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Thread poster: Wojciech Zakrzewski
Proofreading Procedures

Wojciech Zakrzewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:23
Polish to English
+ ...
Apr 21, 2010

Dear All

Nobody has any doubts that so called proofreading is necessary in this busines because everybody makes mistakes and will be doing especially that we usually work against the clock to keep the tight deadlines. However more and more translation agancies as I call it "felt the blues" misusing the mentioned above service. The procedure is very simple: translation agancy says that your job is a crap after checking it by some independent (always two of them to make it more credible), misterious translators and then this independent translator after icing your text here and there by changing the word order, sign your job his or her name and in that way having a "sucker" off their head. Look guys, the case is simple, if we sign our job with full name so the same rule is required from so called proofers as well...

Take care
Blue


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A little self criticism might be in order Apr 21, 2010

Why do we accept jobs with impossibly tight deadlines?

The good agencies do actually try to ensure that they are reasonable. I often tell an outsourcer that I cannot do a job within a proposed deadline, but they can have it a day or two later. They frequently go along with this, especially over a weekend.

When agencies are ´feeling the blues´ they are probably short of work, so there should be more time, not less.

I am in a grumpy mood today, because I am one of these mysterious translators who tell agencies that other prople's work is poor quality - or absolutely excellent if that is what it is.

I earn most from proofreading when the translation is good. Otherwise I spend more time on it and have to spend even more time negotiating with the agency if I want extra pay for my time. I am doing it this week because I have just spent a whole day on a text that is AWFUL. And I still have 50 pages to go, of legalese, statistics and EU Directives. The translator does not know the difference between an Act, a Law and an Executive Order, or the difference between an Appendix and an Annex.

Not to mention that she has trouble with the difference between Danish syntax and English. She uses singular and plural verbs at random, not according to the number of the subject. (In Danish verbs do not inflect according to number and person, but that *are* no excuse.)

I could go on...
I do not know who this translator is either, except that the signature in the TM is a fairly common Danish female name.

I proofread regularly for translators who would write this sort of text so that it was, if not a pleasure to read, at least enjoyable to proofread, because I would find all their neat solutions to the heavy formulation. It would be in correct English with consistent terminology, and just a minor typo here and there. (Form/from, an/and ...) Maybe a passage for comment if I could make a better suggestion. Often I cannot.

Two of these translators are Danes who have lived in the UK and really studied both languages and the subject area. I have nothing against non-natives who really know what they are doing. The ones I dislike are the people who simply should learn a lot more before they start trying to make a living by translating.

Any number of proofreaders would have to agree that even English does have its own grammar and conventions, and in the text I am proofing at the moment they are simply not observed.

If you can go back to the agency and tell them why your original translation was better than the proofreader's suggestion, you should do so. I have done that too. There are occasions when it is necessary.

But most proofreaders do not actually find fault for fun.

OK, grouch over, back to my text... The agency needs something presentable for their client!



[Edited at 2010-04-21 08:16 GMT]


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:23
German to Spanish
+ ...
Proofreading Procedures Apr 21, 2010


Wojciech Zakrzewski wrote:

Dear All

Nobody has any doubts that so called proofreading is necessary in this busines because everybody makes mistakes and will be doing especially that we usually work against the clock to keep the tight deadlines. However more and more translation agancies as I call it "felt the blues" misusing the mentioned above service. The procedure is very simple: translation agancy says that your job is a crap after checking it by some independent (always two of them to make it more credible), misterious translators and then this independent translator after icing your text here and there by changing the word order, sign your job his or her name and in that way having a "sucker" off their head. Look guys, the case is simple, if we sign our job with full name so the same rule is required from so called proofers as well...

Take care
Blue


I have many serious doubts about proofreading usefulness: http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_theory_and_practice/161338-do_you_learn_by_editing.html#1357547 .

An objective proofreader report should contain at least verifiable information about following type of errors:

spelling
grammar
terminology (glossaries, reference texts, etc)
consistency (truck vs. industrial vehicle)
numbering (european decimals vs. anglosaxon decimals, number matching, etc.)
completness (incomplete sentences)
acronyms (NATO vs. OTAN)
typography check (punctuation may be/is language dependent)
missing translations (not translated text)

Imho, a proofreader never should rewording a sentence (if it is not completely wrong in the destination language and will be missunderstood), neither go in style matters.

If a reviewer does not give an undersigned full report of all this, it hasn't any value (at least for me), whatever the agency may say. In times of economic downturn like the one, many agencies want to get dollars to the price of a few cents and any excuse is good enough.


[Editado a las 2010-04-21 08:42 GMT]


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Wojciech Zakrzewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:23
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Proofreading Procedures Apr 21, 2010

Hi Christine

You get me all wrong. I have proofread myself a few times and know it is needful, helluva job especialy if you have to mach the style coming from many batches done by other translators because every translation is unique, but never called it a crap, on the contrary, I have always added my comment that translation is pretty good despite some corrections here and there...I am even greatful if sombody points out my mistakes but it doesn't mean the whole translation is crappy.

