I’ve mentioned before that I much prefer translating to editing. Not only is the money better, it’s much easier. I’ve got a week of editing ahead of me, and the more it goes on the more I think that editing just doesn’t pay.
I charge 3 cents a word for editing and 13 cents a word for translating. Therefore, translation should take about four times longer than editing. Or, more importantly, editing should take a quarter of the time that translating takes. Not only does it not, it’s miles away from being the case. In fact, editing often takes more time than translating. I’m working my way through a series of book chapters written by Scandinavians. The first one was as it’s supposed to be, only minor edits needed and it was done in a day. But I’ve been working on the two that followed forever and when I’m done, they’ll still not be great.
There is a lot of satisfaction in making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. But it really doesn’t pay.