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Why even professional translators readily welcome second pairs of eyes to act as proofreaders
Thread poster: George Trail

George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:39
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
May 15, 2010

I've spent a surprising portion of the afternoon going through a proofread version of a document translated by myself. The guy at the translation agency claimed that I was responsible for a surprisingly large number of errors - the only problem (if you'll pardon the expression) was that several of them weren't really errors at all. They were perceived as errors for reasons which, while understandable from a tested theoretical perspective, were just not valid.



The document in question was from German into English. One sentence in the original was, "Transportverpackungen sind grundsätzlich als Mehrverpackungen auszulegen." I originally translated this as, "Transport packaging must always be displayed as re-usable packaging." It looks like that this was not the best way to put it as he really couldn't get the right end of the stick himself, alone. Is this expression too vague? I suggested another phrase (not that I know what final decision would transpire, to this day): it read something like, "Transport packaging must always feature a sign that it is re-usable packaging." But I believe that the first translated expression does mean - well, "can" mean, and for reasons utterly non-subjective - the exact same thing. At least, that was exactly what it was SUPPOSED to mean.



This is one of the reasons why you need a notable amount of patience to translate professionally.


 

patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
George, you need to start a blog... May 15, 2010

Hi George, what a prolific (and fast) writer you are! However, you seem to think this is a blog which I'm afraid it isn't. It's a forum (or collection of) and not the same thing at all.

icon_smile.gif


 

George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:39
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is taken from an existing blog... May 15, 2010

I'm copying and pasting stuff here because nobody reads my blogs!

 

opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:39
English to German
+ ...
Sind auszulegen May 15, 2010

Hi George,

I'm honestly sorry for your bad experiences. Maybe the proofreader was just a bit overjealous. Just don't be too disheartened over it -- I think it happens to everyone from time to time. It's not an easy business.

However, wrt to the expression in question, I would humbly suggest that "sind auszulegen als" should almost always be translated as "shall be designed as", as least in a technical context. I can't be 100% sure of course, as I've not seen the rest of the text, but still. Also, I'm not sure about the "Mehrverpackungen". Maybe they were referring to packaging for multiple units, not to re-usable packaging (which is normally called "Mehrwegverpackungen" -sic!).

Cheers, and good luck with that agency in the future.

-- opolt


 

Gisela Greenlee  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
German to English
+ ...
Mehrverpackung May 15, 2010

If you do an extensive search on the term "Mehrverpackung", you'll see that it means more than one packaging method will be used, so for example it may be in a plastic box, shrink-wrapped and then placed inside another box for shipping. "Auslegen" here means that anytime the word "Transportverpackungen" appears, it must always be interpreted as meaning "Mehrverpackung".

 

mediamatrix (X)
Local time: 20:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
(OT) Why ... May 15, 2010

George Trail wrote:
...nobody reads my blogs!


would that be, do you think?

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2010-05-15 22:14 GMT]


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:39
Swedish to English
+ ...
You took the words straight out of my mouth May 15, 2010

mediamatrix wrote:

George Trail wrote:
...nobody reads my blogs!


Why would that be, do you think?


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
16 posts in 24 hours May 16, 2010

George, please don't write threads unnecessarily. My "recent posts" view has been flooded by you. I can no longer see the wood for the treesicon_smile.gif

 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:39
English to Czech
+ ...
Agree May 16, 2010

opolt wrote:

Hi George,

I'm honestly sorry for your bad experiences. Maybe the proofreader was just a bit overjealous. Just don't be too disheartened over it -- I think it happens to everyone from time to time. It's not an easy business.

However, wrt to the expression in question, I would humbly suggest that "sind auszulegen als" should almost always be translated as "shall be designed as", as least in a technical context. I can't be 100% sure of course, as I've not seen the rest of the text, but still. Also, I'm not sure about the "Mehrverpackungen". Maybe they were referring to packaging for multiple units, not to re-usable packaging (which is normally called "Mehrwegverpackungen" -sic!).

Cheers, and good luck with that agency in the future.

-- opolt


I'm 100% with "opolt" on this one. I occasionally translate English documents that were already translated from German. Honestly, I wouldn't know what you mean by "Transport packaging must always be displayed as re-usable packaging" and I would raise a query.


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:39
English to Czech
+ ...
Blogging and forums May 16, 2010

George Trail wrote:

I'm copying and pasting stuff here because nobody reads my blogs!


Hi George,
this is definitely NOT to discourage you from posting in these forums. I'd be the last person to do so.

However, based on my visits to this and one more translation-related site, I'd like to ask you to refrain from further blogging here and elsewhere. Eighty messages on two translation portals in two days: I believe that's more than enough.

BTW, perhaps people could be more interested in your viewpoints and linguistic observations if the translation samples in your profile were correct:

1. Bilder, Bildserien und Farbaufnahmen, die nicht in der angegebenen Frist bzw. (wo keine Frist angegeben ist) innerhalb von 6 Wochen (Poststempel) zurückgesandt werden, gelten als erworben und angenommen.

Translated as:

1. Pictures, series of pictures and colour photos that are not sent back within the six-week time period (if such a time period is applicable) become registered as unapproved.


While I am a native speaker of neither English nor German, I can clearly see that you have omitted "Poststempel" (most probably meaning that in the case of dispute, the date of the postmark stamp is decisive – quite an important piece of information, don't you think?), that "erworben" should be probably translated as "received" or "acquired", and that "angenommen" does definitely not mean "unaproved" but rather the exact opposite.

That said and to provide an answer to your title of this thread, a second pair of eyes to act as proofreaders would certainly be worth-considering.

Ever thought about this?

[Upraveno: 2010-05-16 16:07 GMT]


 

Gisela Greenlee  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
German to English
+ ...
Stanislav's comment May 16, 2010

You're correct in your assessment that words were left out and/or mistranslated in the sample translation. The original stated that if the pictures, series etc. where not returned within a stated time frame they would be considered as having been approved and accepted. If a time frame was not explicitely stated, a time frame of 6 weeks would be applicable, as of the date on the postal mark.

 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:39
English to Czech
+ ...
Thank you, Gisela... May 16, 2010

...for confirming this.

While I am indeed very interested in the comments and observations made by my more experienced colleagues, I am in no way interested in tons of "blah blah" posted by somebody whose mistakes I can reveal even as a non-native speaker of any of the languages involved, and who dares to give advice on how to become a professional translator. The "Mehrverpackung/Mehrwegverpackung" story and the above example were just to prove that...

[Upraveno: 2010-05-16 16:34 GMT]


 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Transport packaging must always May 16, 2010

be displayed as re-usable packaging. I don't think that this sentence really makes sense. It's pretty weak. Back to the drawing board I'm afraid. BTW, I couldn't comment on the German as I don't understand it.

 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
OT: Take Stanislav's advice May 16, 2010

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

try to talk less and say more.


George, please follow Stanislav's advice, which is similar to the very wise comment you made in your own CV:
writing for the sake of writing is thoroughly irresponsible


The only problem is that it came in the middle of all of this:
I have a very solid sense of style. Just because a sentence obeys all the rules of English does not mean that it makes sense and refers to a concept that one can easily follow (if at all) or get an easy grip on (“I am fascinated by fire.”). I believe that viewing translation purely as “writing for the sake of writing” is thoroughly irresponsible and in vain – just like viewing political speech writing the same way.


... and try as I will, I just can't make head or tail of it.icon_smile.gif


 
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