Take care
Blue


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:23
Partial member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
on the other hand Apr 21, 2010


Pablo Bouvier wrote:
Imho, a proofreader never should rewording a sentence (if it is not completely wrong in the destination language and will be missunderstood), neither go in style matters.


[Editado a las 2010-04-21 08:42 GMT]


On the other hand what does it mean „completely wrong” and, by analogy, “somewhat wrong”?
If I change your wording “a proofreader never should rewording a sentence” the following way: “a proofreader should never reword a sentence”, is it just “icing”?

Please do not misunderstand me – I’m not native, so I have no rights to correct you. It’s just an example/illustration, because actually I appreciate proofreading of my translations. Or maybe I was just lucky with my proofreaders (although in many cases I didn’t know their names and sometimes I was not pleased with the results).
Regards, Ewa


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Wojciech Zakrzewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:23
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Proofreading Procedures Apr 21, 2010

Hi Ewa

What d'you say about this;

Original text: Compiling cost for this feature…
my translation: Szacowanie miejsca niezbędnego dla tej funkcji…
Proofreading: Rozważanie opłacalności funkcji…

Look guys this is not a school any more, this a real business and what I have been trying to say recently on this forum is that these kind of snotty "translators" opinions are often used for not paying...If somebody calls my job a crap I have my rights to know his/her name...

Good luck
Blue


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Where is this thread going? Apr 21, 2010

I do agree with you, Wojciech, that you are entitled to know the name of the proofreader if you have any questions to raise about criticism of your work. However, this is not the place to discuss specific issues, and general accustions are not fair, because they cannot be placed where they belong.

I am afraid this thread is about to infringe the rule that:

When a topic has been locked, discussion may not be resumed.
Discussions contained in threads locked or hidden by ProZ.com staff members or moderators should not be resumed. Posts made within such threads may not be edited once a topic has been locked.

http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/6#6

We had a very good discussion in this thread:
http://www.proz.com/topic/161308?start=0

But I think we exhausted the subject.

Please, everyone, do not simply circle round the same topic.
If further postings do not add anything constructive and DIFFERENT, I will lock this thread and remove the postings that return to the same topic as the other thread.

Thank you for your understanding.

Christine


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Wojciech Zakrzewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:23
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Proofreading Procedures Apr 21, 2010

Look Christine, this forum is the only way to discuss our problems the more so we are nor allowed to reveal the names. What would you do if were not paid for weeks' time job, sue'em for few bucks???? It's not about money only but a fair play, let everybody do ones work and we'll all be happy...

Blue


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:23
German to Spanish
+ ...
Proofreading Procedures Apr 21, 2010


Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak) wrote:


Pablo Bouvier wrote:
Imho, a proofreader never should rewording a sentence (if it is not completely wrong in the destination language and will be missunderstood), neither go in style matters.


[Editado a las 2010-04-21 08:42 GMT]


On the other hand what does it mean „completely wrong” and, by analogy, “somewhat wrong”?
If I change your wording “a proofreader never should rewording a sentence” the following way: “a proofreader should never reword a sentence”, is it just “icing”?

Please do not misunderstand me – I’m not native, so I have no rights to correct you. It’s just an example/illustration, because actually I appreciate proofreading of my translations. Or maybe I was just lucky with my proofreaders (although in many cases I didn’t know their names and sometimes I was not pleased with the results).
Regards, Ewa


What is the difference if you translate the horse is bay or the horse is yellowish-white?
Is it completely wrong or somewhat wrong? I am neither a native and I never translate into english. I use English here because it is the lingua franca and due to professional courtesy, but I never would translate into English.

Of course, if something is wrong, it should be corrected. In the example you have given, imho you are not reordering neither rewording the sentence. You are just correcting a grammar error or a language misuse. And this is OK.

What I meant before, are not justified style corrections like changing one or two words that do not provide any additional information or do not change the sense of the sentence, a fairly common attitude among some reviewers. It is not the first time I read in these same forums complaints because a proofreader spoils a translation rather than make it better. Of course, there are proofreaders and Proofreaders... as like translators and Translators.







[Editado a las 2010-04-21 17:33 GMT]


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:23
Partial member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
@Pablo Apr 21, 2010

thank you for clarification Pablo. I've got your point now. Ewa

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I am asking for fresh input instead of repeating of what has been said before Apr 21, 2010


Wojciech Zakrzewski wrote:

Look Christine, this forum is the only way to discuss our problems the more so we are nor allowed to reveal the names. What would you do if were not paid for weeks' time job, sue'em for few bucks???? It's not about money only but a fair play, let everybody do ones work and we'll all be happy...

Blue


Here I agree with you, which is precisely why I have not locked the thread.

But specific cases, including yours, can only be solved by those personally involved, not in the forums. We can agree with the principle, but this has all been said before.

The discussion will be far more interesting and useful if the posts from now on include positive suggestions or new angles on the problem instead of simply repeating earlier posts. That is all I am asking.

I just went for a walk in the spring sunset, and it was a great idea even if it did not solve my problem directly.
Have a nice evening too!



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