Monday, February 27, 2006

Revision, Editing and Proofreading

The February issue of the ATA Chronicle has just arrived, and with it an interesting article on translation quality control: "A Second Pair of Eyes: Revision, Editing and Proofreading", by S. Alexandra Russell-Bitting.

After introducing herself and her experience, the author devotes sections of her article to Quality Control in Translation, Revision, Editing, Proofreading, and Managing Quality.

Apart from other things, the article could be very useful in that it differentiates between activities that are often lumped together, confused with each other, or misnamed.

In this case, "Revision" is defined as "checking a translation for accuracy and style", going through the text sentence by sentence and comparing SL and TL.

"Editing" is described as "more creative work than revision [where] you have the freedom to make improvements in the text for readability"

"Proofreading", finally, according to Russell-Bitting is "a final check before publication".

When I am asked by a translation company to "proof" or "edit" a translation, I always have to ask what, exactly, they want me to do: what's proofreading to someone is called editing by a others, and revision is confused with both things. I hope this article may help differentiate between these important translation quality control activities.


Anonymous said...

That's rich, a blog about quality in translation operated by a Lionbridge employee. Lionbridge is a fraudulent company that doesn't pay its translators.

Franco Zearo said...

Well said. Translating is like going from point A to point B: You can take one of several routes; you can walk, or you can run; you can take your own car, or a cab...

You get the idea: What's important is the final result.

Perhaps not surprisingly, you may encounter also different definitions for "translation": For example, skipping the 100% matches; doing a first draft; translating fast without doing any research; or translating at a slower pace, while checking glossaries, instructions, reference material, and doing some research. Who translates also makes a difference, for example, a native vs. a non-native speaker.

As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat!
(=° · · °=)

joy at proofreading and editing said...

Editing and proofreading are like twins.One would be incomplete without the other.
Revision is their authoritarian uncle.

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