Client requesting combined per word trans/revision rate
Thread poster: Paula DeFilippo

Paula DeFilippo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:05
Member (2015)
French to English
Aug 25, 2015

Hello!

I just received an email from a potential client. I had responded to a "potential job" listing that they had posted. I gave them my translation rate per word, and my revision rate per hour. They just got back to me and asked me for my revision rate PER WORD and also my "combined translation/revision" rate PER WORD. I am hesitant to give a per-word rate for either, but the "combined translation/revision" has me confused. Can I revise my own translation? And if so, how would I charge for it? Any thoughts on this? Thank you!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:05
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Ask what they mean by revision? Aug 25, 2015

Of course you'll proofread your own work thoroughly, but that's included in your translation rate, I imagine. The idea of revising your own translation is an odd one and not at all what the agency should be doing, to my mind. The job should be done by another person.

I never give a per-word rate for revision either, except when I'm very familiar with the writer/translator's work.


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:05
Romanian to English
+ ...
Have a colleague do the revision? Aug 25, 2015

A client of mine sometimes does this, but it is implied that I will contact a trusted colleague who does the occasional revision of my translation in that language pair, whenever their own editor is not available. Or viceversa, colleague does the translation and I do the revision.

Your client must have meant a similar arrangement.


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Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:05
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Calculate a 30% margin Aug 25, 2015

Yes, I imagine the client wants a per-word rate on the basis that you would be supplying a document that has been translated and proofread by two separate linguists -- basically they want a TEP rate (translation editing proofreading) which agencies generally provide. If they are comparing quotes some suppliers (agencies or other freelancers) will have included proofreading by a second linguist in their per-word rate.

To give an accurate per-word rate in this case, you would need to know what your extra expenses will be so you can cover them without being out of pocket.

Generally what I do is quote a rate high enough where I could outsource the actual translation of the text if necessary with a profit margin of approx. 30%. That gives me the flexibility of either translating it myself with extra money for my proofreader or outsourcing the translation and proofreading it myself (which the 30% usually covers easily).

I hope that's useful!

[Edited at 2015-08-25 14:44 GMT]


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Paula DeFilippo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:05
Member (2015)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
I will have to clarify with the client Aug 25, 2015

Thank both of you for your help! I am going to ask the client to clarify what they mean by "revision" and if they mean that I will be asking a colleague to revise my work. I still don't want to give a per-word rate for revision as I don't know the quality of the work I will be revising. I think that I will give them the hourly rate and a very conservative estimate of how many words that works out to per hour.

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Paula DeFilippo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:05
Member (2015)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Angela. Aug 25, 2015

Now it all makes more sense. I wish I had a trusted colleague that I could set up this type of arrangement with - revising each other's work. I would love to be able to work with another translator! I am going to work my way towards that goal this year.

Thank you!


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