Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Daily output for proofreading to calculate the rate
Thread poster: S. D.
S. D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:04
English to Japanese
Dec 15, 2014

Greetings to all translators here!

One agency contacted me for a proofreading job of financial document. The word count is about 25K.
I quoted $0.05 per word, which is half of my translation rate, but here is what they said to me.

"We usually work on 2000 words per day for translation and 1000 words per hour for proofreading, so an 8 hour day would give 8000 words a day, therefore a quarter of the translation rate. This is why we propose $0.025."

Does it make sense? Is this normal practice to decide on the rate for proofreading? 1000 words/hour for proofreading is normal speed? I am not sure if only quarter of translation time is needed to proofread this type of document.

I appreciate it if you can share some thoughts on this rate calculation. Thank you!

S. D.



[Edited at 2014-12-15 21:42 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:04
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Consider the other clients you have to assist. Dec 15, 2014

This sounds like an exclusive offer, and if they send you full time jobs, you will be working for them only, if they sometimes send them, you will have to quit other jobs you may earn USD 0.08 to get USD 0.02.

Is that fair?


I had a client that offered USD 0.03 and that was keeping me with low income (full time) but still limited.


XD

[Edited at 2014-12-15 22:00 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:04
French to German
+ ...
Hourly rate Dec 15, 2014

The normal speed depends a lot on the experience of the proofreader and the quality of the translation.

Before I have not seen the whole document I do not give a rate per word, but per hour....


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:04
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
This is for bilingual revision? Dec 15, 2014

If you're having to read the source text as well as the target, and doing occasional research (if only to be able to justify your changes), then I'd say 1000 wph would only be feasible for the very best translations of straightforward texts. 750 would be more likely, though I too would refuse to give a per-word rate in advance of seeing the text.

Charging the same per-word rate for every text makes no sense, for you or the agency.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, an hourly rate is much more appropriate. Dec 16, 2014

But it is reasonable for them to ask you for an estimate of how long it will take.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hourly rate Dec 16, 2014

Plus you need to see the text. The translation can be anywhere from excellent to horrible, and horrible will take much more time. So charge by the hour if you like that kind of work (I don't).

Direct link Reply with quote
 
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:04
Russian to English
+ ...
About 5,000 words a day Dec 16, 2014

would be more realistic--to do a good job and not to endanger your health or lifestyle.

[Edited at 2014-12-16 07:12 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Output Dec 16, 2014

S. D. wrote:
"We usually work on 2000 words per day for translation and 1000 words per hour for proofreading, so an 8 hour day would give 8000 words a day, therefore a quarter of the translation rate. This is why we propose $0.025."


For general work, or work that you're an expert in and the translator didn't botch it, 1000 words in one hour is reasonable, but 8000 words in 8 hours is not. Proofreading is quite tiresome (IMO) and one simply can't keep it up at that speed for long periods of time. This 1000 word/hour estimate also excludes any research that the proofreader might have to do. And it depends on the format in which the work is presented -- some layouts are more difficult to proofread in. It also depends on whether you are required to use e.g. tracked changes, and whether you should make only justifiable changes.

My usual proofreading rate for EU clients is 1/3 my translation rate, and for US clients it's 1/4 my translation rate, but one or two of my US clients have been pushing the proofreading rate down to 1/5 or 1/6 of the translation rate in the past year or two (so I do less of that for them).

Is this normal practice to decide on the rate for proofreading? 1000 words/hour for proofreading is normal speed? I am not sure if only quarter of translation time is needed to proofread this type of document.


Well, then, play that card. "For this type of document, 500 words per hour is a much more likely estimate."


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2002)
English to German
Hourly rate – unless you get to see the full document in advance Dec 16, 2014

To add to the many excellent contributions so far, here's one more voice in favour of an hourly rate for proofreading. There are so many factors at play (even more than in translation) that pegging down a word rate is really hit and miss.

With some experience in proofreading, you might be able to translate your desired hourly rate to a word rate if you get to see the full translation before setting the price or if you have been proofreading that translator's work in the past.

Much depends on what they actually expect from you as a proofreader. In other words, what are you accountable for in the final document: just grammar and orthography? Or style as well? How about subject-specific terminology? The time spent explodes with your responsibilities.

My proofreading usually costs (whether charged by the hour or by word count) 25% to 50% of my translation rates, at the lower end if I am to leave the style alone, at the upper end if I am requested to improve the style. (I avoid doing terminology research as this makes costs explode – I only accept subject matter I am intimately familiar with or else I decline responsibility for terminology.)

This only applies to high-quality translations as delivered by well-qualified professionals; starting out with a subpar translation is a waste of resources in my experience (unless it's about giving feedback to a younger colleague and not about the most economical way of arriving at a good translation).

