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The Newbie Translator’s Corner
A Practical Guide to
Self-Reviewing Your
Translation Work
1
ACE Your Post-Translation Proce...
AFTER READING THIS E-BOOK:
You will have a better
understanding of the
steps needed to self-
review your
translation work
...
Bilingual Review
This is a process intended to check:
A = Accurate understanding of the source text (specific
terminology,...
Monolingual Review
S = Spellcheck
A = Attentive Reading
F = Format Check
E = [Final]-Eye
4
PART 2:
PRE-DELIVERY SAFE CHECK...
A PROPER SELF-REVIEW PROCESS
Having a proper self-review
process in place is every bit as
important as possessing adequate...
The first set of steps in your self-review process should involve a
BILINGUAL REVIEW (checking your target text against th...
7
Carefully read your translation against the source. If you are
using a computer-aided translation tool, you can perform ...
1. Check that you have correctly understood any specific
terminology, jargon, abbreviations, acronyms.
You must have done ...
9
SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner,
Translartisan T...
2. Make a point of ensuring that you have identified any
words/expressions that have a potential for mistranslation
into y...
3. Make sure you have properly addressed any false cognates,
puns on words, or words and expressions that could be
interpr...
Consistency should be maintained both in interpreting the SL
and in rendering it into your TL.
One powerful tool that is e...
If you are working on a CAT tool with either one or more
TMs, you are most likely to encounter inconsistencies.
13
Check t...
Whether you are working with a client-provided, online or
offline glossary or your own job-, subject- or client-specific
g...
15
Be especially careful to accurately and consistently reflect all
terminology variations in the source text. When the te...
It is extremely important that you check whether you have consistently
mirrored the register used in the SL, or followed t...
Aiming at exactness does NOT
mean attempting to perform
a word-for-word translation.
Nothing could be farther from the
des...
Especially make sure you have
used appropriate strategies for
translating any figurative
language. These include:
18
• Ret...
Once you have completed these key post-translation
procedures, a SAFE self-review process needs to include
the steps liste...
The most basic step in reviewing a translation is always to
run a spellcheck.
If you are working on a CAT tool, it may be ...
21
If you are using
MS Word, make sure to
customize your proofing
options correctly. In the
example provided, e.g.,
words ...
22
If you are translating into Spanish, you
may want to use more advanced tools,
such as the Stilus Add-in for MS Word,
wh...
23
There is another quality
assurance and terminology
management tool you may have
heard of: ApSIC Xbench. It
works with m...
Once your draft is ready, reading your translation fully in
a detail-oriented manner may be the most important step in
you...
• Be specially aware of keeping your brain from “auto-
correcting” your mistakes.
• Whisper-reading your text at an adequa...
If you are delivering a formatted document, check that you
have correctly mirrored the source in terms of format, esp.:
26...
27
• Font size
• Font style
• Line spacing
• Capitalization
• Underlining, bolding, italicizing
• Punctuation
• Paragraph ...
• Have units of measurements been converted to match local
use, unless otherwise instructed?
• Are language and hyphenatio...
• Have non-breaking spaces been used where appropriate
(e.g., between numbers and the corresponding units of
measurement)?...
Time permitting, read your translation in context, as the
target audience will view it. Read it as if it were not
a transl...
 The quality assurance steps listed and discussed in this
e-book can help you develop your own approach to
reviewing your...
This e-book is part of the SBT
(Skill Building for Translators) Program
32
SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program...
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A Practical Guide Self-Reviewing Your Translation Work

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After reading this e-book, you will have a better understanding of the steps needed to self-review your translation work thoroughly, and an orderly method to do so systematically.

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A Practical Guide Self-Reviewing Your Translation Work

  1. 1. The Newbie Translator’s Corner A Practical Guide to Self-Reviewing Your Translation Work 1 ACE Your Post-Translation Process and Pre-Delivery SAFE Checks SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved.
