Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Toxic proof-readers
Thread poster: Mariusz Kuklinski
Mariusz Kuklinski  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
Member
English to Polish
+ ...
Jun 14, 2015

I had a painful experience with a toxic proof-reader whose interventions consisted in 97% of semantic equivalents, substantive errors and inserting anglicised marketingese jargon. What made my blood boil were, in particular, unsubstantiated dicta: "this is wrong", without any effort to understand the complexity of reasons which made me use a specific wording, from the need to squeeze the text into the space between graphics to onomatopoeic issues. I responded rather robustly, making a detailed analysis of all his corrections (yes, one of them was valid) but it took me two days which I certainly could have made a better use of. Would anyone care, please, to share how they handle such opinionated ego trippers who take it as their mission to demolish your work?

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I hear you Jun 14, 2015

I have had similar experiences, and I also very much resented the time I had to spend responding to comments and corrections that at best represented preferences or very marginal improvements, but that in very many instances introduced downright errors.

My general approach is to fight fire with fire in such instances, and I consider proofreading of the kind you describe to be malicious and in bad faith, and deserving to be confronted as such.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:42
Chinese to English
I try to avoid back-and-forth Jun 14, 2015

I'm stuck in one at the moment, but for the most part my solution is: find two or three places where the editor is obviously wrong, put them in an email to the PM and say, "I have no confidence in this editor", then have a quick look through to see if there is anything I can actually use and send in my own edit. (Like you say, there's always one place where they spot a real error/make a real improvement. Irritatingly!)

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:42
French to German
+ ...
Fire with fire... Jun 14, 2015

If you fight fire with fire are you actually sure your proofreader gets to read what you wrote?

I am working for three agencies as a proofreader and editor only and am never in contact with the translators nor do I get their feedback on my corrections.

Most of the time the translators are really excellent, but it also happened to me to tell the agency that they could not use the translated file (or parts of it) at all. (It was not Google translated, but it was either not at all a field where the specific translator should have worked in or the last 10 000 words were not of the same quality as the rest due to a lack of time or the marketing text was not at all adapted to the German market and the translator had not told the agency that it would be impossible to go on the German market with that source text translated...)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Some are "special" Jun 14, 2015

Usually, most of the proofreaders are very good, providing excellent and, above all, helpful feedback. Yes, even if they didn't find an mistakes, there's always a "note to the translator".

Once I came across a proofreader who decided to mark pretty much 60% of my translation as errors..only to "correct" those "errors" with the exact same wording and spelling. I informed my client and simply attached my original translation and the proofreader's "corrections" and feedback. To my knowledge the agency is no longer working with her.

I am also in the middle of a debate (if you wish) with a proofreader who rendered a rather negative feedback, including complaining about the "lack of research". Well, approximately 45% of the entire translation time was spent on research. But apparently the proofreader disagreed... wonder how s/he knows. I informed the ageny's PM and, hopefully, the issue can be settled soon.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Mariusz Kuklinski  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
Member
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You're right, Andrea Jun 14, 2015

"it would be impossible to go on the German market with that source text translated"... - I couldn't agree with you more, Andrea. I have always believed that marketing texts which refer to a particular cultural context should be localised rather than translated before being unleashed on a different population. Now, try to tell it to an agency...

Direct link Reply with quote
 
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:42
Russian to English
+ ...
Absolutely. That's a real problem. Jun 14, 2015

There are very few professional proofreaders in the translation industry, meaning properly trained, as to the practices, symbols and legal issues , such as copy rights.

Usually some translators are trying to do proffering without realizing that they know nothing, or close to nothing about the proofreader's job. Of course, all the editors and even proofreaders at some stage of editing , have to be bilingual, meaning know both the target and the source languages very well, however, there is much more to professional proofreading than that.

Many do not realize that the proofreader's job is to catch striking grammatical mistakes, typos, punctuation mistakes—and that's about it. Some erroneously think that they are supposed to change the text to their liking ( of whatever quality that liking is), so to put it into some simpler words, rewrite many sentence the way they would have said something, often lowering the quality of the original translation. Many, based on what I have seen and heard form other people, think that the more they change, the more professional they look, being bale to prove at the same time that they earned their money.

Most do not realize that they ARE NOT ALLOWED to change anything within the text, permanently, without the translator's consent, and acceptance of the changes. Otherwise, no one can use the text at all. They may only suggest changes.

Proofreading and editing are vary serious professions, for which you also need a lot of training in addition to top proficiency in both of the languages, but especially the target language. Usually, only the people with English majors did such work, in the past, and I guess someone with philological, language teaching or writing education would do it in most other languages after they have completed a proofreading course as well, and passed the certification exam—a very hard exam, by the way, from the language point of view especially. Graduate English Department Level. I know only about the English procedures, sorry. No clue about other proofreading techniques, or exams.

[Edited at 2015-06-14 08:48 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
What to do with linguists who don't accept your revisions? Jun 14, 2015

Given the answer "No one ever complain this [sic] as this is not quality problem in translation" after pointing out that the formatting of a birth certificate was totally different to the source! Font size was different throughout, spacing not aligned, hand-drawn crosses through circles, running full-stops rather than underlines, things added which weren't there and missing text!

Here's the example of back-chat for your amusement:



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Hilarious! Jun 14, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:

Given the answer "No one ever complain this [sic] as this is not quality problem in translation" after pointing out that the formatting of a birth certificate was totally different to the source! Font size was different throughout, spacing not aligned, hand-drawn crosses through circles, running full-stops rather than underlines, things added which weren't there and missing text!

Here's the example of back-chat for your amusement:





Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:42
French to German
+ ...
Decision of the agency Jun 14, 2015

When I do a proofreading job I talk to the PM first in order to know what I shall correct - grammatical mistakes, punctuation and typos only or more.

As a proofreader I do not change the text, I make suggestions in the track changing modus of Word or with the yellow bubbles on PDFs. It's the job of the agency to decide what they do with my suggestions and that is it for every proofreader and editor. The decision of the agency (change the translation or not with or without the agreement oft the translator is not my problem). I normally do not even know what they decided to do.

I happens as well that translators who are in a rush forget to translate whole sentences and if the agency has not carefully chosen the translator there can be quite a lot of problems concerning vocabulary (I am not talking about style) as well because it just was not the specialty field of the translator.

So even if my job was only to correct grammar, punctuation and typos I'd contact the agency and tell them that vocabulary will have to be corrected as well. Same for style. Style often is subjectif matter, but not always. Imagine a marketing text which is written for seniors and the translator turns up with expressions that would fit people who are about 20 years old. Had that quite a few times as well.

If I suggest changes in style I always put a comment with the suggestions to explain why. If I decide to change a word I also explain why (is it false, is it not employed anymore, is it a brand name etc.?), then the agency decides what to do.

Lot of texts in marketing need localising, some even need to be completely rewritten which is not the translator's job.

I had a problem like this a few months ago. A big project which would have needed to be entirely rewritten. The translator decided not to tell the agency (because the job would probably have gone to a bilingual copywriter) and did a literal translation...

The problem is often translators are not carefully chosen by the agencies who propose them subjects in fields they do normally not work in or they have rush jobs to do. The problem is also that translators do not decline jobs they can't do correctly for one reason or another. The problem sometimes is as well that the proofreader is not good enough and suggests corrections which are false. There are also proofreaders who'd like to be engaged as translators and do a lot of corrections therefore. And sometimes there are as well translators with insufficient knowledge of either the source language and/or the target language.

Some agencies out there go for the cheapest translator, but pay a proofreader, are surprised of the costs then and decide to not pay the translator...

Other agencies carefully choose their translator and their proofreader and everything is okay. I work for agencies I just find two or three commas per page and others I spend an eternity on one page.

To resume I think it's all a matter of what provider you choose for what project and concerning agencies this is the responsability of the PM.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:42
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Priceless Jun 14, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:
Here's the example of back-chat for your amusement

We should change the name of the "Proofreading / Editing / Reviewing" forum to the "Please recheck your eyes" forum or possibly the "No one ever complain this" forum.

So... This was a native speaker of English? If not, how get job?

Regards
Dan


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:42
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Hilarious Jun 14, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:


We should change the name of the "Proofreading / Editing / Reviewing" forum to the "Please recheck your eyes" forum or possibly the "No one ever complain this" forum.




LOL!!!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Good suggestion! Jun 14, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

DJHartmann wrote:
Here's the example of back-chat for your amusement

We should change the name of the "Proofreading / Editing / Reviewing" forum to the "Please recheck your eyes" forum or possibly the "No one ever complain this" forum.

So... This was a native speaker of English? If not, how get job?

Regards
Dan


Native speaker or no native speaker, not one has complain the topic. (Writing this really hurts. LOL)

On a more serious side, indeed, the decision whether to implement the changes and/or suggestions of a proofreader is solely up to the agency. Looking at some of the assembly descriptions or manuals, gives me the impression that they don't always follow the proofreader's advice.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:42
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
The process Jun 14, 2015

I can't share any better advice than what has already been offered, but in general I find the current competitive approach to proofreading/editing/LQA unproductive.

It often involves reviewers who are translators themselves, but they didn't get the job and perceive you as a competitor. Since they remain anonymous and the PM often doesn't speak the language, they are free to question anything, and the onus is on the translator to prove a collocation or a term is not wrong. The value of such an exchange of views is comparable with comments on YouTube.

The situation is even worse when the end client hires another agency to review translations. The reviewers change randomly, each one has different expectations, and most of them apparently believe their job is about finding fault instead of ensuring quality. Is it really so difficult to imagine how it's going to go? Unfortunately, corporate technocrats fail to see that language is not a machine or software that you can run a series of tests on an get a "pass" or "fail".

I think it all began with standardised LISA QA forms where fractions of percentage points matter. It's very easy to fail a brilliant legal translation done by a lawyer or a medical one by a doctor just because a specific number of commas are missing, while any translator who has learned a few punctuation rules and knows how to use QA features in their CAT tool could pass (even though the translation would be useless).

That is why I really value cooperation in translator-reviewer teams where translations aren't evaluated and graded but co-created. That's where you can actually learn something, and the client receives a translation done by a team of experienced professionals.

PS. Since Mariusz is also Polish, I recommend buying PWN software dictionaries (PWN-Oxford English-Polish Dictionary, Słownik poprawnej polszczyzny, and Uniwersalny słownik języka polskiego) so you can copy and paste authoritative definitions and examples.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:42
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2015



[Edited at 2015-06-15 13:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Toxic proof-readers

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search