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Thursday, September 25, 2008

6 Tips to Get Better Rates for Proofreading

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Tips to Get Better Rates for Proofreading

There are many freelancers who have been in translation but would like to test new waters by taking up projects for proofreading or editing. At this juncture, many of you might be faced up with the trouble of knowing what the ideal rates for this kind of work is and what you have quoted is right or not.

The information listed below should help you out while providing quotes for jobs such as proofreading and will ensure that you do not lose out on your earnings.

1. Primarily, you should know the difference between proofreading and editing. Proofreading involves just checking for grammatical, spelling and syntax errors while editing involves checking for expressions in the language. So proofreading is less time-consuming than editing. Look for what the project is asking for while providing quotes.
2. Get a preview before accepting the job. Proofreading should involve very little editing and a well-translated document should take just a quarter of the time required to translate. Refuse the job after a preview, if you see too many mistakes that need to be edited or if there is a need to retranslate.
3. Go through all the details of the contract before you accept the project. Look for the fine print that may spring at you and leave you in an unfavorable position.
4. Negotiate for an hourly rate rather than a per word rate as the former is more profitable if you are handling a document with a lot of errors.
5. If you are not able to negotiate an hourly rate, try to work out a rate that is around 30-50% of the rate you charge for translation.
6. If you are doing a final proofreading, the agency might ask you to do the work for a much lower rate than the first proofing. This should not be acceptable as even this requires equal amount of time and effort as the first proofreading.

Keep these simple points in mind always while taking up any proofreading work. This will not only fetch you the right price it will enable you to go through the deal without a second thought.it


Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner said...

Good advice, thank you! It is a big learning process, as we just accepted an editing project which looked do-able at first glance. However, once we started working on it, we realized that the text was so poorly written in English that mostly we couldn't figure out what the client was trying to say, leading to many phone calls, lots of headache, and a lot more time and effort than the paycheck would suggest.

Ergo, the lesson we learned is to spend even more time looking at the text before coming up with a quote. In this case, our (very nice) client probably wanted to take advantage of the cheaper editing rates, even though what he really needed was a full translation. With no original source text to go back to for comparison purposes, this was quite challenging. However, there were also lots of funny moments that reminded us why translators are so essential!

Unknown said...

Thank you Judy and Dagmar Jenner for sharing your experience with others. I am sure this will be beneficial for all of us.