  2. 2. AFTER READING THIS E-BOOK: You will have a better understanding of the steps needed to self- review your translation work thoroughly, and an orderly method to do so systematically. 2 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Bilingual Review This is a process intended to check: A = Accurate understanding of the source text (specific terminology, words/expressions with potential for mistranslation, false cognates, puns on words) C = Consistency (in terms of terminology and register) E = Exactness of rendition into TL (proper implementation of translation strategies) 3 PART 1: ACE YOUR POST- TRANSLATION PROCESS SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Monolingual Review S = Spellcheck A = Attentive Reading F = Format Check E = [Final]-Eye 4 PART 2: PRE-DELIVERY SAFE CHECKS SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved.
  5. 5. A PROPER SELF-REVIEW PROCESS Having a proper self-review process in place is every bit as important as possessing adequate translation skills. This e-book is intended to provide a simple, standardized method systematically covering the most important aspects of an effective self-review process. 5 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved.
  6. 6. The first set of steps in your self-review process should involve a BILINGUAL REVIEW (checking your target text against the source text) for A + C + E. These are the three building blocks on which the process is based; they will allow you to feel confident that your translation accurately reflects the source. Consistency checks are listed second as they work both ways, i.e., both in interpreting ST and in rendering it into your TL. 6 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. PART 1: ACE YOUR POST- TRANSLATION PROCESS
  7. 7. 7 Carefully read your translation against the source. If you are using a computer-aided translation tool, you can perform this review directly on your CAT screen. You can also: • use two screens; • display both documents side by side on your screen; • print your source and check your translation on-screen; or • even print both your translation and the source, depending on what makes you feel more comfortable. A = ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF ST SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Further Reading: Dorota Pawlak, Why multiple screens can help you translate faster, http://dorotapawlak.eu/blog/why- do-you-need-multiple-screens-to-translate-faster/, Accessed: July 31, 2017
  8. 8. 1. Check that you have correctly understood any specific terminology, jargon, abbreviations, acronyms. You must have done as much research as necessary during the translation step, BUT if you still have any doubts, it may be a good idea either to seek advice from your client, your PM or an expert, or to leave a note. I find notes particularly helpful when my client/PM is not readily available or able to help, or when my translation is being proofread by a second linguist who is not part of my own team. 8 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Useful Resources: Fernando A. Navarro, Siglas médicas en español, Repertorio de siglas, acrónimos, abreviaturas y símbolos utilizados en los textos médicos en español, 2.ª edición, Version 2.15 May 2017, Cosnautas, http://www.cosnautas.com/es/catalogo/diccionariosiglas (Spanish) Common Medical Abbreviations, Stedman Online, http://stedmansonline.com/webFiles/Dict- Stedmans28/APP06.pdf (English) A = ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF ST
  9. 9. 9 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. The table used for illustration has been extracted from: Robert B. Taylor, Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers, 2nd Edition, Science & Business Media Abbreviations, acronyms and jargon pose a special problem to translators. Make sure to ask if not fully confident about the meaning of any term(s). If your translation sounds weird or does not make perfect sense, it is probably wrong. A = ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF ST
  10. 10. 2. Make a point of ensuring that you have identified any words/expressions that have a potential for mistranslation into your TL. 10 Once you have made sure idiomatic phrases, metaphoric expressions, slang, sarcasm, irony, humor, etc., if any, have been properly identified, check whether they have been duly addressed using an appropriate translation strategy. SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Useful resource: The Free Dictionary, http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ A = ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF ST
  11. 11. 3. Make sure you have properly addressed any false cognates, puns on words, or words and expressions that could be interpreted in more than one way. 11 Useful resource: English-Spanish False Friends Dictionary, Falsefriends.eu, Francisco Hidalgo and Lourdes de Rioja, http://www.falsefriends.eu/en, , Accessed: July 31, 2017 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. A = ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF ST
  12. 12. Consistency should be maintained both in interpreting the SL and in rendering it into your TL. One powerful tool that is extremely helpful in keeping your work consistent (job- and/or client-wise) is the use of glossaries (client-provided and/or linguist-owned, whether job-specific or not). 12 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. C = CONSISTENCY
