How to Tackle a Review
What is the job of a reviewer?
A reviewer is not simply a person who ensures that the translation is passable and gramatically correct.
The job of a reviewer is to make sure that:
- every line is short and can be easily read
- the meaning is clear
- the subtitles sound natural in your language
Because of this a review can take just as long as the translation - you have to think about every line and multiple ways to improve it. The quality of the translation lies in your hands just as much as in the hands of the translator.
Always keep in mind the audience, the people who will spend their time watching the video which you translated - you want to give them a good experience!
Your name will appear next to the translated talk, so make sure that you can be proud of it :)
- Watch the talk to understand it thoroughly.
- Do a sweep for common mistakes in meaning, spelling, obvious lines that are too long and things that sound unnatural in your language.
- Watch the talk and pause every time something looks strange or you don't manage to read the subtitles in the time given. Fix and shorten.
- Watch the talk without sound, only with subtitles on - if it's good you can accept it :)
Most common types of mistakes in translations
2. Line length - When you are done with your review, watch the talk without the sound. This will force you to focus on reading and seeing how fast you can read. If you fail to read a line twice then you should shorten it. This is very important because other people do not know the text like you do, and do not read as fast as you do, so they will need more time :)
Ways to shorten the lines:
a) Remove fluff which does not add to the meaning, for example: Err, Well, very, Anyway,...
b) Remove repetitions. If something is obvious from the context then there is no need to say it.
c) Break the lines differently: move part of a meaning to the next or previous line which is shorter
d) Compress two lines into one and double it. In TED player similar lines show without blinking.
e) Find shorter synonyms or find a more common, thus easier to process, synonym.
3. Verbatim translation Most importantly: Think if a native person would say it like you just wrote it, or would they use a different phrase to explain the same meaning? Does it sound natural?
4. Punctuation Make sure to learn your language specific punctuation rules.
5. Line breaks Learn how to break lines here. Rule of thumb: If a line could be used as an answer to a question on its own, then it is good, if there is an element which does not fit then it should be moved.
6. Language specific errors Navigate to your language in the sidebar of this page and see if there is a list of common errors available.
7. Meaning Think what does the person speaking mean? Is the message clear? Do I understand? Could I explain it myself?
8. Specialized vocabulary Do your research. Proper names are very rarely translated in a straightforward way. The easiest way to do it is to check the term in English Wikipedia and then navigate to your language. To learn more about this watch this video