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Poll: What are the typical errors you find when you proofread a translation for the first time?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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SITE STAFF
May 14, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What are the typical errors you find when you proofread a translation for the first time?".

This poll was originally submitted by Yamila Sosa

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Clarification... May 14, 2008

...do you mean in a translation done by another person, or own translations?

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:40
French to English
+ ...
Impossible to answer... May 14, 2008

as it depends on a lot of factors: whether I've dictated it, what kind of text it is, whether it's a long report or just a few lines....

So I put "Other".....


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Typos May 14, 2008

Like the one in the poll itself: "Ommissions" should be "Omissions".

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Yamila Sosa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:40
English to Spanish
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Poll question May 14, 2008

Well, when I suggested the poll I was thinking in one's own translations, but it is true that the question is broad enough to be answered by both translators and proofreaders. The idea behind the poll question was to research on the commonest errors found after translating a text.

Best regards,
Yamila


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 10:40
English to Russian
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Other May 14, 2008

Spellchecker takes care of typos, wordfast takes care of omissions and overtranslations, but every time I prooofread a translated text I'm tempted to edit it to put it into a better style.

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 04:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mis-translations May 14, 2008

There's usually a bit of everything wrong with any translation I proof-read.

Sticking to the question as posed - i.e. proof-reading it the 'first time' - I'm really only looking to see if the translator has understood the source text and if the target text is a satisfactory match in terms of the information it contains. What constitutes 'satisfactory' depends on the purpose of the text.

If the translator obviously hasn't the foggiest idea about the subject-matter I don't waste time checking for the other problems mentioned in poll - I bin the translation and get it done by someone competent. Life's too short!

I'm referring, of course, to translations other than my own ...

MediaMatrix


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:40
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Poll is not clear May 14, 2008

Yamila Sosa wrote:

Well, when I suggested the poll I was thinking in one's own translations, but it is true that the question is broad enough to be answered by both translators and proofreaders. The idea behind the poll question was to research on the commonest errors found after translating a text.


I thought it meant other people's work, so I put mistranslations. I probably won't be the only person who has misinterpreted this, so the results will not mean much.


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:40
English to Dutch
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Me too May 14, 2008

Nikki Graham wrote:

Yamila Sosa wrote:

Well, when I suggested the poll I was thinking in one's own translations, but it is true that the question is broad enough to be answered by both translators and proofreaders. The idea behind the poll question was to research on the commonest errors found after translating a text.


I thought it meant other people's work, so I put mistranslations. I probably won't be the only person who has misinterpreted this, so the results will not mean much.


Only I voted 'Other.'


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:40
Portuguese to English
Really,... May 14, 2008

...these polls become more fatuous as time goes on. Maybe we're approaching the point when the feature should be dropped altogether. Probably, the fact is that we're all guilty of the failings mentioned but they may vary from day to day. If we aggregated everybody's anwers, what would that tell us - very little of any use, I suspect.

P.S. I haven't proofread this comment.


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Yamila Sosa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Explanation May 14, 2008

Many thanks for your interest and valuable comments! I did not intend to suggest an unclear poll. The point is that I am very interested in the errors found during both the translation and proofreading process, that is why, I did not specify to whom the poll was addressed.

According to the Merriam-Webster's OnLine Dictionary, the term "proofread" means:

to read and mark corrections in (as a proof)

and the term "proofreader" means:

: a person who proofreads.

I believe that the question is broad enough to be answered by anyone who is involved in the translation process-either translators and proofreaders or proofreaders. The emphasis lies in the errors, not in the persons who find them. According to said definition, that is what translators generally do, that is, translate and proofread (correct) their versions before handing in the final version.


Best regards,
Yamila


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:40
Portuguese to English
Yes, but why? May 14, 2008

Yamila Sosa wrote:

The point is that I am very interested in the errors found during both the translation and proofreading process...



Yes, but the point is why? To improve your proofreading, to teach the rest of us something, to offer the world some great cosmic insight? I suspect, as I remarked earlier, that we all make all these errors from time to time and that the only valuable point is to proofread carefully as I trust we all do anyway. Not everything in this world is susceptible to statistical analysis.


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Yamila Sosa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
We are who decide whether to answer a "fastuous" poll or not. May 14, 2008

First of all, a poll is suggested. It is up to the Proz.com staff to accept it or not. Maybe this poll is silly for some of you, but it may be not for others. Otherwise, it would not have been selected as the current poll.
Second, poll questions are usually related to everyday translation activity. Nobody is obliged to answer a poll. This is a translation site, we are supposed to discuss everything that is connected to translation here, otherwise, where could we discuss them?

[Edited at 2008-05-14 18:01]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:40
Member (2002)
German to English
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Errors? May 14, 2008

I do not proofread my translations for errors; I principally proofread them in order to improve the style. I substitute certain words with other words that I decide sound better, I change around the word order of the clauses and I carry out various other stylistic changes. It is not "errors" of any kind that I am looking for. I check each TU before I move on to the next.

Astrid


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A good poll May 14, 2008

I think this is an interesting poll really, if we understood from the side of reviewing other people's work. I think it can give a hint about what errors are more frequent in today's world of spelling and grammar checkers, online dictionaries, CAT, and terminology databases. So the poll means "what is still frequently wrong even after all the help we get from our computers"?

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