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Poll: Do you believe a non native speaker should proofread your translation?
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
צוות האתר
Jul 12, 2018

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you believe a non native speaker should proofread your translation?".

This poll was originally submitted by Isabelita Echevarria Prengel. View the poll results »



 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 13:18
חבר (2011)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
+ ...
No, that would be wholly inappropriate Jul 12, 2018

No, I would regard a non-native speaker proofreading translations as being an even worse scenario than the people who translate out of rather than into their native languages. It opens up the scope for all sorts of non-native errors and misunderstandings being introduced into the translation, without providing anything in the way of benefits, so it would be fairly pointless exercise. Why would anyone want to do that?

Pavel Mondschein
Ester Vidal
Philippe Etienne
neilmac
 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 13:18
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
No Jul 12, 2018

A few years back one of my long-standing customers (a Japanese company) picked a Spanish proofreader for the texts I translate (I translate exclusively into European Portuguese) and it took some time and a lot of emails back and forth for him to understand that Spanish and Portuguese, though related, are quite different! More recently I had a similar experience with a British client who hired a Brazilian proofreader for my translations…

neilmac
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 05:18
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
No! Jul 12, 2018

I am a strong believer that translations, and their review, should only be done by native speakers. Period.

Angus Stewart
Ashlie
Ester Vidal
Teresa Borges
Mario Freitas
neilmac
Cristina Heraud-van Tol
 

Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 14:18
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It very much depends Jul 12, 2018

I consider a team of two translators as ideal, if one of them is a native speaker of the source language and the other is a native speaker of the target language (and both are specialists in the same field).

if you want someone to proofread your translation for spelling, grammar and sentence structure, then you should obviously choose a proofreader who is a native speaker of the target language.

However, with highly complex subject matters or sentence structures in the
... See more
I consider a team of two translators as ideal, if one of them is a native speaker of the source language and the other is a native speaker of the target language (and both are specialists in the same field).

if you want someone to proofread your translation for spelling, grammar and sentence structure, then you should obviously choose a proofreader who is a native speaker of the target language.

However, with highly complex subject matters or sentence structures in the source text, it may sometimes be desirable to have a proofreader who is able to check your translation for potential misinterpretations of the source text. In that case it would obviously make sense that a native speaker of the source language should do the proofreading.


[Bearbeitet am 2018-07-12 08:50 GMT]

[Bearbeitet am 2018-07-12 09:21 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
Christine Andersen
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Isa Anzaldo
Martina Klett
Elisabeth Purkis
Mariana Borio
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
Yes, at least for translations into English Jul 12, 2018

Seems a good idea to me in most situations, as long as the changes come back for approval.

First, they can see if I've misunderstood anything.

Second, if they misunderstand what I've written, I know I need to simplify it for my global, mostly non-native readership.

That said, my translations are rarely checked by anyone.


Christine Andersen
Jeannette Issa
Rabie El Magdouli
Katia Perry
 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 14:18
חבר (2006)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
+ ...
It could occasionally be justified Jul 12, 2018

I answered "no" to this and think that it's generally a serious mistake to have proofreading done by someone who isn't a native speaker of the target language. The only exceptions I'd make would be for texts where there was a serious risk of the translator misunderstanding the source text because the ST language was obscure, archaic, used slang or jargon, or was highly technical. In that case, there would need to be close liaison between translator and proofreader and the proofreader could not b... See more
I answered "no" to this and think that it's generally a serious mistake to have proofreading done by someone who isn't a native speaker of the target language. The only exceptions I'd make would be for texts where there was a serious risk of the translator misunderstanding the source text because the ST language was obscure, archaic, used slang or jargon, or was highly technical. In that case, there would need to be close liaison between translator and proofreader and the proofreader could not be relied upon for questions relating specifically to the linguistic quality of the translation as a piece of writing in the target language.

Some years ago, some of my technical translation (FR>EN), in a field that was not my particular specialism, was regularly proofread by a native speaker of French who was an expert in the particular, technical field. I actually found her proofreading very helpful and I learnt a lot from her.