  13. 13. If you are working on a CAT tool with either one or more TMs, you are most likely to encounter inconsistencies. 13 Check that none of these has transpired into your work by performing a find/replace operation. Make sure to perform replacements not globally (Find/Replace All), but on a case by case basis. This is extremely important in order to avoid introducing further errors. SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. C = CONSISTENCY (TERMINOLOGY)
  14. 14. Whether you are working with a client-provided, online or offline glossary or your own job-, subject- or client-specific glossary, make sure to check that you have followed it consistently. 14 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. C = CONSISTENCY (TERMINOLOGY)
  15. 15. 15 Be especially careful to accurately and consistently reflect all terminology variations in the source text. When the text contains two or more related words that could be translated in the same manner, make sure to have a different rendition for each of them, and to use it throughout your work. Below are some examples: SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. C = CONSISTENCY (TERMINOLOGY)
  16. 16. It is extremely important that you check whether you have consistently mirrored the register used in the SL, or followed the instructions received as to what register to use in your TL. (Your client may want a register other than that used in the source to be followed for a specific target population.) Below is a guide to register classification: 16 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Frozen Static language. Words themselves normally never change; importance lies entirely in them. National Anthem, Church prayers, Miranda Rights Formal Designed to inform. Impersonal. Full, explicit grammar. Elaborate, specialized, well-documented vocabulary. University lectures, court proceedings, business reports Consultative Neutral. Typically marks interactions between superior and subordinate, more knowledgeable/less knowledgeable individuals. Communication between lawyer/client, doctor/patient, employer/employee Casual Relaxed. Status of everyone involved is equal. Marked by implicitness (use of shared knowledge). Possible use of slang terms. Conversations between “insiders” or acquaintances Intimate Highly informal. May include vocabulary known to, and non-verbal cues shared by, only those engaged in the exchange. Language used among close family members/friends/lovers MartinJoos(1967)Classification BasedonLevelsofFormality C = CONSISTENCY (REGISTER)
  17. 17. Aiming at exactness does NOT mean attempting to perform a word-for-word translation. Nothing could be farther from the desired goal. Check that you have not detracted from, added to, or changed the spirit of the original text in any way, while saying everything as appropriately and naturally as permitted by the target language.* 17 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. *Adapted from: Valentín García Yebra, 2006, Experiencias de un traductor, Madrid, Gredos E = EXACTNESS OF RENDITION INTO TL
  18. 18. Especially make sure you have used appropriate strategies for translating any figurative language. These include: 18 • Retaining the figurative image • Using another figure of speech • Using a more general or a more neutral word/phrase SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. • Using a loan word • Paraphrasing • Compensating • Omitting • Illustrating E = EXACTNESS OF RENDITION INTO TL How would you translate this joke? What translation strategy would be best to use? Just make sure not to kill the fun!
  19. 19. Once you have completed these key post-translation procedures, a SAFE self-review process needs to include the steps listed below (MONOLINGUAL REVIEW): 19 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. PART 2: PRE-DELIVERY SAFE CHECKS
  20. 20. The most basic step in reviewing a translation is always to run a spellcheck. If you are working on a CAT tool, it may be advisable to run a first spellcheck on your text before you convert your files in order to prevent spelling errors, if any, to stay on your translation memory for good. If you are working on MS Excel, consider copy-pasting your translation to MS Word or other powerful text editor in order to run a more reliable spellcheck. Always remember MS Excel is basically a tool designed for organizing, analyzing, and interpreting data, not for editing text. 20 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. S = SPELLCHECK
  21. 21. 21 If you are using MS Word, make sure to customize your proofing options correctly. In the example provided, e.g., words in UPPERCASE will be ignored, which may not be wise. Manage your settings properly to ensure your review will be as thorough as possible. SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. S = SPELLCHECK IN MS WORD
  22. 22. 22 If you are translating into Spanish, you may want to use more advanced tools, such as the Stilus Add-in for MS Word, which can be downloaded from: http://www.mystilus.com/Descargas Stilus allows you to check the spelling, grammar and style of your texts according to your own linguistic preferences, from any computer, without an Internet connection. SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. S = SPELLCHECK + BROADER QA Stilus is free up to a certain number of words per month (if you register as a user) or per request (if not registered).
