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Poll: Do you take on proofreading assignments?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:42
SITE STAFF
Sep 14, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you take on proofreading assignments?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:42
Member
German to English
+ ...
Yes, but ... Sep 14, 2011

Only if I have to ... I dislike proof-reading as I find myself changing things around to the way I would have written it, which is not the idea!

Plus proof-reading jobs are often more a question of resuscitating 'translations' which have been mangled by non-native speakers and amateurs, which is a very frustrating process indeed.


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Helenp  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:42
Member (2010)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes, but it brings out a mean streak in me Sep 14, 2011

I do, but only if I have to. It brings out a mean streak in me. I become all "schoolmistress-ish" and pedantic and that's not my best side...

But obviously it's important work and people who are good at it, are essential to our profession!


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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:42
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Non Natives and Amateurs Sep 14, 2011

Mary Worby wrote:

Only if I have to ... I dislike proof-reading as I find myself changing things around to the way I would have written it, which is not the idea!

Plus proof-reading jobs are often more a question of resuscitating 'translations' which have been mangled by non-native speakers and amateurs, which is a very frustrating process indeed.


My thoughts exactly, Mary. More often than not, what are originally presented as proofreading jobs turn out to be reviewing assignments. If the non-native-speaker issue is not really as much a problem in my language pairs as it is with translations into English (I have been following the ES>EN KudoZ for a while, and I am appalled to see how many non-natives translating into English there are around, especially in Central and South America...), amateur 'performances' abound.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, but... Sep 14, 2011

The chance exists that I might end up thoroughly editing the project instead of just proofreading it. This is not the way it should be done, I know, but it is a great temptation.

Proofreading is an essential part of our profession, because no matter how good we are, there's always a chance that we overlook something even after it's been proofread the second time.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I do accept proofreading/reviewing/editing assignments... Sep 14, 2011

but I do refuse a lot. Most of the times I have to say: sorry, but it will take too much time to proofread, it is best to retranslate!

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Argyro Alykatora  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 19:42
Member (2009)
Greek to English
+ ...
Sometimes I have to say no... Sep 14, 2011

as I find myself having to rewrite the whole thing and clean up after somebody else's mess...I do not consider this to be among the tasks of proofreaders!Every time before accepting a proofreading job, I have to thoroughly check the document to make sure that the level of translation is acceptable, or else I say no, because I prefer to translate the text on my own than having to rewrite it using someone else's words, style, terminology etc.

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Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 17:42
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Sometimes accept but... Sep 14, 2011

Like others am appalled sometimes at the mangled translations by non natives where the text needs a total overhaul or retranslation rather than proofreading! Also, sometimes the rates for proofreading are quite low. However, I agree that proofreading is essential in many instances, esp. legal and medical, Certs etc.

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Elena Novski  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:42
Member
Russian to English
+ ...
Proofreading is an inseparable part of Sep 14, 2011

translation workflow. I would only like to point out there should be good understanding of what is proofreading and what is editing. "Rewriting" or "retranslating" - yes, it happens with non-native speaker and amateur translations (but not only, alas). I would label it 'editing' (and charge accordingly LOL).

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Maria Popova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 19:42
Member (2011)
German to Bulgarian
+ ...
Proofreading as a trap Sep 14, 2011

Generally I accept pfoofreading assignments. But sometimes they happen to trap me. Recently I went for a proofreading job and soon realised that it was going to take much more time than assumed by the client. I endet up working hard two days long for peanuts. On the other hand there exist some really fair clients who accept the fact that proofreading often involves editing and reviewing and are ready to pay decent rates. Well it is allways a risky attempt. At least to me.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Who ya gonna call? Marketbusters! Sep 14, 2011

Barbara Carrara wrote:

I have been following the ES>EN KudoZ for a while, and I am appalled to see how many non-natives translating into English there are around, especially in Central and South America...), amateur 'performances' abound.


I would put it much more strongly myself but the house rules preclude frankness and open expression of such strongly held beliefs/opinions. Nevertheless, I am glad to see that I am not alone, or just some curmudgeonly old closed-shop protectionist or even, perish the thought, a closet racist.

Being of a naturally helpful nature, even though it is cutting my own throat, so to speak, I always find it a struggle not to help out people posting questions on proz even though they are obviously non-natives or otherwise unqualified to be translating into languages or in fields they clearly do not master (and probably never will).


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Me too Sep 14, 2011

Teresa Borges wrote:

... but I do refuse a lot. Most of the times I have to say: sorry, but it will take too much time to proofread, it is best to retranslate!


People think we are exaggerating when we say this but I have had this experience several times, where revising/correcting the text took considerably more effort than a translation from scratch.

[Edited at 2011-09-14 14:37 GMT]


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:42
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Not if I can help it Sep 14, 2011

I find proofreading (by which we really mean editing and correcting don't we?) other people's "work" pretty dull compared to translation. And as others have pointed out translating from scratch is often the most effective and least time-consuming solution anyway.

That said, it can be nice when you get a well written or well translated text to proofread, which can be both profitable and formative.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:42
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
On non-native Kudoz askers Sep 14, 2011

neilmac wrote:

Being of a naturally helpful nature, even though it is cutting my own throat, so to speak, I always find it a struggle not to help out people posting questions on proz even though they are obviously non-natives or otherwise unqualified to be translating into languages or in fields they clearly do not master (and probably never will).


Perhaps rather naïvely I always give these people the benefit of the doubt and assume they are working on a university assignment or doing a translation in some other non-professional capacity.

I welcome non-native answerers though, as they often provide insight that might otherwise be missed.


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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:42
Member (2004)
English to French
I proofread in-house Sep 14, 2011

I am a certified translator, but 90% of my job is revising and proofreading. Then, on week-ends, I take translation assignments.

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