Category Archives: editing

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Checklists are still useful

We live in the era of technology, and it certainly helps us do our job more efficiently. But sometimes, simple things are the best tools, and this is why we want to talk to you about checklists. Yes, that list of items you proudly tick off to reaffirm that you have done all that you intended to do.

After editing a text, and before publishing it, it is useful to go through a checklist containing the following items. As you will note, some are specific for translated texts, but others are useful for monolingual content creation too:

Spell check

Sounds basic, but you cannot imagine how many texts we get to translate that contain spelling errors. Sometimes, a spelling error can change a word completely, and this will change the meaning of the sentence. Do not run the spellchecker automatically and pay attention to every term that is corrected, as sometimes wrong corrections may be inserted.

Bullet lists

They help to make a text more readable, but they have their own punctuation and style rules. Make sure to follow them, and if you are not sure about the rules, just take a simple one: whatever you do, do the same in all items of the bulleted list.

Queries and answers

Communication is the key to success. You may have asked questions to your client or to other departments; make sure you have implemented the replies accordingly before publishing the text.

Headers/Footers

Although in software like Word, headers and footers are created automatically when you add the first one, check them as well, as you may want to change them once the text is finished. In the case of translation, this is usually where the language code appears, so make sure you apply the correct language code.

Punctuation

As spelling mistakes, punctuation errors can change the meaning of a sentence, so make sure you place commas and other punctuation marks correctly.

Multiple spaces

It may seem a freak requirement, but a text full of double, triple or even longer spaces just looks bad, see below.

This is an example of how too   many white spaces   make the text look   awkward.   If you want to   avoid   it,       make sure you     turn hidden   text   on and     check the   white   spaces     between       words.

Text processors will add spaces if you choose a full justification of the text, but you have to differentiate between those automatically generated spaces and those inserted by you. How can you check that? For example, in Word, activate the hidden text (¶) and you will see a dot between each word. If you see more than one, you should remove them so that you only have one space between each word. Word will then justify the text so that it looks good.

Numbers

We have already talked about translating numbers. Both for monolingual and multilingual texts, check any part of the text containing numbers, such as dates, hours, temperatures, etc. Localize them if needed and make sure (particularly for dates and hours) that you always use the same formatting.

Graphics

Check that they appear where they should, and if they include text, make sure the text fits properly in the graphic. This is very important for localized graphics, as the text length may vary according to the language.

We hope this article helps you to understand the importance of checklists as a tool to improve the quality of your documents. Do you have any more items in your checklist that are worth commenting? Share them with us!

Mind your (source) language

Bhat woull you say if we estarted    writing like this with so manygrammarspelingandpunctuations errors¿
We are convinced that you would probably stop following our blog or visiting our website and you would never contact us. This can happen to your business as well, and unfortunately, it happens quite often.
As explained in a previous post, your brand and company reputation can be severely damaged by translation errors. But it can also be damaged by errors in your own language. Writing correctly will not only help your brand image, but will also benefit later translation. So, before ordering the localization of your website, software products or brochures make sure that the source text is well written. See below some tips for improving the quality of your text:
  1. Concordance: We see very often mismatches between gender and number. If we see “Visit our website to learn more about our product and service”, something looks strange. You will probably have more than one product and one service, right?
  2. Spelling: Remember to always run the spell checker. This is not 100% foolproof, but it is the easiest and quickest check and should always be done.
  3. Verb tense: Use the correct verb tense, as it can change the meaning of the text.
  4. Look for double spaces, missing spaces after punctuation marks or extra spaces before punctuation marks that have nothing to do with text justification.
  5. Check that punctuation marks are used correctly. Sometimes, placing a comma in the wrong place can give a completely different meaning to your text.
  6. Be consistent with terminology: In technical texts, language is synthetic and the same term is always used for the same concept. By always using the same terminology, the text will be easier and faster to translate. This does not happen with marketing texts, where it is common practice to play with the language.
  7. Use short sentences and make sure that paragraphs are finished. Very often we notice that a new paragraph, column or section starts after a comma, and this often occurs at the most important part of the text!
  8. Once you finish your text, leave it for a while (or for some days) and then review it one, two or as many times as you need until it is error-free. If possible, ask another person to review it, as it is easy to overlook errors when you review your own text. For example, it is easy to overlook this error: ‘Please do hesitate to contact us for further information’ (‘not’ is missing and this gives the text a completely different meaning).
We hope these tips will help you to write better press releases, product descriptions or blog articles. Jensen Localization can help you with a full review of your text and further QA checks. Feel free to contact us for further information about how we can help you to improve your communication.

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How to edit a translation

As translators, we know how to evaluate our work, and we only send it to our client when we are 100% happy with it. But do we know how to review a translation done by another professional? Will they agree with our corrections? Will our corrections actually be correct? And are we being much more “teacher like” because we want to show that we are better? See below some tips that will help you to do a good editing job.

  1. Make sure you have all the project instructions and the project materials. Even if you are not going to translate the job again, you need to reproduce the same scenario as that of the translator, as this will explain why he/she took certain decisions regarding terminology.
  2. Ask your client how much liberty you have to make changes in the legacy material. For example, they may send a reference material which they do not mind to be changed, and in this case both the translator and you can offer other terms that will improve the existing ones. However, some clients may want you to stick to the reference material provided either for marketing reasons or to ensure consistency for future projects.
  3. Do not make preferential changes. There are certain rules within localization (for example, for localization of buttons, screens, menus, etc.) that we all follow even if there is not a specific style guide provided by the client (in that case, we usually follow the Microsoft Style Guide). Outside this, you have to respect the translator’s style. A preference does not mean that the current translation is bad. We are sure you do not like it when editors change your translation to include a personal preference, so do not do the same when you are editing the job of a colleague.
  4. Check if the translator made any queries and if the client replied to them. Sometimes, the reply from the client arrives after the translator already delivered the job, so you should be the one checking those replies and fixing the files (if needed) when editing the job.
  5. And finally, although it should probably be the first item in our list, always, always, always (did I say always?) run the spell checker. No matter how many times you reviewed the translation, no matter if you reviewed it on paper, on screen or on both formats, always run the spell checker before delivering to your client.
We hope these simple tips will help you to take objective and constructive decisions when reviewing a translation made by another professional.
If you have any other tips or would like to ask anything, please do so in the comments section! We will be happy to hear them and help you!