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feihong

A workflow for amateur translators

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roddy

Something you don't mention, although I suspect it happens in the proofreading stage, is just having a read of the document before you start. While on rush jobs I might simply have to start translating before reading the thing, it's obviously far better to read it first. Ideally, with decent chunks of time between reading, translating, and reviewing. 

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feihong
1 hour ago, roddy said:

Something you don't mention, although I suspect it happens in the proofreading stage, is just having a read of the document before you start.

Yes, the first complete reading occurs at proofreading stage of the original document. But this reading is cursory, I don’t bother to look up any words or phrases at this stage. I don’t do a deep reading until translation starts.

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roddy

I might be inclined to do those look-ups a while before you start translating. Make sure you've got a full understanding, let it ferment in your brain for a while, then do the translation as a purer translation task, rather than dictionary work and so on. 'Course, that's in an ideal world. 

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feihong
24 minutes ago, roddy said:

 

I might be inclined to do those look-ups a while before you start translating. Make sure you've got a full understanding, let it ferment in your brain for a while, then do the translation as a purer translation task, rather than dictionary work and so on.

 

I agree this is far more efficient, but I rarely do this. I’ve gotten bogged down at times because many songs require a lot of lookups and I start procrastinating because it feels like I’m not making progress. So my process puts more priority on maintaining momentum rather than efficiency. For example, if I get stuck on a line I’ll just skip it. If I feel like I’m stuck on a song I’ll switch to another song. It takes longer overall but at least I keep going.
 

But there are rare cases where the lyrics are a bit too much over my head. In these cases, I’ll go over the problematic lines during the call with my editors. In this scenario I haven’t yet started translating, I simply take notes in the Annotation column of the table.

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roddy
18 hours ago, feihong said:

I agree this is far more efficient, but I rarely do this.

I have that in needlepoint over my desk. 

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