Context I just started in the freelancing industry and decided to go with something rather easy: translation reviews and testing.

*EDIT* Q/A and Proofreading

My client, an indie video game developer, already went through a publisher to translate its game from Chinese to English. the publisher then recruited freelancer editors around the world to do the translations from English to other languages (Japanese, French, German,etc) and put them directly in contact with the development team.

I finally got in touch with the development team to do in-game testing and review, and fix mistakes that I may find.

However, after reviewing a big chunk of the dialogs (in my main language), I noticed that the person who did the editing job really didn't know what they were doing. Verb tenses are wrong nearly every time, sentences have the same layout as the original (weird syntax) and a lot of words look like they were translated using Google Translate (which change the whole meaning of the line).

Since it was intended to be a small reviewing and testing job at first, I negotiated with the project manager that the pay would be something else than money (mainly promotional stuff and some special rights in-game).

Seeing that mess, I went ahead and corrected a whole scene (around 25 dialog boxes or 60 sentences) and it took me around 4 hours to complete (there are about 150 scenes in the game). Using a spreadsheet, I left comments for the project manager so he could see what kind of mess it was.

He came back to me, saying he's most likely not gonna hire that editor anymore and instead asked me if I could fix everything.

Question: Should I charge the same amount for reviewing/testing as someone else did for editing? In that particular case, would the reviewing be counted as editing, since I'm editing 80% of the initial work.

I know freelancer editors charge with a price by word model, but I'm not quite sure how it would apply here.

I'm being asked for a quote, but there aren't really much information out there regarding reviews over a botched job done.

1 Answer 1


Is might be problematic that you initially agreed to not receive actual money - but that will have to change now. The client also seems to understand this - as I read it.

Pricing is always difficult - but you seem to have a good case for charging more than the former editors - and being able to perform at a higher level, you should not be bound by their payment model either.

To me, your role sounds like translation and Quality Assurance - and if possible, you should charge by the hour. If that is not possible, because they prefer a fixed price for the entire project, try to negotiate splitting your work into separate scenes so you (and the client) get a better idea of the actual work load. When you both feel comfortable estimating the rest, do a fixed price.

Generally, I would only recommend fixed price when the work load is reasonably predictable - which may not be the case here.

  • I am still a beginner in this domain, but I got a little more information. You were right on spot; my work was initially Q/A and Proofreading (to use the exact words for it).
    – Alex
    Apr 23, 2016 at 14:58

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