Poll: Have you ever learnt something by proofreading another translator's translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:25
SITE STAFF
Aug 22, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever learnt something by proofreading another translator's translation?".

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



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Aug 22, 2016

In general, I do not enjoy proofreading and I refuse most of the assignments. That being said I have an arrangement with an ex-colleague of mine (we worked together for 20 years) where we proofread each other. I also accept proofreading tasks from one translation agency as I know the translator and I trust her work. I must say that in the process, I have learned more than just "something"...

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 22, 2016

Mainly I've learned that "proofreading" isn't for me. It's a stressful job because the source text has to be checked while one also considers whether the existing text is acceptable or not. Everyone translates differently, so it sometimes takes less time to make a change than to ponder whether to leave the translation alone.

The few times I've done it, yes indeed, I have learned new expressions and sometimes new ways of handling problems.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 22, 2016

Smugness, mostly

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Robin Joensuu  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:25
Member
English to Swedish
Proofreading has without doubt... Aug 22, 2016

...been the most important 'translation school' for me (I never studied translation in school). By doing it properly, making sure that you don't do preferential changes, and by double checking and backing up every change you do that is not self-explanatory, which I think more people should do, you constantly revise your own knowledge, and you are forced to think about why something does not work, not only that it doesn't. Working as an in-house reviser without doubt made me a better translator. In a way, you could call proper, thorough proofreading/revision/editing a very cheap, constantly running CPD course.

If you are traveling to Stockholm in almost two weeks for the ProZ.com 2016 International Conference, I will hold a presentation on this very topic: http://www.proz.com/conference/683?page=schedule&mode=details&session_id=11144

[Edited at 2016-08-22 09:40 GMT]


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Texte Style
Local time: 07:25
French to English
of course! Aug 22, 2016

Anyone who does proofreading and doesn't learn something from it should be doing something else.

As a new hire in a top agency, I had to proof some brilliant translators. I actually made a glossary of their gems for future reference, compiling all their nifty solutions for tricky words with no exact equivelent. I hardly ever need to browse that glossary any more but I wouldn't delete it for all the world.

Lately, I have learned time and again that while a proofreader can bring sparkle to a competent translation, you can only delete the worst howlers in a bad translation before either your time runs out or your mental health is jeopardised.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 22, 2016

That I'm a better transator than they were/are.

PS: @Chris -> but not necessarily smugger.

[Edited at 2016-08-22 15:00 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:25
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Aug 22, 2016

Several things, but above all that I do not want to make revisions. Most revision jobs I've done took me as long as I would take to actually translate the document instead, given the poor quality and undue/literal translations. I haven't accepted revision jobs for over two years now, and the ones I HAD to accept, for several reasons, always make me mad.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
I started out as a proofreader Aug 22, 2016

Robin Joensuu wrote:

...been the most important 'translation school' for me (I never studied translation in school). By doing it properly, making sure that you don't do preferential changes, and by double checking and backing up every change you do that is not self-explanatory, which I think more people should do, you constantly revise your own knowledge, and you are forced to think about why something does not work, not only that it doesn't. Working as an in-house reviser without doubt made me a better translator. In a way, you could call proper, thorough proofreading/revision/editing a very cheap, constantly running CPD course.

If you are traveling to Stockholm in almost two weeks for the ProZ.com 2016 International Conference, I will hold a presentation on this very topic: http://www.proz.com/conference/683?page=schedule&mode=details&session_id=11144

[Edited at 2016-08-22 09:40 GMT]


Thank you, Robin, for this sensible explanation of the advantages of proofreading. When I arrived in New York City with my BA in Translation Studies (from an Argentine university), my first “freelance” jobs consisted of proofreading other people's translations. I found the experience invaluable, necessary and enjoyable.

Chris' comment about smugness has a kernel of truth, but that (I think) is because we translators (and proofreaders) are blade runners on that rope dividing demotic (i.e. popular) use and prescriptive use of language and words.


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:25
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
For sure Aug 23, 2016

I have learned do's and don't's.

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Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 12:25
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Yes. of course Aug 23, 2016

Yes, actually the translators "showed" me how certain words are translated. Therefore, I gained new knowledge.

[Diedit pada 2016-08-23 13:36 GMT]

[Diedit pada 2016-08-23 13:36 GMT]


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
Member
German to English
+ ...
Not really Aug 23, 2016

I have yet to proofread anything approaching a good level of quality. It's not conceit on my part - the translations I have proofread never read like English. I stopped taking on proofreading jobs as it would usually take me as long to proofread as it would to translate.

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Poll: Have you ever learnt something by proofreading another translator's translation?

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