Poll: Have you ever delivered a proofreading assignment with no modifications?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:11
SITE STAFF
Mar 5, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever delivered a proofreading assignment with no modifications?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mariam Osmane. View the poll results »



 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:11
Member (2008)
English to Italian
No, Mar 5, 2011

but I have found translations that needed only minor changes, just spelling and maybe only a few words.

 

Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:11
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Yes, several times Mar 5, 2011

Yes, several times.

But, generally by second proofs.



Saludos desde Taurus mountains
Toros'lardan selamlar


 

Umang Dholabhai  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 07:41
Member
English to Gujarati
+ ...
About possibilities Mar 5, 2011

I wonder how frequent would that be possible in our industry. I cannot underestimate my fellow translators, but would love to hear about someone's experience of having encountered such a gem.

How about first proofs? Are there any?

[Edited at 2011-03-05 08:37 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Mar 5, 2011

I dislike proofing and prefere not to have to do it, as I cant' help feeling that I should justify every change I suggest, which ends up absurdly time-consuming.
For the same reason, I hate having to comment on proofer's modifications to translations I have delivered which I had considered "good to go". I'd rather they sent my work to someone else if they suspect that it can be improved, because once I've handed in a translation, I start on the next one, which could be a totally different subject area/client/format etc... and "rewinding" to where I was earlier can be a real slog for me.


 

Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 05:11
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, several times Mar 5, 2011

Quite short texts, though...

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, not even my final work Mar 5, 2011

I take proofreading/editing's objective as 'to improve the text further'. There are two - and not just one - strategies to do it.

  • The first is the basic one, classic proofreading, which consists of removing all negative 'flaws' it may have. Sometimes there aren't any.
  • The second is to improve whatever is already good, but which may be made even better.


This stance offers some clear advantages. Next October I'll be working with the same proofreader on numerous jobs (more than 100) for five years in a row. An agency introduced us to each other. We swap roles now and then, however our time zones difference make it advantageous for me to translate and for her to review; this setting gives us a significantly longer day.

The key point is that we don't compete, unlike many translator/proofreader scenarios I've heard of. Both of us are permanently committed to improving our work output as a team. We never rejoice on each others typos and slips, we simply fix our mistakes, and go on improving the whole thing.


 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:11
French to German
+ ...
With neilmac Mar 5, 2011

My thoughts exactly, couldn't have said it any better...

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:11
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Yes, fairly frequently Mar 5, 2011

Of course, the more pages there are, the less likely it is that there will be no changes at all. Normally if it runs to more than a page or two then there's something to comment on.

I had one a week or so ago that only had red marks in half-a-dozen places in 6000 words. It had clearly been translated well (although I didn't get to see the source text it certainly read naturally), spell-checked and re-read by the translator. But still those few changes were necessary ones, not just "I prefer this wording".

To comment on José Henrique's post where he said:
The second is to improve whatever is already good, but which may be made even better


That brings us back to the age-old question of what exactly do we mean by the term, and I'm sure this belongs more in revision or editing. It's also why I agree with him when he says he always finds things to change in his own texts. Yes, you can edit and edit and edit - but proofreading either finds errors or it doesn't.


 

Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
English to French
+ ...
Absolutely nothing to add ! Mar 5, 2011

neilmac wrote:

I dislike proofing and prefere not to have to do it, as I cant' help feeling that I should justify every change I suggest, which ends up absurdly time-consuming.
For the same reason, I hate having to comment on proofer's modifications to translations I have delivered which I had considered "good to go". I'd rather they sent my work to someone else if they suspect that it can be improved, because once I've handed in a translation, I start on the next one, which could be a totally different subject area/client/format etc... and "rewinding" to where I was earlier can be a real slog for me.


Exactly the same feelings.
With the high specific rates I'm offering, I try to put clients off asking me to proofread. Unfortunately, it does not work every timeicon_frown.gif

Have a nice weekend
Catherine


 

Péter Jutai  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 04:11
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I am with Umang. Mar 5, 2011

This is a very interesting question for a Hungarian translator, because our grammar and especially orthography is VERY complicated. It is little surprise that proofreading is a profession on its own, though due to the very low rates (publishers pay 0.0003-4 USD/word! Yes, there are three zeros after the decimal point.), so proofreaders have other job(s) to make ends meet.
As Umang wrote I don't want to underestimate my fellow translators either, but even the best translator I know makes several mistakes in his translations. I don't mean his translation is bad, or is not fluent or not easy to read, but the orthography, hm, leaves much to be desired, to say the least.
Editing is completely another thing. If I said on the one hand a correct text is hard to find, because Hungarian orthography has many difficult rules, on the other I have to say an editor may practically do anything with the raw text he/she gets, so it is almost a must that he or she alters the text. It is completely inconceivable that an editor leaves the text as it is, or if he/she does, he/she is a bad editor or at least has no time to do the job accurately (there are exceptions: a short manual can be left as it is).
I have edited several books, and proofread even more, and I can firmly state that leading intellectuals in history or music or philosophy would be in deep trouble if their manuscripts were printed without proofing (or editing, which is far worse). And if I cannot trust an intellectual who does nothing else but reads and writes, why should I trust a translator?


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:11
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No, not yet Mar 5, 2011

Proofreading is one of the services I specialize in, so I don't mind doing it at all.icon_biggrin.gif

I have come across a few documents which were nearly error free.

When it comes to editing, including my own works, there is almost always room for improvements. However, the danger exists to edit something "to death" - and only to then return to the second or third, perhaps even to the first version of the text.

On a side note: there's absolutely no need to discuss what is often described as proofreading, but which then turns out to be post-editing. We all know the quality of MTs.

Enjoy your weekend!icon_smile.gif


 

LinguaLab.net
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:11
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Once... Mar 5, 2011

... but to be perfectly honest, we DID add a comma (and the text was very short)! icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2011-03-05 21:46 GMT]


 


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