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Poll: Which of the following do you find most effective?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:37
SITE STAFF
Feb 12, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which of the following do you find most effective?".

This poll was originally submitted by Smart T

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always alone Feb 13, 2006

I always have and always will work alone, it would be impossible for me to work with others. I am amazed that this is the first comment, I would think that many people would have a lot to say on this subject. Let's hear it!

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:37
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Teams have their place Feb 13, 2006

I said "translating alone," because that's the way I work now, and the product is more consistent. That being said, most of what I learned in the early years of my career came came from working in teams.

Translators who work in the same office for a long time tend to develop a homogenized way of saying things, so that anyone can pitch in and take off some of the pressure when necessary and the result can be virtually seamless.

I have learned a lot from reviewers. A second person reviewing a translation often catches mistakes. However, it's important for the reviewer not to dismantle the translator's work, because that consumes too much time and creates friction between colleagues. In one office where I worked, every important job was seen by two translators, but they took turns reviewing each other, and that kept a lid on excessive changes.


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 03:37
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Confusion on meaning of question Feb 13, 2006

I voted in pairs because I interterpreted the question to mean the use of native speaker of the source language or a good editor of the tarket language, depending on the kind of document, to check the work, improve the style, and catch the tiny but embarassing mistakes we can make sometimes. In terms of quality control, I think such a person is invaluable (even if the cost sometimes hurts). However, I translate alone. The question is not absolutely clear on what it intends to say.

Stephen Rifkind

[Edited at 2006-02-13 05:43]


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Mrudula Tambe  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 06:07
English to Marathi
+ ...
Difficult to define Feb 13, 2006

Though I translate alone as a freelancer, I ask for the help for a particular word about which I'm not much sure on proz.com and discuss about it with other language expert to find the exact translation. Kudoz system is a great help for me in this regard. So I'll say it's a team effort as a whole.

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Francisco Pavez  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Too many cooks spoil the broth Feb 13, 2006

Whenever I have worked in a translation team I have found that the end result is never as good as it could be had only one translator done the entire project.

I think this is one profession were team work does not improve the quality of the end product or the efficiency of the process. The differences in writing style and choice of words from one translator to another make the final translated document read unnnaturally, even if the individual contributions are very good, because it just reads like a cut-and-paste job of other related documents. The process also becomes cumbersome with a restrictive style guide and a project manager that has to work miracles for the different parts to have some sort of unifying style.

The only advantage that I see to team translations is the reduction in delivery times that may not completely offset the additional proofinfing and editing time required. I think the client is best served by a single translator working on a single project at a time. That is the ideal but, alas, we do not live in an ideal world.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:37
Flemish to English
+ ...
'L'unité fait la force" Feb 13, 2006

or "United we stand".
I am not an engineer in electronics or construction,nor am I an M.D. Hence, I find working in pairs with such a person results in a greater terminology accuracy.
To circumvent the mother-tongue only first commandment of translation, working with three persons (translator +specialist + a native speaker of the target-language)produces the same result as the mother-tongue only specialized translator.

[Edited at 2006-02-13 08:00]


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Kevin Kelly  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
Member (2005)
Russian to English
+ ...
Translation or interpretation? Feb 13, 2006

I first answered "in a pair" because I took the question to refer to interpretation. If written translation is referred to, I would definitely say "alone."

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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 02:37
German to English
Effective for what? Feb 13, 2006

For peace of mind? Alone.

To get a large project done? Team.

For feedback? With another person.



I abstained from answering. Too ambiguous.


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JackieMcC
Local time: 02:37
French to English
translator/reviewer team Feb 13, 2006

I also found the question unclear. If we are talking about more than one translator translating a document, then I think that is a definite no-no: quality will always suffer, there will also be discrepencies in style/terminology.
However, I think that having a translation reviewed by another professional translator will almost always result in improved quality. I work a lot with an agency that routinely arranges for each translation to be reviewed by another independent translator. As the agency tends to use the same few translators, and we all review each others translations,changes are usually sensible and not over-excessive.
To my mind, this is the best way of working to ensure the client receives a high quality translation.
Best regards,
Jackie


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:37
Spanish to English
A lone freelance translator Feb 13, 2006

[quote]ProZ.com Staff wrote:

"Which of the following do you find most effective"

I have only worked alone as I started as a freelancer having never worked with a team in an office. This could also be related to my response to a previous poll "how many translators do you know personally?" But I note Henry Hinds also works alone and I am sure with his experience he knows many translators. Even in these days of Trados etc., of terminology bases and glossaries, we all have different ideas on how to translate the meaning and style of the context. You only have to look at the variety of suggestions from experience translators on the same phrase in a Kudoz question. Although having someone to give positive feedback on a translation would be a bonus.




[Edited at 2006-02-13 10:10]


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Sylvain Leray  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:37
Member (2003)
German to French
Alone/Team Feb 13, 2006

Yes, the question is not that clear...

As a freelance translator, I definitely prefer to work alone (even on large projects) and have my work reviewed by a peer. It's easier for the agencies too, since they do not have to adjust the discrepancies between all translators involved.

But as an inhouse translator, I have worked in a team and that was just great. It does not mean that we were "sharing" the work and splitting files or so, but simply that we had a great opportunity to get help, to have consistent translations, to do brainstorming and receive feedback from other team members. The motivation of team work is a great thing.

So I voted for "team", although I prefer and always work alone since I've been translating as a freelance


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 19:37
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Effective Feb 13, 2006

I believe the most effective way is to work alone. An editor and a proofreader working alone themselves complement the work effectively.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:37
Flemish to English
+ ...
Engineer Feb 13, 2006

Can somebody explain why when I was translating a construction-specification, the agency asked for the data of the engineer who assisted me with terminology? It was in the days before the Internet and Kudoz and it turned out that all the translators working alone, got lost in translaton. They couldnot find the correct terminology in specialized dictionaries. The agency even offered money for the data of the engineer.
Armed with dictionaries, Ego, the Great Translator translates all texts.

[Edited at 2006-02-13 13:44]


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:37
Spanish to English
Translating alone Feb 13, 2006

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I said "translating alone," because that's the way I work now, and the product is more consistent....
I have learned a lot from reviewers.... However, it's important for the reviewer not to dismantle the translator's work, because that consumes too much time and creates friction between colleagues.


I agree with you Muriel, especially regarding "dismantling" the translation. I started this job by reviewing/correcting translations from academic sources and it pays reasonably well. A lot of the time the errors were few and slight. I used to feel I was earning my money unfairly, but the University languages coordinator often praised my work. Sometimes I feel reviewers don't consider the style of the original author or the translator and also feel they have to "earn" their money by "nit-picking" for the want of a better word. I feel this is one of the disadvantages of "working alone" in both senses of the phrase.


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