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Poll: How many times do you proofread your translations when there's an ample deadline?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:34
SITE STAFF
Sep 6, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many times do you proofread your translations when there's an ample deadline?".

This poll was originally submitted by Veronica Lupascu. View the poll results »



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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 21:34
German to English
+ ...
Ample deadline? Sep 6, 2011

What's that? I don't think I've had one for years!

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 21:34
English to French
+ ...
At least twice (always) Sep 6, 2011

... more when time permits.

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Fiona Kirton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Usually three times Sep 6, 2011

I usually proofread a translation against the source, then again to check for typos, then a third time for luck!
For larger translations I find it's better to proofread each section as it's completed, rather than proofing the whole thing in one go once the translation is finished.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 6, 2011

It varies. If the deadline is really comfortable, I might go back to a text even more than twice, especially if it's a subject I'm interested in, because you can usually tweak something and things often look different after an absence or hange of subject/field. In fact, I've just spent about 20 minutes wrestling with the final sentence of one text in a pro-bono translation which has no set deadline but is now, thankfully, "good to go".

However, when time is tight, I will usually only give my texts a quick "once-over", as rather than type quickly and do a lot of revision, I tend to translate rather slowly but with few errors, so that the final clean-up doesn't take long. Many of these texts will be revised or proofed again subsequently so there's no point in polishing them ad nauseam.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:34
French to English
+ ...
Always three times Sep 6, 2011

Fiona Kirton wrote:

I usually proofread a translation against the source, then again to check for typos, then a third time for luck!


Like Fiona, I always proof-read three times, the final time being a stand-alone read-through of the English translation to make sure it reads like a fluent English text - it's amazing what you pick up on that final read. If possible, I do that on a separate day when my mind is fresh, although that doesn't always work out due to time pressures. I never compromise on the three stages though - if I haven't time to do that, I wouldn't accept the job in the first place.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:34
Member (2006)
German to English
Once Sep 6, 2011

run it through XBench first and then read everything through again after that

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:34
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
From 2 to 20 Sep 6, 2011

Depends entirely on the type of text. Literary translations can be revisted indefinitely.

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Isabelle F. BRUCHER  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 21:34
English to French
+ ...
Proofreading after each paragraph, automatic spellcheck and overall look - depending on time given. Sep 6, 2011

Fiona Kirton wrote:

"For larger translations I find it's better to proofread each section as it's completed, rather than proofing the whole thing in one go once the translation is finished."

I agree.

When I do not have to translate more than 2,000 source words a day, I have the time to use the MS Word spellcheck, on top of checking each paragraph just after completing it, than an overall glance to check the format and if nothing was forgotten (it's easy to forget to translate a subtitle, as your attention is attracted by the body of the text itself).

It also depends if it's for a certified agency that has two (2) proofreaders after me AND the translation is for "yesterday" (not enough time, actually, this is why these people are certified...), or if it is a sworn translation for a direct customer (then I am paranoïd!).


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:34
English to French
+ ...
twice ... on average Sep 6, 2011

Simon Bruni wrote:

Depends entirely on the type of text. Literary translations can be revisted indefinitely.


agree some more straightforward texts are much easier to proofread than some marketing texts, brochures or pamphlets, and web sites which often require proofreading several times in order to achieve a good rendering into the target language

[Edited at 2011-09-06 11:54 GMT]


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Graeme Waller  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:34
Finnish to English
+ ...
Good Practice Sep 6, 2011

Fiona Kirton wrote:

I usually proofread a translation against the source, then again to check for typos, then a third time for luck!
For larger translations I find it's better to proofread each section as it's completed, rather than proofing the whole thing in one go once the translation is finished.


I put two times, but if possible I prefer to do this. Checking sections one at time of large translations can be good for avoiding repetetive mistakes etc.. However, one also has to be careful that they do not get bogged down in making one section near perfect before moving on.

[Edited at 2011-09-06 12:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-09-06 12:12 GMT]


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opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:34
English to German
+ ...
Up to six Sep 6, 2011

But of course, things may vary a bit according to the type of project, i.e. sometimes two stages are merged into one. Three to four (depending on how you count) is the absolute minimum no matter what:

- revisiting the first draft, sentence by sentence, the day after (or at least after a clear break to refresh my mind), comparing against the source (of course)

- proofreading the entire document, checking against the source again

- standalone proofreading from printout away from the screen, with a sharp pencil and some real dictionaries (for manual spellcheck), to ensure it makes for smooth, native reading

- checking whether numbers, dates, proper names, uppercase spellings and other potential culprits really agree with source; checking for errors/mistakes which I know have occurred previously; checking for consistency (unifying the terminology where it matters)

- (automatic) spellcheck

- streamlining the layout/text formatting, removing the odd double space, hyphen, empty page etc.

Maybe some people will think the above is an exaggeration, but it isn't. The thing is, I mostly work for direct clients and have had to develop my "own second pair of eyes", as it were.


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:34
Member (2009)
French to English
Three is ideal Sep 6, 2011

Once in Trados so that I can use the filtering features to propagate the changes. A first pass in Word with spelling and grammar check engaged. During this pass I take care of all of the crude errors, extra spaces, etc. During the second pass in Word, I try to improve how the text reads independent of its origin as a translation - without changing its meaning in any way.

This is, of course, ideal. As Isabelle mentioned, when the deadline is yesterday and I have a team of proofreaders backing me up, I do my work as well as I can in the time allowed so that they can get to their task as quickly as possible.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Always three times Sep 6, 2011

+ a final read aloud for a short translation (from 1 to 10 pages), larger translations are always proofread by another translator...

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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:34
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
Terminology Sep 6, 2011

Strictly speaking, according to the EN 15038 quality standard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EN_15038), "proofreading" doesn't just mean "checking a text", but rather refers to checking the final version in its form ready for printing. The previous stage of checking the uncleaned translation (or checking the translation against the source) is referred to as revising, while checking the translation on its own is called reviewing.

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