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Poll: Do you proofread your own translation while you work on it?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:18
SITE STAFF
Jun 23, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you proofread your own translation while you work on it?".

This poll was originally submitted by Joanna Sobolewska-Kurpiel. View the poll results »



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jun 23, 2015

It depends (on the text, on the deadline, on my mood...)! Sometimes, I tend to go over each section as soon as it is translated, before moving on to the next bit. Others, I proofread the whole thing through at the end.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:18
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Several times Jun 23, 2015

I usually proofread after I've completed a page or section and then proofread the whole document again on completion, sometimes several times, if possible after taking a break - when there's time.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Never Jun 23, 2015

How can you possibly check the start before you've done the end?

You're bound to need to make adjustments.

And what about flow?


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Paul Adie  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mixture Jun 23, 2015

I clicked on "wait until I'm finished", but it's quite a mixture. I translate each sentence until it sounds good, which may involve a few re-readings (proofreading?), then I go over the whole document again when I'm finished.

As said previously, I usually like to leave some time between translating and editing, the next day would be perfect, but this is not normally possible.


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Billh
Local time: 16:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Chris has stated what should be obvious to all.. Jun 23, 2015

Chris S wrote:

How can you possibly check the start before you've done the end?

You're bound to need to make adjustments.

And what about flow?


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
First comes... Jun 23, 2015

Unless there is something obvious (kumping into my eye), I first finish the entire translation. Time permitting, I then take a 2 - 3 minutes break before I thoroughly proofread and edit the translation. Why interrupt the flow of a translation when IMO proofreading/editing the entire text makes more sense?

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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:18
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
How can you "proofread" as you go along? Jun 23, 2015

Proofreading requires a degree of distance to enable you to see things that you didn't notice when writing. I don't believe that you can detach yourself in the middle of translating to adequately proofread a page at a time. Time wasted on trying to do that would be better spent translating, so as to finish sooner and allow for a break before proofreading.

The ultimate degree of distance is for it to be done by somebody other than the writer. However, when proofreading my own work, ideally, I wait at least till the day after I finish translating, I proofread from a paper printout, not on screen, and I do it in another room or in the garden, sitting in a comfortable chair and with the printout on a clipboard to avoid sitting at a table.


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Henry Schroeder  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Good question/poll Jun 23, 2015

It's an interesting subject. I've recently been shifting from completing the entire translation and then proofreading it (twice) to the section-by-section approach.

The latter appears to be a little faster/more efficient, possibly because it lets you exercise different parts of your brain and gives your hands a rest.

The obvious is NOT that you have to finish the entire text before you start proofreading. It is very rare that any information at the end will influence decisions made earlier. If that occurs, the changes will not be so dramatic that you can't efficiently handle them.

Probably the most important issue is which method lets you identify the most minor errors and oversights, misreadings, etc. in the translation process. An early (self-)analysis of the results from my switch have suggested that proofreading section-by-section produces a slightly more accurate translation and lets you identify more minor errors.

Henry


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:18
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
It's not proofreading! Jun 23, 2015

Revising, editing, correcting, copyediting... but definitely not proofreading.

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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:18
Member
German to English
+ ...
Check Jun 23, 2015

I'll check that everything is translated and for any mistakes, but I wouldn't call it proofreading. You also need to ensure that it all reads well as a whole, which you cannot do until the end.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:18
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
In patches Jun 23, 2015

If the sentence is at all complex, I very often check to see that it is all there, and actually means what it should. It may take several attempts before I move on.

If I know certain sections are repeated, I may proofread them after the first translation, so that they are reasonably correct next time they come up.

The source language has different comma rules from English, and take care to check and rearrange them. On the whole, however, it flows better if I check the source, find the terminology and note it in the margins, and then simply translate wthout stopping too much.

In any case, I always have to go through the text as a whole at least twice when I have fininshed translating.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
Both Jun 23, 2015

I proofread as I go along and after I am finished. Now why was this option not given? Poorly designed poll as usual. When is someone going to take charge and ensure that polls are properly designed?

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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 10:18
German to English
+ ...
Why either or? Jun 24, 2015

We're given the choice of proofreading while going along vs. proofreading when done. I'm thinking a lot of us do a mixture of both, and that it also depends on the document and its nature.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:18
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Both, like Henry Jun 24, 2015

I usually proofread each paragraph as I go along. Then I highlight it in green, which tells me that I'm reasonably satisfied with it. If I'm having problems, I'll leave the paragraph unhighlighted, with the particular issue highlighted in another color, and then go back to it (when I think of a solution or when I reach a good stopping place). At the end, I proofread the whole thing again, twice if I have the time and depending on how important the document is.

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