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Poll: Do you ever get to see the proofread versions of your translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:28
SITE STAFF
Aug 18, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever get to see the proofread versions of your translations?".

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Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 05:28
Russian to English
+ ...
And if we get to see "proofread versions"... :) Aug 18, 2010

1) WE proofread our translations. At least "four eyes" are involved in all major projects.


2) Clients ask for our approval if they happen to need to change something (to "proofread") in texts we delivered.


3) However, if we "get to see the proofread version of our [already proofread] translation" with changes made to it -- in most cases, this happens online, -- we sometimes ask the following (if it is appropriate):
"Excuse me [Hi], Sir/Madam/(Dear Edior-in-Chief, Director, PM), we were just wondering if you could be so kind to spare a moment and kindly explain us why [the heckicon_rolleyes.gif] our [perfect, idiomatic, rhymed, Aesopian, great, brillianticon_wink.gif] translation has been modified [spoiledicon_evil.gif]? After all, we were PAID for it! [Something went wrong, huh?!icon_confused.gif]"

If there are no certain solid reasons for "proofreading" (usually, those "solid reasons" are some breaking news and/or new circumstances, "major policy change" etc.), our "non-proofread" versions are usually restored promptlyicon_smile.gif


All the process (including the very "seeing") occurs rarelyicon_smile.gif


[Edited at 2010-08-18 20:58 GMT]


 

Sam21
Qatar
Local time: 05:28
Arabic to English
+ ...
Sure, Always ... Sometimes?!! Aug 18, 2010

Yes, I always try to get myself reading the proofreading carefully. I am now even planning to post jobs to proofread some important legal documents I have made to spot my mistakes (as bilingual files in my lang. combination is actually a needle in straw) where no proofreading is made, which is usually the case.

I am astonished to find the majority going for the 'sometimes'!

No comment on the "No"!


 

Mike (de Oliveira) Brady  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
How do you get to see proofread versions? Aug 18, 2010

I'd be interested to know how those who are answering 'yes' get to see the proofread versions.

Is it because you ask for them? Do certain agencies send them routinely? Or is it because you look for the published versions of your translations?

I have a long-term relationship with one agency and it has agreed to send me the proofread versions of my translations. There is no concern about the accuracy of my translations, but a certain house style is used and we both see that this feedback will save time and improve our relationship. It is straightforward to compare documents to see what has been changed from my translation in the proofread version so I can replicate the style.

This is exceptional, however. I have had the experience of working on a large, multi-translator project where translators have been sent the latest Translation Memory, which contains segments as proofread. That has been very useful for standardising terminology - and in parallel with this we developed a spreadsheet style guide.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:28
English to German
+ ...
@ Mike Aug 18, 2010

Mike (de Oliveira) Brady wrote:

I'd be interested to know how those who are answering 'yes' get to see the proofread versions.

Is it because you ask for them? Do certain agencies send them routinely? Or is it because you look for the published versions of your translations?




Good agencies allow the translator to have the last word. The editor's work is sent to the translator, and the translator will decide which edits he will accept or decline.


 

Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:28
English to Russian
+ ...
The way I honed my translation skills Aug 18, 2010

Back in the early 1990s, I worked for an agency where I could always see how my translations were being proofread by native speakers. The experience was really priceless. Actually, I would say that job made me a translator.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:28
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, always! Aug 18, 2010

All my work is proofread in-house by another translator... and in the few cases (as far as I know!) that the client has decided to make some changes regarding terminology I have always been asked if I accept them.

 

Vera Wilson  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:28
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Who's responsible for the text? Aug 18, 2010

Some agencies send the proofed version back for me to accept/decline changes made by the proofer. In that case, who's responsible for the text, and isn't the translator providing the work of an editor or a 2nd proofer? In my thinking the translator signs for the translation and the proofer for the final version???

For some files, this just concerns terms that don't match 100% with the agency's TM.

Recently I had a highly imaginative marketing short marketing text, so it came to a small amount, though it needed a lot of research on the company and product + careful wording.
Obviously, the proofer's pay on such a short text was peanuts and he/she didn't do all the research and made quite a few changes. So, on top of being underpaid for my translation, I must have spent another 45 minutes going through through the three paragraphs again.

This is reasonable for a long term project or regular work. But for sporadic jobs at a low tarif, I neither feel responsible for keeping the agency's TM sorted, nor for proofing the proofed version a second time round.


 

Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 20:28
English to Dutch
+ ...
sometimes Aug 18, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Good agencies allow the translator to have the last word. The editor's work is sent to the translator, and the translator will decide which edits he will accept or decline.


I agree.

I have a couple of agencies that systematically want me to validate the edited version. Unfortunately others don't bother. They either don't have translations edited at all or they don't give any feedback.


