Proofreading; does it slowly kill your creativity?
Thread poster: reem Hasoneh

reem Hasoneh
Switzerland
Local time: 23:05
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Oct 3

For the last 3 years, 90% of my work is proofreading. But I feel that a good balance between translation and proofreading makes you better in both. Do you agree?

Christine Andersen
B D Finch
Robert Rietvelt
Kang Seok Lee
Maria Pia Giuseppina Nuzzolese
Tina Vonhof
Angie Garbarino
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Reem Oct 3

reem Hasoneh wrote:
For the last 3 years, 90% of my work is proofreading. But I feel that a good balance between translation and proofreading makes you better in both. Do you agree?


I agree that once you start doing mainly proofreading, your skill at translating suffers as a consequence. One could include machine translation assisted translation in "proofreading", but even if you don't, it's still true.


Kang Seok Lee
Angie Garbarino
 

Laurent Mercky
France
Local time: 23:05
Member (Jul 2019)
Chinese to French
+ ...
it depends Oct 3

reem Hasoneh wrote:

For the last 3 years, 90% of my work is proofreading. But I feel that a good balance between translation and proofreading makes you better in both. Do you agree?


IMO, proofreading is just a way to earn pocket money.
But you are right, practice both jobs is a good way to stay up to date concerning language evolution.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:05
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@reem Oct 3

I don’t know if it kills creativity but as I prefer translating to proofreading I reject a lot of editing assignments (I never accept one without seeing the translation first and poor quality causes me to reject most of the projects). I must say though that I have an arrangement with two trusted colleagues where we proofread each other's work and over the years I have learned a lot from them. I hope the same can be said by all those I proofread…

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Adjust the pricing Oct 3

Laurent Mercky wrote:
Proofreading is just a way to earn pocket money.


I always earn less with proofreading than with translation (and by "proofreading" I mean checking and revising someone else's translation).

Most of my proofreading jobs come from an agency that typically offers me 1/9 of my translation rate for the proofreading. I always counter-offer with 1/6 of my translation rate, and they always accept the counter-offer. I suspect their system is set up to offer 1/9 but the PMs are permanently authorised to auto-accept a counter-offer of 1/6. However, for this particular client, I can typically proofread only 3 times as many words as I can translate, which means that I earn half as much per hour proofreading as I would have earned translating. The only upside of all this is that *my* preferences make it into the client's TM, so, as time goes by, I end up spending less and less time on the proofreading of high fuzzy matches.

For many of my other clients I generally quote between 1/4 and 1/2.5 of my translation rate for proofreading, but even then the per-hour earnings from proofreading is less than that of translation.

One advantage of proofreading is that it exposes you to language constructs or terminological alternatives that you would otherwise never have encountered. Also, most of the times that I spend time checking dictionaries, language guides and other resources to see is something is correct, is during proofreading, particularly during jobs where the brief is to accept as many of the translator's preferences as possible (i.e. the only edits you should make should be edits taht correct actual errors).


Christine Andersen
Jean Dimitriadis
 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:05
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
....does it slowly kill your creativity? Oct 3

I don't know, probably, but what I do know it is bad for the nerves. The mud I sometimes have to correct, as if those 'colleagues' skipped grammar school.

 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 15:05
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
The ratio Oct 4

I think a ratio of 50/50 or 60/40 of translation versus proofreading is best.Too much proofreading, as you have, may be too much, it becomes frustrating if you find the same errors over and over.

Editing is different. I like editing, fixing a text so it sounds natural. That does require creativity and it pays better than proofreading as well. What Samuel describes in his last paragraph is more like editing rather than proofreading.


[Edited at 2019-10-04 23:21 GMT]... See more
I think a ratio of 50/50 or 60/40 of translation versus proofreading is best.Too much proofreading, as you have, may be too much, it becomes frustrating if you find the same errors over and over.

Editing is different. I like editing, fixing a text so it sounds natural. That does require creativity and it pays better than proofreading as well. What Samuel describes in his last paragraph is more like editing rather than proofreading.


[Edited at 2019-10-04 23:21 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-10-04 23:28 GMT]
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Laurent Mercky
 


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