Among the key tasks of the editor is assuring accuracy of the translation, its compliance with the rules governing writing and assuring successful communication of the text’s message to the target language readers. All of this is checked by the editor during revising and editing. Editing is the final stage of document preparation. One definition describes it as “the process of checking a non translational text for errors and making appropriate amendments, with special attention to making the text suitable for its readers and intended use” (Mossop 166). Editing involves checking for and correcting errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, or usage.
Brian Mossop identifies four basic types of amending work. Copyediting includes corrections, which bring a text into conformance with pre-set rules, such as the rules of grammar, spelling conventions, rules for punctuation, correct usage of idioms, or syntactic rules. The second type of editing according to Mossop is stylistic editing. It does not involve applying rules, but adjusting the wording and sentence structure of a text, to make it suitable to its readers, and creating a smooth, flowing translation. Structural editing concerns the physical structure of a text and may involve rearranging its sections to achieve a better order of presentation of the content. Content editing involves suggesting changes to a text concerning the coverage of its subject matter (12).
The following order of operations is suggested by Mossop as an ideal editing procedure: (1) read the entire translation and check if it is logical, smooth, suited to readers, and idiomatic (2) revise the translation by comparing its sentences to the sentences of the source text, check for accuracy and completeness (3) read the translation and check for features subject to rules of grammar (4) check for numbers if they play an important part in the text (5) check the organization of the content (6) spellcheck the translated text after all changes have been made (7) save the changes (124).
As good revision principles, Mossop suggests the following guidelines: revise when the translation cannot be understood after two readings; minimize the number of corrections (ask whether the translation needs to be improved given the readers and the way they will use the text); make small changes rather than rewriting a whole passage; when you make a correction, make sure you have not introduced a mistranslation; do not change a text when in doubt about whether to do so; when you make a change, check if it necessitates other changes in the text; check numbers as well as words; or adopt a procedure which will enable you to see the text from the viewpoint of the first time reader (149).
3.3.1Typology of Editor’s Changes
During the process of translating, drafted versions of sections of the translation were sent to the editor for revision via electronic mail. The changes made at this stage are included in the following typology of editor’s changes. The final version of the translation submitted to the editor is included in Appendix 2 and the version of the text of the translation after editing in Appendix 3. Appendix 1 contains the original text as provided to the translator.
Copyediting included, for example, indenting paragraphs or bolding of some of the headings. Some paragraphs were not indented by the translator and had to be indented by the editor. This was caused by the fact that the original text was provided to the translator in the form of a Microsoft Word document that had been created by copying of a scanned version of the text, and during the copying the layout and the spelling of some words, for example the name ‘Pushkin,’ was not converted correctly by the word processor. Some headings were not bolded for the same reason.
Today, the work of correcting spelling and typographical errors is greatly facilitated by the spellcheck tools of the text editor, and therefore spelling mistakes and typos were not a major problem. Corrections of grammar included, for example, the correcting of the form of the following names: ‘Miss Dove’ and ‘Francis Gray Patton’ were originally translated by ‘slečna Dove’ and ‘Francis Gray Patton.’ These translations were changed to ‘slečna Doveová’ and ‘Francis Gray Pattonová.’
Part of the editing process was checking whether the translation is syntactically correct and idiomatic. During the process of drafting, translators often write ungrammatical and unidiomatic text, because they are influenced by the language of the original text (Mossop 26). The Czech National Corpus was a big help in checking for unidiomatic word combinations during revising the translation. Many examples were described in the chapter analyzing the translation process, for example the correction of the translation of ‘exercise of power’ from ‘použití moci’ to ‘výkon moci.’ During the revision of the translation’s syntax, the editor changed passive constructions to active ones in several places, for example ‘mapy jsou čteny’ was changed to ‘mapy se čtou,’ or ‘v jejichž rukou je soustředěna moc’ to ‘v jejichž rukou se soustřeďuje moc.’ An interesting observation made by Mossop is that “syntax and idiom vary somewhat from person to person. The syntactic structures and word combinations felt to be natural by other speakers may not coincide exactly with those which you find natural” (28). The editor made several changes that fall under this category and replaced words with different ones that have very similar meaning, apparently for reasons of personal preference. Examples of such changes are the replacement of ‘zřídka’ with ‘zřídkakdy,’ or the changing of ‘přestože zaujal některé kartografy’ to ‘přestože si ho někteří kartografové oblíbili.’
Modifications were also made by the editor to adjust the text to fit the format of the book. The original text was not written to be published in Možnosti vizuálních studií, a collection of articles that are, each in a different way, related to visual studies. The editor must keep in mind the needs of the readers and the purpose of the translation, and because an article on maps for a book on visual studies was needed, and the editor was aware of the purpose of the assignment, she made the following changes: in front of the text, number 14 (the number of the chapter in the original publication) was deleted. Introductory sentences were modified (the first sentence was deleted and the second sentence modified). ‘Cílem této práce’ was changed to ‘účelem tohoto příspěvku,’ as the book consists of a collection of texts related to a common topic. Key concepts related to visual studies were also highlighted by the means of bold script throughout the whole text.
During stylistic editing, the editor changed some impersonal constructions to more personal ones. During the translation process, personal constructions used in the original were translated by impersonal constructions, which are characteristic for Czech academic writing. An example of this practice is ‘my aim here is’ that was translated by ‘účelem této práce je.’ The editor made changes to reverse this tendency and changed, for example, the phrase ‘i když bude ukázáno, že’ to ‘i když ukážu, že.’ Another part of the stylistic editing process was changing the sequence of words in some sentences, such as the following: ‘Tento symbolismus může být na mapě spojený s určitou oblastí, geografickým prvkem, městem nebo místem, které mapa zobrazuje.’ This sentence was changed by the editor in the following way: ‘Mapový obraz může být nositelem symbolismu spojeného s určitou oblastí, geografickým prvkem, městem nebo místem, které zobrazuje.’ The readability and clarity of the translation as well as correct focus within sentences are important here.
As far as the structure of the text is concerned, the layout of the original was reproduced in the translation. As already mentioned, paragraphing of the original was sometimes incorrect in the converted text file, and, as a result, the paragraphing of the translation was incorrect in some places. The editor made changes to give the text the correct structure. No rearranging of content was needed as the original was written by a well educated native speaker of English, a university professor.
As a part of content editing, the editor made some changes in terminology. For example, ‘interpretace mapového obsahu’ was changed to ‘interpretace obsahu map,’ ‘geografické škály’ were changed to ‘geografické řady.’ The translation of these terms was based on the translator’s knowledge of geographical terminology. However, the editor’s changes are minor and do not change the meaning of the terms, which will still be recognized and understood by the readers. Errors in meaning made by the translator and corrected by the editor include, for example, the translation of the expression ‘reciprocal images’ translated as ‘reciproké obrazy.’ This was corrected by the editor to ‘reciproční obrazy.’ Other changes in meaning include, for example, changing the translation of ‘biased towards’ in the phrase ‘způsob vnímání, který je zaujatý ve vztahu k určitým souborům společenských vztahů,’ which was changed to ‘který upřednostňuje určité soubory společenských vztahů.’