AND a translation but simply looks at a monolingual text to find mistakes and correct them. But here, we are talking about editing or revising a translated text.

Most clients will want to know up front how much they will have to pay and personally, I always quote the final price, and mostly per word - and from English to German I quote per English word. I don't think there's anything wrong with charging per word - and I only accept that kind of work if the translation is acceptable to me.


Exactly, proofreading requires only the translated text, as I have also mentioned in my webinar on this topic.

However, most clients don't know about the differences between the 2 revision tasks, and simply call everything proofreading. And they don't have/need to know the difference.

In case of urgent jobs when you don't have the time to first review the translation to assess its quality, then quoting per word might be acceptable. However, if you quote per English source text words while all along you are only to proofread the German translation, then this is actually editing, which should be quoted by the hour, On second thought, quoting a per word rate based on the source text and not on the target text (the one that should actually be proofread) is quite interesting. Usually there are more words in the German translation than there are in the English source text. Interesting.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:53
English to German
+ ...
A few more thoughts Sep 29, 2014

Thayenga wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

I prefer to call this "proofreading" process "editing or revision" because I am looking at two texts, at least during the review process and often during the actual editing.
"Proofreading" in the traditional sense does not deal with an original text AND a translation but simply looks at a monolingual text to find mistakes and correct them. But here, we are talking about editing or revising a translated text.

Most clients will want to know up front how much they will have to pay and personally, I always quote the final price, and mostly per word - and from English to German I quote per English word. I don't think there's anything wrong with charging per word - and I only accept that kind of work if the translation is acceptable to me.


Exactly, proofreading requires only the translated text, as I have also mentioned in my webinar on this topic.

However, most clients don't know about the differences between the 2 revision tasks, and simply call everything proofreading. And they don't have/need to know the difference.

In case of urgent jobs when you don't have the time to first review the translation to assess its quality, then quoting per word might be acceptable. However, if you quote per English source text words while all along you are only to proofread the German translation, then this is actually editing, which should be quoted by the hour, On second thought, quoting a per word rate based on the source text and not on the target text (the one that should actually be proofread) is quite interesting. Usually there are more words in the German translation than there are in the English source text. Interesting.


Hi Thayenga,

There are usually more words in the English text because German has "too" many "connected" "single" words - compound nouns for example - so the German sentences are longer because the words are longer and constructions often more complex, but they contain fewer single words - that's my experience.

PS: Sometimes I get texts written by non-natives (academic authors, not translators, but the texts are acceptable) that need to be "proofread" - so no original text is involved; or it's a mix of translation and proofreading work. In either case, I calculate a per-word charge for translation and/or editing - depending on the quality of the texts involved; it works for me.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 21:53
English to Russian
+ ...
You HAVE TO look at the translation first Sep 29, 2014

One thing I learned the hard way: never, ever accept a proofreading job until you've seen either the actual translation, or at least a similar one by the same translator. I lost count of jobs where the project manager assured me: "Don't worry, it's been done by one of our best translators!" but the actual translation was easier to redo from scratch than to correct.

Speaking of the pricing in general, my approach is simple: an hour of my work costs the same regardless of the type of work - translation, proofreading, whatever. Accordingly, I look at how quickly I can edit someone else's translation compared to translating the original file myself. My own rule of thumb: for a good translation, proofreading takes about 1/4 of the time necessary to translate from scratch. For a truly excellent one, it may be as low as 1/10. 1/2 is poor, and anything more than that means the translator ought to be disqualified and blacklisted.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
There is a lot more advice in other threads on this topic Sep 30, 2014

You may find it useful to look at other recent threads

The list is here
http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing-418.html

and a recent question similar to yours is here
http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/274186-how_much_is_the_standard_price_for_proofreadring_reviewing_eng_rus_per_word.html

and another here
http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/273824-hourly_rate_for_proofreading_1200_words.html

one more here
http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/272045-how_much_should_i_charge.html

I hope you find these helpful.

It is not always easy to search the forums, and it certainly takes time, but you may find that people who regularly answer get tired of repeating themselves.

I hope you find the advice you need - basically look at the text first and agree with the client about what needs to be done and at least approximately what they will pay for it - or turn it down firmly if you do not feel happy about it.
Every case and every text will be different!

I prefer to charge by the hour and sometimes set a maximum fee. (1000 words per hour). I then invoice for less if I have not run into unexpected problems, based on the time actually spent.

Best of luck!


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