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Proofreading or not proofreading?
Thread poster: freddy7

freddy7  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:51
English to French
+ ...
Aug 26, 2010

Dear colleagues,

I've been contacted by an agency who ask me to proofread a large technical document.

After having asked for a sample, it appears that the document is in fact a rough translation (machine translation probably by google translate or equivalent).

The "proofreading" will more likely be a complete rewriting of the document, and thus standard proofreading rates cannot apply in my opinion.

Did you already have similar experience? Is this way of doing classical?

Thanks in advance,

Frédéric.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No time Aug 26, 2010

freddy7 wrote:

it appears that the document is in fact a rough translation (machine translation probably by google translate or equivalent).


That's why I always refuse proofreading jobs.

I suggest you offer them a complete new translation, at your usual rate.

[Edited at 2010-08-26 12:22 GMT]


 

Maria Lila  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:51
French to Spanish
+ ...
Retranslation - not so uncommon Aug 26, 2010

Hi Freddy7:

I don't know if it's classical, but it happens time to time to be submitted a google-translation to be proofread. If you consider that it's not a real proofreading, maybe you should contact your client and explain that the text needs to be retranslated or rewritten and you have a different rate for that service.

Of course, your client may be perfectly aware of that.

In my experience, such documents take longer than expected and become frustrating.

Regards, María Lila.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No thanks! Aug 26, 2010

Indeed I was offered this kind of work several times, and refused to take care of it at a regular proofreading rate. Ask for at least 80% of your normal translation rate, since that is what you will spend on that job: 80% of the time you would have required to translate it from scratch.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 02:51
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Decide whether you really want to do it Aug 26, 2010

I am in the lucky position that I have to turn down jobs in any case, as I don't have time for them all. So I can pick and choose, and there are others who like many jobs that I reject.

That rarely applies to machine translation or unqualified human translation, but I simply refuse or offer to translate from scratch. I have done my share of ´revising´ or proofing that kind of thing. It usually ends up with all night sessions because the deadline is set for normal proofreading, and there is not enough time to do a satisfactory job, so the end result is still poor.

It is just too frustrating, when I could earn the same money or more by doing the job properly in the first place. The good agencies understand.

I enjoy proofreading for competent colleagues, and have learnt a lot that way, but if it is that bad, my advice would be to refuse the job and wait for something better.

icon_smile.gif


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My advise is: Aug 26, 2010

Refuse or ask for your full translation rate...

 

InfoMarex
Ireland
Local time: 01:51
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Proofing Aug 26, 2010

Frédéric,

If you think that it has been machine translated, simply return it. Recently, I was asked to proof a document of 1,450 words and was sent the original text as well. The first 20 words has 17 translation errors. I told the client to get it translated again, but this time by a professional translator.

You should NOT accept the responsibility for persons to rely on a technical translation of this nature.
Kind regards,

Michael J McCann
InfoMarex


 

jacana54 (X)  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
It can take more time than translating from scratch Aug 26, 2010

Teresa Borges wrote:

Refuse or ask for your full translation rate...


icon_smile.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:51
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My approach Aug 26, 2010

freddy7 wrote:
After having asked for a sample, it appears that the document is in fact a rough translation (machine translation probably by google translate or equivalent).


Even if I have accepted a proofreading job (i.e. confirmed the job, sight unseen), and the text turns out to be machine translated, I let the client know that it is actually a translation job, and not a proofreading job, and that I would have to cancel the job unless the client pays me a translation rate.

I realise it is bad business to bow out of a confirmed job, but if the client had misunderstood what the job would entail, that would be a valid reason for withdrawing from it. Editing a machine translated text is not "proofreading" or even "editing" -- for these jobs presuppose that the translation was done by a human who is also a translator.


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:51
German to Spanish
+ ...
I just called to say you...: No, thanx! Aug 26, 2010

freddy7 wrote:

Dear colleagues,

I've been contacted by an agency who ask me to proofread a large technical document.

After having asked for a sample, it appears that the document is in fact a rough translation (machine translation probably by google translate or equivalent).

The "proofreading" will more likely be a complete rewriting of the document, and thus standard proofreading rates cannot apply in my opinion.

Did you already have similar experience? Is this way of doing classical?

Thanks in advance,

Frédéric.


First of all, it is not a review (proofreading) but a new translation (copyediting). And copy editing of MT is never profitable.

[Edited at 2010-08-26 13:57 GMT]


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:51
German to Spanish
+ ...
I just called to say you...: No, thanx! Aug 26, 2010

sorry, send twice by editing - please delete!

[Edited at 2010-08-26 15:12 GMT]


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 07:51
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Agree Aug 26, 2010

Lucia Colombino wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:
Refuse or ask for your full translation rate...



I support this idea. Agencies plan to save money by challenging with doing like this. In fact it is very messing to accept this type of job.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Frances Leggett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:51
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes... Aug 26, 2010

Teresa Borges wrote:

Refuse or ask for your full translation rate...


Sometimes, very very very rarely, machine translators can come out with some paragraphs which are nearly acceptable (but still need editing). In this case if you want the do the job, you can offer a slightly lower rate per word but I would only recommend this with small documents that won't take up so much time. With longer and more complex documents, editing machine translations is much more hassle than it's worth.

It's a new problem arising in the translation field after one such machine translator had several comparative articles written about the results and in some languages the results weren't too bad (short segments and simple structures). At this point in time, machine translations do not require "proofreading" but full-on editing so the rates should reflect this. If a re-translation is required, full translation rate should be requested.


 

Jonathan Morris  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:51
Italian to English
+ ...
NOT WITH A BARGEPOLE Aug 26, 2010

I don't offer a proofing service as the economics are completely ridiculous for anyone who is a competent translator. Having assessed many translators in my time (at least in my own combinations), I'd say that only about 30% of the people I've seen were up to professional standard. Conclusion, if you take a proofing job, you stand a 70% chance of wasting your time doing a bucket and shovel job on a substandard piece of work...and being grievously underpaid for the privilege.

I applaud those of you who insist on full translation rate, but I doubt that agencies will pay that, as they have already taken a hit on the original translation. The easiest thing is simply not to accept.


 

Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Member (2007)
Russian to English
+ ...
:) Aug 26, 2010

InfoMarex wrote:

Frédéric,

If you think that it has been machine translated, simply return it. Recently, I was asked to proof a document of 1,450 words and was sent the original text as well. The first 20 words has 17 translation errors. I told the client to get it translated again, but this time by a professional translator.

You should NOT accept the responsibility for persons to rely on a technical translation of this nature.
Kind regards,

Michael J McCann
InfoMarex


Why such a prejudice to machine translation? Sometimes human translators can do it just as bad, tooicon_smile.gif Recently, I was doing a little assessment and until the last minute I was thinking that this is machine translation with light corrections. But finally I changed my mind. It was a genuine human translation. Because, in one sentence "the largest company ... globally" was translated as "the largest company ... in Europe"icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2010-08-26 18:00 GMT]


 
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