Endre


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation quality is an important factor Dec 16, 2014

"Per word" approach is dangerous, as you can get caught into a very poor quality translation and spend much more time per word than originally planned. If you have to check the text for mistranslations, terminology, etc. (that is, if you are provided with the source text too), then it gets eben worse.

"Per hour" rate is more appropriate, as you can “factor in” the quality of the translation without affecting your pay. If a particular translation is too poor, I either return the text to the client with a suggestion to retranslate it, or advise them that I cannot do “normal word count per hour” (the guideline is 1000/2000 words per hour, depending on the agency) and will need more time to finish the job.

The main point here is to give your client an accurate estimate of the number of hours you will need to spend on the job. Therefore, you need to see the text on beforehand.

Then, if for some reason, I have to spend more time on the job, I do not usually invoice “extra time", but stick to the initial quote. Now, if I spend less time than quoted, I invoice less (the actual time spent). This is to give certain “security” or “reassurance” to the customer. Otherwise, they may feel “at risk” of overspending. It should be a win-win situation.


[Edited at 2014-12-16 13:15 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marion Plath  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:04
Member (2013)
English to German
+ ...
Charge an hourly rate Dec 16, 2014

I recently made the mistake of accepting a proofreading job at a per word rate - the job turned out to be what I would call an editing job. I should have known better, I gave the agency my hourly rate initially but somehow they talked me into accepting a per word rate.
The translation consisted of a rather long text that was split between three different translators, so on top of mere proofreading I had to check the text for consistency, re-arrange and re-translate clumsily translated sentences and go back and forth within the texts to compare phrases.

When I pointed out that the job went well beyond mere proofreading, the agency agreed that they would review the rate which is at least something, but what baffles me most is that they keep coming back to me with queries as if I, the proofreader, was completely in charge of the whole translation. I haven't done that many proofreading/editing jobs and mainly work in literary translation where it is always the translator who gets the edited text back and has to implement the changes, as he/she is the one who has the copyright, knows the text best and takes responsibility for it. It makes sense. However, this agency keeps coming back to me, the proofreader, to ask me questions about why a certain term was used and not another and doesn't seem to go back to the translator at all. Is this normal practice in non-literary translation?

I would much appreciate to hear your experiences/opinions. Sorry for digressing but I didn't want to open a new thread, I hope this discussion can be useful to others.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:04
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Hmm... Dec 16, 2014

Marion Plath wrote:
somehow they talked me into accepting a per word rate.

THAT sort of agency ...
The translation consisted of a rather long text that was split between three different translators, so on top of mere proofreading I had to check the text for consistency, re-arrange and re-translate clumsily translated sentences and go back and forth within the texts to compare phrases.

and THAT sort of proofreading.

this agency keeps coming back to me, the proofreader, to ask me questions about why a certain term was used and not another and doesn't seem to go back to the translator at all.

Perhaps they know that their translator sets a time limit for responding to queries and will charge more, but they think you'll keep spending more and more time on this project, cutting your earnings per hour to a ridiculous single-figure rate.

Unfortunately, it's become increasingly common practice. It will only stop if more of us refuse to be bullied into doing twice the work for half the pay. But that isn't likely to happen any time soon, so it's up to us to stand firm and refuse unreasonable demands.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marion Plath  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:04
Member (2013)
English to German
+ ...
Standing firm Dec 16, 2014

Thanks Sheila,
I'm usually good at refusing unreasonable demands but the audacity of some agencies never ceases to surprise me... Yes, we constantly have to stay alert so agencies don't take advantage.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
The fastest agency Dec 16, 2014

S. D. wrote:

"We usually work on 2000 words per day for translation and 1000 words per hour for proofreading, so an 8 hour day would give 8000 words a day, therefore a quarter of the translation rate. This is why we propose $0.025."


Can they prove this speed and still render good quality? I doubt it.

Frankly spoken, if someone would send me such a reply, I would cordially reply: "I'm impressed and... much success with it".

IMO this is meant to serve only to cut down prices to a pitiful hourly rate.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:04
English to French
A bit off... Dec 16, 2014

Proofing is in general 1/3 of translation time. To count 1/4th, you must be dealing with an EXCELLENT translation. Basically 1/4 of the time covers what it takes for your brain to check the translation is correct, but if you have to do any rewriting it will start slowing you down.

However, I would consider both word counts low by today's standards. 2K a day is what things were before CAT and dictation.

In any case it's a negociation going on, 2.25 cents is low, but if the translator is really experimented and serious, I'd take it. And then again, I've got very occasionally raw Google translate from serious agencies that got slighted by someone they trusted... This is why you will often be advised to charge per hour. That works only if the agency trusts you to count the hours. If you are paid per hour on an estimated time, you're back to square one in terms of being dependant on translation quality to reach your per diem.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Daily output for proofreading to calculate the rate

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search