Airplane pilots have checklists and follow them carefully. One of them reads items off the list, according to popular belief, and the other one says “check”. This way, both pilot and copilot verify that everything is in order. What happens when there is a “check” that isn’t said?
“We would like to inform our passengers that this flight will be delayed by a few hours while we repair…”
“We would like to inform our passengers that in the interest of protecting your safety, the flight crew is going home. They have been up too long to be able to fly this transcontinental flight safely. You will be scheduled for an early morning flight. The airline has made hotel arrangements for you. Good night.”
Safety first. Every time. We grumble, but the airline that doesn’t put safety first is in big trouble.
What about translation?
Shouldn’t translators be checking just as carefully? At Gaucha Translations, I almost always have a second pair of eyes go over my translations, just like there are always both a pilot and a copilot in a commercial airplane. Errors in translations can cause safety hazards just like problems in airplanes can, although they’re clearly different types of hazards. I’ve been implementing this process for many years, and my colleagues and clients are familiar with this and have grown to expect it.
I stop to ask questions like: “The translator needs clarification of this text before we can proceed. The deadline will have to slide to accommodate that fact.”
The translator and the reviser have an ongoing conversation about some issues even before the reviewer gets the translation. The reviser gets the source document immediately and gets the change log as it develops. The reviser might even help develop some of the items in the change log!
Here is the Gaucha Translations process. We follow it. Every time. Now it’s official.