PROOFREADING OF A TRANSLATION FROM ENGLISH TO ITALIAN
A MILLION REASONS TO GO FOR IT
PROOFREADING: YOU WANT TO BE SURE OF MOST THINGS IN LIFE. AND BELIEVE ME, WORDS DO MATTER.
Before talking about proofreading, I want to give you a few examples very similar to this procedure. Think of:
- traffic control tower before launching the shuttle into space
- a chef tasting a dish before serving (*insert thinking emoji here)
- your mum looking at your teenager self before leaving the house.
But let’s rewind. I’m done translating your text. What now? Now it’s time for glasses, maximum focus, red pen and that “you shall not pass” look. It’s proofreading time.
Once translated the file, double-checking the text to avoid missed sentences or words, mistakes or mistranslated grammar or syntax is always a good thing. It’s like a critical eye to assess all works fine, in a consistent fashion, in line with the rest of the text, in a natural-sounding manner that looks good in Italian.
IMPORTANT: to ensure these checks are efficient and error-proof (typos can happen, I’m but human), ideally the proofreader is NOT the same person as the translator. When a fresh set of eyes reads a text, the chance of accuracy is maximised.
PROOFREADING OF A TEXT FROM ENGLISH TO ITALIAN: TRICKS, TRAPS AND TROUBLES
There are a few elements that need double- (and triple-) checking:
- idioms (is the Italian solution the best option?);
- quotes (you always need to check the sources!);
- calques and culture-bound expressions (i.e. they work perfectly in one language but not necessarily in another).
Proofreading is a hard task: not only it requires the reviser to carefully check the translation against the source (verifying numbers, figures, and so on is vital for patents). Above all – and I’m going against my interests here – while trusting a translator is OK, errors are always round the corner and even if they’re made in good faith, checking is always advisable.
Every professional translator does check his or her own work but in case of unusual complexity or if the translator is just starting out, it’s always best to go through a second round of checks – a new pair of eyes always knows best.
A proofreader revising a text translated by someone else will see things from a new, fresh perspective and will be able to tackle issues in his or her own way, fixing typos or mistranslations. Yet, sometimes proofreading can be a nightmare if the translated text is poor or there are misunderstandings or terminology that really does not sound right. That’s when my job gets tough and my intervention harsher: reformulations, heavy changes and amends may incur in a longer turnaround and a higher fee as a result.
If my revision is a mere read-through, a quick check on figures and terms or just a simple typo hunt, it’ll take me approximately 1 hour for up to 2,500 words. Alternatively, if the text needs lots of rephrasing and changes in terminology and grammar, the hours go up. All in all, just send over your text and I’ll be able to quote you the estimated time I need.
Note: I do not proofread texts in any fields, but only in those that fall under my expertise. If it’s just grammar you’re after, it’s ok; if you need terminology too, I’m out. Just send over your text and if I’m not the right person for your project, I’ll refer you to a competent colleague.
OK, you want to know how much this proof is going to cost you. Proofreading is offered on an hourly basis: hours cannot be split into 30-minute periods and each hour is charged at €40 (+4% tax). It all depends on the requirements. Please send over the text, so I can assess the cost and the timing.
To cut the story short, if you wish me to take care of your proofreading of a text from English, I need you to:
- Send me the final version of the file;
- Tell me your timeline, if any;
- Send me a corporate glossary or any reference material in existing translation;
- Specify the final user of the translation (internal, public…);
Provide any other info you deem appropriate to facilitate my task. And make yourself comfortable: your quote is on the way!