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Translation: to revise or not to revise?

Denisa Kytová Ciferník03.04.2019 For Customers Reading time: 3 min.
hands with red pen revising the document
Čas čítania 3 min
Usually when ordering a translation from a translation company, one company offers you only a translation, another a translation with revision or both options, and you have to choose. Why do some companies offer translation with revision? What is revision and how does it relate do translation?

Until now, you might have only ordered a translation and have not cared about revision. After all, every translation should be done by a translator who is knowledgeable in the field of the translated text. So this translation should already be of some quality, and meet all the requirements of a specialised translation. Surely, you are paying for quality, reliability and expertise, so why invest more money in revision?

Revision of a translation

First, let’s explain what a revision is. It is simply a check of a translation by another independent translator – a reviewer – who has the same qualifications as the translator. His job is to compare the original with the translation, and to check the content, grammar and terminology of the translation.

Added value of revision

The job of the reviewer is not to rewrite the translation or to transform it completely. The translation should retain the original translator’s style, and the reviewer should only edit items which serve to improve the translation.

The principle of a revision of a translation could be compared to quality assurance in component manufacturing. The machine produces a component, and it is the quality inspector’s job to verify whether the component meets the desired parameters (in width, length, colour…). This doesn’t mean the component is of low quality, but even a machine can sometimes produce an imperfect article.

Therefore, the reviewer should take note of various mistakes in the translation that the translator might have overlooked, such as typos, incorrectly placed commas, wrong declension and wrong letters. He also makes sure terminology is consistent throughout the translation. If need be, he can modify the style so the translated text can be better and more smoothly understood.

Translation with revision applies the four-eyes principle, and helps ensure strict requirements for translation quality in compliance with ISO 17100 standard.

When should you opt for a translation with revision?

For your company’s internal documentation or other internal purposes, a translation without revision will do. By “internal purposes” we mean mainly cases when you need to translate a text from a foreign language into English to find out what it’s about. For example, if you receive an invoice for services from a German company you may want it translated from German to English for better understanding. In that case, a translation without revision is enough for a translation of a sufficient quality, if done by a translator knowledgeable in accounting.

However, if you need to translate texts or documents that you will be working with further – for example to send to your colleagues abroad or publish them somewhere – then it is important to consider ordering a translation with revision. While a translation with revision is a little more expensive, you’ll get return on your investment in the higher-quality translation. After all, this high-quality translation will be representing your company.

Don’t be afraid to ask your translation company about a translation with revision, or make sure what the service you’re paying for includes.

Tip: if you order a translation with revision, the whole process will need more time. Typically the time needed will be half of what is required for translation.

Do you need a specialised translation and are you unsure whether to order revision? Contact us, we’ll be happy to advise you. ?

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