Tag Archives: Importance

Correspondence: Importance of proofreading your own translation before delivering

Sending you what I proofread so far.

My proofread file shows my changes (you may have to turn on the View Revisions feature to see them), and the cleaned file is what I’d like you to make further changes to, so that I in turn can see your changes.

Several points:

– it seems that you did not proofread your own work. Just because someone is expected to proofread after you does not mean you do not have to proofread your own translation. A professional translator should always proofread their own work. Some of the mistakes I’ve seen you could have easily corrected if you proofread your own work, and as a proofreader I am only supposed to polish up the translation – not make major surgery, because I do not know the original language.

– I do not believe you performed a spellcheck either. For your information, google docs is able to spellcheck in many languages and it is a free service.

– you can find my comments by searching (ctrl f) for the < character. <? means I do not understand it and always refers to the word, phrase or sentence to the LEFT. < by itself means that it should be looked at more closely. If < is to the right of a word, it means only that word or nearby words. If it is to the right of a comma or period, it means the entire phrase or sentence does not make much sense to me.

Excluding these points, the translation was good overall, and I can see that it was a difficult text. I’ve asked if the Slovakian translator can forward your document for consultation with her doctor. If this will be necessary and the doctor charges something, I may have to deduct it from your amount. When we agree on a job I expect a finalised document. It seemed that in some places you were guessing and and just pulled words out of a dictionary.

This is a new client for me so I’m just trying to do a good job (which I try all the time anyway).


I’ll look at your file and try to put this project together.

Like I already said, I think you did good work overall, yet there were some issues I felt I needed to bring up.

I sent you two files, and the proofread one is twice the size in kb. It should therefore have all the revisions in it. Open the Revisions toolbar and you should see a Show icon, depending on what version of Word you have.

Here are some examples:

we have decided on therapy viw Apilepsin,

What is “viw”? Did you mean “with”?

I remember several examples where it appeared you did not proofread the translation after yourself. Did you? If not I consider that unprofessional, and what I was addressing. This would be absolutely unacceptable to many of my customers and for me to retain work I must control stuff like this.

There were also some painfully blatant spelling errors.

I have attached the file with my responses to your comments. Unfortunately I could not see  the changes you’ve made to the document apart from the comments, even if I turned on showing mark up and all revisors.

All the words you have marked I’ve double checked online, in comments I’ve only given one or two links, but I have checked more of them, as well as the frequency of a certain phrase (so that it is not just a one time occurence online).

I do have spell-check installed on word, however, spellcheck often underlines words which are unusual, and especially scientific words. Admittedly I’ve found two mistakes I haven’t seen before. All other underlined (“misspelled”) words I’ve checked.

Also some sentences or phrases did not make sense to me either, but because it is a highly specific text I’ve translated them literally, an (intermediary heart axis can be only that, even if to me it does not fit in the context)  those that you have marked i’ve checked and that’s what it said in the original. If the doctor finds my translation to be bad, and he charges you, of course deduce it from my amount, since I’ve taken over a translation in an area completely out of my expertise. I know very little about medicine and it is possible that the phrases I’ve used are unsuitable, however I have done my research and did not just make them up. As you might see in the comments, some expressions are very widely used, even described in wikipedia and medical sites. I would be grateful if you could enter the expression into google next time before charging me of being unprofessional and making up words.   

They said they could pay by Moneybookers so I can do the same.

I sent your translation to the other translator and she agreed with all the points I marked for her. As I said, I was overall happy with the translation, but after seeing a few areas where it seemed obvious to me that you did not proofread your own work and several areas which did not make sense to me, I became a bit worried. For future reference, the way I like to work is, if you do not understand something, rather than just do a nonsensical word-for-word translation I prefer you point out those areas to me so that I could try to find someone to take a second look at them. I always try to provide the best quality, which is how I can ensure repeated work for myself and my translators.

Thank you and looking forward to working together again.

Proofreading Suggestion for Customer

A suggestion to your client just occurred to me. I’ve never actually translated before without proofreading my own work, but when I do proofread it I often find areas which do not make the greatest sense. For example, as probably most professional translators with long experience, I read the original text while I type the translation, without actually looking at what I am typing. So when I later proofread it I’ll find sentences where I may have left out a crucial word etc. I usually deduce it but sometimes I have to refer to the original sentence to make better sense of it. Usually the proofreading is tougher in the beginning, which is why I plan to proofread the beginning part of this document.

Anyway, my suggestion was that if the customer stumbles on the occasional sentence that does not make much sense, they can send it to me, and if it is not a great volume, I can proofread and correct it for free. Because I am using a CAT tool, and if I search for the relevant text in the translation, I immediately see the original segment on the monitor. This would make such corrections rather effortless.

Importance of Native Language of Mother Tongue

well, I certainly would not say it is Canadian dialect or something as I have been dealing with translators and agencies all over the world for the past 10 years, and reading forums etc., and pretty well “native speaker” is what is used; sometimes, incorrectly, “mother tongue translator”. A “native”, which you looked up in the Oxford dictionary, is different than “native speaker”. Like the difference between “blue” and “blue sky”. I challenge you to find another way of expressing this concept in English.

Anyway, glad there is no more animosity. Since English is not your native language you should be careful about misunderstanding things, jumping to conclusions and then insulting people. It can never be good for business or for finding employment for yourself.

I have a friend who moved to Sweden also said they are very racist.

Thank you for answering. Your explanation convince me that you are not a racist. English is not my mother tongue and therefore when I write or talk spontaneously english I do sometimes mistakes but most of time I am aware of them and know if I am more concerned I skip many of these mistakes. I have been studying english in several years in different schools and universities. I have had english teachers from USA, England and several other countries. I have also several other educations like machine and data engineering and studied many english books and articles. I have also studies several other languages like Finish, Germany, Swedish and now trying to learn spanish. My expriences convince me that it is easy to missunderstand each other because of different dialects and word concepts in different countries even though they speak the same language. Your concept of the work native is not exactly in accordance with what I know from before and what is written in Oxford dictionary. but your concept of Native is probably right in Canadian english language. I appologize for that I have been impolite. My reaction was dependent on living in Sweden which is a racist country and the negative concequences of racism in my life. This racism has forced me to work as a bus driver in spite of all my educations and qualified work experiences. I am not specially interested of working as English translator anyhow and my answer to you depended to that I found it racistic.

Been busy with lots of work and finally getting around to cleaning out my inbox. You can research it on the internet but I truly believe that it is standard in the translation industry to refer to it as “native speaker”. This does not mean born there. I was born in Czech but grew up in Canada. English is my native language. Some people say “mother tongue” but this is not the way a “native English speaker” would say it. You are truly making an ass out of yourself and your behaviour is quite unprofessional. When a customer demands “native” quality they want to read the translation like it was written by a native speaker, not by a foreigner. You can tell the difference, and this is the right of the customer to request. It certainly does not make me a racist. Karel

Why only native english? Are all native english good even in Swedish also? Why not native Swedish or anybody who is good in both english and swedish. Are you a fNck damn racist? Who minds because I don´t think racists are worth my services anyhow. 

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