Do quality checks

by Desiree Cocola
(Italy)

Each translator should be randomly checked by someone who speaks the target language. Making sense is one thing, and really reflecting the meaning and tone of the original is another thing. You need to check a translator's work periodically. When you hire a translator, this is just someone who has made an agreement with you -- how do you really know what you are getting?

And each translation needs to be double-checked, especially if the translator is someone you are just starting out with.

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May 13, 2010
Alexander's comment
by: Anonymous

Alexander makes a very interesting point. In our translation agency, we have seen cases where editors and proofreaders decided to retranslate instead of proofreading/revising and in doing so actually worsened the quality of the translation.

For example, I can think of one case where a text was sent to a specialist translator for technical translation and then to a general translator just for proofreading. Although not asked to do so, the proofreader retranslated because the original translation did not make sense to her. Unfortunately, the reason why it did not make sense to her was that she did not have the necessary subject matter background to understand the text. Her retranslation was based on a misunderstanding of the original meaning. We then had to hire a third translator to do the proofreading all over again.

May 13, 2010
unbiased...
by: Alexander

Any translation requires checking but the attitudes differ. Although it’s only natural that two heads think better than one, however every time I am assigned to proofread a target text translated by any of my colleagues I sort of meditate over the "Who died and made you God?"-- a phrase well worth remembering whenever we are tempted to by selfishness and domineering. It makes me think twice before intruding into someone else’s work, as my assignment would be just to check the spelling, grammar, general text flow and compliance with the source text. My fair belief is that editing phase belongs to the end customer’s taste. And this is only the end customer who should clearly state what he/she is looking for and how the target text should sound in the target language regardless of whether the given task involves his/her own team of editors or whether he/she employs the skills of the third party.

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