How long does it take to proofread/edit?
Thread poster: Sophia Finos

Sophia Finos
Local time: 15:53
Greek to English
+ ...
Sep 25, 2005

If you are proofreading/editing a translation and the client is paying you by the hour, what is a reasonable amount of time it takes (for example, a 1000 word translated document)?

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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:53
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
All texts are not created equal. Sep 26, 2005

How long should a text take? A page can take 4 minutes. It can also take 1 hour if you essentially have to rewrite it because it is so bad. Charge by the hour. Make sure that the "show changes" is on to justify your charges. You cannot predict in advance.

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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:53
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Depends on the source text + translation Sep 26, 2005

It is impossible to tell in advance, but if it takes evidently too long, you better refuse the job or you charge for re-writing or translation.

My own standard is 1000 words per hour, but I think you ought to agree about a deadline of 2-3 hours at least, even if you charge for only one hour. Just to be on the safe side: proofreading/ editing requires far more attention than translation itself.

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
how long is a piece of string? Sep 26, 2005

A badly translated text has to be substantially rewitten: result, time taken just as long or more than in translating, poorer quality (all that juggling around is distracting), and a great deal of frustration. Depending on the subject area and degree of error, 500-1200 words an hour.

Remember also that even with a reasonably well translated text, you still have to read and absorb BOTH SOURCE and TARGET language in a much quicker way than when translating (when one goes over a text a number of times), and this task alone takes time. So there's a bottom limit for the time taken for even the most perfect text. Probably around 1500 words an hour for a well-translated non-technical text.

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