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Is translation really a collaborative activity?

Our post on Why translators need editors continues to draw interest and comments. As with many things in the translation business, it's not a new issue - but one that is still able to roil the blood of translation professionals.

"Not new?", you might wonder. Indeed.

The Patenttranslator's Blog recently posted an article that was published in the May 2003 edition of the ATA Chronicle, the magazine of the American Translators Association.

It's a great article. One of my favorite quotes is right at the beginning:

"Whereas other translation services send their materials to professional translators who work in many fields, XYZ sends its translation projects to bilingual category experts – people who trained and worked in the field."
It always makes me laugh when I read statements like the ones above that often appear on the websites of translation agencies. If you run a search, you can easily find dozens of agency websites that are all "different" in the same way – they don’t trust a hapless translator to translate anything accurately until his or her translation has been checked by another translator, then rechecked by yet another translator, then proofread by a proofreader who has at least a PhD., and then checked one more time "for readability" by yet another editor who is possibly God Herself.
In the article, Steve Vitek, who works as a translator himself, makes some really good points in favor of having fewer people involved in the translation process.

Go ahead and read Steve's article, and then see if you still think that translators need editors!

While on the topics of "being different" and translation process, you might be interested in the following posts:
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