  23. 23. 23 There is another quality assurance and terminology management tool you may have heard of: ApSIC Xbench. It works with many CAT formats. SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Xbench comes with a number of predefined checks to spot common errors, such as inconsistencies, missing or unmodified translations, spelling errors, mismatch in numbers or tags, deviations from key terminology. Version 2.9 is free of charge and can be downloaded from: https://www.xbench.net/index.php/download S = SPELLCHECK + BROADER QA
  24. 24. Once your draft is ready, reading your translation fully in a detail-oriented manner may be the most important step in your self-review process. • Focus on content appropriateness • Make sure there are no contradictions • Pay special attention to prepositions and particles • Look out for missing words • Check for errors/typos that may have gone unnoticed by the spellchecker • Try to read each word, rather than running your eyes fast over the sentences, as you may be missing the details. 24 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. A = ATTENTIVE READING
  25. 25. • Be specially aware of keeping your brain from “auto- correcting” your mistakes. • Whisper-reading your text at an adequate pace or using a text-to-speech tool might help you spot errors your eyes are refusing to see. • If you use MS Word, you can edit your Autocorrect options to prevent common typos: 25 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Reference: Elizabeth Macfie, Proofreading Secrets, The Editors’ Association of Canada Conference 2010, Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth Macfie. All rights reserved. http://www.editors.ca/file/791/download?token=UZYQQB2K, Accessed: July 31, 2017 A = ATTENTIVE READING
  26. 26. If you are delivering a formatted document, check that you have correctly mirrored the source in terms of format, esp.: 26 • Page size, layout, margins • Table of contents • Cross-references • Page numbers, serial numbering • Page/section breaks • Headers, footers • Heading/subheading style • Notes pages (MS PowerPoint ) SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. F = FORMAT CHECK
  27. 27. 27 • Font size • Font style • Line spacing • Capitalization • Underlining, bolding, italicizing • Punctuation • Paragraph alignment (left, right, centered, justified) • Bullets (none missing, proper style) • Graphics, charts, tables (placement, size, caption) SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. If you are delivering a formatted document, check… (cont’d) F = FORMAT CHECK
  28. 28. • Have units of measurements been converted to match local use, unless otherwise instructed? • Are language and hyphenation settings correct? • Are dates and times formatted to reflect client instructions/local use? • Does funky spacing (Odd spacing in justified alignment) need fixing? • Is there any double spacing between words or after periods? • Have you used curly (versus straight) apostrophes and quotation marks (except for foot/inch marks)? 28 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Be sure to address these final questions: F = FORMAT CHECK
  29. 29. • Have non-breaking spaces been used where appropriate (e.g., between numbers and the corresponding units of measurement)? • Have you checked that no lines remained “widow” (Last line of a paragraph left on its own at the top of the next page)? • Have you checked that no lines remained “orphan” (First line of a paragraph left on its own at the bottom of a page)? 29 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Make a point of addressing these final questions… (cont’d) F = FORMAT CHECK
  30. 30. Time permitting, read your translation in context, as the target audience will view it. Read it as if it were not a translation, but rather an original piece of writing. You may find it more difficult to spot a mistake if you read your text on a computer screen; if at all possible, try printing it and reading it on paper. Wait as much as possible after you have completed your translation in order to achieve critical distance and check whether it sounds natural, is well-written, and makes an appropriate overall impression 30 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. E = [FINAL EYE]
  31. 31.  The quality assurance steps listed and discussed in this e-book can help you develop your own approach to reviewing your work thoroughly before delivering it to your client/PM.  Having a systematic method in place and following it without exceptions is vital to providing great value each time.  Make sure to factor in your quality checks in your time budget for each job.  Never lose sight of the fact that a job you do in a rush can turn into a headache in no time! 31 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. CLOSING REMARKS
  32. 32. This e-book is part of the SBT (Skill Building for Translators) Program 32 SBT — Skill Building for Translators: A program developed by Nora Torres, B.A. in Translation, Co-Owner, Translartisan Translation Studio, www.translartisan.com, in the translation industry since 1982 © 2017 All rights reserved. Website: www.translartisan.com Blog: www.translartisan.wordpress.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noratorres Facebook: www.facebook.com/translartisan Twitter: @translartisan

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