Summarizing service
Thread poster: Lingo24 Ltd

Lingo24 Ltd
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:19
Member (2009)
Jul 13, 2010

I would be interested to know if anyone offers summarizing service. I would much appreciate if you could offer some details related to:

* Pricing (rates expressed per what? No. of words/no. of hours it takes someone to read a text/ no. of hours(minutes) needed to summarize the text as such)?
* Work flow (steps that translators take)
* Whether they need to be native speakers of the source language or the target.
* Does summarization imply reading a text in one language and summarizing it in another? Or would they read and write in the same language?

(Linguist Manager Lingo24)


Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
I've frequently done this Eng > Eng Jul 13, 2010

I don't advertise this service as such, but it comes under "rewriting", and I quite enjoy it. If translation is involved, I feel that rewriting in the target language should normally be done by a native speaker. Of course, one person could summarize and another translate just the summary.

Over the last 20 years, I've frequently had to condense texts, mostly for publication in brochures, programmes, exhibition labels, etc., usually as part of a larger job. For 5 years I condensed appeals and annual reports of charities into "memos" of about 50 words each for a charitable trust's meetings! So far I've only done it informally as a translator (a quick "for information" text).

Pricing: per hour seems most logical to me. I like to quote on a "per job" basis, based on my own assessment of how long it will take. This avoids spending too much time doing hair-splitting calculations down to the last word or two.

- establish the nature and purpose of the final document
- read and ensure that I have understood the source document
- read again marking words or phrases that may need to be kept to convey the style of the original
- list the essential points of content (some information might be left out if it will be available elsewhere or at a later date)
- rewrite (I would translate at this point)
- revise (usually twice at least!)
- proofread.

In my experience, the shorter the summary (as a proportion of the original), the longer it takes. It's a form of "super-editing", paring a text down to its essence, and I really admire good journalists and copy writers, who on a daily basis make it look far easier than it really is!

Alison Sabedoria


Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:19
French to English
Yes and no Jul 13, 2010

Lingo 24 wrote:

* Does summarization imply reading a text in one language and summarizing it in another? Or would they read and write in the same language?

To answer the first Q, yup, I offer it on my website. Narry so much as a sniff, mind. I offered it because back when I was an employee, I was asked to do it several times - sort of executive summary in English of pages of meandering French stuff from head office (to answer the Q quoted).


Local time: 02:19
Spanish to English
Case by case Jul 13, 2010

I do this on a case-by-case basis, often with local accounting firms who want a summary of an official accounting pronouncement. I also have US and European sources who like my "case summaries" for legal opinions, judgments, etc.
I calculate the fee based on the time I need to read the material for full understanding as necessary (which could be longer for a twenty-page judgment than for an eighty-page standard- the former includes all the legal reasoning that influenced, was discounted or could have affected the decision), plus a charge similar to my translation rate for the written extract. Clients seek different levels of detail, but final product usually runs around 250-500 words.


United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
MS Word has a summarize facility Jul 13, 2010

I've only ever played with it out of curiosity, but it's not too bad.


Eman Riesh  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:19
Member (2010)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Summary of press articles Jul 13, 2010

I've done this for some time for an agency that offers the service of media analysis for some clients who are in need for such researches and analysis.

To answer your question about pricing, the price was set per summary (about 50 words), no matter how long was the article. We (a huge number of translators) were working on articles that are written in English or in Arabic, and were summarizing into English only. Any summary should not take much of time (a maximum of 10 mins) and we were expected to reach a daily target of summaries as there were lots of articles every day.

There were two teams; translators who write summaries, and reviewers who are expected to go through each summary for checking and proofreading. Then, summaries are published on their site so that clients can access them. That was the work flow.

Most of us were Arabic natives, and fluent in English so that they can write summaries in English, in addition to the reviewers who were English natives.

For you last question, it depends on the requirement of the job. A client may ask for a summary in the same language of his material or in other language, and thus, you are expected to read and comprehend the material well enough to catch the main ideas of it and assemble your summary.

That was my experience in summarization, hope you find it of some help!



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