I fix and improve English translations of Korean documents through my revision (editing/proofreading) service.
Did someone provide you with a bad Korean-to-English translation? Or maybe you received a good translation, but you’re not sure? I can improve any Korean translation through my innovative approach to revision (also called “editing” or “proofreading”). With my service, you will get exactly the quality you need at a price reflecting the value I deliver.
Approximate rate range: US$0.08–0.12/English word (Korean>English translation only)
Actual rates vary based on project requirements. Visit Rates & Pricing for further details, including discounts for retainer, monthly and large-job billing; hourly and minimum charges; additional available currencies and billing units; and other potential rate adjustments.
“Hi Steven, I can’t think of anything that would make the service better — it was quick, courteous and prompt. Thanks again. Chan”Chan D. Park (Pasadena, California)
I am a meticulous translator, and my language skills in both English and Korean are excellent. I am also good at revising (a concept which includes editing and proofreading, as explained below). For these reasons, my Korean translation revision work is among the best in the industry.
If you have a Korean translation that you’re not happy with, that you simply want to have checked and improved, or that you need to get certified for accuracy without going back to the original translator, I’ll finish the process for you so that you can utilize your translation to its full potential.
Based on your guidance to me about your target quality or budget, I will provide a final revised translation at any of several improvement levels. My methodology matches my effort to your needs and budget. This guarantees you full value every time. My delivery also provides an objective basis on which to discuss and evaluate the edits without getting involved in unnecessary trust issues of how long the job took, or should have taken.
My explanation below is a little long. However, if you bear with me on the details, I think you’ll agree that my Korean translation revision service is designed to deliver the best value anywhere. Feel free to contact me about your project and I will guide you through your choices on the work.
Two-part rate structure for Korean-to-English translation revision
You may have worked with other revisers (also referred to as editors or proofreaders) who bill on a per-hour rate or a per-word rate. However, both of these approaches are flawed in important respects.
A per-hour rate has the advantage of potentially tying the effort by the reviser to the value delivered. However, with hourly billing, you can only trust that your reviser put in the time they said they did and hope that the value they provided roughly corresponds to the value you received. When it comes to getting good work, do you really care how long the task took (other than to keep your costs down)? You’re not paying for hours; you want value. Hourly billing incentivizes the reviser to take a long time, but it doesn’t necessarily result in a good job.
A per-word rate is not an ideal billing unit either, but for another reason. The quality of the original translation reveals itself in the course of the work, and any advance estimate of effort is approximate at best. This uncertainty results because the range of quality on translations produced by individual translators varies tremendously, and the effort to improve those translations is unpredictable. For this reason, setting a flat per-word rate to a job up-front ignores the likelihood that the original translation will be better or worse than expected. It means that either the translator gets lucky and earns a windfall on an easy job, or is burdened with a fixed price on a project that takes longer than expected. Either way, per-word billing pushes the reviser to get the task done as quickly as possible, regardless of how much work is actually required to do a good job.
By the way, by making the above criticisms of conventional revision approaches, I’m not implying that a long-term relationship of trust with a reviser on either billing basis can’t work out well with ongoing work. It can. But that’s not the happy situation you’re facing now, is it?
My best-practice approach to Korean-to-English translation revision
My approach leverages a two-part billing method. The first part of the charge is a fixed per-word rate that covers my effort to review the English target text and/or also review and understand the Korean source text. The second part is a variable per-word rate based on an industry metric called edit-distance that measures the number of keystrokes required to revise a document. In this way, the fixed charge covers the overhead of going through the text, and the variable cost reflects the actual improvement effort, which could be small… or could be substantial.
My methodology motivates the reviser to dig into the document and make improvements. And with the transparent billing and tracked-changes file delivery (described below), those improvements are something you can judge objectively to know whether you received value for money.
Conditional fixed-quote option
With my standard two-part billing, you determine in advance what the final quality needs to be. This puts you in control of the end result and is a considerable improvement over conventional revision, which leaves the final output to the reviser’s discretion.
However, my plan has one major disadvantage, which is that we won’t know the final cost until the job is complete. A lot of clients find it challenging to work with this uncertainty.
For this reason, I can also provide you a fixed quote, provided you understand that I will adjust the final quality to match the agreed price. If your original translation is excellent, I can review and tweak it to a high-quality level and still stay within the budget. However, if the original translation is terrible (a much more common case unfortunately, especially since I’m often given disguised machine translation to repair), then I will only be able to improve it to a limited extent if the budget is fixed.
With my two-part billing, if you are willing to remain uncertain about the final quality, I can guarantee you a fixed cost. On the other hand, if you must know what the final quality will be in advance, then we’ll have to calculate the price after the project is finished, based on the improvements made. Any approach requires a trade-off; it is unavoidable. With conventional revision, the reviser manages that trade-off. With my approach, you make the choice yourself.
