Generally speaking, the normal workflow after the original text is received from the client is as follows: translation completed by initial translators, translation modified by editors and proofread by proofreaders.
To produce a desirable translation, all personnel involved in these links shall do the utmost to do their part well, especially for the initial translators.
Although the initial translation will be edited and proofread before being sent to the client, the quality of the final translation is largely determined by that of the initial translation.
The subsequent two processes are only used to “decorate” the translation. The accuracy and absence of omission shall be guaranteed in the first phase, namely, the initial translation.
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If there are problems in terms of these two points in the initial translation, the personnel responsible for the next process will have to spend time in correcting these errors and decrease the time spent in “decorating” the translation since the time is limited.
Consequently, in order to produce a desirable translation in an efficient manner, the initial translator shall make quality control before sending his or her translation to the personnel held accountable for edition.
To do this, great attention shall be paid to the following aspects: the absence of omission, accuracy, the target text in compliant with the expression mode of the target language, readability and format.
The absence of omission and accuracy shall be guaranteed while making translation. After translating each sentence, the initial translator shall review the corresponding target text again to check whether each word of the original text has been translated appropriately.
As to the accuracy, sometimes it is difficult for the translator to determine the corresponding meaning of the original text due to insufficient knowledge of specific terms, lack of context, etc.
In such cases, the translator could make a special mark at the word or phrase the meaning of which he or she is not quite sure of, such as highlighting the word or phrase in red, inserting two question marks, etc.
After finishing the translation, the translator could review these points again, and gain the correct meaning based on the context of the whole document. If there is question that remains unsolved, the translator could record it in a query form and deliver it to the editor, who is more likely to give a correct answer.
To guarantee compliance with the expression mode of the target language and readability of the translation, the translator must review the whole translation again after finishing the translation. Put the original text aside and just read the target text.
The translator shall make corrections appropriately once finding words or phrases which are either not in compliance with the expression mode of the target language or poor in readability.
As to the last point, namely, format, the translator shall pay attention to it while making translation. Firstly, the translator shall have a clear understanding of the rules which are applicable to the target language. And then follow these rules consistently while making translation.
After finishing the translation, the translator shall review the translation again to check whether there is an error with regards to the format. In addition, the translator could make most of the QA tool to identify the errors in the target text, including the QA function embedded in Trados 2011, Xbench, etc.
We should check these five points before sending the target text to the editor or the proofreader, if applicable, which can better ensure the final delivery text will be recognized by our clients.