Mobile menu

Any tips on editing?
Thread poster: Mary Watson

Mary Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:45
German to English
+ ...
May 11, 2004

I just completed a German to English translation of a biography. I spent about 6 weeks on the project and went over the completed translation 3 times, proofing and editing. The original text was one of the most difficult jobs I've ever encountered. The writing was convoluted and disjointed. I spent a good portion of the time in editing, simplifying and resimplifying the text. At times I felt as if I were rewriting whole paragraphs.

At any rate, I sent it off and the client sent it back asking for another read-through. Okay, fine. But to be honest, I am so sick of this job, that I'm finding it hard to look objectively at it one more time. Does anyone have any techniques for looking at a translated job with a fresh eye when it comes to editing and proofing?

Also, another question, just how much editing is called for in a translation. I know - it depends - but how much can a client really expect of a translator.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:45
Another set of eyes, maybe... May 11, 2004

Mary Watson wrote:

But to be honest, I am so sick of this job, that I'm finding it hard to look objectively at it one more time. Does anyone have any techniques for looking at a translated job with a fresh eye when it comes to editing and proofing?



In situations such as yours when, indeed, my own pair of eyes cannot look at the document as "objectvely" as it would be desired, I have requested the assistance of a fellow translator.

As for how much editing is reasonable, I suppose this is something you have to establish with your client(s) beforehand.
I usually include one or two "editing rounds" in my rate, to ensure the quality of the document. But in stances when the client wants to be 200 per cent sure and asks for a third or fourth proofreading (and maybe from another "set" of eyes to do it), I explain that such service will be charged separately. Good Luck!

[Edited at 2004-05-12 18:44]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 15:45
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Outsource May 11, 2004

Better let a second person look at your work. I do it all the time and pay by the hour.
But I find it strange that a biography, that seems to have awoken interest abroad, should be changed beyond recognition in the process of translation. I'm aware that anglosaxons don't appriciate German style of writing, but then why not wright anew from scratch?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:45
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Read it out loud May 11, 2004

In case you did not think of it yet.

Hard to answer to your other questions without knowing the kind of text, contract, conditions... But for the technique, when I really cannot wait for enough time to freshen my mind or outsource the revision, I try reading out loud, if possible to somebody, or just to myself. It takes a more time, but the improvement can be amazing.

Hope it helps. Ciao.

Luca


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pam_est_la
Spanish to English
+ ...
on "editing" May 11, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Better let a second person look at your work. I do it all the time and pay by the hour.
But I find it strange that a biography, that seems to have awoken interest abroad, should be changed beyond recognition in the process of translation. I'm aware that anglosaxons don't appriciate German style of writing, but then why not wright anew from scratch?


Because translation involves far more than rendering words from one language to another, of course. What she is doing in the process is "localizing" it, for lack of a better term--and I think this is justifiable and part of the "work" of translating. Just as one would if rendering an operations manual that used convoluted Japanese or Korean expressions, when a simple "turn here" is sufficient in English.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Valentina Pecchiar  Identity Verified
Italy
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Forget all about the source May 12, 2004

Luca Tutino wrote:
Read it out loud
In case you did not think of it yet.


I've never thought of that, thanks a million for the tip!

When I read a text for the 3rd or 4th time, after having double- (triple-)checked that there are no gross translation mistakes or missing nuances, I read it as I were a reader, not the tranlsator, forgetting all about what the original text was like.
Usually a printout of the translation, a cozy couch and a cup of coffee (instead of sitting in front of the screen) helps me to look for what I would like to read as a reader and polish up the outcome language.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mary Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:45
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all May 12, 2004

These have all been great tips, and thanks for taking the time to reply.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 08:45
English to Spanish
Backwards Reading May 12, 2004

Mary Watson wrote:

Does anyone have any techniques for looking at a translated job with a fresh eye when it comes to editing and proofing?



It\'s tough but reading it backwards does provide a fresh eye.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Another vote for backwards reading + new font May 12, 2004

Pablo Roufogalis wrote:

It's tough but reading it backwards does provide a fresh eye.


Seconded-- this really works. (Of course this means paragraph by paragraph, not sentence by sentence or word by word.)

Another way to make the text seem new is to make a working copy in a new font. Serif if the text is in a sans serif font, or vice versa.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlotte Blank  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:45
Czech to German
+ ...
Try proofreadinghelp May 13, 2004

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/proofreadinghelp/

is a good address for finding someone with "fresh eyes" and if you are willing to provide proofreading as well nobody would probably charge for having a look at your text.

Good luck!

Charlotte


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Leopoldo Gurman
Argentina
Local time: 10:45
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Printouts Apr 2, 2005

Muja wrote:

Luca Tutino wrote:
Read it out loud
In case you did not think of it yet.


I've never thought of that, thanks a million for the tip!

When I read a text for the 3rd or 4th time, after having double- (triple-)checked that there are no gross translation mistakes or missing nuances, I read it as I were a reader, not the tranlsator, forgetting all about what the original text was like.
Usually a printout of the translation, a cozy couch and a cup of coffee (instead of sitting in front of the screen) helps me to look for what I would like to read as a reader and polish up the outcome language.


If it´s more than two pages long, I always print it out for revision (if there is a printer available) and, being an Argentinian, replace coffee with mate (a kind of tea =:)
By the way, has anyone tried e-book readers for proofing?


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Maria Castro[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Any tips on editing?

Advanced search


Translation news





Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs