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Monday, July 28, 2008

5 Tips to Avoid Proofreading Bad Translations

Photo Credit Eduardo Amorim
5 Tips to Avoid Proofreading Bad Translations

Many of you would have had the experience of landing up with poor translations while proofreading causing you to perform drastic corrections. This would have cost a lot in terms of precious time and money since the amount paid to proofread is generally much lower than what is paid out for translation.

In order to avoid falling prey to such costly mistakes, it is advisable to follow a few pointers while accepting work for proofreading.

1. Try and check if the person who has handled the translation is well-versed with the language of translation and has had sufficient experience in the field.
2. Tell the client that you need to preview the translation before accepting the job. Do not take up the work if they do not agree to this condition. Tell them you need to do this to access the quality of the translation.
3. Try to charge an hourly rate rather than a per word rate. This will limit losses if you are to handle a poor translation.
4. If the client does not agree to an hourly rate, try to negotiate different rates based on what needs to be done. Tell what it will cost them if the translation needs to be just proofread and what it would be if it needs to be edited.
5. If during the preview you find the work to be very poor such that it will need more time to edit rather than just retranslate, inform them and tell you will handle the work at translation rates only. If you do not want to do a retranslation, then flatly refuse the work or outsource it to somebody who will be willing to do so.

The important thing is not to be taken for a ride or for granted. If the situation calls for putting your foot down, it is necessary to take action as long as what you are asking for is justified. If the agency refuses to abide by your conditions, it is time to take a call for accepting work from them in future.


Pharmatranslations (Umang Dholabhai) said...

Yes its true. With God's grace I have till date received proofreading assignments with an hourly tag.

Mar k Walusimbi said...

Terrific post! Getting an outside set of eyes or a Professional grammar editor to proofread ones resume is the surest way to get all the misspelled words and awkward phrases corrected.

Mar k Walusimbi said...

This is a wonderful post. Will definitely apply these when working on my editing tasks. My advise is not to count on MS Word spell checker or any software. Just get someone else to look at your work.

Seffliva said...

Cool! thanks for sharing this "5 Tips to Avoid Proofreading Bad Translations" It will really help.

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