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Proofreading November 28, 2008

Posted by Fantastic Four in Language.
Tags: ,

I haven’t been bidding for translation jobs for almost a month now. Been too busy with my other work and study. Yesterday I have received an e-mail from one of my favourite clients, wanting me to do a proofreading job of a few thousand words.

This me, proofreading...

Me, proofreading

If I haven’t already said so, I hate proofreading with a passion. It’s so much better if I just translate it myself, as no one can do it better than I do anyways. It’s just worse if I have to re-translate every second sentence as opposed to just tweaking it here and there, correcting typos and spelling errors with an occasional paraphrasing to make sure it does not sound inside out and upside down to the intended Turkish reader.

The thing is proofreading doesn’t pay half as much as translating because it is not considered real work… After all, the document is already translated right? I personally think proofreading is underrated and the quasi-translators get away with doing bugger-all when proofreaders get to do the real hard work.

I always hope for a decent translation when I am proofing, but nooooo, I should be so lucky to get a good translation and spend less time re-translating than proofreading.

/rant off.



1. translation jobs jim goldman - November 29, 2008

You are so right.
Proofreading is a vital part of the translation flow.
The problem is that most clients are not aware of it.

http://www.tomedes.com is different

2. Gaye - November 29, 2008

Hello and welcome Jim Goldman. Thank you for the comment and thank you for agreeing on the value of proofreading. You are right, clients in general are not aware of the importance of proofreading, as they want to pay as little as possible but expect the highest quality. Not to mention that they remember to send a translation to an agency today, wanting it done yesterday!!!!!
It’s good to hear tomedes is different.
By the way, how is tomedes different?

3. Quickroute - November 29, 2008

Love the little cartoon – leave some hair for tomorrow!

4. Gaye - November 30, 2008

Hehe yes I am pulling my hair out in moderation!

5. Roman - November 30, 2008

I have never met a person who really likes to do proofreading. Well, why not just consider it a kind of “morning exercise”?

6. Gaye - November 30, 2008

Hi Roman. Welcome and thanks for leaving a comment.
Two reasons for my immense dislike for the activity:
1) When the translation is poor, so I have to re-translate most of the document, it sucks.
2) If I have to do that much work (i.e. No.1 reason above) on it and get less than half of what the translation fees are, and that’s just because proofreading is seriously underrated, it sucks even more.
Otherwise, I love proofreading!

PS: I just visited the link to your name on the comment and bookmarked it right away! GREAT resource for Russian language! спасибо!

7. Conan Drumm - December 2, 2008

Proofing should be just that – correcting some grammar, typos, and punctuation. Anything beyond that is editing/translating and should be paid as such. Don’t sell yourself short!

8. Gaye - December 2, 2008

Well, you see Conan, my client doesn’t speak Turkish so he would have just received the translation (and I am using that term loosely here for this particular assignment) and then sent it to me for exactly that, proofreading.
Don’t you worry, I have already given him my professional opinion on the quality of the translation!
Thank you for the advise though, sometimes it is difficult for a translator to say no to work or demand more than the market rate. My client, because he is amazingly professional he told me he’d give me a bonus for the hard work I have put in, which was nice.

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