Rivers of ink are written about and because of translation. A huge number of texts are translated daily, and many reflections have been made on translating too.



What should we expect from translators?

Nowadays the translation subject is studied following a descriptive approach. Traditionally, reflections were made on how to properly translate a text, drawing a line between right and wrong translations to that end. More recently, however, translation has been studied as a process. Translating is not choosing between what is right and what is wrong when dealing with difficult texts, but rather choosing among an undefined number of options according to whom the text is addressed. Being able to choose between more or less appropriate options involves developing the translation competence. This competence enables translators, who must demonstrate their knowledge and skills in taking decisions (strategy), using documentary sources (instrumental skills), gaining awareness on subjects that initially are alien to them (encyclopedic knowledge) and, obviously, mastering the involved languages (linguistic awareness). Continuar

As we have shown in the first part, automatic text verification systems aim to become useful resources. However, these applications are by definition tools that help in writing, and they should never replace the human proofreader, especially if the goal is publishing. Until now, there were a lot of questions that technology could not face.

Where should we focus our attention?

We cannot trust technology when text revision involves a comprehensive and careful reading in order to find ambiguous sentences or inconsistencies from the author (e.g. changing in a story the name of the same character), or decide whether a footnote would be necessary, etc. Continuar

A human proofreader is a professional in charge of revising materials written by an author. He tries to ensure that the readers receive the message clearly and free from errors.

The editing process is commonly comprised of several different levels of textual revision: spelling and typographical checking, style checking, conceptual revision, and revision of translated texts, were that the case. All of the publishing houses are aware of this process, but only a few put it into practice. In reality, it is not common for a publishing house to properly assign each revision type to specialized proofreaders. Usually, the proofreader of a given text gets far too much work, as he carries out all the revision work that three or four specialists should have done. He stands as a mediatory demiurge who links ideas to something legible. How much are they paid for this? 0,72 € per 1000 matrixes (or characters with spaces) for proofreading on screen, and around 0,50 € for second galleys (proofreading on paper). In conclusion, they are working for five or six euros per hour in the most profitable cases. Continuar