Poll: To you a proofreading job turns into a translation job if you have to rewrite...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:22
SITE STAFF
Dec 1, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "To you a proofreading job turns into a translation job if you have to rewrite...".

This poll was originally submitted by Mariam Osmane

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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Ma. Fernanda Blesa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
ranges Dec 1, 2008

I think ranges should be:

20% of the text
> 21 % of the text
> 41% of the text
> 61% of the text
> 81% of the tex
Other - N/A

It doesn't really make much sense to add an upper limit in this case I think...

In my case I chose Other - N/A, as I find proofreading a bit boring, so I try not to take this type of projects on.

Fernanda.


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translator_DE

Local time: 20:22
Italian to German
+ ...
proofreading vs. revision Dec 1, 2008

For me a proofreading job consists in reading the translated document without comparing it with the original (this would be a revision), that is the reason why my answer was n/a.

Regards,
Giovanna


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 20:22
English to French
+ ...
Other Dec 1, 2008

Proofreading is charged by the hour... I remember once I had to do a translation all over (I do not know who did it, but evidently not a native speaker of the target language), and spent most of the night to have it ready on time. It would have been cheaper for the client if he had asked for a new translation - but I would have refused to do 10 pages for the next morning

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Translation or remake Dec 1, 2008

I know the space for questions there is limited, but the real issue here is when it's worth editing the trashy text, and when it's better to dump it completely and start over.

Once my longest-standing client showed me a video translation for dubbing by a "new" translator. I was traveling abroad for 3 weeks, so they decided to give this cheap guy a chance. Watching some 30 seconds of the video while following on the script was enough for me to make a gesture as if tearing the sheaf of typewritten (sic! already decades deep into the computer age) papers in two. The client grinned and said "Go ahead! Do it! I'd have thrown it in the dumpster myself, if I hadn't paid for that!" So I got started from square one, as if nothing had been done before.

Years later I made a deal with a publisher, which included editing a translated book. When I was through, from MS Word's track changes, I noticed that I had rewritten over 75% of the text, and wondered if it wouldn't have been much faster if I had re-translated the whole thing over.

As the question stands, it seems to be more about rates than the process itself. Now and then I'm asked about what I would charge for proofreading machine translation. I tell them that it's the same rate as for translation, so they shouldn't waste time copying and pasting back and forth through MT, because I won't use it.


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andres-larsen
Venezuela
Local time: 14:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
when proofreading rewrites of translation jobs turn excessive Dec 1, 2008

proofreading rewrites in excess of 20 % of the text of an already completed translation job turn into translation jobs as proofreading requires much faster turnaround time than translating to comply with deadlines set by outsourcers/vendors

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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:22
English to Spanish
Agree Dec 1, 2008

translator_DE wrote:

For me a proofreading job consists in reading the translated document without comparing it with the original (this would be a revision), that is the reason why my answer was n/a.



Greetings

Andrea


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jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:22
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
My process Dec 1, 2008

When I get a proofing job, I also charge by the hour. However, when I get the translation, I give it a quick once-over. If it is poor, I call the client and let him know. Then, the client decides what to do. It has cost me 5 minutes without hours of frustration.

I have gone against this method once or twice, to my regret. After working several hours, the client informed me that they had only budgeted 1.5 hours for the proofing. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and clarify EVERYTHING up front.

I also make sure to ask the client if the translator is a native speaker of the target language. If not, thanks, but no thanks.

My thoughts.


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This poll is about editing, I guess Dec 1, 2008

To me "proofreading" of someone else's work is a source of frustration.
I quit that part of freelancing for good.

BTW, there are quite a confusion between "proofreading" and "editing".
It is my understanding this poll is about "editing" as it is indicated by this percentage orientation.

But strictly speaking "proofreading" is more physical than "editing". It is about correcting typos, fonts, formatting, and some punctuation, and even few grammartical mistakes as occassion may dictate.
Beyond this should be called "editing".


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Confusion about what proofreading is Dec 1, 2008

If you have a proper process, with translation, editing and proofreading, then at theproofreading stage changes should be minimal.

At the editing stage, where I read the translation word for word with the original, a 20% level of change could be acceptable for some section or circumstances, but it seems high. This is the equivalent of an 80% match on a fuzzy TM, which is considered borderline usable (unless the fuzzy is due to codes or formatting).

If I were making that level of change at the proofreading stage, where I would essentially not be looking at the English original except for formatting and in absolute need of clarification, and I expect to only make style and minor grammar/punctuation changes, I would alert the client immediately because clearly the editior did not do his/her job.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:22
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Respectfully agree Dec 1, 2008

David Russi wrote:

At the editing stage, where I read the translation word for word with the original, a 20% level of change could be acceptable for some section or circumstances, but it seems high.


I'd require less to do a revision.

Caveat: I don't consider preferences of usage as errors (the fact that a concept can be expressed in several ways). But reading and interpretation errors, grammar, or cultural misunderstanding, are all rather serious.


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Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 20:22
English to Arabic
+ ...
It' about the rate and deadline Dec 1, 2008

Yes.
Once I was sent a document that needed to be proofread according to the client, but actually te all needed to be redone. It was really obvious that is a machine translation, concatenated words that forms meaningless phrases.
I called the client, and informed him that I will have to do all the work from scratch. I won't be delivered on time and I won't accepted as simple proofreading job.
And the anwer was really frustrating "I have a budget, how I am going to pay for the other translator? He won't accept not be paid." My answer was: "If you are concerned to pay for the machine translation, it's your decission". It turned into translation job because the required changes to be done were more than 80% of the translation text.

Regards
Mariam


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
French to English
Measuring them percentage things Dec 2, 2008

Let us say you are proofreading (editing, whatever) this:

"The dog is very big. It likes eating green apples."

However, you realise the translation should be:
"The dog is very small. It likes licking green apples."

You have changed 2 words out of 10 = 20%.
However, you have changed 100% of the text in terms of sentences. You have certainly radically changed the meaning.

What percentage applies to this example?


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:22
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
i had a couple of those lately Dec 2, 2008

one was a proofreading job with some 'untranslated' words...but the translation was such a mess...the client told me she'd have been better off asking me to just translate the whole thing. Ya think? so i just charged for proofreading and included the untranslated words in the invoice. There weren't that many.

Then I edited a translation which was really awful but it didn't take as much time as I thought, since it was short. Once again, I have no idea why the guy just didn't get me to translate it...apparently he's a 'special' client. Fine whatever! People don't seem to realize it probably costs more to edit a bad translation than do just give it to a translator in the first place!


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Awesome example!!! Dec 2, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Let us say you are proofreading (editing, whatever) this:

"The dog is very big. It likes eating green apples."

However, you realise the translation should be:
"The dog is very small. It likes licking green apples."

You have changed 2 words out of 10 = 20%.
However, you have changed 100% of the text in terms of sentences. You have certainly radically changed the meaning.

What percentage applies to this example?


I really like your example, it truly serves to show just how subjective and downright silly attempts at objective quantification of "quality" are in translation. That said, the answer still about 20% in terms of the level of change involved, which I believe is what the poll was looking for, in spite of the fact that the meaning has changed 100%.


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