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Poll: Proofreaders never admit that a translation is very good. Agree or disagree?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:40
SITE STAFF
Mar 10

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Proofreaders never admit that a translation is very good. Agree or disagree?".

This poll was originally submitted by samah A. fattah. View the poll results »



Binod Ringania
Tom in London
Martin Ouellet
 

Cécile Gaultier  Identity Verified
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
I disagree... Mar 10

I can admit that a translation is very good when it is actually what I feel. It does not mean that there was no need for proofreading, or that my work is useless. It means to me that I am able to appreciate someone's good work and share it with others.

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Laura Nagle
Paul van Zijll
Teresa Borges
Josephine Cassar
Edith van der Have-Raats
Sabine Braun
 

Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:40
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Disagree Mar 10

As a proofreader, I 'admit' (i.e. just mention) this to my client without them even asking. It's a pleasure to proofread excellent work, and the translator deserves credit for a job well done.

Teresa Borges
Sabine Braun
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Barbara Cerar
Kay Denney
P.L.F.Persio
Alison Jenner
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:40
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I disagree Mar 10

Over the years, I have sent back a few translations without a single change, but I’ve also seen the good, the bad and even the ugly. Every time I receive a very good translation I always send a note to the agency saying “please extend my sincere congratulations to the translator”.

P.L.F.Persio
Gibril Koroma
Justin Peterson
Rachel Waddington
Fiona Gilbert Riley
Carmen ValentinRodriguez
neilmac
 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:40
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
I agree to disagree.... Mar 10

.... that is, I agree with the comments till sofar (so I disagree with the question), but... how often do you receive a "smoothless" translation? Hardly ever, at least that is my experience. And if you do, it is translated in a different style/way you would do it yourself (I leave that part untouched by the way).

[Edited at 2020-03-10 10:25 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
neilmac
Anna-Maria Alonzo
 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:40
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Disagree Mar 10

I have been at both the giving and receiving end of comments indicating this was a (very) good translation.

When I receive a good translation for proofreading, I mention to the client that this was a good translation - after all, I want them to keep working with that particular translator.


P.L.F.Persio
Teresa Borges
Gibril Koroma
Gloria Teixeira
neilmac
Ma. Virginia Pita Gussoni
Katya Kesten
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:40
English to German
+ ...
I don't know Mar 10

I do not offer proofreading services, and I rarely know what goes on "behind the scenes", from my perspective.

I have occasionally been contacted by proofreaders privately, thanking me for making their jobs easier, which I appreciated greatly. But I feel there's a general lack of feedback for translators in most work environments I've encountered.

[Edited at 2020-03-10 10:58 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
neilmac
Laure-Anais laureanais
samah A. fattah
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:40
Member (2018)
French to English
. Mar 10

I have always acknowledged good work. Working as a proofreader/PM, I actually got told off by the boss once, for telling a translator that he'd done a really good job. The boss reckoned that the translator would immediately start asking for more money. That was probably projection on his part, because the translators never asked for more money as a result of me praising them. They were far more likely to take on work with a "I can't really but I will, because it's you asking me".

P.L.F.Persio
Ian Keith Jones Williams
Christine Andersen
Ma. Virginia Pita Gussoni
Nadia Silva Castro
Philip Lees
samah A. fattah
 

zenithmaster  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 06:40
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
Disagree Mar 10

If proofreaders never admit your translation is very good, it probably never is. Sounds harsh, I know, but...

 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:40
Member (2012)
French to English
Disagree Mar 10

Having worked on some very good translations as a proofreader, I have to disagree.

However, I have been on the receiving end of some bad proofreaders/reviewers. Last week, for instance, I was informed that a reviewer had found one error in one of my pieces. I had translated "betterave" as "beet", and the reviewer had changed it to "beef". Lol.


Teresa Borges
Philip Lees
 

Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:40
Member (2004)
English to French
Disagree Mar 10

As a mentor for the OTTIAQ, I proofread texts from translators aspiring to become certified. Some are good, others very good and some... let's say translation is not for them. And I tell them if their translation is good or not, highlighting their strengths and what they need to work on.

