What method do you follow when reviewing translations?
  • It seems that every translator is developing different methods for the review of translations.

    Let's collect them and share these different approaches with the other translators. The result can be published in the wiki.
  • 19 Comments sorted by
  • Vote Up2Vote Down JennyJenny September 2011
    I like the idea of creating/adding to an existing page in the wiki instructions for sharing revisions via Google Docs. Perhaps this information could even be part of a larger page on best practices for working with other translators?
  • 1. I don't contact translator if I don't make any changes or if I correct only the typos.
    2. If translator doesn't answer your emails, I'd suggest to carry on with changes you've made. in case there are major problems, notify OTP team.

  • Nafissa said it all :D That's how I feel about the review process.
    If there are some mistakes that need to be communicated I send an email.
  • @Sebastian, hat tip again.

    I use something similar, in "difficult" cases.
    I copy the whole dotSub page of the reviewed talk in a Google document.
    I insert my comments where explanations are needed.
    And then share the Google document's link with the reviewer, giving her/him rights for comments only.
  • I always contact the translator. If there are corrections to be made, I ask them to reply to my initial email so I can send the suggestions and explanations for the mistakes. That way I can see who is really interested in the work. I picked this up from you guys :). So far I haven't been using any kind of doc file or spreadsheet, I just refer to the lines or times in the transcript (example 2:34-2:37). That's not really handy, especially when there are many mistakes to be corrected. I will try out one of your methods with Google doc.

    If there are no mistakes or there are just typos or something as small as that, I still contact the translator. I like to say their translation is good and sometimes I really like a phrase or a sentence someone translated really well and I like to share my impressions with them. I think everyone likes to hear they're doing a good job. Lately I've been contacting every new translator, welcoming them and inviting them to the Facebook group and the wiki.

    If they don't respond, I try emailing again. The TED mailing system sometimes doesn't deliver my emails, so I try a few times. If they still don't reply, I make corrections and publish translation, as is the case with a couple I'm reviewing at this moment.
  • My way is very close to Ivana’s. I always contact to the translator for the first thing. I’ve never seen translation which mistakes are only typos. Also I’ve never had translators who don’t respond to my mail. (On the other hand, I had some reviewers who didn’t respond to my mails. They usually do nothing until the review period expires and the translation goes back to “Available for review”.)

    I basically send comments to the translator and let her fix texts by herself and I don’t touch dotSUB by myself when I review. I think most of translators dislike their translations to be changed by others. I myself feel frustrated when I see editors make wrong corrections or break something in my translations. When a reviewer assigned to my translation, I make a Google spreadsheet and ask her to write comments on it to avoid her making changes on dotSUB texts directly.

    First part of review process is the same with translation. Watch the video, read transcript and research things I don’t know well before I start to read the translation. After constructing my own understanding of the talk, I start to read the translation and compare it to the transcript sentence by sentence and look for places interpretations are significantly different to mine, and comment on them. Usually I include my own translation and/or reason why their translation is not good in the comments. Typically I end up to comment on about 50% of lines.
  • I think the difference would be due to the difference in languages. So each language could have their methods. But in general: contacting the translator of the talk you are reviewing about the changes should be pretty universal, I'd think :)
  • I was referring mainly to the communication process.

    Do you contact the translator before you review; do you use the srt-files; what are you doing, if the translator doesn't answer your mails; what if you don't have to do changes, do you still contact the translator?



  • 1) I use a template which is a Word document. Let's call it Review1.doc
    The document contains the title, and description (in English and Spanish) of the TEDTalk and a table with two columns: the left column having the subtitles in English; the right column having the Spanish subtitles. When I see something I want to change I add a comment on every line if needed (in Spanish).
    2) I send the doc to the translator, no matter if there's a matter of typos or style. Sometimes the translator suggest more changes and modifiy this document adding more comments.
    3) We discuss the changes, let's say up to 5 iterations, no more. And then I get the OK to the suggestions of change.
    4) I rename Review1.doc as CUT Review1.doc, and I impact every approved suggestion in dotSub and uncomment the line in CUT Review1.doc
    Repeat this step until you have no more lines to fix.
    5) Mark revision as completed
  • @klaszlo13, could you show us a google document as an example?
    How do you copy and paste?
    I tried it, but it looked awkward.

    edit: Do you think instructions for creating a document as such would be a good addition for the wiki?
  • I use GMail Backup for storing my e-mails automatically but it doesn't backup Google Docs.
    This way I can track the whole workflow of each translation/review, including the discussions around the translation/review. That's why I prefer the attached documents instead of sharing documents.
  • Vote Up0Vote Down ElsDKElsDK September 2011
    The page is already on the wiki, with content from ted.com. Can we update this one?

    http://translations.ted.org/wiki/Working_with_other_OTP_translators
  • Vote Up0Vote Down aokyaoky September 2011
    This is a template for Google doc spreadsheet that we use among Japanese translators:
    https://sites.google.com/site/editsrt/

    Here's some instruction:
    https://sites.google.com/site/editsrt/home/review
    Basically:
    1. Copy srt into "in" tab to fill cells.
    2. Review on "main" tab.
    3. Get the result as srt from "out" tab.

    This is an example of review on spreadsheets:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvlyHQJkccVWdDZxNm9XMV92Y3hxUEx4aS1VX29ldGc&hl=ja

    # Google Docs keep edit history automatically (File - See revision history), but we also keep histories manually on right side columns to see differences.
  • Vote Up0Vote Down ElsDKElsDK September 2011
    For the last couple of weeks, I have been using the wiki for reviews. Along with my mail, I send the translator a short list of links indicating the type of error and the wiki page explaining why it is wrong and what the solution is.

    It essentially contains the following information - better formatted than here ;-):

    http://translations.ted.org/wiki/Onjuist_spatiegebruik 1:17
    http://translations.ted.org/wiki/Letterlijke_aanhaling 1:49

    In fact, I have been using this system to populate the Dutch wiki as well: whenever I found an error that I knew to be high on the top list of errors, I wrote a (small) wiki page on it. The next time, I reused the wikipage by simply referring to it.
  • I pretty much follow the procedures already mentioned when reviewing the talks. I start by checking source and target line by line in the DotSub interface and at the end I watch the talk video with the sound off so as to count only on the subtitles like the future viewer who is not familiar with English might do.

    I also do that to check my translations before submitting them, it's a small trick that I find helpful in tracking errors not easily spotted when having English and Greek text side by side :)
  • The talks that I have reviewed in that I have always contacted translator before making changes however except one translator I never got reply So I changed according to my judgment.

    I feel there should be an option for reviewer to reassign the translation to translator with their comments to make changes. Translator can make changes and assign back to reviewer for final review. In this way we can have better coordination between Translator and reviewer
  • It depends on the translator. Some make always the same mistakes and I just correct them. If I am in doubt of what the translator have in mind I contact her/him.
  • Knowing the translator is indeed an advantage, as you get to know their own particularities, and of course helps with communication.