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Proofreading - What is the going rate in Warsaw?


vndunne 43 | 279
3 Oct 2011 #1
Hi. I remember seeing a thread covering this topic some time ago but I have been unable to locate it.

Can anyone tell me what the going rate for proofreading in warsaw is?

Thanks
vincent
PWEI 3 | 612
3 Oct 2011 #2
Depends on how long the text is, what the text is, when the deadline is, who the client is, etc etc etc.
OP vndunne 43 | 279
3 Oct 2011 #3
Thanks for the reply. And how does all that affect the price? Is it by page/ word etc?
Any indicative prices?
Thanks
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
3 Oct 2011 #4
Any indicative prices?

What I'd do (personally) would be to contact as many people offering the service as possible, give them a sample text and see what they quote you. It's probably the quickest way to find out what the score is :)
PWEI 3 | 612
3 Oct 2011 #5
Well, if it is a 100 page translation of a biochemistry report which was done by a half-arsed translator who had no understanding at all of the concepts, it is going to take far longer and so you want more money for it. If the client expects you to do 16-hour days in order to hit their deadline, that will also require more money.

As for billing, it is always always always per 1,600 character page (including spaces) or stretch that to 1,800.

You probably want at least 20zl per page (standard rate would be about four pages per hour).
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
3 Oct 2011 #6
You probably want at least 20zl per page (standard rate would be about four pages per hour).

Or undercut everyone and do it for 15z per 1600 IF you have a big enough client base and steady work coming in...
PWEI 3 | 612
3 Oct 2011 #7
That is by no means undercutting everybody: I know one guy who charges as little as 7zl per 1,800 characters.

The thing is, companies are starting to realise that, as with language lessons, with proofreading you get what you pay for. With that in mind they are willing to pay four times more than they can pay.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
3 Oct 2011 #8
The thing is, companies are starting to realise that, as with language lessons, with proofreading you get what you pay for.

Exactly. There are a few ways to go about it. Undercutting everyone could cause too much of a stir. Charge too much and you will only shoot yourself in the foot in the long term. When I was in that game I had contracts with larger companies such as Onet, Real and Polmos. Apart from being friends with the owners/directors I also gave them a "double proof read" (in basic terms I outsourced the work to others for 7pln per 1600 and afterwards done the double checking myself). There is money to be made in it, but it takes a long time before you get the proper money earners. My ex fiance basically budgeted me down to one spreadsheet. 4000pln for teaching (not full time) 8000pln for proofreading (not including what I was paying out) and 7000pln for Electrolux. If I met those targets she might even let me in bed :D:D

P.s Before anyone starts, writing on an internet forum and proofreading while getting paid are two totally different things ;)
OP vndunne 43 | 279
3 Oct 2011 #9
Hey. Thanks for all that. Good to have a bit of an idea what is going on in proofreading world.!!
Vince
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
3 Oct 2011 #10
I must say it - I have great respect for anyone who can do this on a consistent, regular basis. It's not for me at all, but I can respect the concentration required to do a bloody good job.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
5 Oct 2011 #11
Depends on how long the text is, what the text is, when the deadline is, who the client is, etc etc etc.

I charge by the hour. If you charge by the character, you can find yourself struggling with some godawful rubbish for ages and then getting paid very little. I cooperate with three or four translation agencies and they are fine with the arrangement.

Which agencies and how much do I charge? Ah, well. That would be telling.
PWEI 3 | 612
5 Oct 2011 #12
If you charge by the character, you can find yourself struggling with some godawful rubbish for ages and then getting paid very little.

On the other hand, you can find yourself flying through a press release in five minutes and getting paid for half an hour's work. Swings and roundabouts.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
5 Oct 2011 #13
(Laboriously quoting PWEI due to the petulant adherence of the admin to a bad idea) On the other hand, you can find yourself flying through a press release in five minutes and getting paid for half an hour's work. Swings and roundabouts.

True enough. You have to be flexible, reputable and available. Once you've earned a good reputation, serendipitous little jobs that pay well for little work fall like manna from heaven. Not as often as I'd like, unfortunately, but yes, they do brighten your day when they pop up.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
5 Oct 2011 #14
Sounds good, where do I sign up?

(on second thoughts, no...it would drive me insane - I'll stick to shouting at kids to behave)

It sounds like everything else in Poland - do a good job and the work will come, but do a bad job and word will travel fast.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
5 Oct 2011 #15
Sounds good, where do I sign up?

Ah, now that would be telling.

(on second thoughts, no...it would drive me insane - I'll stick to shouting at kids to behave)

I don't think there are many who proofread for a living. I mostly teach but it's interesting to get pr jobs in different areas. I do a lot of pharmaceutical and medical stuff, as well as just about everything else, and I've learned a lot by doing it.

do a good job and the work will come, but do a bad job and word will travel fast.

That's about the size of it.
PolishDomains - | 3
19 Dec 2011 #16
Guys, if you want to embark on this lucrative career, I happen to own the domain name proofreading.pl and am willing to part with it. The .pl extension is the most valued one in Poland and google treats it accordingly. So in practice, with that domain name, you are buying number one place in google results for the term "proofreading" (unless the Wikipedia entry comes up first...) Also, such domain is a statement of who the ultimate go to daddy in proofreading business in Poland is :)

BTW the .pl domain sale transaction is quite swift and paper work free - I will guide you through it. If you need advice on choosing hosting in Poland, I may be of help too.
Buggsy 8 | 98
2 Feb 2015 #17
Merged: Proofreading charges.

