Should I talk to the editor about the correction made to my translation or not?
Thread poster: lauren herme (X)

lauren herme (X)  Identity Verified
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 26, 2004

Hi everyone,
I just received a copy of a book that I translated only to find that the person who corrected my text was British, and I am American. To avoid any confusion, before starting the translation I clearly asked the editor if he wanted it in British English or American English and he told me that he would prefer it in American.Now, while reading through my translation, I see that the corrector made his/her own rendition of my translation scattered with British expressions, spelling, etc...Its inconsistency is what bothers me. What do you think, is it worth calling up the editor to point this out?
Has anyone ever had a similar situation?


GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sadly, it's no doubt too late Feb 26, 2004

Is it the final printed book that you received a copy of? If so, it can't be remedied (until the next printing, as Marco rightly points out below). Even an author herself doesn't have the power to recall a book and request a reprinting; see this sad story (go down to Feb. 11, 2004 "Painful Announcement").

All you can do now is register your unhappiness (disconformidad) with the editor (also in writing for your records.) Were the editor's instructions about American usage ever put into writing?

[Edited at 2004-02-26 20:54]


lauren herme (X)  Identity Verified
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, it's the final printed copy.... Feb 26, 2004

Thanks for the link to 'this sad story'...I guess it's not the first or last time this sort of thing will happen. Now that it's done, the best thing to do is figure out how not to let it happen again. Maybe I should start insisting on seeing copies of the final layout of the book's pages (although there never seems to be enough time).


Marco Oberto  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:06
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
You can intervene on the new copies Feb 26, 2004

I made the same experience with an Italian text which contained several mispellings. I simply took note of everything which was not correct/consistent (Bill Clinton was transformed into Bill Gates!!) and the editor promised the new printing of the book (scheduled a couple of months after the first)would have implemented these corrections.


Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:06
German to English
+ ...
The same happened to me ... Feb 26, 2004

... with a French travel guide that was on dining tips - some bright spark obviously thought it should be dinning tips, which was slightly annoying, because I wanted to show the book as one of my references.

I think this thing probably happens quite a lot. When I was working as a trainee in PR/Marketing, I wrote a mailshot to the company's customers in English. In German the second line of a letter (after the salutation - Dear ...,) tends to start with a lower-case letter, in English it doesn't, but the assistant of the manager went ahead and changed it even though I told her not to and the letter went out with an error ...

I really sympathise.

[Edited at 2004-02-26 21:25]


Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:06
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Imaginative editors... Feb 27, 2004

I wish the in-house editors would bother to check with the translator before changing important terminology.
I just translated a Formula One magazine. F1 is a rather specialized subject, especially when there are detailed descriptions of the cars: suspensions, engine, transmission, aerodynamics and so on...
Yesterday I received a copy of said magazine and I was horrified to find it littered with blaring inaccuracies, especially from a terminology point of view. Now, this is a specialized magazine... if some of the basic terminology is wrong, it doesn't look very good, does it?
One example: the editor changed "overalls" to "uniforms" (tuta -> uniforme, in Italian)... now, I've never seen a driver in a car wearing a uniform. Have you?
Wind tunnel has been changed to "aerodynamic tunnel" (tunnel aerodinamico). Now, although this exists, in Google you get 5 hits against over 4.000 for "galleria del vento" (wind tunnel). Obviously, the editor doesn't know even about this kind of engines...icon_smile.gif
Apparently, a driver "intervenes" in a Grand Prix, instead of taking part...
I've only read 3 articles out of 15 and I don't really want to read the rest. I'm too frightened!
So embarrassing...

Have a nice day.



Tina Vonhof
Local time: 06:06
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Sympathize Feb 27, 2004

I sympathize - it is very embarrassing.

I think what I would do is send a letter stating my objections to both the agency and the end client plus a copy (or sample) of the text with my corrections.

It may be that nothing can be done about it but at least you can state your case and refuse any responsibility for the final product.


Local time: 07:06
Spanish to English
Not an option: Your responsibility Feb 28, 2004

. . .not to mention in your best interest. Yes, these mix-ups occur far too often. In my own experience I have offered to correct the galley proofs, but never hear any more about the matter. Editors and proof readers do particularly terrible things to my translations into my non-native language. What we all want is good results! Good luck.

[Edited at 2004-02-28 20:09]


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