Proofreading rates
Thread poster: Márcia Filipa

Márcia Filipa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:50
Portugees
+ ...
Jan 22

Hello!

I am a recent translator and I am applying to new agencies as a freelancer. Obviously, they ask for a rate for proofreading/editing. I have read all the answers related to this question in the forum but I am still in doubt because there is this conception that proofreaders are more important and, therefore, more valuable. So they should be paid more, no? However, most of the answers referred to, for example, 40% of the translation value.
Although my languages are Englis
... See more
Hello!

I am a recent translator and I am applying to new agencies as a freelancer. Obviously, they ask for a rate for proofreading/editing. I have read all the answers related to this question in the forum but I am still in doubt because there is this conception that proofreaders are more important and, therefore, more valuable. So they should be paid more, no? However, most of the answers referred to, for example, 40% of the translation value.
Although my languages are English and German to Portuguese, I would like to know your thoughts on this!
Thank you!
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Nederland
Local time: 03:50
Member (2006)
uit Engels in Afrikaans
+ ...
@Márcia Jan 22

Márcia Filipa wrote:
I am still in doubt because there is this conception that proofreaders are more important and, therefore, more valuable. So they should be paid more, no?


Both the translator and proofreader quotes a rate that converts into an hourly payment. So if the translator quotes 10c per word and the proofreader quotes 4c per word, it doesn't mean that the proofreader's rate is lower, because the translator translates 200 words per hour while the proofreader proofreads 1000 words per hour.

That said, at some agencies it is assumed that proofreaders are all extremely intelligent and highly skilled and can therefore to thousands of words per hour without breaking a sweat, which is why you'll get offers like 1c or 2c per word while the translator gets 10c per word. You will learn eventually which agencies use good translators (whose work can be proofread quickly).


Arkadiusz Jasiński
 

Adieu  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:50
uit Engels in Russies
+ ...
No Jan 23

Márcia Filipa wrote:

Hello!

I am a recent translator and I am applying to new agencies as a freelancer. Obviously, they ask for a rate for proofreading/editing. I have read all the answers related to this question in the forum but I am still in doubt because there is this conception that proofreaders are more important and, therefore, more valuable. So they should be paid more, no? However, most of the answers referred to, for example, 40% of the translation value.
Although my languages are English and German to Portuguese, I would like to know your thoughts on this!
Thank you!


It's just a pretty typical 2-step process.

One person does translations, the other does cleanup on those translations.

Often it's the same people switching roles and proofing each other (which sometimes leads to a specific interesting form of chaos in the translation memory)

[Edited at 2021-01-23 08:29 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:50
Member (2007)
uit Engels in Portugees
+ ...
@Márcia Jan 23

I don’t charge per word but per hour and I charge exactly the same rate for proofreading and editing. While proofreading of a given text may take less than an hour, the editing of that very same text can take three or four times more (occasionally it can even take as much time as translating). The market being what it is, my proofreading and editing assignments are few and far between, with one exception: I regularly do revisions for one agency which always uses the same translator, so I know ... See more
I don’t charge per word but per hour and I charge exactly the same rate for proofreading and editing. While proofreading of a given text may take less than an hour, the editing of that very same text can take three or four times more (occasionally it can even take as much time as translating). The market being what it is, my proofreading and editing assignments are few and far between, with one exception: I regularly do revisions for one agency which always uses the same translator, so I know beforehand what quality I can expect and over the years we have definitely made up a good team…Collapse


Liviu-Lee Roth
Kevin Fulton
Lynn Fang
 

Anthony John Keily
Local time: 03:50
Member
uit Italiaans in Engels
+ ...
Terminology is important Jan 23

Terminology is a crucial question although it may look like nitpicking. The kinds of work we do are defined in the various international standards most agencies boast but rarely seem to have read (EN 15038, ISO 17100, etc.). For the sake of cutting rates, agencies are increasingly farming out work that has not been translated in any traditional sense, mostly MT output, and asking for "proofing" or "quality control". If you have rates for revision or reviewing, these will be much too low for much... See more
Terminology is a crucial question although it may look like nitpicking. The kinds of work we do are defined in the various international standards most agencies boast but rarely seem to have read (EN 15038, ISO 17100, etc.). For the sake of cutting rates, agencies are increasingly farming out work that has not been translated in any traditional sense, mostly MT output, and asking for "proofing" or "quality control". If you have rates for revision or reviewing, these will be much too low for much of what the agencies are demanding!

"Proofing" or "quality control" are vague and misused terms (when wrongly applied) that open the door to call kinds of abusive practices. Proofreading is the monolingual checking of proofs before they go to publication (ISO 17100: "2.2.8 proofread: examine the revised target language content (2.3.3) and applying corrections (2.5.4) before printing"). In other words, proofed texts have already been bilingually revised.

If what you are looking at is not evidently the work of a professional translator, you will not be revising, reviewing and much less proofing. You will probably be offering one of "Non-exhaustive list of value added services" under the standards, for example "adaptation". I always point out this distinction to the agencies, and where the MT output is good enough to work with (sometimes it's not bad - say DeepL grappling with an EU institutional text), I ask for an hourly rate or agree a flat fee.

[Edited at 2021-01-24 11:15 GMT]
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Philip Lees
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