Translation requires knowledge, dedication and accuracy. Translation agencies and end clients require us to do our job good and to deliver in high quality. Typos and spelling errors are odious. And that’s justified: many translations are for a big audience. Those who read them need to understand the translation like winking and there should be no misunderstandings about the meaning of a particular text. However, there’s no omelet without breaking eggs.
And fails can even occur when the translation is perfect. I noticed it last week…
A couple of weeks ago I did a translation task of a newsletter for which I am registered too.
So I was enthusiastic when I received that newsletter about 1,5 week later. It was the first email I opened that morning, looking for the visual results of the translation I delivered.
But what a surprise: the first thing I noticed was a major typo…in the heading of the newsletter. Not a minor error in one of the last sentences but an important typo which every reader would notice at a glance. ‘Paper’ in the heading of the newsletter should have read ‘Papier’. Without a capital as well, but that’s a minor point.
That was a bad start of my day: such a typo was inexcusable for me, although my client and the end client probably wouldn’t notice it.
It nevertheless puzzled me how this error would have arisen. Normally I proofread my translation and do a final spell check before I deliver my translation, so I should certainly have found that error.
So I checked the delivered translation and found this…
Everything looked fine.
What happened? I am not sure but probably the heading was copied and pasted. There should have went something wrong.
How to avoid these mistakes?
In the first instance I regretted this translation heavily. But as I mentioned in the introduction: there’s no omelet without breaking eggs.
I contacted the client and we concluded that this damage was irreparable for the moment.
The only thing we could do was learn from this and looking to prevent it in the future. That’s something I can apply to any and all jobs I will receive in the future.
For some clients I do a post-editing proof cycle. I then check the end results of the translation, formatted in the original layout. In many cases that will reveal some minor and major errors which can be prevented before the translation is actually delivered to the client.
It will slow down the turn around time a bit but it will prevent any image damage to a brand. In this case it would certainly have helped and thousand of apps users should not have seen this ugly typo…