Translator or proofreader
Thread poster: stephanieL
stephanieL
English to Italian
Jan 18, 2010

Hi,

I apologise if this sounds like a silly question.. The thing is I have been commissioned a legal translation which I am working on and finding quite challenging. However, since I am neither a legal expert nor have I ever dealt with similar texts, I will most probably need to seek advise from an expert regarding the appropriateness of the language I've used.. Is it something I clarify with the client, whether they require the text to be proofread? Or should I, in all cases, assume that I am indeed required to provide a perfect, final draft?

Thank you.

Steph


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Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 14:01
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
? Jan 19, 2010

Hi Steph
I tell you from my own experience. First of all, if I am offered a job which I don't feel comfortable or competent enough to deliver an excellent translation, I will decline the job. One main reason is following our Code of Ethics .
http://www.saludycultura.uji.es/archivos/AUSIT-CODE_OF_ETHICS_(AUSTRALIA).pdf

COMPETENCE:
Interpreters and translators shall undertake only work which they are competent ....

When I accept a job, no matter if it's going to be proofread or not, I must deliver in the best of my ability. This is a sample of my work which either brings me more jobs or chase away my clients.

I suggest either try to provide the best job or talk to your client and tell them that this job is beyond your knowledge.

Good luck
Atena


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xxxGrayson Morr  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:01
Dutch to English
Learning experience Jan 19, 2010

Hi Stephanie,

Does the client know you have no experience in legal translation?

I'd advise you to contact an experienced legal translator in your language pair and hire them to work with you on the translation. You will have to pay that person, of course, which likely means you will earn nothing on this assignment (and possibly even pay some out of pocket), but you will gain experience that you can use in future legal translations. This is a good way to move into a new specialty area: you gain experience, *and* you provide an excellent product, making the client more likely to use you in the future. (Be sure to save all the things you learn in a glossary!)

Even if you don't want to branch out into legal translation, you should hire an expert to coach you through the translation; you owe it to your client.

My € 0.02.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Indeed Jan 19, 2010

Grayson Morris wrote:
I'd advise you to contact an experienced legal translator in your language pair and hire them to work with you on the translation. You will have to pay that person, of course, which likely means you will earn nothing on this assignment (and possibly even pay some out of pocket), but you will gain experience that you can use in future legal translations.

I entirely agree.


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:01
Italian to English
+ ...
TL Jan 19, 2010

Stephanie,
Are you an English or Italian native speaker? I notice you translate into Italian. I sometimes, no often, struggle with legal translations into English, my own language, and would blanche at the thought of undertaking assignments into Italian.
If your rate would not permit you to work with someone more experienced, you would probably be better off following Atena's advice.
In bocca al lupo


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Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 14:01
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
I agree too Jan 19, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Grayson Morris wrote:
I'd advise you to contact an experienced legal translator in your language pair and hire them to work with you on the translation. You will have to pay that person, of course, which likely means you will earn nothing on this assignment (and possibly even pay some out of pocket), but you will gain experience that you can use in future legal translations.

I entirely agree.


Agree


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:01
French to German
+ ...
No other way out, I am afraid Jan 19, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Grayson Morris wrote:
I'd advise you to contact an experienced legal translator in your language pair and hire them to work with you on the translation. You will have to pay that person, of course, which likely means you will earn nothing on this assignment (and possibly even pay some out of pocket), but you will gain experience that you can use in future legal translations.

I entirely agree.



[Edited at 2010-01-19 10:13 GMT]


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
spots in the sun Jan 19, 2010

Stephanie, it's not a very silly question, but IMO it's pretty obvious.
As you already know nobody is ideal, especially we, as translators, tend to be blind when dealing with proofreading our own works. So, 'yes', you client should be aware that you can provide decent yet not professional work in that field and -'yes', you should always proofread it (but make some 3 hrs timeout or better - a day) or find a more experienced editor/ proofreader...

Dare I ask you about CAT?
Ciao)


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 22:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree Jan 19, 2010

I also agree with Atena and Grayson's suggestions (and with all of the above).

You should not take a job on a field you are not familiar or do not feel comfortable with. You should work on your fields of expertise and into your mother tongue or a language you manage as an expert.

And yes, your should deliver a proofread job done by you to the best of your knowledge, in spite of the client having it proofread again by an independent pro.

Walter


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