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Average rate for proofreading English in Poland?

28 May 2007 /  #1

I would really appreciate it if anyone could give me a few pointers on the type of rates a native (qualified) English speakers can reasonably charge for page of proofreading (English text translated from Polish etc.) ? I realise that there is doubtless much variation due to the organisation in question, the complexity of text and the proof-reader’s experience.

Also, some companies seem to require a simple grammar/spelling check whilst others seem to need an almost complete stylistic overhaul! How does one differentiate when quoting i.e. if the translation company does not make it clear which service they require?

28 May 2007 /  #2
Well I work for an agency where I charge 4zl per page 1800 characters. I also have my own business where I work for two scientific institutes proofreading their publications and I charge 6zl per page, as it involves more detailed proofreading. The agency that I work for requires a complete overhaul, including: style, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and layout.

I have been doing this for 5 years now and to be honest it’s quiet hard to get in to, you have to be in the right place at the right time. I did return your email but you never replied, so I guess you sorted yourself out.
OP RadomBrit  
28 May 2007 /  #3
Hi... I never got your reponse so I just checked Outlook and did a search - it was in my spam filter thingy. So sorry if I appeared rude, am replying now!
28 May 2007 /  #4
No problem, look forward to it.
31 Aug 2007 /  #5
Hi UKpolska,

I have proofreadingwork to do. Can you contact me throug privatemail?

Best regards, Peter 22
island1 - | 16  
17 Sep 2007 /  #6
As you rightly mention, it depends a lot on the organization and the material. However, I would be tempted to ask at an early stage if your clients want 'proofreading' or 'copy editing.' I've been an editor in the non-fiction publishing industry for years and these are distinct and quite different jobs. Proofreading is purely checking for errors in spelling/grammar/punctuation as the last stage before publication (it comes from the practice of checking the proofs of manuscripts before they are sent to press). Copy editing is a much earlier step in the editorial process in which a copy editor (natch) makes suggestions/correction on the style and content of the manuscript.

If you want to blind people with science a bit and hopefully impress them into paying more, I suggest pointing out this distinction to your clients;)
22 Sep 2007 /  #7

I find this pretty interesting.... a native getting 4zł per page? Forgive me if I seem a little shocked by this....I'm from Seattle and I get 50zl per hour for thesis proofing. And, I Never do it on paper or without the client sitting next to me. I met in Internet cafes (and the client paid for that time also) with students and their pen drive. (before I actually got into an office). The student also looked at it as they were getting a 'free' English lesson so it went over pretty good with them.

Each situation is different. You obviously can't do that with corporate clients who want just a few pages proofed. Or can you??? You can use it as a tool to get in the door with people and create many contacts for future lessons if you want. Remember, it's not what you know but who.

There are many different ways you can approach this....some people want to know exactly how much they are going to have to pay... ie. per page. I want to know how long it's going to take me. I look at it this time is my time. When I teach English I get 50zl whether it's 1 person or a group of 7. Time is time so proofreading should be the same...In my opinion. I should point out...I live in Piła but these students were in Poznan.. I was traveling to Poznan anyways so it was all good along those lines...I'm just pointing out that the students where in Poznan where there are many natives so it's really all in how you present what you're doing for them.

Here's an example... a 3 years ago when I was charging only 35per hr. (I'm in Piła) I had 2 students with 30 and 32 page thesises... The 30 page student asked,."how much"? I said, "35 and hour." We met and the whole thing took about 2.5hrs. Charged her 80zł...Her English throughout the paper was Great.

The other student....same question, same answer. Her paper took 26 hrs to correct/rewrite. I cut her a deal and charged her only $400 because I knew she was a broke student.(her being a knock-out and the idea of spending more time with her obviously help her situation ;)NO not in THAT actually became very good friends. She was happy as a lark because she also got actual conversational lessons.

But I can just imagine... 4zl or even 6zl per page for her..that would have been what...128zł? or on the high end... 192zł? for 26hrs?

My suggestion would be to take each case individually and charge by the hour. You just never know how bad or good the English will really be ... or long it will take to do.

Good luck
8 Nov 2007 /  #8
The thing is that it is fine if you charge by the hour if you are doing a few pages here and there, but this is my full time job and I proofread over 1500 pages per month and in most if not all cases proofreaders will charge by the page.

And there is a more important factor in the equation that most proofreaders work form home and have clients all over Poland, along with the fact I have clients all over Europe; so its a wonderful idea sitting next to a beautiful girl going over her works (sorry, going over her work), but I am afraid time and distance and wife would not allow it. :O)
jacek23maks - | 7  
26 Dec 2007 /  #9
Hello RadomBrit,

I have my own translation center here in United States, and I cooperate with many translators from all over the World. To tell you the truth - if translation agency is a good agency - they will require proofreading and editing with every translation.

The proofreading process involves checking primarily for grammatically correct language in a translated text.
When translating, you should always double check the text before submitting to the company, agency or individual.
Complete stylistic overhaul is called editing the text, and every good translation agency will ask you to do it.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Dec 2007 /  #10
If u r accustomed to editing ur own essays from Uni, it helps. What helps more is knowing what the writer had in mind. My knowledge of Polish has helped me to make this process easier. U can ask for 10zł per page if u r committed to giving an A1 service and the paper is very important. I proof-read for a leading Polish scientist who lives here in Gliwice but is a member of Warsaw's Scientific Institute. He had to present my corrected papers in conferences/symposiums in Japan so I gave it my undivided attention. One more thing, ability to pay. If a student doesn't have so much money, simply lower the rate.
23 Nov 2008 /  #11
I'm interested in some proofreading work, I lack experience in the field but speak fluent english. Could anyone fill me in on relevant agencies that hire proofreaders. Thx
BevK 11 | 248  
10 Sep 2009 /  #12
I wonder if anyone could advise me of who to approach re proofreading. I do know someone who does this but he guards the info very jealously: I don't think he is too secure in his tenure with the agency from the things he is saying.

I have a lot of experience: proofreading, creating templates for customer service departments/customer service handling to board level etc. I've proofread for a Doctor who was giving a presentation in Boston however he wanted to do that via an English course at the school where I am working.

Where do I start making myself known please? Email reply welcome!
10 Sep 2009 /  #13
Try to get into the Universities and Scientific Institutes proofreading for their publishing houses as I do.
I have been proofreading for these for over eight years now and it is very profitable, hard to get into, but once you are you can earn a very good living.

I work for professors attending international conferences all over the world - advising them on their English presentations, proofreading their publications, and anything really related to English language.

You just need to market yourself and get out there….
No one is going to give you a helping hand as many of us long term natives living here have families that we need to provide for, so you will just have to do what the rest of us have done and go out there and find the work. It took me eight years to get to where I am now, and anyone who is in the same position will not give away his or her contacts, and I can perfectly understand your friend’s position.
BevK 11 | 248  
10 Sep 2009 /  #14
I guess he would be guarding it as he keeps getting sacked from other places...

Thanks ukpolska - I've already started putting feelers out. I guess my CV will help as it has professional PowerPoint experience listed on there too. I've been here four months now and I think it's time I got off my backside more :)

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