Revision Survey Results – Part 4: Revision Training

rs13The very last question in my revisions survey (answered by 229 of the 232 people that filled it out) focused on finding out what, if any, training colleagues have in revision techniques. Out of the 80 people who responded yes to this question, 77 went on to give me the details (thank you!).

University courses/modules

I was pleased, but also somewhat surprised, to discover that 22 of the 77 replies in this section mentioned university courses (undergraduate, MA and PhD). Translation degrees and masters are not generally known for having much revision content (see Nancy Matis’ guest post on how important the subject is and why it should be included in academic programmes), so it’s great to see that this was the top mention in the survey.

Here is what some respondents said:

“In my 3rd year of BA, I had a class called ‘Editing and Revising of texts’ (which was more of a proofreading class).”

“Part of Translating studies University Course, plus elective in Editing and Proofreading.”

“Revision in Translation Theory Classes during Masters Degree.”

“While this was not the main topic, we have discussed revisions as part of our translation course.”

“Editorial Techniques module in MA Translation.”


Courses came in second with 17 mentions. Some respondents didn’t specify where they took them, so they might also be talking about ones they did at university.

“Courses in monolingual and bilingual revisions.”

“I have taken a course on Spanish revision techniques.”

“Course on revision of legal translations – Course of specialization on revision of translations into Spanish.”

Others did provide more details about where they had studied:

“I am a Certified Reviser and Editor by Litterae Fundèu (2 years).”

“Curso de corrección profesional’ at Cálamo & Cran (Spain).”

Udemy course.”

“I am taking courses with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.”

I have also done a proofreading course with the SfEP and, although I personally wasn’t interested in learning about the BSI marks, it did help to open my eyes to errors I was making or could potentially make without realising. For more details about this course, please see Andrew Godfrey’s post and the third paragraph in this post of mine on CPD.

For other centres and colleges providing revision-related courses, please see the “Copywriting, Writing, Proofreading and Editing Courses” section on the Links & Tips for Translators & Interpreters page.


Close behind courses with 16 mentions was the increasingly popular webinar format. Most respondents didn’t mention the webinar organiser:

“Took a webinar on how to do editing/revision more efficiently. (e.g. techniques, steps, important points).”

One did to say they were unimpressed:

“It was a Webinar offered by ProZ. It wasn’t worth my time….”

Only one mentioned eCPD* as the webinar provider. I’ve attended webinars offered by both ProZ and eCPD and I feel that the quality of the latter’s offerings is generally far superior.

ProZ is now selling a “Plus” membership option that includes access to a library of training material at no additional cost. On the eCPD website, you can now purchase videos when you wish (for example, when there’s a sale on) and watch them at your leisure. You’ll find details of revision webinars I’ve taken on my CPD page.


This category was mentioned 12 times by the respondents, with the content provided by the ITI and the MET highlighted the most often. I’ve been to workshops arranged by both associations and cannot recommend them highly enough. Both also organise conferences held in great esteem in our profession with masterclass and workshop options available on the day before the actual event starts. The ITI conference takes place every two years and the next one is happening in May 2017 in Cardiff. The METM is an annual event and the next will be visiting Brescia in Italy in October.

“Revision talk via ITI Scotnet.”

“Various workshops via MET.”


Books were mentioned nearly as often as workshops (11 times), although only one title was provided:

“A brief sample course and Brian Mossop: Revising and Editing for Translators.”

I’ve dipped into this book and found it extremely helpful. I’m currently working my way through Don’t Trust Your Spell Check by Dean Evans; it includes exercises you can do to help you spot mistakes. If readers have found other books useful, please share in the comments below.

On the Job

The next most popular method was simply doing the translation and going through a revision process or being the reviser and learning as you go along:

“Not formally, but I think reviewing and being reviewed is a kind of CPD to the same end.”

“I’ve read many articles about this subject and I have practiced during a long time to do crossed revisions (I mean sharing a job with a colleague and each one revising the translation of the other, sending it back to the colleague and arriving to a final agreement. This teaches as a lot).”

Some people mentioned this option of revising each other’s work starting out at university or in their first job:

“I … have done a lot of revising with colleagues when writing my dissertation and learnt from their suggestions and corrections.”

“…when I started, supervision and advice from an expert in-house colleague.”

It is generally agreed that one of the best ways to improve your own translation work is to be revised and receive feedback as often as possible.


The last options stated in the survey are the least popular with only one or two mentions. They include: articles; style manuals (Chicago and New Oxford); clients’ own guidelines on revision; seminars; CAT tool webinars and forums; copywriting; translation summer school; in-house training; etc.

“Not specific courses or techniques, just recommendations or preferences that came along in translation courses, manuals of style, style guides, and different agencies’ procedures.”

“I have read about it; have a DipTrans qualification and degrees in Linguistics but have never studied the subject ‘formally’.”

The final instalment of the revision survey results (Part 5) will look at some of the additional comments made at the end of the survey.

Part 1 of this revision survey results summary focuses on why people like and dislike doing revisions, Part 2 on the financial aspects of revision and Part 3 on the quality of revisions and how satisfied colleagues are with them.

* eCPD Webinars no longer exists. The back catalogue of webinars was taken over by CIOL and can only be accessed by its members.

Explore this blog by starting with the categories page, which includes a section on all the surveys I’ve run. 

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