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Poll: When proofreading other translators' jobs, do you give feedback on the overall quality?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:31
SITE STAFF
Jan 25, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When proofreading other translators' jobs, do you give feedback on the overall quality?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends Jan 25, 2014

On the whole, I've been asked to comment on other translators' work on maybe 3 occasions. I don't really like doing it and although I always try to be circumspect, sometimes it's not easy.
Nowadays most of the text revision I do is on scientific papers written by non-native authors, who tend to be either Spanish-speaking individuals or groups of people from different linguistic backgrounds. Other than delivering the revised and corrected papers, I’m not usually asked for feedback or comments. The main thing is that they get accepted for publication in specialist journals.
Also, every couple of months I provide translation, revision and editing services for a magazine. Some of the texts I have to revise have been translated into English by Spanish (and L.Am), Russian, Ukrainian, Dutch, French, Arabic, Chinese or German native speakers and the varying results can be ... quite interesting. However, any feedback I might offer on the quality etc of these texts is usually ignored by the scatty Editor-in-Chief (who again doesn't normally ask for feedback or comments, just the "fixed", publishable versions of the articles).

Vive la difference!


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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:31
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
It depends Jan 25, 2014

I provide feedback when I am asked to or when the translation is either remarkably good or exceptionaly bad.
All in all, not very often.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:31
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends Jan 25, 2014

In general, no! But I have been asked occasionally (maybe once every other year or so) to provide feedback on quality...

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 16:31
Turkish to English
+ ...
I don't offer proofreading as a service ... Jan 25, 2014

but, if I did, I would only provide such feedback if asked/instructed to do so.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:31
Member (2008)
English to Italian
it depends Jan 25, 2014

case 1: I work for a company and each translation is carried out by a translator and a proofreader, and this role changes for every job. In this case I just correct mistakes, give suggestion to the translator (the company only receives the final version.
Case 2: the company asks for a complete proofreading + comment - I provide the comment


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:31
Member
German to English
+ ...
Hate proofreading Jan 25, 2014

I hate proofreading due to the simpal fact that translations are nearly always bad and I think agencies try to use me as the clean-up man. Normally the texts read as Denglish or Spanglish but from a native English speaker. I usually try to reject proofreading jobs, but occasionally I'll do them more as a favour.

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Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:31
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
It depends Jan 25, 2014

One client of mine requires you to give the translation a rating out of 5 in three categories once you submit the job, as well as giving you the option to leave a comment. Other clients don't do that, but I will often comment if it was particularly excellent or particularly bad.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:31
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Jan 25, 2014

Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm wrote:

I provide feedback when I am asked to or when the translation is either remarkably good or exceptionaly bad.
All in all, not very often.


I'm doing the same, expecially when the translator has done an excellent job. This feedback will then be forwarded to the translator, so I know that someone is smiling.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:31
French to English
Track changes Jan 25, 2014

I enable "track changes" when I revise. The overall quality then becomes self-evident, I hope

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:31
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It depends Jan 25, 2014

In some cases it will not help anyway, like non-native business people writing their best English, so I don't bother.

I have on several occasions sent a comment that a repeated, consistent error recurring all through the text only counts as one error.

I do this either because I don't want an otherwise promising beginner to feel discouraged, or because a nit-picking agency might be counting changes too objectively and get an idea that the text was worse than it was.

On other occasions I have added quite disparaging comments where I felt it necessary - sometimes simply to let off steam!

What I really hate is agencies that send a lengthy form to be crossed off, specifying whether errors were style, grammar, spelling or what, explaining and stating how serious on a scale of 1 to 5 ...
One agency insisted it was to be fair to translators who were tired of over-enthusiastic monster proofreaders, but honestly, this sort of thing takes longer than the proofreading. I immediately add the agency to my blacklist and refuse to proofread for them in future!

On the other hand, if I think my changes may be controversial or believe it will help, I do send an explanation quoting a book on English usage like Michael Swann.

But I refuse to comment on every little typo and forgotten apostrophe or capital letter and assess the gravity...

In general I proofread a lot less than I used to!


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Elena Novski  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:31
Member
Russian to English
+ ...
This is part of quality assurance process Jan 25, 2014

I track changes and fill the form provided by the agency. Just another kind of language jobs.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:31
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The changes speak for themselves Jan 25, 2014

One of my clients has a form that the proofreader is required to fill out. Once was enough. It was as much work as the proofing. That's when I stopped 'proofing' translations. I do hate the term 'proofreading', because the work involves a whole lot more.

It takes too much time, the compensation isn't worth it, and it puts me in an uncomfortable position. I know for a fact that agencies hire entry-level translators at coolie rates to do the first cut and then rely on more experienced ones to correct it. That's exploitation pure and simple.

I should say, however, that a year ago I was asked to help "train" a new in-house translator in the office where I used to work and I have been reviewing his translations from time to time. The compensation is $70 an hour (we all have a price at which we can be bought, right?). I do provide feedback to his supervisor in this case because that's part of what they're paying me for.

[Edited at 2014-01-25 18:27 GMT]


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:31
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Ugh Jan 25, 2014

Why do we call it proofreading? It's not proofreading! Correcting, reviewing, editing... there are plenty of words in plain English that actually denote what it is.

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peter jackson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:31
Spanish to English
Ditto Jan 25, 2014

Charlie Bavington wrote:

I enable "track changes" when I revise. The overall quality then becomes self-evident, I hope


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