Reviewing existing translations

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Avoid bad translations like this one!Sometimes, in an attempt to reduce the cost, a client opts for translating internally and requesting that International Contact, “review” or “proofread” or “edit.” A word of caution about reviewing existing translations.

When an editor has to deal with a good translation, the work basically consists of looking for eventual typos, omissions or inconsistencies, and perhaps polishing the style a bit. In general, the effort is reasonable and justifies the lower rates applied (as compared to a full translation).

When the translation is poor, besides the above, we must catch translation errors, questionable wording, inadequate tone, and work a lot with the style. That adds to the time spent by the language specialist and will increase the cost.

And then you have computer translations, which literally map words or expressions across languages, miss the deep meaning of most sentences, and in general sound really odd. In fields with extremely high quality requirements for nuances and style, such as marketing texts, one cannot improve a computer translation without tossing it out and starting anew. Editing this kind of text requires the same effort as translating from scratch, as virtually every word must be changed.

Because we cannot know in advance how much service is required, our linguists need time to review existing translations before we can confirm costs, so your estimate may be slightly delayed.

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