When I proofread translations for agencies or clients, I tell them if the job was well done and it was a pleasure reading quality work or if it's better not to work with that translator anymore, as
... See more
As a mentor for the OTTIAQ, I proofread texts from translators aspiring to become certified. Some are good, others very good and some... let's say translation is not for them. And I tell them if their translation is good or not, highlighting their strengths and what they need to work on.

When I proofread translations for agencies or clients, I tell them if the job was well done and it was a pleasure reading quality work or if it's better not to work with that translator anymore, as fixing their mistakes will be costly.
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Teresa Borges
Giuliana Maltempo
Katya Kesten
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:40
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Proofreaders disagree Mar 10

But when they have to work on a very good translation and don't find enough errors to show their work, they'll always replace words with synonyms and change the order of elements in sentences to fill the translation with their red marks. This is the most unfortunate standard of our market, for it happens all the time. I really hope this is changing.
If you are a proofreader and you don't do these two things, congratulations, you are a rare exception.

[Edited at 2020-03-10 12:25 GMT]


Cristina Heraud-van Tol
Joëlle Bouille
Josephine Cassar
Jānis Greivuls
Ma. Virginia Pita Gussoni
Nadia Silva Castro
Laure-Anais laureanais
 

Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:40
Member (2017)
French to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Disagree Mar 10

I always give praise where praise is due. I however sometimes wonder whether my message gets to the translator because I deal directly with the client who is usually an agency.

Elizabeth Tamblin
 

Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 22:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree completely! Mar 10

Most proofreaders feel that they have to fix "mistakes", in a way to justify their payment.

Some love to destroy excellent translations, by filling the whole page with red "corrections". Else if they return a perfect translation without any corrections they feel as if they haven't worked at all.

The truth is, that they mostly make stylistic / preferential changes, using absolute synonmys. If they don't show some red marks to the client, they feel like if it was not wort
... See more
Most proofreaders feel that they have to fix "mistakes", in a way to justify their payment.

Some love to destroy excellent translations, by filling the whole page with red "corrections". Else if they return a perfect translation without any corrections they feel as if they haven't worked at all.

The truth is, that they mostly make stylistic / preferential changes, using absolute synonmys. If they don't show some red marks to the client, they feel like if it was not worth hiring them, and the client believes that they did nothing.

As they get paid half of what the translator receives, they do as if they are the masters and have plenty control over the translation, pointing out meaningless mistakes, and trying to convince the client that the translator is really bad so that he/she doesn't get paid and they themselves get the translation that they otherwise didn't get.

Most of them are revengeful tyrants.


[Edited at 2020-03-10 13:35 GMT]
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Justin Peterson
Joëlle Bouille
Kunal Jaidka
Laure-Anais laureanais
Robert Forstag
Baran Keki
Nathalie Bullen
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:40
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Disagree Mar 10

A professional proofreader in good standings should be as objective as possible and leave personal preferences untouched for as long as the translation is correct and fluently readable.

I have seen translations (thus far 3 to be precise) where the only mistake was a missing comma or an overlooked double space, and I did state this in my reply to the customer. It doesn't minimize the proofreader's abilities to admit that a translation is good.

Of course there are proofre
... See more
A professional proofreader in good standings should be as objective as possible and leave personal preferences untouched for as long as the translation is correct and fluently readable.

I have seen translations (thus far 3 to be precise) where the only mistake was a missing comma or an overlooked double space, and I did state this in my reply to the customer. It doesn't minimize the proofreader's abilities to admit that a translation is good.

Of course there are proofreaders who love to edit a translation to death, forcing their own preferences on the customer, or just love to complain about the poor quality, sometimes justified, oftentimes not.

Proofreading, like translating, is a business, a service offered to help the customer, and therefore, both should be done by giving one's best and always adhering to the rules of fairness.

[Edited at 2020-03-10 17:20 GMT]
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Gloria Teixeira
Teresa Borges
Giuliana Maltempo
Ma. Virginia Pita Gussoni
Gibril Koroma
Philip Lees
Laure-Anais laureanais
 
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