I would like to know from people doing translation and proofreading.
What do you guys charge for proofreading and rearranging sentences to make them sensible for local government documents per page?
I have no clue and hope some of you will give me an insight into this.
Thank you.
DominicB - | 2,701
2 Feb 2015 #18
What do you guys charge for proofreading and rearranging sentences to make them sensible for local government documents per page?

70 zl per hour for universities, 90 for businesses. I never charged per page, as difficulty varies enormously. Actually, I turned down proofreading jobs because clients would think that that would be cheaper than having me translate from the Polish original. So after a short while, I insisted on doing only my own translations, and referring "korekty" elsewhere, because corrections and proofreading often took more time than translation from scratch, for the simple reason that I could understand what the paper was about rather than having to guess from a poor translation by a non-native speaker.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
19 Mar 2015 #19
What is the charge per page for translations? 70 and 90 zł for proofreading seems a very high fee.
DominicB - | 2,701
19 Mar 2015 #20
Same price, 90 PLN per hour for businesses, 70 PLN for universities. I strongly discourage proofreading, as the original is rarely in a condition where simple proofreading will help, rather than extensive rewriting. Frankly, translating is a lot easier, and usually cheaper, as well.

Don't forget that the translating I do is for serious international scientific and medical publications and requires specialist knowledge that very few native speakers that can translate from Polish possess.
Buggsy 8 | 98
20 Mar 2015 #21
Frankly, translating is a lot easier, and usually cheaper, as well.

Translating is quite cheap. If he looks around it is possible to get someone who can do it for 50zl a page.
My experience is this: it's cheaper to translate documents from English to Polish- especially documents for government departments.
On the other hand, it's very expensive to translate from Polish to English.
Reason why proofreading is required is because direct translation from Polish to English never really makes much sense.
If you want to see how difficult it is try reading a Polish website that has an English version.
For this reason proofreading usually is more expensive than translating.
Harry
20 Mar 2015 #22
50zl per page will most certainly get you somebody who will translate from Polish. The problem is that at that price (at least in Warsaw), they most probably aren't going to be translating it into English.
DominicB - | 2,701
20 Mar 2015 #23
Reason why proofreading is required is because direct translation from Polish to English never really makes much sense.

No. That is why translation is needed. It takes a lot more than "proofreading" to make an amateurish "translation" by a non-native speaker readable. It usually turns out as pure Polish, just with English words, and often the wrong words, instead. Stylistically, it's usually downright ghastly. A complete rewrite is needed, which often involves translating it back into Polish, and then into proper English. I often can't make heads or tails of it, especially when they use Google Translate.

50zl per page will most certainly get you somebody who will translate from Polish.

Perhaps for "business" English, but if you want a competent legal, medical or scientific translation, 90 PLN per hour is a deal. As far as I know, I was the only native speaker in all of Poland that translated scientific and medical articles for publication from Polish to English. If you can't understand the science, there's no way that you could translate at this level.
jon357 63 | 14,282
20 Mar 2015 #24
It's usually charged by length, either per 1500 or 1800 characters with spaces. Some translation companies charge the client with spaces and pay the translator without.I used to translate technical documents (though mostly financial reports) and occasionally proofread things other translators had done. Often that meant retranslating so not always so quick.

Worth mentioning that the market is being squeezed due to too many people chasing translation work, very few of them with native English.
DominicB - | 2,701
20 Mar 2015 #25
It's usually charged by length, either per 1500 or 1800 characters with spaces.

That only works if the work is of uniform or predictable difficulty. When the level of difficulty varies widely, it's best to go by hours.

For example, a grant proposal is going to take A LOT more time to translate per page than, say, an press release. On top of that, it's going to go through multiple revisions.
Harry
20 Mar 2015 #26
I can't say I've noticed the market being squeezed. Maybe it is at the bottom end, I certainly meet more people now who say they are translators, but the good translators I know are still pulling in 20k a month for ten-hour days; the good interpreters make that and more.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
20 Mar 2015 #27
I charge per 1800-character page. I used to charge by the hour, but now I refuse to accept the awful stuff and just take reasonably good translations. I started doing it this way at the beginning of the year. Now I wish I'd changed years ago.
DominicB - | 2,701
20 Mar 2015 #28
for ten-hour days

That would be pretty hard to sustain with more complex material that requires a lot of analytical thought. I've done it, but not day after day. The most I made a month was 12000 PLN net, and usually about half that on translating. But then, I only had myself to support and had other sources of income.
jon357 63 | 14,282
20 Mar 2015 #29
That would be pretty hard to sustain with more complex material that requires a lot of analytical thought. I've done it, but not day after day

Same here, and yes it is hard to sustain. If however you're translating a long and specialised technical document it can be lucrative - especially if you invoice a client directly rather than deal with an agency.
DominicB - | 2,701
20 Mar 2015 #30
Never worked for an agency.

Also, precious few Poles are capable of writing or translating technical English at a level that requires only "proofreading". I've only met a handful. Hell, not many native speakers are capable, either. Once my Polish got good enough to translate, I turned down almost all proofreading jobs. Not worth the grief dealing with clients who think their "translation" was good enough to warrant only minor changes when it had to be completely rewritten basically from scratch.


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