Often times, some of my clients contact me to proofread their documents. What the majority of them do is that they actually only send the target text and ask me to check if there are any grammar mistakes.
Below is my two cents on the matter:
1-If someone else worked on the translation, I will also need the source text. There could be no grammatical errors in the target text, but the translation might not be accurate. I can only know if I actually compare both texts.
2- Although I may not like it, but I will have to deal with cleaning up after another translator’s lousy work.
3- When a client states that they want their translated text proofread, they have to understand that it implies double checking the translation itself, and not just the target text.
4- The rate for proofreading is one thing, and the rate for editing is another: Editing takes more time and effort, as the linguist has to make more changes into the different parts of the target text. The editor has more freedom to make whichever changes they deem adequate, hence the higher rate. Proofreading is to check the text for spelling, grammar and typing mistakes, as well as translation mistakes.
5- If the translation is awful, I will refrain from proceeding with the proofreading. I would rather contact the client and inform them that the text needs to be re-translated, which is better than trying to fix something that can’t be fixed. After all, saving time, effort and money is crucial in any business, and cutting corners should never be the solution.