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Is there any international "editing standard" ?
Thread poster: Babelworth
Babelworth
Congo, Democratic Republic
Local time: 17:25
English to French
Apr 25, 2008

The only editing I've done till now is with a friend, so we got our own understanding of the matter: he sends a text he's just translated, I cross the terms I think are not appropriate and put mine next to those (the crossed). I leave the crossed terms in place just in case he doesn’t agree or he has some question about any of my suggestions. Then, now I am getting international jobs, editing included. Should I do it our (friend and I) way or is it an international way….

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-04-25 14:05]


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xiaoyanchen
Local time: 08:25
English to Chinese
+ ...
Use Track Change Apr 25, 2008

babelworth wrote:

The only editing I've done till now is with a friend, so we got our own understanding of the matter: he sends a text he's just translated, I cross the terms I think are not appropriate and put mine next to those (the crossed). I leave the crossed terms in place just in case he doesn’t agree or he has some question about any of my suggestions. Then, now I am getting international jobs, editing included. Should I do it our (friend and I) way or is it an international way….

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-04-25 14:05]


I have edited at least a million English words/Chinese characters of translations now, and I have always used Track Change function in MS Word. If the translator likes your change, he/she can Accept Change or choose to Reject Change. If you need to make some comments, you can use Insert Comment in MS Word. So far it works well for me. In fact, some of my clients request that I use Track Change when reviewing the translations they sent me.

Hope it helps.


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Babelworth
Congo, Democratic Republic
Local time: 17:25
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Wow! Apr 26, 2008

Thanx a great deal, this thing is great! I thought there was nothing left to learn for me about microsoft word...

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Ask the client Apr 26, 2008

babelworth wrote:
Then, now I am getting international jobs, editing included. Should I do it our (friend and I) way or is it an international way...


I've had a client who were very angry when he discovered Track Changes in a document I edited for him. These changes were not on the first few pages and he had missed it before sending the file to his end-client. He had expected me to deliver a finished document -- not a document that still needs someone to go "accept/reject" at every change. So the question is... what does your client want?

If you're uncertain, and you don't want to communicate with your client, then use Track Changes but also produce a file with all changes accepted. Send the clean file to the client, and when he asks "didn't you use Track Changes", then send him the file with changes tracked.

Not all clients know how to use the advanced editing features in MS Word. I've had a client who didn't know what comments were, and were very frustrated because he couldn't figure out how to remove my comments. He had wanted me to write my comments in a separate text file, not using a fancy feature within the document itself.

Also, using Track Changes can be difficult. I have to edit in a different way when I use Track Changes. In fact, I regard Track Changes not as an editing tool but as a proofreading tool. By the time Track Changes are used, the file should already be in ship shape, so that very few changes are necessary. Track Changes make it impossible to make big changes to a file (unless you're happy with virtually all text being "tracked changed").


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 18:25
French to Dutch
+ ...
Agree with Samuel Apr 27, 2008

There are lots of people who don't know how to use "Track changes" modifications. Printing houses don't like this feature at all because they receive the old text and the new text mixed up, and even in the case they succeed to clean it up they make errors such as deleting spaces.

Ask your client what he wants: "track changes", or a clean file, or modifications in red/highlighted, or just comments in a separate file.

The same is true for proofreading PDF files: some people just want red flags, others like yellow notes, and other ones an Excel file with comments.

Just one comment: always send back a file, do not paste something in an Outlook message.


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Babelworth
Congo, Democratic Republic
Local time: 17:25
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
insight Apr 28, 2008

Thanx guys, this is what I call insiders insight...
so there is no international standard? Then this editing vs proofreading issue comes up again... I mean you also talk about proofreading, I thought you were supposed to implement chages while proofreading and you need not suggest anyting to the translator...


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Irene Elmerot  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:25
Member (2005)
Dutch to Swedish
+ ...
European and American standards May 9, 2008

In the recent translation standard for Europe, the EN 15038, the differences between proofing, editing and other varieties have been explained, so I guess you can use those even in Africa.
Here's a short version of it: http://www.statsaut-translator.no/Files/Standard-15038-final-draft-en.pdf
and here's the Wikipedia article about it in English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation-quality_standards

So my suggestion is that you check out the terminology in this standard, and then you ask your client which job (s)he wants you to do, proofing, editing, revision, or even copywriting?

Good luck!


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