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Mike Haley

The importance of editing and proof reading.

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I do work for several agencies and often have to justify my translation to some 'expert' in the client's organization who has an intermediate or even lower level of English. I have to spend time explaining to the client why their suggested changes don't work and why I have deleted so many repetitions (common in Russian texts but boring to read for English speakers) and also why I often accept the machine translated version (with some tweaks) when dealing with legal texts and business reports. It is a fact that machine translations generally deal more effectively with 'dry' texts than previously as they draw from the input of translators and produce in 80% of cases a fairly accurate translation. Yes, it still has problems with structure and things like articles and prepositions, but that is mainly due to the number of non-native speakers or target language who are providing incorrect input. I can give many examples but will instead look at why proof reading and editing is not considered to be important, though should become increasingly vital for quality of work.

A main fault here is that agencies and clients do not want to pay twice, and often offer a very low rate for 'revision' after an initial translation effort has been rejected. Proof reading is vital in the Publishing industry, and to avoid embarrassment and failure in a given market a skilled edit and localization is equally vital in business and the political sphere.

I would welcome input on this theme.

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I should also like to add that having your work professionally proofed is of great value to the translator if they are given access to the edited work.

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