Revising and Editing for Translators  book cover
4th Edition

Revising and Editing for Translators

ISBN 9781138895164
Published September 18, 2019 by Routledge
302 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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



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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