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Poll: Do you "outsource" your translations for proofreading?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Feb 29, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you "outsource" your translations for proofreading?".

This poll was originally submitted by Vivien Werner-P. View the poll results »



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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:00
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes, sometimes Feb 29, 2012

and only when ordered and paid to do so by the customer. I find this a good thing and have also learned a bit from other translators when doing proofread of their texts

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:00
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, I proofread them myself Feb 29, 2012

Work comes my way because my customers know that I have my own set of strict standards, and they know what to expect when I deliver to them.

If I sent my translations outside for proofing, I would:

- lose full control of the translation process
- allow my standards to slip, and
- compromise quality

unless I can find someone who translates/writes exactly like I do and can deliver the same product to the customer.

BTW, aren't "No, I proofread them myself" and "No" the same thing in this poll? If not, please enlighten me.

Happy translating!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 29, 2012

99% of the time I do everything on my own, as long as I consider myself able. I may occasionally ask someone to check something for me but can't remember the last time I had to do that, since it's usually it's the other way round...

[Edited at 2012-02-29 08:42 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:00
English to German
+ ...
If involvement of a third party has been agreed upon Feb 29, 2012

And is paid extra, of course. Even agencies require this kind of full service, and I like it.

Other than that, any translation will go through the usual three stages of proofreading / editing, even before it is sent to a proofreader.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:00
Member
English to French
Yes always Feb 29, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:
...when ordered and paid to do so by the customer
...

Translation and proofreading are two separate tasks, and agencies usually send either translation jobs or proofreading (editing) jobs, not both.

I have always outsourced proofreading to the very few end customers I have worked with. I keep control over the final version by reviewing the review.

Philippe

[Edited at 2012-02-29 08:50 GMT]


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto Feb 29, 2012

Julian Holmes wrote:

Work comes my way because my customers know that I have my own set of strict standards, and they know what to expect when I deliver to them.

If I sent my translations outside for proofing, I would:

- lose full control of the translation process
- allow my standards to slip, and
- compromise quality

unless I can find someone who translates/writes exactly like I do and can deliver the same product to the customer.



Thanks for putting it so succinctly Julian. My sentiments exactly.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:00
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not very often Feb 29, 2012

I don't want to spent time explaining to someone else why I handled a problem the way I did. When I worked in an office with other translators, that was different. We often looked at each others' work.

I sometimes used to ask my monolingual mother to proofread for me because her English was excellent. She would also help me with cross-reading.

Nowadays I see more genetics turning up in medical research, and I do pay a reviewer who is a geneticist to look at those texts.


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Amandine Added  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:00
English to French
+ ...
Did it once, might do it again.. Feb 29, 2012

I systematically proofread all my documents - who does not???? (once and if I still have time.. more and as many times as possible ... But that is not the question here.....)

I outsourced it once because I knew my style was not totally appropriate to the objective and felt a second eye more used to this style could help. Bad luck, the proofreader sent me back a file nicely proofread on vocabulary and style levels but a real nightmare in spelling and typographical and clerical errors.

So it was nice to read, but took me hours to proofread once more and of course the proofreader refused to admit his work was poorly done, saying that he did not see what I was talking about....(There was almost a typo error on every modified line...)

So I did not found the experience such a success.....But I do proofreading and generally the client is happy and this way I can take a look to others ways of working and take a few tips helping me on my own difficult proofreading.
Also when stuck, I contact a few colleagues or friends and discuss quickly the matter which generally helps me find the perfect match that was eluding me till then...


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:00
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Occassionally I do Feb 29, 2012

particularly, when I have a very specific style brief from the client.
Otherwise and in every case I proofread everything myself.


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 11:00
French to English
+ ...
Self-proofreading and outsourced proofreading are not mutually exclusive Feb 29, 2012

Julian Holmes wrote:

Work comes my way because my customers know that I have my own set of strict standards, and they know what to expect when I deliver to them.

If I sent my translations outside for proofing, I would:

- lose full control of the translation process
- allow my standards to slip, and
- compromise quality

unless I can find someone who translates/writes exactly like I do and can deliver the same product to the customer.

BTW, aren't "No, I proofread them myself" and "No" the same thing in this poll? If not, please enlighten me.

Happy translating!


I'm surprised by some of the comments. I proofread my own work too. I also have strict standards. But four eyes see better than one, and my proofreader often picks up on something I missed, misunderstood, or could have expressed more elegantly. Those who have had negative experiences have perhaps not found the right proofreader for them. I use the same guy 90% of the time, because I like the way he works and we work well together. The rest of the time I use a couple of other proofreaders who are also very good to work with.

Regarding the three points above, I would contend that:

-I do keep control of the translation process. My proofreader uses track changes, and I look through every change and decide whether I want to keep it or not (95% of the time I keep it, because my proofreader doesn't change things just for the sake of it).
-I don't let my standards slip.
-I don't compromise quality. Au contraire. My work is of higher quality because it has been seen by four eyes rather than two (or six, if you count the fact I read the proofreader's changes).

I'm not saying third-party proofreading is necessary for every job, but I always use it for books I translate and usually use it for academic articles. Also, my best agency clients (in terms of how professional they are but also in terms of how much they pay) nearly always use a separate translator and proofreader anyway.

I'd encourage those who have not tried outsourcing proofreading to try it. Provided that you find someone who is very good rather than the person charging cheap rates I think you'd be surprised at the results. Obviously you'll have to charge the client more, but you'll be able to get away with it thanks to the quality of your texts.

[Edited at 2012-02-29 11:51 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:00
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
So it is! Feb 29, 2012

John Cutler wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

Work comes my way because my customers know that I have my own set of strict standards, and they know what to expect when I deliver to them.

If I sent my translations outside for proofing, I would:

- lose full control of the translation process
- allow my standards to slip, and
- compromise quality

unless I can find someone who translates/writes exactly like I do and can deliver the same product to the customer.



Thanks for putting it so succinctly Julian. My sentiments exactly.


Exactly.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto Feb 29, 2012

John Cutler wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

Work comes my way because my customers know that I have my own set of strict standards, and they know what to expect when I deliver to them.

If I sent my translations outside for proofing, I would:

- lose full control of the translation process
- allow my standards to slip, and
- compromise quality

unless I can find someone who translates/writes exactly like I do and can deliver the same product to the customer.



Thanks for putting it so succinctly Julian. My sentiments exactly.


Saved me saying it


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
I proofread myself, but... Feb 29, 2012

My major client agencies also send the files to proofreaders. I don't pay for them.
However, I sometimes proofread files for other translators working on similar projects for these agencies.


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Manuela Ribecai  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:00
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
Cross-checking Feb 29, 2012

I have the chance to work with my husband. He proofreads my files and I do the same to his, then I make a final check.
I think it's very important to have a different look at my own work, otherwise mistakes can easily be overlooked.


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