Scheduling for "Cross-Checking"? (J-E)
Thread poster: JoBee

JoBee  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Japanese to English
Jan 31, 2014

Hey everyone,

I have taken a trial for a very sizable job that has been described as "cross-checking"--that is, proofreading, but with the added task of ensuring that the meaning matches the original Japanese. It's a bit on the technical side, but something manageable given adequate time.

I have been told by the translation agency that if the final job comes, it will be a bit over 25,000 words, and that the client has requested it with an 8-9 day turnaround.

To those who have done jobs that require this kind of comparison checking, what has your output been like? Is there anything I should be attentive to?

(I haven't seen the final document quite yet, but I've confirmed with my agency that I could go through before giving a firm time commitment.)

Thanks so much.


Nicole Coesel  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:58
Member (2012)
Dutch to English
+ ...
More translators? - More samples! Feb 3, 2014

Hi Joseph,

This is slightly tricky because there is no telling the translation quality. If it is poor, it is obviousely going to take you a lot more time to carry out your job.

It may be smart to ask your client how many translators have been working on the project and request samples from each of them so you can guestimate what you are up against.

Good luck!


Endre Both  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:58
Member (2002)
English to German
Two to three times faster than translation Feb 3, 2014

Nicole is obviously right that the primary factor is translation quality.

The second factor is the exact workflow the client desires. Checking every sentence term by term (the stereotypical concept of proofreading clients usually have in mind when commissioning a job) can take several times longer than just carefully reading through the translation and referring back to the source only when you suspect problems. With some practice, this second method is usually a lot more cost effective and therefore preferable to most clients in our profoundly price- and time-sensitive industry.

If the translation is of high quality and I don't have to do a word-by-word check, my personal experience is that I am usually two to three times faster proofreading than translating - but only if I don't have to justify edits and don't have to provide detailed feedback, which can easily double the time spent.


[Bearbeitet am 2014-02-03 10:09 GMT]


JoBee  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Japanese to English
Those are along the lines of what I had imagined. Feb 3, 2014

Thank you very much, Nicole and Endre, for your informative replies.

This is an agency I've worked with over the past year and a half. I've done mostly translation with them, but on the occasions I've been asked to do checking, it's usually been what they call "native checks"--just fixing the grammar and not referring to the original Japanese.

I'm still somewhat new to the translation biz, but I'm learning more and more that what you both said is crucial: making any promises without carefully reviewing the actual document is a risk, both to me and the agency.

Accepting a job on the basis of looking through a couple of pages, only to find out that extensive spots have clearly been machine-translated, is an extremely frustrating mistake I will not repeat again!

In terms of the nature of this proofreading job, I think "cross check" is a term that refers to something closer to checking each sentence individually. I've only done it for small jobs (for other companies) in the past, and it's always been very time-consuming. But then, I feel like a lot of that has been due to the justifications you have referred to. I try to put the coordinators (who aren't native speakers) at ease by explaining decisions I made that may not be so intuitive for them. Perhaps I need to be more of a businessman about it!

Thank you again.


Tim Friese  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:58
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
2-3 times faster Feb 4, 2014

I agree with other posters that I count on 2-3 times my translation output for proofreading / editing, sometimes less for bilingual editing (comparison against the source) with extensive rewriting, sometimes more for texts that only need light proofing.

Specifically, I bid on 6,000 words/day of proofreading as a safe minimum. 8-9 days should give you plenty of time as well as time to do other small jobs or finish early.


JoBee  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Japanese to English
Well, it turned out to be a no-go Feb 11, 2014

Thanks so much for your replies, everyone.

Unfortunately, it seems that this trial wasn't really a trial, at least not in the sense I thought it was.

The source text wasn't all that bad, but there were lots of little quirks in which it wasn't clear whether I was being tested (e.g. "file system" written as one word, which is technically acceptable, but not standard in my experience). I corrected everything as best I could, leaving comments in parts that I felt could go either way.

Apparently the client was shocked at how bad their original translation was and is now debating whether to have the file completed redone (presumably by someone else) as opposed to just checked.

I suppose it was a lesson to me that I shouldn't be overzealous in my checking (even of non-native speakers' text). Then again, I thought trials generally involved several people competing for a job, so this whole event went a bit against my experience.

Well, you live and you learn, I suppose.


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Scheduling for "Cross-Checking"? (J-E)

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