At Honyaku Plus we do our utmost to deliver translations of the highest possible quality. Typically, this involves the efforts of several people, each of whom plays a clearly defined role.
In the case of Japanese-to-English translation, the document is first translated by a native-English-speaking (NES) translator and then checked by a native-Japanese-speaking (NJS) checker, who compares the translator’s draft with the original source text.
The checker does not make any changes to the translation, but instead flags any mistakes that he finds (such as incorrectly translated words or phrases, omissions, erroneous additions, incorrect nuances and errors involving numerical values) by inserting comments into the document.
The checker’s version of the document is then passed back to the translator who now revises his translation based on the checker’s comments. The translator has the discretion to ignore comments that he feels have missed the mark.
At this point in the process we assume that the translation now fully and accurately reflects the meaning and spirit of the original Japanese text.
The next step—polishing the translation to a fine finish—is performed by an editor, who takes the translator’s revised version of the translation and edits it for style, consistency and readability. (Clients with budget constraints may opt to skip the editing step.)
The editor never refers back to the Japanese source text—in fact, the editor is often monolingual. (If he cannot comprehend any text in the translator’s revised version, he will include a comment to that effect in the edited file.)
Unlike the checker, the editor does make changes to the text, with the Track Changes feature turned on in Microsoft Word.
The edited document is then sent back to the translator, who goes through the document accepting or rejecting the editor’s changes in a process that we call the “post-edit”. Again, the translator has licence to reject changes made by the editor if he feels that they would skew the meaning of the text or that they are not in the spirit of the original.
Lastly, the project manager gives the completed translation a final once-over to ensure that it is ready for delivery.
“Many hands make light work” may be something of a cliché, but, in our view, multiple specialists collaborating on a single translation project does make for the highest possible quality in the finished product.