urgent need of courses and masters for revisers
Thread poster: Claudio Porcellana

Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:08
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Oct 27

I think translators schools should urgently create courses and masters for revisers, as their quality is too often appalling

or, if courses and masters for revisers exist already, teachers should change teaching methods as the current ones don't work

what to say otherwise when a "reviser" replaces e.g. "o" with "oppure" ("or" with a longer form of "or")?

and I have examples that are even worst than this one

in the meanwhile, Language Providers should start using expert translators instead of poor translators (or instead of "peers" simply stabbing you in the back) to do revisions

and, clearly, wannabe revisers can buy the Mossop's guide or similar to learn the basic about professional revising

my 2 cents


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The Misha
Local time: 12:08
Russian to English
+ ...
What would really help... Oct 27

... would be all these "translators schools" admitting that their "courses and masters" have no real value, not as future money-making tools anyway, and no longer misleading the clueless young into believing that they can in fact become self-sufficient translators out of school without first having an alternative career elsewhere or sufficiently learning at least one other specialization area some other way, or at the very least spending substantial time in the country or countries where their working languages are spoken. And that's even before we look closely at the beginner translator's language and writing skills...

But since this is never going to happen, we might as well all kick back and enjoy the show.

[Edited at 2017-10-27 15:21 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Skepticism for the hyperskeptic Oct 27

To put all the translation schools in one bag is the opposite of thoughtful consideration. Further, to suggest that said translation schools as deliberately offering worthless courses or degrees is disingenuous at best.

I've encountered colleagues who have attended a translation school or completed a translation program only to feel disappointed with the value acquired in that education. One thing is to say I'm dissatisfied with what I was taught in college; to accuse the institution of acting dishonestly towards me is quite another.

To answer the original question, about whether advanced degrees for revisers are urgently needed or not, I would venture this opinion: nothing is urgently needed, since acquiring an education, advanced or otherwise, is a years-long process, not a matter of solving a life-threatening situation.

I've identified several kinds of revisers, from translators who act as reviewers to bilingual employees who are asked to review a translation. So there's a wide range of possibilities for getting a translation improved or made worse.

Personally, I don't think we need advanced degrees for revisers or reviewers, just better writers overall. And I would advocate for the language professions (translators, interpreters, correctors, revisers, proofreaders, etc.) to be government-regulated. Again, that's another multiyear (or multidecade) process, but it would be far better than the status quo.


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The Misha
Local time: 12:08
Russian to English
+ ...
Cui bono? Oct 27

Mario Chavez wrote:

Further, to suggest that said translation schools as deliberately offering worthless courses or degrees is disingenuous at best.


Well, if, judging by the amount of unpalatable mush produced by these hapless graduates translating into languages they don't quite know well enough in subject areas they know little about, they do not benefit from these programs, the question is, who does? And the answer is... well, we all know the answer, right? Unfortunately, this situation is common enough for liberal arts education in general these days, and one should disregard this "inconvenient truth" strictly at one's own peril, disingenuous or not. Just ask all those twenty somethings still living in their parents' basements and drowning in student debt.

And I would advocate for the language professions (translators, interpreters, correctors, revisers, proofreaders, etc.) to be government-regulated. Again, that's another multiyear (or multidecade) process, but it would be far better than the status quo.


I hope you are right about the time frame. Hopefully, I won't be around to care one way or the other.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Who is we? Oct 27

The Misha wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:

Further, to suggest that said translation schools as deliberately offering worthless courses or degrees is disingenuous at best.


Well, if, judging by the amount of unpalatable mush produced by these hapless graduates translating into languages they don't quite know well enough in subject areas they know little about, they do not benefit from these programs, the question is, who does? And the answer is... well, we all know the answer, right? Unfortunately, this situation is common enough for liberal arts education in general these days, and one should disregard this "inconvenient truth" strictly at one's own peril, disingenuous or not. Just ask all those twenty somethings still living in their parents' basements and drowning in student debt.

And I would advocate for the language professions (translators, interpreters, correctors, revisers, proofreaders, etc.) to be government-regulated. Again, that's another multiyear (or multidecade) process, but it would be far better than the status quo.


I hope you are right about the time frame. Hopefully, I won't be around to care one way or the other.


I would advise against judging a complex situation (as in the quality or worthiness of a particular education level for a particular profession) based on hearsay, own experience or sheer intuition. Apples to apples. And the “we” in “we all know the answer” seems to be a pretty small group. I would invite you to offer some tangible basis to consider.

Just out of curiosity, where did you graduate from and with what degree? Please don't take this as a sarcastic jab, because it isn't.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 11:08
German to English
+ ...
This is an international forum Oct 28

So when one is talking about "the translator schools", that is an impossibility. In one country it's a Masters program after 4 years in an undergraduate course in another field. In another country (mine) it's a four year course that is entirely dedicated to translation. Other countries will have still other variants.