Don’t forget that regardless of whether you choose the fixed-quality or fixed-price delivery, I will still provide you with complete transparency in the form of an itemized cost breakdown based on the edit-distance metric so that you always receive uniform value in an objectively measurable way. This is an advantage of my service that you will not enjoy under the conventional revision approach.
Levels of revision
“Translation revision” is the catch-all term I use to cover both of my translation-improvement workflows. Each revision type requires a distinct effort and is geared to different scenarios. There is no industry consensus on the specific meanings for these revision-related terms. Therefore, I’ve provided the following definitions and descriptions to clarify how I use these words in the context of my service.
Korean translation proofreading
“Translation proofreading” refers to a monolingual review of the target (English) text only. When proofreading, the only time I look at the source (Korean) text is to clarify unclear or suspicious meanings in the target text. In other words, if you ask me to proofread a Korean-to-English translation, I will only read the English text, looking for elements to fix. As long as I understand (or think that I understand) the target text, I won’t compare it against the Korean.
As a result of working only in the target text, the work goes relatively quickly and you get a translated document free of problems that most monolingual readers might otherwise have noticed. On the other hand, proofreading does not guarantee that the job is free of mistranslations, omissions, or mistaken additions.
Korean translation editing
I use the term “translation editing” to describe a careful bilingual review of the target against the source. By checking both texts sentence by sentence, I can find and correct everything I would have fixed in the proofreading process, and also identify mistranslations, omissions, and mistaken additions. However, it takes a lot longer to compare the source to the target on a bilingual edit than it does to perform monolingual proofreading. Therefore, translation editing costs more, both in terms of the higher fixed-rate charge, as well as the higher edit distance-based variable charge that reflects the extent of edits made.
Translation revision approaches
To ensure my delivery conforms to your needs and expectations, I will ask you to tell me up front which of the following approaches you want me to follow in my work.
Detailed descriptions of the approaches
- Technical Proofread/Technical and Stylistic Proofread – These two approaches involve only checking the target text for errors, or errors and style. I will not systematically compare the source text to the target text. For this reason, the cost of the fixed-rate component in the proofreading workflow is roughly half that of the editing workflow (which compares the source to the target). With proofreading, I ignore the source text unless something stands out as odd enough to warrant a check of the source text for verification, in which case I will fix applicable errors that I find. Keep in mind that I cannot certify a translation as accurate following only a proofreading workflow.
- Light Edit – I will get the translation to a minimum acceptable level for you. You should expect the translation to be free of objective errors, and I can certify the translation as accurate. However, with a Light Edit, I won’t try to improve the style of the target text, and the translation may still read badly.
- Careful Edit/Intense Edit – I include everything from the Light Edit, but also work on style. With a Careful Edit, I tidy up the style somewhat, but it is only with the Intense Edit that I aim for my very best work. For these two editing approaches to be cost-viable, the original translation must already be pretty good. If I have to make too many edits, then the cost of revision will approach that of a complete retranslation, especially with the Intense Edit.
- Essential Edit – This workflow is for clients who don’t care about typos and grammatical errors, as long as the translation makes sense and is correct. This approach is particularly relevant when a client wants to perform due-diligence on other Korean translation resources they are using or have used, or when getting a Korean translation certified for accuracy, but not necessarily for wide distribution.
Important conditions and caveats
- With my Korean translation revising service (both editing and proofreading), the target text must be in editable format. I won’t revise a scan by marking it up by hand since this dramatically reduces process efficiency and provides no basis on which to measure edit-distance and deliver the transparency that is a hallmark of my service. If you furnish me with a scan, I may (for an additional charge) be able to convert the target text to editable format with optical character recognition (OCR) software or by retyping.
- I waive the variable charge on segment-level repetition, meaning that I bill repetition in a file or group of files only at the fixed rate. I do so regardless of how many changes I make to the repeated segments, and this results in significant cost savings on some documents.
- My basic revision service does not include any formatting effort. I perform the work in memoQ and then export the file back out in the same format that I received. I am available to provide formatting services for an additional fee.
- My basic revision service does not include a significant terminology effort. I am available to provide terminology management/glossary development for an additional fee.
- I measure edit-distance using the memoQ edit-distance function. I will be glad to provide you with specific technical details of the methodology on request.
Workflow and delivery for my Korean translation revision service
When you commission the job, you must indicate the revision approach you wish me to take or what your budget is. After I accept the project, I will probably ask for advance payment. Occasionally I reject revision jobs when my initial assessment of the original translation quality determines that the budget is too low for me to do an acceptable job.
I will handle the entire revision process in memoQ (my computer-assisted translation tool), and deliver the following to you:
- the revised translation in the same format I received it from you.
- a tracked-changes file in Microsoft Word showing the edits made (allowing you to verify that my edits were in line with our initial agreement)
- an edit-distance analysis in memoQ, along with an itemized breakdown of the cost