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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: Do you check the spelling and grammar of the source text?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:19
SITE STAFF
Dec 11, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you check the spelling and grammar of the source text?".

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:19
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's impossible not to notice it Dec 11, 2011

It's not clear what is meant by "check" it. Mistakes in spelling and grammar directly impact my translation. Do I call them to someone's attention? Only if (1) I know that the document can still be fixed, and (2) it's likely that the client would want to improve the text.

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:19
Member (2011)
Hebrew to English
Notice it yes, do anything about it....hmmm Dec 11, 2011

I don't actively "check" the spelling and grammar beforehand though (if that's what the question is suggesting). I don't get paid for that, so why would I?

Usually I notice bad spelling and grammar in the source text in the course of doing the translation.....

Recently I have had a few source texts where the spelling and grammar have been on the worse side of bad. If it's just the odd typo or something I tend to overlook it, it's only when it's so bad that it makes my job harder...... or worse, on occasion, when it has almost made my job near impossible have I brought it to the client's attention.


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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:19
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Notice not check Dec 11, 2011

I can only second what Muriel and Ty have already said.

I don´t specifically check the source for typos, grammar, etc., however, it´s hard not to notice while you´re translating.


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Isabelle F. BRUCHER  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:19
English to French
+ ...
It's in the customer's interest (and his responsibility) to check his own spelling and grammar Dec 11, 2011

It's in the customer's interest to check his own spelling and grammar before submitting the text to the translator.

When the text does not make sense, I just translate it literally.

Translators do not get paid for running the spel & grammar check tool on the source text before translating.

Plus that kind of tool misses somes mistakes and stops on supposed errors which are not, so it would be a loss of time and money.

Legally, it is the customer's responsibility to make sure his text makes sense before asking a translator to translate the supposed meaning of it.

We translators are asked to translate quickly and for a small price, so that kind of request would entail a higher price and a longer delay.

Now it might depend on the kind of customer.

I might take the trouble to attract the customer's attention to some big mistakes if I like the customer (e.g. long-time relationship & good payer (i.e. on time & good rates)), especially if I know the original text will get published or inserted on a website for example, and if I know the customer will show he/she appreciates this extra-work.

It's a bonus based on sympathy, nothing else - and nowadays most work goes through intermediaries so we don't even know who is the real customer anyway, so...


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 09:19
English to French
+ ...
Erm Dec 11, 2011

I need to make sure I understand the source text right, don't I? So, yes, I always "check" the grammar and spelling of the source text. I point out ambiguities or ask about them, seldom bother about notifying others, unless the client asks me to.

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Teresa Borges
Belgium
Local time: 09:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I do not check, Dec 11, 2011

but I cannot avoid noticing spelling and grammar mistakes and when the text makes no sense at all I point out the ambiguities and ask the client.

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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 09:19
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Dec 11, 2011

In translation, I have one client in particular who often sends me texts with spelling mistakes and misprints - these are usually verbatim market research interviews which have been transcribed in a hurry, so I expect them to be a bit ropey. Otherwise, most of my clients send me reasonably well written texts for translation so it is not usually an issue.

When revising (or proofing, if you like) texts for publication, I usually check for consistency of US or UK spellings (e.g. -isation vs -ization, etc) and other differences.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:19
Member (2006)
German to English
other Dec 11, 2011

I "only" check the text as I am going along, and if there is anything wrong, then I always inform the customer as spelling mistakes, etc. generally ruin the TM

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Violeta Farrell
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:19
English to Serbian
+ ...
Always Dec 11, 2011

I always check spelling mistakes and go back to the client. If a sentence does not have sense I ask for more clarification on the meaning. How can we translate literally when it is not going to make sense in our target language? If we do that then we are not much different than machine translation. Yes, it does take time but I think it is worth. Obviously there always will be clients who do not recognise this but I would not feel right if I send them back the translation I am not 100% sure about.

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Marta Cervera Areny
Local time: 09:19
Member (2008)
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
I inform clients... Dec 11, 2011

It usually depends on the client and the nature of the text...

Most of the times I include a note when I send the translation back saying I've noticed these mistakes. If I find one or two I send the corrected file, if I find a lot of mistakes I just give the a couple of examples, but I always tell them that since it's not a thorough review there may be more and advise them to have someone review the original.

Some, very few, ignore my suggestions, but most of them usually appreciate me noticing and letting them know and it often results in them finding someone to review the original as well.

I know I'm not getting paid to do that, but I also know it's "added value" my clients appreciate.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:19
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, very often. Dec 11, 2011


Michael Harris wrote:

I "only" check the text as I am going along, and if there is anything wrong, then I always inform the customer as spelling mistakes, etc. generally ruin the TM


This is what I'm doing, although not all clients seem to appreciate it.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:19
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes, quite often Dec 11, 2011

This may only be a quick visual run-over, but I like to know what I am working with.

When the text has been OCR-scanned, it is well worth checking the grammar and spelling. The client usually sends me PDF of the original for proofreading purposes.

The extra Danish vowels are not always correctly recognised, and this directly affects the translation, or may save me a lot of time searching for a strange medical abbreviation which, if correctly written, I would understand at once...

As others have mentioned, errors are a nuisance in TMs. I correct them whenever I find them. Punctuation errors can play havoc with the segmenting, so Trados does not recognise useful matches. I have had texts with 'no matches' suddenly acquiring high percentages of matches and repeats when tidied up, and I use Trados mainly for consistency, so it is important.

I usually inform the client if I am in doubt, but I do sometimes assume or know that they have a Danish proofreader who will be more reliable than me anyway.



[Edited at 2011-12-11 11:02 GMT]


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Ian Jones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:19
Member
German to English
+ ...
Why? Dec 11, 2011

It's not my job to correct the original. I think most people would not check the spelling and grammar. Why would they do that? However, if I notice something is wrong and it's pretty vital, then I inform the client.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 16:19
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Quite agree! Dec 11, 2011


Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

It's not clear what is meant by "check" it. Mistakes in spelling and grammar directly impact my translation. Do I call them to someone's attention? Only if (1) I know that the document can still be fixed, and (2) it's likely that the client would want to improve the text.


Yes, and it's not the translator's job/duty to rewrite sloppy source text for the customer. Even with the Japanese documents I'm translating, there are often mistakes in the Kanji and particles used, and text is poorly edited in lots of cases.

However, I DO point out mistakes to the customer, and am confident that I deliver a translation that is "tighter" and better written than the source document.

I hope that feedback to the client in this way draws their attention to the sometimes abysmal quality of the projects they pass my way and, in turn, inspires them to improve writing quality at their end and ensure more work for me.

Happy translating!

[Edited at 2011-12-11 14:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-12-11 14:15 GMT]


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