Is "proofreading" included into "translation"?
Thread poster: MariusV

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 19:07
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Dec 10, 2007

Hi Folks,

I have one question. Recently I have been approached (as a free-lancer) by one agency asking me for a translation of a rather big project. We negotiated and agreed on the conditions of the project - all usual things such as deadlines, volumes, payment term, and the rates. Waited for their PO on agreed date. Got two emails with difference of 5 minutes. One (the 2nd) contained a PO (1:1 as was agreed - per volume, per deadline, per rate), BUT in the first was "an additional question" if I can do proofreading of the translation.

Well, this "proofreading request" seems a little bit strange because 1) how can I proofread my own text (have to be impartial at least to myself)? 2) shall be the proofreading INCLUDED into the rate - agency asked "Don't you have some colleague who can do that?" - well, I do, but again, if we speak about top-notch quality, a colleague cannot be impartial too. Moreover, if I actually hire someone else, I have to pay that person too (people can help on a small scale things, but not on several thousand words as it can mean a couple of working days), 3) how about the agreement - we talked with the agency and agreed everything on "translation", not "translation + proofreading", and it seems now like a change to the conditions of the agreement...And the last thing - if these people are so quality-cautious, why don't they use their own trusted and impartial proofreader...? All this seems a little bit strange for me - no logics here.

And the most important question - is "proofreading" included into "translation" as a "service" by default? I think not? Is there any standard for that to quote to the client? Would appreciate very much some prompt advice as I have to extend the negotiations upon the conditions changed by the client and if I agree to provide the proofing myself, I think it would be logical to ask for a certain rate for it as a separate job... ???


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Maurizio Spagnuolo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:07
English to Italian
No Dec 10, 2007

Hi Marius,

Proofreading and translation are separate tasks.

If you translate a project from scratch the proofreading on your side is obviously included "by default" in your translation rate. (I would call it spellchecking, re-reading and triple checking the text before delivery).

The translated text goes then to proofreader, who is paid by hour or word to check your work.

If you are translating a project with leverage, CAT tool agreement applies, so you get paid to check everything, and the PO will reflect translation+editing.

For example, I'm often instructed not to to touch 100% matches, since the proofreader will take care of checking the whole project, and so the PO reflects only translation and editing of everything below 100%.

I understand that your project is from scratch.
Hope this helps,
Maurizio






[Edited at 2007-12-10 20:41]


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Rosa Diez Tagarro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:07
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
May be a misunderstanding Dec 10, 2007

Hi, Marius,

Translating and proofreading are two separate tasks that need to be carried out by two different people.

A translator checks his/her own spelling, grammar and so on after finishing his/her translation, but can't do the proofreading. That's quite obvious.

Couldn't it be possible that the agency involved does not know any proofreaders in your language combination and is asking you to provide one? I mean, the agency would pay the proofreader of your choice. You would be only providing a reliable person for the job.

I haven't seen your PO, so maybe this explanation is not feasible at all. Maybe they want to ensure you check your work? Some agencies specify in their POs that you need to do so (as if we didn't know, but I guess there are translators who are quite careless...).

Best of luck,

Rosa


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 19:07
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
PO does not indicate any proofreading Dec 10, 2007

Dear Maurizio and Rosa,

Thanks for your advice. Yes, project is "from 0".

Maybe there is really some misunderstanding. It seems the agency is a new one and maybe the PM is not experienced yet. If the PO is taken from the formal side, it only says "translation from... into..." - nothing mentioned about proofreading. Well, can understand that people might need proofreading, but PO was already sent for job confirmation as "for translation". That is strange. OK, I can find someone else as I cannot be a "2 in 1" person to do both translation and an indepentend proofreading (revision, reading and improving "own translation" for consistency, spelling is another task) - from your advice it seems that proofreading done by another person cannot be included into translation price as "default"...

But the thing is that it seems they "suddenly realized" that they need proofreading to be done by a colleague to be included into the rate...Based upon your logical explanation, that should be an extra rate like for an additional job (roughly some 20-30 % correct?) + deadlines shall be renegotiated as proofreading also takes time...

Based on that, do you think it would be fair and logical to write an email explaining that proofreading is a separate task, that it is possible to be done, BUT it will be a separate payment for it and extra time needed?

The last thing I do not really understand. If people are so quality cautious, is it logical to find someone from the internet (well, who knows who I am - maybe I will do a total trash) and ask to do translation and proofreading at the same time? Being an agency I'd have an "independent person" or "a trusted person" whom the translator does not know and then check everything what I received. But if they ask for "all in one" done at my side, it really seems they do not even have a proofreader (at least anyone independent to read what they get from a person found on the internet)...??? So, where is the "quality-cautiousness" here... ??? I think that in any case, a serious agency with a strict QA system shall have someone independent to revise/read the text (whatever level the person who translated the text did it)...










[Edited at 2007-12-10 22:10]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 18:07
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I see it from the positive side... Dec 10, 2007

They want you to do the translation, probably because of your credentials. As they need to have the material proofread, well, can you tell us, who should we talk to?... I dont see any iunctim, like your fear of "Should I be doing it?" - they just want your advice. Shows a certain level of trust, which is to be appreciated and nourished.

Regards

Vito

[Urejeno ob 2007-12-10 23:36]


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 19:07
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
agree, Vito Dec 10, 2007

Well, yes. Good thoughts, Vito. Really appreciated. It is always nice when people show trust and yes, it shall be nourished. Maybe best of all would be to write and explain all that in plain, but diplomatic text and untangle the threads. Thanks for advice and let's see what happens.

P.S. There are many agencies and vendors that boast that they have the whole QA system, they even put it on their website as a scheme telling how good they are and how many people (on several levels) revise and polish the translations to have the best quality. But it is some cases it is just a pure marketing trick to create a good impression. I know several agencies who never do any proofing of the texts despite they say they do so.

Best of all, is to play a fair game (simply for professional self-esteem and professional ethics) from the very beginning and always. And, I think, if they agree to pay extra for proofing, they can be a good client and their PM will get some "practical education" not to mix up such things as "own revision" (what is a natural thing) and "proofreading done by an independent person"


[Edited at 2007-12-11 00:00]


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Rosa Diez Tagarro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:07
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
customers' education Dec 11, 2007

Yes, Marius, you know you sometimes need to 'educate' your customers and they can become really valued ones.

So take the time to write to this PM and explain the whole thing so they can answer you with a more specific and clear business proposal.

Regards,

Rosa


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 13:07
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Moving this thread... Dec 12, 2007

to Proofreading forum

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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 19:07
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Dec 16, 2007

Dear folks,

Thanks for your advice. It seems the issue is solved - the PM was "floating" a little bit and now we have all things clear (they ordered proofreading as another task).

Thanks a lot for your help.


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