 

Richard Boulter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes; and... Aug 18, 2010

I have seen my 'proofread/edited' translations in print at times. A few very good, 'real', added-value translation agencies have sent back proofs to me; either for my approval or for my own information. Further, a very few have asked me to 'edit' their cheap, $.02/word-proofer on my own work, for which I charged an additional .06 - .12 per word to retranslate the mess that was produced and provide sources/footnotes to clarify issues.

From the proofreader/editor's point of view, I've received generally excellent translations by professional colleagues. If the source translation doesn't qualify as this, I just offer to translate the document from scratch at normal translation prices. But most works that I've received are good. One thing that proofreaders often miss in the deal is that -even if we are signing off on the final version - no changes need to be made in an excellent translation, in order for the editor/proofreader to have done his job. If the original translation is correct and effective, I don't change it even if I can think of another, 'better', way to say the same thing. This is both effective feedback to the outsourcer, my primary client, and professional courtesy to my colleague who did the original work. My verification of his/her high quality is worth the money that I charge for proofing the project. Naturally, all of this added value is charged to the end-client by reputable agencies, and not compensated by underpaying either the translator or the proofreader/editor.


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:28
Member (2008)
English to Italian
sometimes (rarely) Aug 18, 2010

some clients only inform me about preferred terminology
for some agencies I work with a proofreader (or I am the proofreader) but the translator has the last word
in other cases I am always sent the proofread translation, even if it is perfect (in this case just a comment like: ok

if I have to provide a pecentage: I only see 10% of my translations after proofreading


 

xxxwonita
China
Local time: 22:28
Yes, sometimes Aug 18, 2010

Each agency has its own way to manage translation projects. I can think of some, which don't even proofread the translations before delivering them to the final clients. I know it because shortly after my delivery the agency gave me feedback from the final client.

Among the other agencies, one constantly sends me the proofread translation, and I can decide whether to accept or refuse the changes; another 2 tend to send me the comments made by the proofreaders along with the final version just for my "reference"; more than half of the agencies work according to the "No news is good news" principle, from which I don't get any feedback, unless there is something wrong, and they need an explanation. It is after all a matter of time, and time means money in every business.

I am happy both ways, whether to have the chance to learn, or to have more time for the actual projects.

[Edited at 2010-08-18 12:57 GMT]


 

Andrew Rink  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:28
German to English
Sometimes Aug 18, 2010

Richard Boulter wrote:

One thing that proofreaders often miss in the deal is that -even if we are signing off on the final version - no changes need to be made in an excellent translation, in order for the editor/proofreader to have done his job. If the original translation is correct and effective, I don't change it even if I can think of another, 'better', way to say the same thing.


I couldn't agree more. A good editor ensures consistency in style, but that certainly doesn't mean rewriting everything so it matches his or her own style -- making lots of "corrections" that are really just synonyms. Neverthless, there are enough people out there who do that.

Do they just want to make sure that they're seen to add value or are they really convinced that their own style is the best there is?


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, always Aug 18, 2010

Of course, I proofread everthing myself.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Aug 18, 2010

... basically when working with agencies.
As I normally work with direct clients, I tend to deliver texts that I consider to be thoroughly revised and already fit for publication or other purposes. I still have difficulty reconciling the fact that some faceless third party might take issue with either my style or translation of terms.
In fact, I am still seething from an experience last month, when I had delivered what I deemed a good translation. The agency later sent me a list of changes made by their "reviewer", not the least of which was the incorrect insertion of erroneous apostrophes into my correct text. As a fan of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" and an extreme apostrophe pedant, my fury knew no bounds. Most of the other changes made were of the type that change "However" to "Nevertheless" etc. with no apparent justification other than "I'm a proof reader, therefore I revise things".
I proceeded to send a detailed rebuttal of most of the proof-reader’s suggestions and the agency subsequently apologised. I suppose it's not their fault, as they cannot really know how good anyone is at their job unless they work with them for a while.
I don't like revising translations by other people either, especially non-natives who use Google translate or similar programs just to save a few bob...

To sum up, I'd rather not see what happens to my texts once I've delivered them, and simply include a disclaimer: "El traductor no se responsabiliza de las modificaciones efectuadas a posteriori por terceros en los textos traducidos"...

Perhaps I should clarify that my discomfort is only with inept or erroneous proofing/revising. Indeed, sometimes the proofers or reviewers have suggested positive improvements to my texts. Am thinking about a touristy text I did in July, where the reviewer occasionally suggested a nicer [less hackneyed] turn of phrase than my original renderings.
I have no qualms about a job well done...

[Edited at 2010-08-19 07:39 GMT]


 
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