"Intralingo" by Lisa Carter

Following up on my list of blogs dedicated to literary translation, here's the second installment to the RecBLOG section.


Today I would like to recommend Lisa Carter's "Intralingo." Lisa is a Spanish-into-English translator certified by the American Translators Association (ATA) and the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO). I actually had the pleasure to meet her during the ATA's 53rd Annual Conference here in San Diego, when I attended her session The Einstein Enigma: A Case Study in Literary Translation.

The post that I'd like to highlight here is entitled "3 Reasons to Review Galleys and Proofs," which discusses how important it is for book translators to have access to both the edited version (galley) with comments and questions added by the editor and the final copy (proof) that is ready for print.

Here are her three reasons:

  1. This is your work
  2. The editor can see what you cannot, and vice versa
  3. To learn, learn, and learn some more

You can read Lisa's excellent post for details on her own experience, but what I can say is that I relate to her recommendations from different perspectives. 

First of all, I come from a journalistic background and have been trained in both sides of the process: as the writer with a story to report and as the desktop publishing (DTP) technician who has to plan page layouts for printed or online publications. So many things can happen from the time an article is submitted until it is finally published that it's worth a second (maybe third, forth, tenth!) look to make sure no typos fall through the cracks.

Secondly, I have also worked on some copy editing assignments, be it proofreading someone's original work or a colleague's translation. The exchange between author/translator and copy editor is crucial because proofreaders will be the first person reading your work. If something isn't clear to them, odds are the target audience won't get the message either. By reviewing a copy editor's comments, you as the author or translator will be able to make sure that the original intention is maintained.

Lastly, as a translator, I've had the opportunity to work with a dear colleague who is my proofreader for all things English, including technical work in Computers & Technology and Business Communications―my main specializations―as well as literary translations. 

While my proofreader's observations make sure my spelling and grammar are correct and there are no terminology inconsistencies throughout the text, she has also saved me a lot of time researching this or that option when I'm lost for words. However, my colleague unfortunately cannot read in Portuguese, Spanish, or Italian―my other working languages― so it is important that she raises questions for me to make sure that I'm using the right words in English and that no ambiguity or muddy concepts or scenarios are going by unnoticed during the translation process.