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Re: Over-enthusiastic editors

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  • Liz Spacilova
    Tell me about it. One of my most frustrating experiences I ve had was with a Russian editor with good Czech and fair English who explained to me how my CZ-EN
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 13, 2007
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      Tell me about it. One of my most frustrating experiences I've had was
      with a Russian editor with good Czech and fair English who explained
      to me how my CZ-EN translation would "sound better" if switched a few
      words around, used this word instead of that ... ugh. I am too nice
      so I did not send her to the fiery core of the Earth, but I stuck to
      my guns and made it clear that any changes she made would be her own
      doings and not approved by me.

      I think the red-ink-happy editors are the same personality type as
      the overactive managers who try to "run the whole show" and are
      unable to delegate tasks to their staff because they don't think
      anyone will do as good a job as they will. Dealing with this kind of
      person is pretty horrible and usually ends with everyone being
      disappointed.

      I can only suggest making it clear that you stand by what you have
      done and if the editor wants to make any changes to something that
      will be carrying your name, s/he should use the track changes tool
      and send it back to you for cleanup (once). That's perfectly
      reasonable, probably faster than haggling over the phone (though not
      as enjoyable for the power monger), and less prone to emotion.

      Cheers

      Liz


      --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <jpklists@...> wrote:
      >
      > Has anyone ever had someone who doesn't speak Czech try to edit
      you
      > work and distort the meaning based on their notions of taste and
      > "correctness"?
      >
      > Last week I did a journalistic article that some company needed
      > translated, and the agency (i.e., the lady with the telephone and
      > business card) got a little excited trying to edit the thing. She
      was
      > taking clear, blunt statements and trying to make them
      diplomatic.
      > She was changing prepositions so that the beneficiary of some
      action
      > was changing from the company to the state, and causing a host of
      > other problems.
      >
      > As the woman and I discussed the changes on the phone, when I ran
      into
      > something that really distorted the meaning, I would tell
      her, "The
      > person really said X," and I could hear her breathing get faster
      and
      > harder as she tried to stay diplomatic, but she was clearly
      getting
      > angry.
      >
      > I worked for years as a proofreader and editor in communications
      > companies, and I observed that there is a certain type of editor
      who
      > "corrects" texts almost completely without regard to meaning or
      tone,
      > and tries to make the text into their own work of art or
      something.
      > Some of them even edit out obvious jokes, because they're "not
      > logical", seemingly unaware that the writer wasn't serious. The
      most
      > ham-handed are the ones who used to work for newspapers, because
      they
      > even butcher quotes without any concern as to whether the result
      was
      > what the speaker meant or not.
      >
      > I have actually thrown a whole, very large job back before, just
      > because the editor was so overactive, condescending and often wrong.
      >
      > Has anyone had similar experiences?
      >
      > Jamie
      >
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