Free Translation Spanish to English Guide: Tracking Revision

Part 2 of our Free Translation Spanish to English, Translation English to Spanish Guide series on editing and proofreading translations. Click here to go to Part 1. At the bottom of the page, you'll find links to more free translation information, including typical translator prices. (Click here for a free translation Spanish to English tool.)

How to track revision of your Spanish translation

When you hire someone to check or revise a translation, it is important to provide clear instructions about the format in which you wish to receive the editing work.

If the reviser just makes changes in the document without marking them in any way, it is very difficult to know what was changed without a detailed comparison between document versions. It's generally useful to track what the reviser did -- even if you don't speak the language of the translation, if you see that the reviser changed every single sentence, that might indicate either a problem with the original translator or that the reviser became overzealous. Either way, you would want to investigate what happened and follow up.

On the other hand, an inexperienced reviser might send suggested changes in a separate document or in an e-mail. This can be very dangerous because of the potential for error when you try to insert these changes into the document later.

An inexperienced reviser might also insert comments into the text of the translation, or put the corrected translation next to the original translation. Again, this can potentially create a big mess. You might forget to remove the incorrect text or the comment before using the translation, or you might confuse the error with the correction.

We strongly suggest using a change tracking method which leaves you with a clean, ready-to-use document.

A simple option is to ask the reviser to go ahead and make any necessary changes in the translation, using colored highlighting to mark those areas that have been modified. After you review changes, you can then create a clean document by choosing "Select All" and removing all highlighting.

Both Word and Excel have change tracking tools built in. In the 2007 versions, these tools can be found on the Review Tab -- you just select the button "Track Changes." If you tell the reviser to use this option, you will be able to see every place he or she modified the document.

In Word, changes will be marked as colored cross-outs and additions in the text. This shows you at a glance exactly what the reviser has done. However, if the reviser makes a lot of changes, the change tracking can give the document a confusing experience,and revisers often make small errors as a result such as duplicating a text or leaving extra spaces.

Some advantages of this method are that it requires no extra work from the reviser, and you can produce a clean document with a single click. Just go to the Review Tab, click on the little triangle under the Accept icon with the checkmark graphic, and click on "Accept all changes in document." This applies all of the reviser's changes, and you have a usable, corrected document.

In Excel, changes are marked with a colored triangle in the corner of the cell. When you click on this triangle with your mouse, you can read a summary of the changes made.

To accept all tracked changes in an Excel file, click on the upper left-hand corner of the spreadsheet to select the whole file, go to the Review tab, click on Track Changes, and click on Accept/Reject Changes. This will open a dialogue box, where you can confirm which changes to accept.

More Free Translation Spanish to English and Translation English to Spanish Resources

Return to Part 1 of the series on editing and proofreading translations in the Free Translation Spanish to English Guide.

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