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Got a machine-translated legal document, practically incomprehensible.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
11 of 17

re: "You get hired to proofread translations?"

 

No.

 

But I have agreed to fixed-price contacts without properly vetting the task and input files, and regretted doing so.

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
12 of 17

Sarah B wrote:

I got hired to proofread this but I ended up having to translate the whole document from start to finish. A beginner's mistake for taking the job, so that's my bad. But isn't it a little unfair to just hire and pay for just proofreading instead of a translation?

I know it is on me this time, I was not paying attention so keep those comments to yourselves.

Want to know if this happened to others and how you dealt with it?


If a client wants to hire me to proofread a translation, I always reply with two rates. One for machine translation (100% of my translation rate) and one for proofreading human translation. If I get hired to proofread a human translation and receive a (poorly edited) machine translation (yes it does happen), I provide the client with proof that it is a machine translation and ask to either pay my rate for that or to return the translation to the translator.

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Community Guru
Alexandra H Member Since: Jul 30, 2015
13 of 17

Sarah,

 

I'm sorry to hear that you are worried about getting unfriendly comments from grumpy forum posters. This forum is for professionals and people with a sense of humour, so you really shouldn't be the one to worry. I hope you will be able to have some fun here (even in these stressful times).

 

As to your question, I think there is no other way but to charge according to the work provided (hourly or fixed-price), as the others have stated in this thread. Most of us get requests to "proofread" machine-translated texts now and then, simply because people think it's cheaper to let the machine do the basic work first, like when you let someone check your essay or letter. In fact, I think you have to take into account that most people simply don't know that machines are only good at translating certain kinds of materials (conventional phrases, typical collocations, standard grammatical constructions, and anything available in large textual databases) and less so at others, i.e. they tend to mess up idiosyncracies and non-standard usage. 

 

I now charge for post-editing the same amount that I charge for translations under 50k words because in terms of expenditure of time they're roughly equivalent. (Which is probably why some clients turn down the offer. Ha!) For proofreading I charge what I would charge for a large translation project.

 

Best wishes,

Alexandra 

makeshift mask.jpg

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Active Member
Carla Denise J Member Since: May 5, 2020
14 of 17

Alexandra H wrote:

Sarah,

 

I'm sorry to hear that you are worried about getting unfriendly comments from grumpy forum posters. This forum is for professionals and people with a sense of humour, so you really shouldn't be the one to worry. I hope you will be able to have some fun here (even in these stressful times).

 

As to your question, I think there is no other way but to charge according to the work provided (hourly or fixed-price), as the others have stated in this thread. Most of us get requests to "proofread" machine-translated texts now and then, simply because people think it's cheaper to let the machine do the basic work first, like when you let someone check your essay or letter. In fact, I think you have to take into account that most people simply don't know that machines are only good at translating certain kinds of materials (conventional phrases, typical collocations, standard grammatical constructions, and anything available in large textual databases) and less so at others, i.e. they tend to mess up idiosyncracies and non-standard usage. 

 

I now charge for post-editing the same amount that I charge for translations under 50k words because in terms of expenditure of time they're roughly equivalent. (Which is probably why some clients turn down the offer. Ha!) For proofreading I charge what I would charge for a large translation project.

 

Best wishes,

Alexandra 

makeshift mask.jpg



Hi Alexandra!

 

I'm new to Upwork and hoping for a few proofreading jobs to start. So far, the jobs I've applied for are fixed-price jobs. I didn't notice until after I started reviewing the proposals I've sent.

 

Are clients normally transparent with the fact that the work they expect you to proofread is translated? If not, can I ask them if it is before accepting the job?

 

If it turns out that I may have to do more work because of a machine translation, is it then fair game to negotiate with the client, or should I just simply turn down the job?

 

I'm glad I decided to check out the forums before really starting on any work.

 

Thank you!

 

Best,

Carla

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Active Member
Sarah B Member Since: Jan 10, 2020
15 of 17
Hi!

Nope, they will not tell you unless it is in the job description from the start. I always (now) have a clause in my proposals for proofreading were I state that if this is an MT my fee is xx USD instead (the same as for a translation). I did learn my lesson 🙂
If I don't hear from them, fine! Then I can spend my time on something more fun!

You should ask them and insert a clause like mine (I read about that in the forum)!

The MT texts just ruin the flow because is often is rubbish and you end up doing it all over from scratch anyway. So try to stay away if you don't get paid accordingly.

The forum is super to read so do that often, it has helped me numerous times!

Good Luck and hope you get loads of jobs at the right price! 🙂

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Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
16 of 17

No. I never charge for translation, I do it as a courtesy for current clients, and tell them to go to someone else if they need accuracy and nuance.

 

I use machine translation only with my own work, when I've written it to be easily understandable in the target language, and I know what the translation should be. That's a multiplication exercise; if either factor is zero the result is zero.

 

Th last proofreading job I accepted my work was rejected. "I expected you to triple the content!" That's called ghostwriting.

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
17 of 17

Bill H wrote:

No. I never charge for translation, I do it as a courtesy for current clients, and tell them to go to someone else if they need accuracy and nuance.

Erm, that's what the OP's client did.

 

I use machine translation only with my own work, when I've written it to be easily understandable in the target language, and I know what the translation should be. That's a multiplication exercise; if either factor is zero the result is zero.

I can share a list with "translators" on Upwork providing machine translation "as their own work" and charge for human translation

 

Th last proofreading job I accepted my work was rejected. "I expected you to triple the content!" That's called ghostwriting.
That is not the topic of this thread.


 

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