The idea of a course for "revisers" is itself puzzling. I'd think that the person hired to revise a translation would be a senior, experienced translator. After all, translators are trained to revise their own work, since personal quality control is an essential part of exercising our profession. Revising someone else's work is an extension of that, using the same skills.

What about the hiring practices of revisers? I've heard more than once of an inexperienced translator being hired to revise an experienced translator's work, because he or she is cheaper. When we ourselves hire a colleague to check our work, then we know who to choose.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:08
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My two cents on the matter Oct 28

I don’t think the problem lies in the translation schools at all. The problem is that a few years ago, only certain important or sensitive documents were revised and the person revising them was always a senior translator, but these last years (supposedly because of EN 15038 in Europe and ASTM F 2575 in the United States) have seen an interesting development: all translations are revised by a second translator, regardless of their experience or proven competence.

I’ve been working for 2 different translation agencies with the same team of revisers for a long time and I do appreciate and respect their work. I see their work as a collaborative effort to improve the final product. When done properly it can certainly be a safety net for the translator and a very effective way of assuring quality.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Standards are to blame in part Oct 28

Teresa Borges wrote:

I don’t think the problem lies in the translation schools at all. The problem is that a few years ago, only certain important or sensitive documents were revised and the person revising them was always a senior translator, but these last years (supposedly because of EN 15038 in Europe and ASTM F 2575 in the United States) have seen an interesting development: all translations are revised by a second translator, regardless of their experience or proven competence.

I’ve been working for 2 different translation agencies with the same team of revisers for a long time and I do appreciate and respect their work. I see their work as a collaborative effort to improve the final product. When done properly it can certainly be a safety net for the translator and a very effective way of assuring quality.


Those translation standards seem to overpromise and underdeliver. Ask ourselves who stands to gain the most by promoting these standards, which add paperwork and expense on an organization. Not the translators, not the project managers.

At a time when even the process of translation is poorly understood even among us —and worse, extremely misunderstood by translation management software promoters and other players, the last thing we need is standards. To me, there seems to be more trust placed on standards and so-called metrics than on the expertise and experience of professional translators, regardless of what university they went to.


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The Misha
Local time: 12:08
Russian to English
+ ...
ASTM what? Oct 28

Teresa Borges wrote:

(supposedly because of EN 15038 in Europe and ASTM F 2575 in the United States) .... all translations are revised by a second translator...


I wouldn't overestimate the importance of any such "standards" in the US where translation is an unregulated (thank God for small favors) business governed by nothing more than a contractual agreement (for the most part, verbal) between the parties involved. I have been in this business for some 30 years, 25 of them in the US, and I have never heard of this ASTM thing. I looked it up and it looks like yet another set of voluntary "guidelines" that doesn't seem to add any value to the process at best and creates a risk of yet another layer of bureaucracy between me and the end user of the product I create, at worst.

As an independent professional, I do not need anyone telling me what my standards should be. Nor will I tolerate anyone trying to impose any such standards on me. I set my own standards, and I'll bet you a dollar, a euro or a Mongolian tugrik if that's what your preference is that mine are higher than theirs, whoever "they" are. Why? Because my livelihood depends on it. Despite "seniority," "experience" and "prestige" (whatever that is), I am only as good as the last job I did. If a client isn't happy with that job, I lose the client regardless of how many acronyms I could add after my name. I definitely have the tools to do a good job and a vested interest in making sure I do it the best way I know how. That's the standard I adhere to. Tell me again why I need anyone else's.

Disclaimer: I do not do science or engineering. I stick to the subject matter areas where the translator needs to produce a coherent, readable copy in English and fix the sloppy original along the way if need be. Maybe you need standards elsewhere. I wouldn't know.


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Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:08
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
urgent need of courses and masters for revisers Oct 28

maybe I'm to old to understand new trends but I keep thinking the main ways to learn are a good teacher and a good book

I started acting as a reviser after 4 years spent translating, because I always believed I wasn't able to revise translators more skilled than me, and even if I never tried (on purpose) to stab peers in the back, I'm sure I got often wrong doing e.g. stylistic changes

It's only on about 2007, after finding the Brian Mossop "Editing and revising for translators", that I made the jump and I finally understood how to manage revision properly

now, considering that linguists come out from universities, wishing that teachers tell students e.g that they cannot start revising during first year of their career, explain the basic about revision, and adopt as a course-book the Brian Mossop's (or similar books) must be the norm IMHO

on the other hand, for translators that haven't a language degree (like me), studying and referring to a good book as the Brian Mossop's (or similar) must be the norm as well

[Edited at 2017-10-28 17:04 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, I'm shouting in agreement Oct 29

The Misha wrote:

... would be all these "translators schools" ...no longer misleading the clueless young into believing that they can in fact become self-sufficient translators ....

[Edited at 2017-10-27 15:21 GMT]


... ESPECIALLY INTO LANGUAGES OTHER THAN THEIR NATIVE TONGUE!


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