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Poll: What is the connection between the first draft and the final version of your translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:19
SITE STAFF
Mar 1, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the connection between the first draft and the final version of your translation?".

This poll was originally submitted by rifkind

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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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 10:19
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Solid resemblance if technical... Mar 1, 2007

...but if it´s a literary text, then there may well be many steps to go through between a first draft/reading and the final product.

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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 04:19
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Almost a mirror image Mar 1, 2007

Mirror image, of course, because on my first draft I write backwards...

Sorry, couldn't resist. But there is rarely any substantial difference. I proofread, and read aloud for "natural flow" and such, at the end of each paragraph. I do almost all my fact checking and terminology research as I go along, including thesaurus searches for just the right synonym. If I'm still stuck in the same place after 20 minutes or so, then I ask a KudoZ question (after having searched the KOG, of course!).

I proofread again at the end of each chapter or section.

I keep a running list of problems, or things I'm not satisfied with (an expression, awkward syntax, etc.) and carry it with me (on paper or mentally) so I can both ruminate and consult as opportunities arise. As I come up with answers, through KudoZ or other colleagues or out of my own head*, I go back and correct that.

So, when I get to the last word of the original, only those last two or three sentences are, strictly speaking, a "rough draft." All the rest has been gone over and corrected and polished as I went along.

Final reading invariably turns up a stray typo (Word can't tell me that I should have written "was" instead of "as"), and there's always a phrase that can be improved on, a sentence whose syntax needs tweaking.

So, my "first draft" and the text I send to my client are very, very similar.

I don't say that "this is the right way to work." I know excellent translators who would be driven crazy by this method, preferring to knock off a first draft and then go back and "dig in." This is the method that works for me.

Jane

* "out of my own head"--isn't it a marvelous moment when that right word or perfect phrase suddenly pops into your head when you're in the middle of some totally unrelated activity? Almost orgasmic!


I'm editing to add another source of solutions--the text itself. Sometimes the information I need turns up later on. I once found a term after extensive research and then, a dozen pages farther along, the author supplied it! ("Which in English is called a __________.") One good argument for not using my method.

[Edited at 2007-03-01 17:12]


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DR Maryam Taghavi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:19
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
Almost a mirror image Mar 1, 2007

Dear Friend,

Thank you for putting forward such an interesting poll.

My wise father always tells me 'behave as you may die tomorrow and you will not have any more chance of redoing things'. Keeping my father's advice in mind, throughout the translation process I recheck everything as I go on. Therefore, I end up with a draft which is almost a mirror image of the final translation which I submit to the translation.
I even take care of DTP throughout the translation to provide a presentable translation.


Kind Regards

Maryam Taghavi


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Maria Baquero  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Solid Resemblance Mar 1, 2007

I prefer to translate the whole day and proofread it first thing in the morning, with a fresh mind. I then continue with the rest of the text and do the same the next morning. When the translation is finished, I read it aloud without comparing it with the source text for fluency. If something doesn't sound well, I go back to the source text; otherwise, it is OK.

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:19
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I also chose solid resemblance Mar 1, 2007

I try to get it as close as possible during the translation process with Trados, as it makes the proofreading afterwards somewhat easier. This includes making quite sure that I pick the right translation for key terms in the first place, so that I do not have to change them throughout afterwards. However, in the case of very complex translations, I do not always understand the full story entirely until either (a) I reach the end of the translation; or (b) I start the proofreading.

Usually at least three insoluble problems occur during the course of an average translation, and at the proofreading stage I suddenly understand, the insoluble problems melt away, and I can correct the text.

Astrid

[Edited at 2007-03-02 08:22]


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Melzie
Local time: 10:19
French to English
+ ...
I use colours Mar 1, 2007



* "out of my own head"--isn't it a marvelous moment when that right word or perfect phrase suddenly pops into your head when you're in the middle of some totally unrelated activity? Almost orgasmic!




I couldn't agree more

Anything that niggles goes into different colours so I can come back to it until satisfied while getting the overall 'style' as I go along. As a whole though, the draft and the text are very closely related.

[Edited at 2007-03-01 22:53]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:19
English to Polish
+ ...
Aren't they the same? Mar 1, 2007

Ironic, isn't it? But ...
1. Just like Maryam, I recheck everything as I go on.
2. The agencies I work with have learnt the rhythm and tempo of my work so well that they calculate the deadlines spot-on, leaving no room for second reading (or they keep spying on me... )
3. When I opposed that at the beginning of our cooperation, I was told very firmly that they prefer getting a near-perfect translation two hours earlier.
The customer is always right, after all ...


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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
A solid resemblance Mar 1, 2007

That's an interesting poll!

Usually, I don't read the whole text before starting translating, so I don’t have the whole picture of the thing. But, after I finish the draft translation, the puzzle is complete. When I reread my translation I realize that some small changes are necessary. And quite rarely, I can even spot misinterpretations (texts written by non-natives can sometimes be very challenging ) . I think it is always a good idea to reread your text, preferably not the same day you did the draft translation.


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Silvina Matheu  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:19
Member
English to Spanish
A solid resemblance Mar 2, 2007

I have chosen this option because, while I'm translating, I keep searching, researching, going back to the beginning and correcting, and keep translating till late in the evening. And as Maria said, I'd rather proofread first thing in the morning. It's the best hour for my mind. Then I go on with the same process. If there is anything I can't find or I don't like, I highlight it and go back at the end. So by the time I finish, I am quite near the final version. I reread everything and if I can, that is, if the deadline allows me, I proofread after leaving the text aside for some hours, or better still, till the following day.


JaneTranslates wrote:

* "out of my own head"--isn't it a marvelous moment when that right word or perfect phrase suddenly pops into your head when you're in the middle of some totally unrelated activity? Almost orgasmic!



Jane, you're absolutely right!! This is just perfect.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do it right the first time Mar 2, 2007

I always go back and read or proof the work, but changes are normally very few. Doing it right the first time is what I strive for, solving every problem as I go along.

The process of confirmation is still important, however, because the re-reading gives a view of the flow that is diffucult to achieve while actively translating. Plus no one is perfect; all we can do is strive for futher perfection.

The replies could have been phrased better; I don't recall which I answered but what I strive for is to "do it right the first time".


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always strive to reach a final text first time Mar 2, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:
I always go back and read or proof the work, but changes are normally very few. Doing it right the first time is what I strive for, solving every problem as I go along.
...
The replies could have been phrased better; I don't recall which I answered but what I strive for is to "do it right the first time".


I absolutely agree! We usually solve any issues on the go and by the time the text reaches the editing stage it is pretty final. I did not see this approach clearly in the possible answers for this poll, so I chose N/A.


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 11:19
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Clarification Mar 2, 2007

For Messieurs Hinds and Cano:

The answer "isn't the same thing" would apply.

Stephen Rifkind


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:19
English to French
+ ...
Somewhere between half recognizable and solid resemblance Mar 2, 2007

I wish there was such an option. I didn't vote because there's more than a 50% resemblance, but it is still far from a solid resemblance.

There are often rather big differences between my "raw" translations and their most final versions (especially with repetitive terminology), but they can still be easily recognized and associated.


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