June 19, 2013

editing a translation

Many translations are checked by editors. They are paid by the word or by the hour.
This is a short description of what these two people do.

translator editor
Reads the text. Reads the text.
Reads all other information necessary to understand the text. Reads all other information necessary to understand the text.
Translates the text. Translates the text.
Compares his translation with the translation he is checking.
Writes the translation. Edits the translation.
Checks the translation. Checks the translation.

Understanding texts takes longer than translating them into one's language.
It is easier to write a translation than to compare two translations and mix them into a third one.
Editors often work more than translators.
Let us consider these aspects:
1. Translators are asked to translate 300-400 words per hours and editors to check 900-1,000 words per hour.
Bad translations slow editors down a lot.

2. Most language service providers don't use a procedure that would allow translators and editors to collaborate optimally.
My team has such a procedure, so the first translation is usually better, translators are encouraged to improve and editors enjoy their work instead of toiling.
For now we just use our carefully crafted recipes; we don't give them out.
But I will discuss things like this one:
SDL Trados is a program that is better than Across, Wordfast and several others.

3. Many editors are paid a third to a half of the word price paid to translators.
When editors are paid by the hour, good translators justify their price and bad translators become expensive.
How do you want to be paid as an editor?
How do you want to pay editors?