A day in the life of one of our in-house proofreaders.
Emma tells us about her love of languages and what’s keeping her busy at EVS Translations.
(see our previous blog entry: What proofreading involves).
1) What inspired you to get into languages and how did you get into proofreading?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time travelling to different countries and was fascinated by the different cultures and languages. I also loved reading and would often stay up late reading with a book torch! It probably wasn’t very surprising that I became a proofreader with these two passions being there from such a young age! I went on to study French and German at University, completed a Master’s degree in Translation, and then started working in the industry as a technical translator back in 2009.
2) What’s on your “To do” list, today?
A 30-page French magazine from a leading customer in the rail industry, then a technical German text about Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems and a more light-hearted marketing text for a well-known manufacturer of tableware. I’m also planning to carry out some glossary work, as we have recently started a large-scale project involving the creation of client-specific glossaries, which include feedback from previous translations and any preferences. These will help ensure consistency and quality over the long term.
3) You must have read a lot of translations since joining EVS Translations. Do you have a field that you find particularly interesting? Which fields are particularly challenging?
Yes! I have recently reached the milestone of 4 million words! The texts vary from French texts about architectural projects and restaurant menus to highly technical German operating manuals. Marketing is the most challenging, as it requires a great deal of skill and experience to strike a balance between creativity and remaining faithful to the original text.
4) How important is it that a professional proofreader reviews a translation before its submission to a client?
Extremely important. A fresh pair of eyes is crucial for spotting simple typographical errors and omissions as well as to double-check that the message of the original has always been properly understood. A proofreader will be familiar with the client’s requirements and expectations and will work through the document in detail, checking for completeness, technical accuracy, and consistency of terminology. A proofreader will also have an excellent overview of the text and will be responsible for performing final quality checks, such as spelling, terminology, numbers and formatting.
5) Do you get time to communicate with our translators?
Yes, translators make notes for the proofreader and highlight any areas of difficulty to focus on. They also send links to research carried out and definitions of acronyms found, for example. Feedback is given regularly and we hold regular discussions as a team – even on the subject of when to use serial commas in a sentence! We also have quarterly team meetings, which ensure a constant flow of information and consistency of processes. This communication is key for development and to continuously improve quality.
6) Why do you think clients keep coming back to EVS Translations?
I think it’s the quality of the work we produce. The entire in-house team has qualifications in languages/translation and in-depth expertise in their respective subject areas. Clients are assigned a single point of contact, which streamlines processes, and we are also able to deliver quality translations even under tight time constraints. We also maintain client teams to guarantee the same translators and proofreaders work on one particular client’s texts for a more personalised service.
7) What is the best thing about speaking a foreign language?
Being able to meet and communicate with people from different parts of the world and experience different cultures. Foreign languages also open up new travel opportunities; I have been lucky enough to live and work in very different places, such as Leipzig, Germany, La Réunion in the Indian Ocean and Québec, Canada, due to my knowledge of foreign languages.