Recently I was asked by a new client to play a role I had never played before: the third eye!
A translation was produced by a colleague, and the end product was evaluated by a proofreader. The comments and changes on the end translation were so many that the client was alarmed and felt right to ask for a third opinion.
When I received the files, in which the Word track changes option was used to mark the alterations and include comments, were nearly fully highlighted in red. I could hardly understand what was there before the proofreader laid hands on it. The whole translation was in fact re-produced.
Clearly the work was done by a translator who took the first steps in the field and was in the beginning of his/her carrier. The text was content that would be uploaded on a portal. This alone adds on an extra thing to worry about, especially when the translator is not that experienced. Thousands of eyes will log-in it and could easily get criticized in case there are errors or incomprehensible phrases.
Sometimes, when content and menus are translated look quite different in a word file that on a website. What I mean is that although the terminology is followed and the right language portals are been used to research the terminology, when the text is uploaded on webpages, certain things may need fine-tuning or even need to be replaced.
I went through the file, straggling between the red and black lines, accepting and rejecting changes. When I was finally done, I sent the files back to the client and asked them to create a dummy log-in name for me, so that I can easier navigate the portal and keep it on local (that means not to have it online, so the whole world can see it). It is wise for the translator, the proofreader or the “third eye” to see the text in its “natural habitat”.
One can wonder how changes are going to be made using this method. What seems to work better for me is to create screenshots and edit them in software such as Paint (in MS office) or any similar ones. It can be a little time consuming, but this method has proven very effective to all the websites and portals I have translated. You see, the translator or the proofreader simultaneously becomes a user or a visitor and things are seen from another perspective. Sometimes, options, settings are applied differently in the target language and then the simple translation of a source language term does not really “fit” in the source language environment.
Do you translate web content? Are there any tips you would give to translators and proofreaders that can be implemented on projects of this nature? Please, do share your thoughts and experiences!