4th Edition

Revising and Editing for Translators

By Brian Mossop Copyright 2020
    302 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    302 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Revising and Editing for Translators provides guidance and learning materials for translation students and professional translators learning to revise the work of others or edit original writing, and those wishing to improve their self-revision ability. Revising and editing are seen as reading skills aimed at spotting problematic passages. Changes are then made to meet some standard of quality that varies with the text and to tailor the text to its readership.

    Mossop offers in-depth coverage of a wide range of topics, including copyediting, stylistic editing, checking for consistency, revising procedures and principles, and translation quality assessment—all related to the professional situations in which revisers and editors work. This revised fourth edition provides new chapters on revising machine outputs and news trans-editing, a new section on reviser competencies, and a completely new grading scheme for assignments.

    The inclusion of suggested activities and exercises, numerous real-world examples, and a reference glossary make this an indispensable coursebook for professional translation programmes.

    List of Contributors


    Introduction for All Readers

    Introduction for Instructors

    1. Why Editing and Revising are Necessary

    1.1 The difficulty of writing

    1.2 Enforcing rules

    1.3 Quality in translation

    1.4 Limits to editing and revision

    1.5 The proper role of revision


    Further reading

    2. The Work of an Editor

    2.1 Tasks of editors

    2.2 Editing, rewriting and adapting

    2.3 Mental editing during translation

    2.4 Editing non-native English

    2.5 Crowd-sourced editing of User Generated Content

    2.6 Degrees of editing

    2.7 Editing procedure


    Further reading

    3. Copyediting

    3.1 House style

    3.2 Spelling and typing errors

    3.3 Syntax and idiom

    3.4 Punctuation

    3.5 Usage


    Further reading

    4. Stylistic Editing

    4.1 Tailoring language to readers

    4.2 Smoothing

    4.3 Readability versus intelligibility and logic

    4.4 Stylistic editing during translation

    4.5 Some traps to avoid


    Further reading

    5. Structural Editing

    5.1 Physical structure of a text

    5.2 Problems with prose

    5.3 Problems with headings

    5.4 Structural editing during translation


    Further reading

    6. Content Editing

    6.1 Macro-level content editing

    6.2 Factual errors

    6.3 Logical errors

    6.4 Mathematical errors

    6.5 Content editing during translation

    6.6 Content editing after translation


    7. Trans-editing by Jungmin Hong

    7.1 Trans-editing versus translating

    7.2 Structural trans-editing

    7.3 Content trans-editing

    7.4 Combined structural and content trans-editing

    7.5 Trans-editing with changed text-type

    7.6 Trans-editing from multiple source texts

    Exercises and discussion

    Further reading

    8. Checking for Consistency

    8.1 Degrees of consistency

    8.2 Pre-arranging consistency

    8.3 Translation databases and consistency

    8.4 Over-consistency


    Further reading

    9. Computer Aids to Checking

    9.1 Google to the rescue?

    9.2 Bilingual databases

    9.3 Work on screen or on paper?

    9.4 Editing functions of word processors

    9.5 What kind of screen environment?

    9.6 Tools specific to revision

    Further reading

    10. The Work of a Reviser

    10.1 Revision: a reading task

    10.2 Revision terminology

    10.3 Reviser competencies

    10.4 Revision and specialization

    10.5 The revision function in translation services

    10.6 Reliance on self-revision

    10.7 Reducing differences among revisers

    10.8 Crowd-sourced revision

    10.9 Revising translations into the reviser’s second language

    10.10 Quality-checking by clients

    10.11 The brief

    10.12 Balancing the interests of authors, clients, readers and translators

    10.13 Evaluation of revisers

    10.14 Time and quality

    10.15 Quantity of revision

    10.16 Quality assessment

    10.17 Quality assurance


    Further reading

    11. The Revision Parameters

    11.1 Accuracy

    11.2 Completeness

    11.3 Logic

    11.4 Facts

    11.5 Smoothness

    11.6 Tailoring

    11.7 Sub-language

    11.8 Idiom

    11.9 Mechanics

    11.10 Layout

    11.11 Typography

    11.12 Organization

    11.13 Client Specifications

    11.14 Employer Policies

    Further reading

    12. Degrees of Revision

    12.1 The need for revision by a second translator

    12.2 Determining the degree of revision

    12.2.1 Which parameters will be checked?

    12.2.2 What level of accuracy and writing quality is required?

    12.2.3 Full or partial check?

    12.2.4 Compare or re-read?

    12.3 Some consequences of less-than-full revision

    12.4 The relative importance of transfer and language parameters

    12.5 A "good enough" approach to revision


    Further reading

    13. Revision Procedure

    13.1 Procedure for finding errors

    13.2 Principles for correcting and improving

    13.3 Order of operations

    13.4 Handling unsolved problems

    13.5 Inputting changes

    13.6 Checking Presentation

    13.7 Preventing strategic errors

    13.8 Getting help from the translator

    13.9 Procedures, time-saving and quality

    Summary of techniques for spotting errors

    and avoiding introduction of errors


    Further reading

    14. Self-Revision

    14.1 Integration of self-revision into translation production

    14.2 Self-diagnosis

    14.3 The term ‘self-revision’


    Further reading

    15. Revising the Work of Others

    15.1 Relations with revisees

    15.2 Diagnosis

    15.3 Advice

    15.4 Research during revision


    Further reading

    16. Revising Computer-Mediated Translations by Carlos Teixeira

    16.1 Translation Memory

    16.1.1 Repairing Translation Memory suggestions

    16.2 Machine Translation

    16.2.1 Different ‘levels’ of post-editing

    16.2.2 Types of edits required

    16.2.3 Examples of post-editing

    16.3 Integration of Translation Memory and Machine Translation

    16.4 Interactive Machine Translation

    16.5 Final considerations

    Further reading

    Appendix 1. Summary

    Appendix 2. Quality Assessment

    Appendix 3. Quantitative Grading Scheme

    Appendix 4. Sample Revision

    Appendix 5. Revising and Editing Vocabulary

    Appendix 6. Empirical research on revision




    Brian Mossop was a French-to-English translator, reviser and trainer at the Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau from 1974 to 2014. He continues to lead workshops and webinars on revision in Canada and abroad. Since 1980, he has also been a part-time instructor at the York University School of Translation in Toronto, teaching revision, scientific translation, translation theory and translation into the second language.

    "It breaks down and explains editing and revising practices in a simple way … making the text an easy and pleasant read. Teachers, both in academic and non-academic contexts, will avail themselves of the easy-to-follow categorization of the contents of the book, in the event that they want to design a course or module on editing and revising."

    Michail Sachinis, The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 4:2, 2010.


    "An extremely worthwhile read and reference source for anyone involved in the processes of editing and/or revising."

    Sue Lilley, City University and London Metropolitan University, in Journal of Specialised Translation 25, 2016