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Advice re: first job
Thread poster: katherine zawadzka

katherine zawadzka
Local time: 07:11
Italian to English
Oct 28, 2006

After a few years away from translating and two months spent sending my CV to all and sundry, I have finally been contacted for a revision job!!
I have cast a quick eye over the translation and at first glance it seems pretty well done. Has anyone got any advice about doing this job? I am feeling somewhat nervous as it's my first job in a while and I really don't want to make a mess of it, especially as the translation itself doesn't seem to be in need of much work.
I know someone has already asked about this topic on Proz but can't manage to find it anywhere.
If anyone has got any hints I would be more than grateful.
Thanks
Clare


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:11
French to Portuguese
+ ...
You just do what you have to do Oct 28, 2006

Hi Katherine,

I don't think there is much to say about it. You read the original and the translation line by line and see if there are any mistakes and correct them if there are. At the end, you put the original aside and read the translation to see if you missed something.

If the translation is good as you say, it's a very positive point. I don't know if you're working per hour or per word. If it's per hour you just charge the time you spent (with a good translation it's not so rewarding, but you don't spend much time on it either). If it's per word you charge the number of words you proofread.

I usually charge per word (but I have clients who prefer it per hour) and when a translation is bad and you spend many time on it it's not that rewarding. But if it's a good one, you do it and send your invoice.

Believe me, sometimes you'll get very bad translations. For instance, last month I has a bad translation to revise, not only with grammar mistakes, but also spelling ones, strange sentences... But I met the deadline after all.

After that, I got a proofreading from the same client that was so good that I sent it two days before the deadline... As I charge per word, this one will compensate me for the other one.

I don't know if what I wrote is what you wanted to read, but I hope I helped a little bit.

Regards,
Ivana


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katherine zawadzka
Local time: 07:11
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 28, 2006

Thanks Ivana.

Having been "out of the saddle" for a few years has possibly knocked my faith in myself..and the last thing I need is to think I'm not doing a great job on the first piece of work I get.I think I just need to get stuck in!

Appreciate the advice

Clare


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:11
English to French
+ ...
Even excellent translations have something to be corrected Oct 28, 2006

Welcome back, Katherine!

If you've done this job before, you have what it takes, so don't get all nervous now.

Even translations done by serious, seasoned professionals have something to edit in them. Nobody turns in a perfect translation - well, I did once, but then again, maybe if the proofer would have been another person, there would have been some things to correct there

When correcting things in a translation, your corrections don't need to necessarily be translation errors. They can be simple sentence structures that don't sound as natural as another sentence you might come up with. They can be synonyms of the original term that seem to better fit the context. They can be alternatives to the original sentence that will be clearer and easier to understand.

There is such a thing as perfect transliteration, but lest we forget that a translator is not only a translator but also a writer. When I come across excellent translations as a proofer, the percentage of such corrections as described above rises, and the percentage of real errors is next to zero. But there always ARE things to correct. In fact, if you gave an already proofed and edited job to another proofer, they would probably find a couple of things to edit, and if you then give it to yet another proofer, well...

One thing that's EXTREMELY important: don't invent errors that are not there just to show your client that they did hire you for something. If you really don't have anything to correct, tell them that and add that the translator they are working with is of very high quality and they should hold on to that person. In fact, if they do, maybe you will get to proof their excellent work again in the future, work not much time for good money and learn from a translator who turns in almost perfect jobs.

All the best!


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:11
French to Portuguese
+ ...
You're extremely right Viktoria! Oct 28, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

One thing that's EXTREMELY important: don't invent errors that are not there just to show your client that they did hire you for something. If you really don't have anything to correct, tell them that and add that the translator they are working with is of very high quality and they should hold on to that person. In fact, if they do, maybe you will get to proof their excellent work again in the future, work not much time for good money and learn from a translator who turns in almost perfect jobs.


I did that this week when my client was not very sure of the translator's knowledge of the French language to translate into Portuguese and just gave about 1500 words to proofread since they didn't know if they should continue with her on that translation. It turned out that the translator had done some mistakes (who doesn't?) but in general the translation was very good.

I was asked to point out the mistakes and so did I, explaining why I had changed this and that and what was not correct and why (I spent more time on this than on proofreading the text), but then I pointed out that in spite of those mistakes the translation was very good and that the translator had a very good style, so she should go on with it.

At the end, the client was really happy with both of us, translator and proofreader.

On the other hand, I once had a 700-word translation text to proofread (two texts) and I was given a document to write the wrong word and explain why. The client said it would only take me 1h. I spent more than two hours on that because each sentence had a lot of mistakes, wrong words, misunderstandings, words not translated. I found all the right words in dictionaries and in the Internet. When I finished the 2nd file 2h hours had passed, I was 15 minutes late for the delivery and I just wrote in the explanation part that the correction (with track changes) spoke for itself and that if they wanted to know more about it they could ask.

The client made me another PO for 2h instead of one because she saw I really had a hard time with that.

Just do what you have to do.

Good luck, anyway!

Ivana


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