Poll: Have you ever hired a third party proofreader for one of your translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:21
SITE STAFF
Aug 21, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever hired a third party proofreader for one of your translations?".

This poll was originally submitted by Natalia Pedrosa. View the poll results »



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:21
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes! Aug 21, 2015

I have an arrangement with a trusted colleague (we worked in-house together for 20 years) where we proofread each other's work.

P.S. Quality-wise, it's the BEST decision I've ever made...

[Edited at 2015-08-21 08:24 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:21
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Aug 21, 2015

..but I wish I had someone available to help me with proofreading.

I hired three proofreaders to read my book (Finding My Invincible Summer); it was read at least10 times and errors kept showing up. In the end two words were questioned by readers, and they were alternate spellings in both cases, so we really did "get them all," but it wasn't easy.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member
English to French
Yes Aug 21, 2015

For the very few assignments I have done for direct customers, I've always had my translations reread. The proverbial "second pair of eyes" is definitely a plus.

Philippe


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:21
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Most of the time, no. Aug 21, 2015

I have indicated the very few good proofreaders I know, when the client requires. However, very unfortunately, the vast majority of the reviewers I had contact with will change "12" for "a dozen" all over your text to show their work when there is nothing else to fix. Then there are the wrong "corrections" we have to refuse and explain why we refused them. A big part of the deadlines I missed were due to this unfortunate fact, as I had to go over the entire text refusing undue changes and adding comments to explain why I was refusing something that was correct and the reviser made it incorrect!

If you find a good reviser who does not do these things, stick to him/her, give them a nice gift in Christmas, and indicate him/her to all your clients, because they are very rare. This is very unfortunate, because a good reviser is essential and helps a lot. We could and should make a great partnership with at least one.

Luckily enough, I found an excellent reviser here in ProZ, and I will hand all my translations to him with no worries. He will ONLY correct what is actually incorrect, and he doesn't need to show a big volume of red marks to prove his competence. So, if you need the best EN-PT reviser ever, get in touch with Salvador Scofano.

Unfortunately, most agencies hire their proofreaders at their discretion, and most of the time we don't even know who they are and have no contact with them... for obvious reasons.



[Edited at 2015-08-21 09:59 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 21, 2015

Sometimes I ask a friend or colleague to go over a final draft and will either pay them for their services or compensate them in kind.
However, I don't really see this as "hiring" them; to me, it's more like "keeping it in the family"...

For example, I recently asked a translator friend to go over one of my texts to see if it was okay for a US audience (it was). However, a couple of years ago, he asked me to look after his cat for a couple of weeks... and the beast is still with me today! So I didn't feel too bad about expecting a freebie, as the moggy has cost me a pretty penny in kitty crunch since then...


[Edited at 2015-08-21 10:25 GMT]


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:21
English to Russian
+ ...
Avoid worsening revision! Aug 21, 2015

Mario Freitas wrote:

I have indicated the very few good proofreaders I know, when the client requires. However, very unfortunately, the vast majority of the reviewers I had contact with will change "12" for "a dozen" all over your text to show their work when there is nothing else to fix. Then there are the wrong "corrections" we have to refuse and explain why we refused them.


[Edited at 2015-08-21 09:59 GMT]


One of the guidelines contained in the "Proofreader's Guide" issued by the translation agency I work for reads: "Avoid worsening revision!"

[Edited at 2015-08-21 10:27 GMT]

In my opinion, one proofreading is necessary, though not always practical, two is redundant, and three or more is very likely to spoil the original text!

[Edited at 2015-08-21 10:30 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:21
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Where's the 'like' button ? Aug 21, 2015

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

...

In my opinion, one proofreading is necessary, though not always practical, two is redundant, and three or more is very likely to spoil the original text!


Oh, how I agree!

One proofreading by me, which maybe doesn't count, and one by a trusty colleague. A lot of QA is a sheer waste of time, and could be spent better if the first translator was allowed to research more and sleep on the results before delivering the translation!

I have sometimes had a colleague to read my work - typically colleagues have asked me to translate because they think it is more my field than theirs, and then they proofread it before sending it back to their own good clients.

Otherwise agencies proofread for me, and sometimes I proofread other people's work for them...


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Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:21
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, frequently Aug 21, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

I have an arrangement with a trusted colleague (we worked in-house together for 20 years) where we proofread each other's work.

P.S. Quality-wise, it's the BEST decision I've ever made...

[Edited at 2015-08-21 08:24 GMT]


I have a similar arrangement with 3 or 4 trusted colleagues (and I have known one of them for many decades) for anything intended for publication.

Since I mostly work for direct customers, top quality is what counts.


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Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 10:21
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Aug 21, 2015

Yes, when I work to end clients.

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Henry Schroeder  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:21
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes and it hasn't gone well Aug 21, 2015

I've had a few requests where I have been asked (and paid) to engage a proofreader. The big problem so far has been actually getting the proofreader to do the work. Most of the time they haven't done a line by line comparison (which was paid for and explicitly requested) and I end up doing the proofreading anyway.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Aug 21, 2015

Doesn't hiring a proofreader/checker for selected translations just mean that you don't think you've done a very good job on them and you shouldn't really have taken them in the first place???

I think I'd like to see an all-or-nothing approach here...

As for me, I have an in-house checker chained to the kitchen sink to look at anything that won't be checked elsewhere.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:21
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes, several times Aug 21, 2015

when the client asks and pays the extra cost, and it has always gone fine.

Mostly my regular clients have their own proofreaders and I find that reassuring. But I agree with Christine that when there are several proofreaders, editors, reviewers etc. it does not always improve the overall quality of the translation.


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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:21
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
Not really Aug 22, 2015

Chris S wrote:

Doesn't hiring a proofreader/checker for selected translations just mean that you don't think you've done a very good job on them and you shouldn't really have taken them in the first place?


It just means that you recognise that no one's perfect and that typos can sneak under the radar. Proofreading is about scrutinising for imperfections, not reworking an error-strewn dungheap.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:21
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Errors will always be found Aug 22, 2015

Oliver Lawrence wrote:

Chris S wrote:

Doesn't hiring a proofreader/checker for selected translations just mean that you don't think you've done a very good job on them and you shouldn't really have taken them in the first place?


It just means that you recognise that no one's perfect and that typos can sneak under the radar. Proofreading is about scrutinising for imperfections, not reworking an error-strewn dungheap.


Indeed, Oliver. That's why I said it's so unfortunate that most revisers do those things I mentioned. If they would limit their work to finding the errors and correcting them, without trying to show their amazing competence, it would be a perfect world.


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