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Quality matters- Your input
Thread poster: madleen

madleen
United States
Local time: 16:50
Arabic to English
+ ...
Aug 11

Dear colleagues

I would like to share with you my article. I would appreciate your input. If you employ a quality standard please leave a comment about it under the article, and feel free to add any idea you find relevant :
https://translationskills.wordpress.com/blog/


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:50
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Bad English Aug 13

madleen wrote:

Dear colleagues

I would like to share with you my article. I would appreciate your input. If you employ a quality standard please leave a comment about it under the article, and feel free to add any idea you find relevant :
https://translationskills.wordpress.com/blog/



I don't know where to begin. Your English is nowhere near good enough.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lacking in quality and content Aug 13

As Tom has already indicated, your English leaves a lot to be desired. I would further point out that there is not much in the way of content here. I am not sure that this would receive a passing grade if it were turned in as a completed school assignment by a third-grade student.

You really ought to find a qualified native English speaker (i.e., one willing to be brutally honest with you) to review such material before you post it. This will not only help you realize and remedy your shortcomings, but will spare you needless embarrassment.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:50
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Your guys are so honest, Aug 13

but her English writing might still be better than that of the professors in the English departments of some colleges in China.

Yesterday someone posted in a social media group the pictures of a new English - Chinese dictionary published in China. I found that every sentence contains several errors in the English version of the introductory script of the dictionary.

Someone who can publish a dictionary should be among the top of those whose career involves English teaching and research, but even these people find it hard to write properly in English.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Add meat Aug 13

madleen wrote:
I would like to share with you my article.


Your "article" consists of 5 lists with 2-5 items each, and fewer than 5 additional paragraphs. It needs more meat.


 

madleen
United States
Local time: 16:50
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Initial post Aug 14

Samuel Murray wrote:

madleen wrote:
I would like to share with you my article.


Your "article" consists of 5 lists with 2-5 items each, and fewer than 5 additional paragraphs. It needs more meat.




Dear Samuel,

Thank you. Yes I shouldn’t have called it an article. It’s an initial post about general quality matters for beginning translators. I was planning to add more in later posts when I get more feedback about quality matters in translation.

Dear Robert Firstag and Tom in London,

Thank you for sharing your view. It is a simple blog post, and I know it could be written in a fancier way but this is not the goal. May I know where, in the article, you found trouble getting the idea, and what exactly was “bad English” there?


[Edited at 2018-08-14 07:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-08-14 08:09 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-08-14 08:11 GMT]


 

madleen
United States
Local time: 16:50
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
“Your guys are so honest” ? Aug 14

Dear jyuan_us

I think you meant to say: YOU guys are so honest !

[Edited at 2018-08-14 08:12 GMT]


 

madleen
United States
Local time: 16:50
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Please be specific Aug 15

[/quote]

I don't know where to begin. Your English is nowhere near good enough. [/quote]


Such a weird comment. It is a simple blog post. May I know where, in the article, you found trouble getting the idea, and what exactly was “bad English” there?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Madleen Aug 15

madleen wrote:
Such a weird [double space] comment.


I recall an incident several years ago wherein the organiser of an editing/proofreading workshop deliberately put several errors in the brochure as a novelty. It back-fired terribly because people thought that the organiser genuinely made these mistakes and didn't know any better.

If this is what you're trying to do in your blog, I recommend you stop doing it. A blog about quality should use high quality writing. In fact, any blog post should be proofread thoroughly before posting it.

I'm no native speaker of English (and I understand that you may not be either), and I don't want to nitpick unnecessarily, but:

1. Don't you think there should be a comma after "among others"?
2. In your post here as well as on your blog, you use double spaces in mid-sentence. Why?
3. "promise what they are only able to deliver" is odd English. How about "promise only what they are able to deliver"?
4. You seem to use "each" in a way that I would expect "every" to be used.
5. Why do you write "Translators" with a capital initial in mid-sentence?
6. You write "Avoid Literal Translation" in one line but "Use smooth fluent language" in the next. Why not "Avoid literal translation" or "Use Smooth Fluent Language"?
7. Don't you think the commas in "smooth fluent" and "comfortable convenient" are rather non-optional?
8. In the first two lists, you use a number followed by a dot, but in the second two lists, you use a number followed by a hyphen. What would be the reason for that?
9. Three of the subheadings have a blank line preceding and following it, but the last subheading directly follows the list before it, and has no blank line after it. Can you explain your reasoning for that?
10. Is it just me, or have you misplaced the hyphens in "built-in" and "self-rewarding"?

