RSS feed

Mossop, Brian (2014). Revising and Editing for Translators.

Oxon & New York: Routledge, pp. 244, £25.99. ISBN: 978-1-909485-01-3.

For those of you who are not familiar with previous editions of this book, this text, in the words of the author "aims to provide guidance and learning materials for two groups of users: first, professional translators or translation students who wish to improve their ability to revise their own translations (self-revision) or learn to revise translations prepared by others (other-revision)" and "second, translation students who are learning to edit original writing by others." Whichever of these categories you fall into, you should not be disappointed with the content of this publication.

In chapter 1, the book begins with a consideration of why editing and revising are needed in the first place, and of what, in this regard, quality is. Chapter 2 then looks at the work done by people employed as editors. This is followed by four chapters (3-6), which are devoted to the various kinds of textual amending work that you are likely to come across namely copyediting, stylistic editing, structural editing and content editing.

Chapter 7 is concerned with the question of how much consistency an editor or reviser should seek to achieve, and Chapter 8 looks at the computer aids that are available for editors and revisers to use. Chapter 9 examines the work of people who function as revisers and is then followed by three chapters that look at very specific and pertinent questions. These are:

  • What are the features of a draft translation that may require revision (Chapter 10)?

  • To what degree should I revise a translation (Chapter 11)?

  • What procedures should I use to revise (Chapter 12)?

Following these, Chapter 13 looks at self-revision and Chapter 14 at the problems of revising others. The book draws to a close with a list of readings on revision, an index and six appendixes; a review of the principles of revision, a brief look at systems for addressing the quality of translations, a method for marking exercises, a sample revision, a glossary of editing and revision terms, and an overview of empirical studies of revision.

For those of you who are familiar with previous editions of this text, there are interesting new features in this publication.

For this third edition, aside from checking, improving and updating the entire second edition, and adding more cross-references between chapters, the author has placed more emphasis on the reading (as opposed to the writing) aspect of revision and editing. In addition, there is a considerably modified introduction for instructors, a greatly expanded section on the vital concept of quality in Chapter 1, a new section on editing non-native English in Chapter 2, additional discussion of quality assurance and a few other topics in Chapter 9, new material on revision practices in Chapter 11, a new presentation of the self-revision process in Chapter 13, a separate section on Translation Memory in Chapter 14, new material on translation assessment in Appendix 2, and a much expanded list of readings.

The author states that "the book aims to be of use to three types of instructor:

  • Those giving courses with an editing or revising component to students at translation schools

  • Those leading professional development workshops in revision or self-revision for practising translators

  • Those assigned to train junior translators or supervise students doing a practicum at a translations workplace".

I am left with no doubt whatsoever that the aim of this publication will be achieved. In my opinion, it is 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