[Edited at 2018-07-12 10:02 GMT]
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Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Elisabeth Purkis
Laura Bissio CT
Katia Perry
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
דנמרק
Local time: 14:18
חבר (2003)
מדנית לאנגלית
+ ...
Yes, depending on subject matter Jul 12, 2018

I have two Danish colleagues in mind. One has lived in the UK for many years, and delivered the only translation I have ever proofread without making a single change - 20 pages of impeccable, lucid legalese. It would have been a sin to alter a comma!

She knows the terminology and the subtle differences between Danish and English law, and I have learnt a lot from proofreading her work. I would happily let her proofread mine! She has more or less retired, however.

Another
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I have two Danish colleagues in mind. One has lived in the UK for many years, and delivered the only translation I have ever proofread without making a single change - 20 pages of impeccable, lucid legalese. It would have been a sin to alter a comma!

She knows the terminology and the subtle differences between Danish and English law, and I have learnt a lot from proofreading her work. I would happily let her proofread mine! She has more or less retired, however.

Another is a colleague I have collaborated with on several projects. He too writes excellent technical English, but prefers to get a native to translate long, flowing texts. It went fine when we proofread and coordinated each other's work for a book with chapters written in English by the non-native author, adapted from lectures.

Subject specialists are often more sure of the terminology than I am, and the content and accuracy of the translation is, after all, its reason for existence. Correct, native language is ideal, but it is strictly the icing on the cake!

Many natives cannot write their own language well, while a non-native who has studied the language can make very useful comments. I would happily let a QUALIFIED non-native proofread my work.
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Alex Grimaldi
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Gudrun Maydorn
Jeannette Issa
Jaime Oriard
Katia Perry
Vi Pukite
 

EvaVer (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:18
מצ׳כית לצרפתית
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It depends Jul 12, 2018

on his/her level in the target language, of course, and knowledge of the subject, which may be more important than being a native speaker.

Jeannette Issa
Joe Ly Sien
Ryan Saxon Montcalm
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 11:18
חבר (2014)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
With Muriel Jul 12, 2018

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I am a strong believer that translations, and their review, should only be done by native speakers. Period.


Native proofreaders are already a disaster most of the time. Non-native proofreaders are unacceptable.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 13:18
חבר (2007)
אנגלית
+ ...
No - they're marketing texts Jul 12, 2018

I can accept that it might be useful for technical translations, particularly where the translator is knowledgeable but not a specialist in the exact subject area. However, it would be totally unsuitable for my own translations, as I work exclusively in the areas of marketing, promotion and journalism. I would even object to them being proofread by an American, Australian or other non-Brit, unless they were knowledgeable and knew when to leave well alone.

But I'm happy to have typos
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I can accept that it might be useful for technical translations, particularly where the translator is knowledgeable but not a specialist in the exact subject area. However, it would be totally unsuitable for my own translations, as I work exclusively in the areas of marketing, promotion and journalism. I would even object to them being proofread by an American, Australian or other non-Brit, unless they were knowledgeable and knew when to leave well alone.

But I'm happy to have typos spotted by anyone at all, hopefully before they get published.
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Gudrun Maydorn
neilmac
Mariana Borio
Vanda Nissen
 

Ian Keith Jones Williams  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 14:18
חבר
מגרמנית לאנגלית
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Not really Jul 12, 2018

... but it happens all the time in my case

 

Rabie El Magdouli  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 14:18
חבר (2012)
מספרדית לערבית
+ ...
Yes Jul 12, 2018

Being native in a language does not make a person the best possible proofreader by default. It is a matter of proficiency and competency.

Ryan Saxon Montcalm
Joe Ly Sien
 

Ryan Saxon Montcalm  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 07:18
מגרמנית לאנגלית
+ ...
Yes, if competent Jul 12, 2018

Yes, if competent to the task, who cares if they're native or not. Also, it really depends on the content and complexity of the text.

Rabie El Magdouli
TB CommuniCAT
 

DZiW (X)
אוקראינה
מאנגלית לרוסית
+ ...
if competent at the moment Jul 12, 2018

There're people who can speak better than write or vice verse, some constantly improve their skills while others' proficiency degrades; besides even native speakers are subjective, loosing the trained eyes.

So why not give the translation another fresh look--from a different point, perhaps?
It's no real proofreading/editing substitute, yet at least such cross-checking reveals conspicuous errors and flaws.


Rabie El Magdouli
Ryan Saxon Montcalm
 
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