Again, I realise that some of these errors may be due to the fact that English is not your main language, and I disagree with people who would look down on a blogger for using non-native English, but there are also several issues here that do not relate to quality of English specifically.



[Edited at 2018-08-15 13:01 GMT]


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Partial feedback Aug 15

Here is a sample of the problems I see with the English in your blog post:

“Among” in the first paragraph is awkward and creates ambiguity. It should be replaced with “as well as.”

In the second section, “Reputation Building” is clumsy. I would replace with “Building and maintaining your reputation.”

In the same section, “Having Recurring Clients” is most definitely an awkward (and illogical) construction. I would replace with “Securing and retaining repeat clients” (or similar).

There are other issues here that are a good deal more serious than the misuse of hyphens and spacing that Samuel has identified.

There are still other problems in the piece that are problematic in logical rather than linguistic terms. For example, number 1 in the section “Resources for quality measures” provides no information of any value: You are talking about translation here, and the standards applied by other professions to their activities are thus entirely irrelevant.

So quite a few problems for such a short piece, both linguistic and otherwise (especially taking into account that I have only given a few examples). But the biggest issue I have with your post is a general poverty of content. The whole thing reads like a series of telegraphed statements drafted by a third-grade student, and provides information that is fairly well known to even beginning translators. So, speaking for myself, the combination of poor writing and minimal and unhelpful content creates a less than favorable impression, especially in the context of a piece about “quality” written by someone who clearly believes that she has produced something of value.

I hope that this is helpful.

(By the way, my last name is spelled “Forstag.”)


[Edited at 2018-08-15 15:29 GMT]


 

madleen
United States
Local time: 16:50
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification Aug 15

@Samuel

I do appreciate the detailed answer. I’ve just noticed some typos myself, but that doesn’t mean “it’s bad English” and “nowhere near good”! Native speakers do make stylistic and typographical errors.
As I told you before, this is an intitial general post, and I wanted to delve a bit deeper into some of the points in later posts. I was waiting to see which point the community would like to tackle, what approach they recommend for the listed points, or what practice they found helpful for one / each of the points. However, most of the
the feedback I got was about the skeleton of the post, (which is something I don’t take lightly but I thought it was exaggerated a bit by some ... no issues! ). So please, if you or other colleagues have something to share about any of the points that would be great...this is what I was actually seeking from this discussion..

Finally, Blog posts don’t have to follow a certain layout (spacing, indentation...etc). I am writing in a spontaneous informal manner. Still, you bring up a valid point in that it would reflect better....

(I would like to note that approving the replies here take so much time which makes the conversation sometimes awkward)

[Edited at 2018-08-15 13:41 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-08-15 13:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-08-15 13:59 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:50
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
My 2 cents Aug 15

The list below has been quoted from your post:

"Tools:
Make quality a built-in feature of your work routine:

1- Use comfortable convenient equipment: Outdated computers and software will only pull you backwards, wasting your time and effort.
2- Attend training in areas you find challenging to your work or knowledge.
3- Have a backup of credible professional and academic references.
4- Evaluate your work approach constantly.
5- Give yourself a break, sit back and relax!"

I don't think any of the 5 points can be categorized as a tool. You did mention "computers and software" in Point 1, but it is not clear how "Outdated computers and software will only pull you backwards, wasting your time and effort" is related to the quality of your work.

I know computers and software could somehow influence the quality of your work but you really need to establish a logical relationship between them.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:50
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I think this needs to be re-written Aug 15

Quoted from your Blog post: "Governing bodies of each profession may be the reference for quality standards in the field."

I know what you wanted to say, but the sentence sounds like one machine-translated from another language.

[Edited at 2018-08-15 22:32 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:50
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
More 2 cent comments Aug 15

Quoted from your Blog post:
"Selective Reading: what you read impacts your writing quality. Well written articles from respectful sources empower you with new ideas that are approached in a balanced manner."

What does "respectful" mean? Did you intend to say "respected"?

What would be "new ideas that are approached in a balanced manner"? How would you "approach" an idea? What did you mean by "in a balanced manner"?


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:50
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Interested to learn the point you wanted to make in this sentence Aug 15

Quoted from your Blog post:

"Steer away from your writing speciality as this would drive your thoughts into new routs, break the limitations to write from different perspectives."

I didn't get it at all.


 
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